Gartner wasn't the first choice, Nugent Commission told

The Nugent Commission's attention on Tuesday shifted from Bain & Company to the R200m IT contracts SARS signed with advisory firm Gartner.

While Bain was tasked with overhauling the SARS operating model, Gartner was appointed to provide a multi-phased IT strategy for the tax agency.

According to deputy director general and acting chief procurement officer at National Treasury Solly Tshitangano, seven transactions were entered into between SARS and Gartner. The current contract is set to expire on November 30, 2020.

The contract, approved by suspended Commissioner Tom Moyane, deviated from standard tender process, raising questions over the criteria used to appoint the firm.

According to Tshitangano's testimony, Gartner was not the first choice. EOH Mthombo were first option for the contract, Tshitangano said.

Gartner extended 40% of its contract fee to Rangewave, a local company which has ties to Moyane through his longtime friend, businessman Patrick Monyeki, according to a report by Daily Maverick.

In his evidence, Tshitangano stated that Moyane was directly involved in the Gartner transaction and that there were no minutes for some of the meetings that took place between SARS and the firm, which suggested the firm could have been involved in the discussion of terms of reference for its work.

Like Bain, Gartner is an US-based firm.

The commission will resume on Wednesday, with several SARS senior managers scheduled to give evidence.

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