Home News Northern Cape PPE procurement report submitted to Special Investigating Unit

Northern Cape PPE procurement report submitted to Special Investigating Unit

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The report raised eyebrows regarding multimillion-rand tenders that were awarded to politically-connected business persons with little to no experience in the procurement of PPE, including nightclub owners.

File image. Picture: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

A REPORT into expenditure by the Northern Cape into the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) last year has been submitted to the Special Investigating Unit.

Provincial government spent R171.59 million on PPE, social relief, disinfecting public buildings, infrastructure works and repairs in the Province as of July 31, 2020, where tenders were awarded to 175 companies.

The report raised eyebrows regarding multimillion-rand tenders that were awarded to politically-connected business persons with little to no experience in the procurement of PPE, including nightclub owners.

The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Abraham Vosloo, set up a team of internal auditors in November last year to audit Covid-19 procurement in the Province.

He said at the time that the investigation would not be limited to a forensic audit, and also warned that serious consequences would follow if anything untoward was picked up in regards to any of the tenders that were issued to the 175 companies.

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Ali Diteme, said on Monday that the provincial internal audit unit investigated Covid-19 expenditure incurred by provincial departments from March 5, 2020 to August 31, 2020.

“The report was issued on November 27, 2020. A compliance audit was conducted on the various instruction notes that National Treasury issued in the period of the national state of disaster that started on March 15, 2020,” said Diteme.

He said that transactions relating to Covid-19 procurement were matched to the relevant National Treasury instruction note applicable to the period of emergency procurement from March 2020 until August 2020.

Diteme said that compliance was checked on pricing, verification of the status of service providers, compliance with central supplier database requirements and compliance with supply chain management processes.

“Findings were made in respect of the above compliance and key performance areas at some departments. Specific companies were not selected, but rather a full audit on all transactions that occurred. Each department’s accounting officer is accountable for the relevant expenditure and the Public Finance Management Act directs what actions should be taken by accounting officers and relevant managers if non-compliance is reported.”

He said that recommendations were made in respect of monitoring controls, strengthening the control environment, improvements in deviation letter controls and consequence management.

“The audit report has been provided to the Special Investigating Unit. Provincial Treasury continues to monitor PPE expenditure and also reports such to National Treasury in line with the relevant instruction notes,” said Diteme.