FDA will not switch off police systems again - SITA

2018-05-11 19:37
FDA director Keith Keating. (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

FDA director Keith Keating. (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

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While the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is embroiled in court battles with Forensic Data Analysis (FDA), the state-owned agency ensured that critical South African Police Service systems will not be switched off again.

During a press conference in Pretoria on Friday, SITA CEO Dr Setumo Mohapi told reporters that the FDA and its director, former police officer Keith Keating, were locked out of the entire SITA environment.

They will therefore not be able to switch off the systems.

"The first thing we did after Mr Keating switched off the systems, we locked him out of our entire environment," Mohapi told reporters. 

In April, FDA switched off police systems, saying that it had not been paid in nearly five months. The matter is now before court.

"We spent that weekend doing what we needed to do on the basis of our own understanding of our rights on those systems, to bring them back up," said Mohapi.

Mohapi said certain systems were allegedly switched off by the FDA on April 4, but were back up and running by April 9.

READ: Police, SITA halt court process against FDA over access to IT systems

"Monday morning, when SAPS members went to work the main system, the critical system which is the one that supports forensic investigations was back on in its original form."

SITA also claims that it has uncovered information that suggests most of the IT contracts with FDA have red flags and that, once several urgent applications have been dealt with in court, they will begin a process to recoup monies.

They did not disclose how much money would be chased.

"We have asked our legal teams to start litigating [to get] our money back. We have quite a lot of information that gives us the basis for such claims.

"We have a case against everything. The January investigations were specifically on FDA and related companies. In every one of them we have questions."

Mohapi said some documents, which secured contracts with SITA, appeared to have been forged.

Meanwhile, SITA has also embarked on a mission to root out corruption and dodgy dealings at the agency.

Mohapi said they first targeted their human capital management (HCM) department and the proceeded to clean the supply chain management.

Since SITA began with their internal forensic probes in 2016, there were 22 resignations and an additional 11 resignations during disciplinary processes. Thirteen people were also dismissed and eight criminal cases were opened.

READ: Supplier denies police allegations that it placed malware in IT systems

"In early 2016, we started with our forensic investigations in HCM and we found things there. We found lots of evidence that in fact, the HCM chain was also compromised from hiring to inside promotions. We dealt with that and we had quite a large number of our management core leave the organisation as a result of it," Mohapi said.

He added that "quite a number of people" were dismissed after disciplinary hearings, while others left either during the disciplinary hearings or during investigations.

"The next hot area was supply chain management. So, a year later [in] February 2017, we started our forensic probes into the supply chain management unit or procurement unit."

He said there was a lot of corroboration for what members of the public were saying about supply chain management at the agency, which was that the only way a contract was obtained was through the bribing of SITA employees.

"Some of the monies which have been paid in these deals shows‚ in our view‚ extensive levels of collusion."

"We were quite ruthless last year. We did not blink in disciplining people where things were wrong, in the interest of this organisation and in the interest of the country."

Read more on:    fda  |  saps  |  sita  |  keith keating

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