Ashor Sarupen MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance:
Today the DA lodged an application in terms of the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) to obtain the tender documents relating to the procurement of tablets and 3G connectivity for schools, which the Auditor-General found to have been awarded irregularly to suppliers in violation of supply chain management regulations.
These tenders amounted to R500 million.
This was disclosed in the annual report for the Gauteng Department of Finance.
Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, promised a full scale investigation in September 2014 during a debate on the annual report.
However, some six months later, nothing further has been announced and no action appears to have been taken.
The MEC has not mentioned the matter subsequent to this debate.
It is unsettling that the MEC only spoke of the investigation in September 2014, when the DA has seen correspondence from the Auditor-General – as far back as May 2014, indicating that the tenders were irregular.
Of particular concern is that the contract for 3G connectivity was awarded to the same supplier who was awarded the Gauteng Online tender, which was meant to provide and manage computer labs to schools.
The project was marred by problems and derided as Gauteng Offline – which is now being replaced with tablets.
The application for the tender documents is done in the interests of transparency and accountability.
The DA will further demand through questions, and processes in the Gauteng Legislature, that the MEC provide answers as to why there has been no progress reported on the investigation.