Gartner drafted terms of reference for SARS multi-million rand contract, inquiry hears

Gartner, the company which was awarded a nearly R200m contract to design an IT strategy for SARS was involved in drawing up the terms of reference for its work, the Nugent Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Gartner Senior Managing Partner, Neville Willemse, admitted that, along with businessman Patrick Monyeki, he drafted the scope of work for the multi-phased contract.

Monyeki is not a SARS employee but a friend of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane.

Moyane revealed his friendship with Monyeki as he answered questions before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance in March.

Asked by Advocate Mabongi Masilo if it was standard practice for the company to define the scope of work they would undertake for clients, Willemse said they often got involved to assist clients gain a better understanding of the “spectrum of what is possible”.

“Quite often we do get involved in building the scope of what they are looking for….if they don’t understand the scope of what is possible,” said Willemse.

Gartner conducted the work in three phases.

The commission’s evidence leader, Carol Steinberg stated that the first phase which cost SARS R13m identified even bigger problems that led to a second phase of the project which was worth more than R150m.

Monyeki’s role as middleman came under sharp scrutiny from the commission, with Judge Robert Nugent asking Willemse to explain why the company opted to work with Monyeki as he was not a SARS employee.

Monyeki reportedly later landed a 40% slice of the Gartner contract. Evidence is still underway.

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