PPE procurement is tricky business, but we're up to probing it, watchdog tells Parly

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The Municipal Public Accounts Committee has, in a report which City Press has seen, recommended that municipal manager Cynthia Nkuna should institute disciplinary action and criminal proceedings must be instituted against those officials who committed financial misconduct. Picture: iStock/ AndreyPopov
The Municipal Public Accounts Committee has, in a report which City Press has seen, recommended that municipal manager Cynthia Nkuna should institute disciplinary action and criminal proceedings must be instituted against those officials who committed financial misconduct. Picture: iStock/ AndreyPopov
  • The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, by December of 2020, only got 171 out of 805 institutions for analysis.
  • About 33 000 Covid-19 related orders were made across all institutions from 8667 suppliers with R9.4 billion in payments from 444 institutions.
  • Big spenders on Covid-19 related procurement included provincial education and health departments and the South African Police Service.


Acting Chief Procurement Officer Estelle Setan told Parliament on Wednesday that that office and National Treasury were seized with the work of scrutinising the personal and protective equipment (PPE)  procurement of all government departments and entities during the pandemic.

The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) Covid-19 Reporting Dashboard at National Treasury's instruction in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act is to consolidate government Covid-19 spending data, report transactional level data and analyse Covid-19 spend related data.

The OPCO falls under National Treasury and serves to look into the procurement of goods and services as well as spending of government departments and state-owned entities to track compliance with Public Finance Management Act guidelines.

The OPCO delegation told Parliament that the first challenge was ensuring the submission of procurement data to law enforcement agencies for it to be studies and analysed. By December 2020, only 171 out of 805 institutions had made submissions.

"All data in the dashboard is transparent to the public and can be viewed on transactional-, departmental-, reporting period- and consolidated level and the dashboard provides a consolidated transactional view across all spheres of government from a central point," said Setan.

She said, as of the beginning of February, about 33 000 Covid-19 related orders were made across all institutions from 8667 suppliers with R9.4 billion in payments from 444 institutions, according to the data currently available to the OCPO.

Among the ordering institutions, the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health made the highest rand value in orders at R4.2 billion, followed by the Gauteng Provincial Department of Infrastructure Development with R2.1 billion, the Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Health with R2 billion, the South African Police Service with R1.6 billion and the Department of Defence with R840 million.

Setan told the Standing Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday morning that law enforcement agencies requested the National Treasury, through the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, to assist state agencies in the investigations of fraud, corruption and collusion in the procurement of PPE.

"The OCPO is reviewing the procurement process of the various institutions (as per the cases submitted by the law enforcement agencies) to ensure that the process followed was fair, cost effective and within the SCM legislative framework," said Setan.

Setan said the review of PPE procurement was based on documents submitted by the law enforcement agencies and the OCPO does not communicate directly with procuring institutions for additional documents or information.

"All communication is made through the law enforcement agencies. The review of the procurement process is based on the foundational principles of the definition of emergency procurement and the process stipulated in the various Covid-19 emergency instruction notes issued by the OCPO but aligned to the requirements of the Department of Health," Setan said.

Other big spenders among government institutions when it came to Covid-19 related spending were the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health with R736 million, the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Department of Education with R634 million, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Education with R510 million, the Eastern Cape Department of Public Works with R492 million and the Johannesburg Social Housing Company with R486 million.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.94
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.48
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.48
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.89
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.4%
Gold
1,750.69
+0.0%
Silver
22.66
+1.0%
Palladium
1,973.00
-0.1%
Platinum
985.50
-0.2%
Brent Crude
78.09
+1.1%
Top 40
57,784
+0.3%
All Share
64,197
+0.2%
Resource 10
57,744
+0.9%
Industrial 25
82,891
+0.0%
Financial 15
14,246
-0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
What potential restrictions on unvaccinated South Africans may make the biggest difference to public health, the economy?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Limited access to restaurants and bars
11% - 145 votes
Limited access to shopping centres
15% - 191 votes
Limited access to live events, including sport matches and festivals
27% - 352 votes
Workplace vaccine mandates
48% - 623 votes
Vote