Cape Town - National Treasury has appointed a service provider for its R1bn Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and investigations into the initiative's false start are at an advanced stage, it told Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa).
National Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane briefed the committee on Tuesday, following a briefing last year where the committee took National Treasury to task for failing to implement a system it had already spent R1bn on.
The system aimed to upgrade and modernise government departments’ information storage systems, secure financial information across departments and eventually improve each department’s efficiency.
However, in an ironic twist the system never went beyond the first phase despite R1bn being made readily available to take it from development to pilot phase.
Members of the African National Congress last year called on then minister of finance Pravin Gordhan, then deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas and then director general Lungisa Fuzile to be investigated over the project.
This was also Scopa’s first meeting with the National Treasury since President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene back at the helm of Treasury. He appointed ANC MP Mondli Gungubele as deputy finance minister.
No foul play suspected
Mogajane told the committee that while the matter of the IFMS's failure to start operating is under investigation and the original work on the project by Oracle is scrapped, no foul play is suspected of any staff member at National Treasury.
“A service provider has been appointed and the investigation is currently under way after the audit committee rejected the draft report completed by the initial service provider. No evidence has been found of any National Treasury employee having received remuneration outside of the public service in relation to the IFMS,” said Mogajane.
Mogajane said even though the ambitious project hit a major snag since it started off in 2013, National Treasury is determined to get it off the ground and has already started interviews to hire staff into an IFMS unit.
“Interviews have been conducted to appoint a permanent head of the IFMS unit. Payments processed will be reviewed and controls will be strengthened. On the recommendation of the audit committee, the contract of the service provider has been terminated,” he said.
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.