FS Health Department wastes R3.61 billion on consultants

Peter Frewen MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

The Free State provincial Department of Health spent R3.61 billion on consultants during the financial years 2008/9 to 2010/11 the Auditor-General (AG), Mr Thembekile Makwetu, has found.

This amounts to 8.4% of the department’s operational and 36.9% of its goods and services expenditures.

The AG also found the following:

  • The department does not have a clearly defined strategy for contracting consultants and this contributes to the massive expenditure;
  • The department failed to conduct proper analysis on whether outsourcing was the most cost effective option in comparison with creating an internal capacity;
  • The department’s failure to address the high vacancy rate of medical professionals in public health facilities necessitated the contracting of consultants in order to deliver specialised medical services;
  • The department failed to monitor the efficiency of contracted consultants. Payments to consultants were made without monitoring key deliverables and verifying performance with service level agreements;
  • The department failed to keep an archive of all relevant documentation and were unable to supply critical documentation to the AG. This is in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

The Free State provincial department continues to be plagued by financial and administrative mismanagement under the watch of the MEC for Health, Mr Bennie Malokoane. The DA has repeatedly called on Premier Ace Magashule to urgently intervene within this department and suspend MEC Malokoane and to appoint a competent and qualified person to head the department. Premier Magashule’s inaction is an indictment on his inability to govern effectively.

The DA again reiterates its call for the suspension of MEC Malokoane.