Correctional services: R2bn spent on consultants for ‘critical services’

Prison authorities have defended their spending of R2 billion on consultants.

This was for core business, the correctional services department said today.

“The bulk of these costs were incurred on the core mandate and business of the department, without which we would not have been able to provide critical services,” said national commissioner Tom Moyane.

He briefed the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in Parliament today on the spending of the R2 billion.

Senior manager in the office of the Auditor General, Gratitude Ramphaka, reported to the committee earlier this month the department paid R2 billion from 2008/09 to 2010/11 to consultants, outsourced services, and contractors.

Moyane said the core business included provision of food, health and medication for prisoners, maintenance of facilities, training for prisoners and officials, logistics, and security services.

Last year, Minister Sibusiso Ndebele instructed the department to implement a strategy to improve financial management regarding issues raised by the Auditor General in his report, said Moyane.

“To this end, we met with officials from the Auditor General, the national Treasury and worked out a road map, putting necessary measures in place to ensure a complete shift.”

Action had been instituted against officials suspected of having committed offences in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

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