The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is now gunning for the North West Department of Education after a probe uncovered several irregularities pertaining to the procurement of cloth masks. The department was found to have overspent more than R6.5 million on face masks – but that’s not all that has been discovered.
According to SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, two requests for quotations (RQF) were issued by the committee on behalf of the Department for the supply and delivery of 50 000 masks each.
In the first RQF, three service providers were appointed to the value of R3.7 million. While in the second RQF, five service providers were appointed to the value of over R5.5 million.
“However, the Department used the two RFQs to procure 400 000 masks, 300 000 more than what was initially requested. The irregularity has resulted in the Department having to pay more than R9.2 million for masks instead of R2.5 million. The regulated price for the face cloth mask by the National Treasury is R25”
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago
COVID-19 corruption in the North West – what else did the SIU find?
That’s not all the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found against the North West Department of Education: One of the service providers was appointed, despite having submitted a quotation after the allocated deadline.
“The SIU investigation has also revealed that one (1) service provider was appointed despite submitting a quotation after the cut off time. Furthermore, the committee even requested that one (1) of the service providers reduce their quotation so that it be below the threshold set by National Treasury,” Kganyago further said.
“This is the second irregularity relating to PPE procurement that the SIU has uncovered in the North West Department of Education”
Steps are already underway by the SIU to declare the contract by the North West Education Department UNLAWFUL and INVALID. The SIU is also looking to recover the financial losses that were suffered by the provincial government, as a result of the matter.
“In line with SIU Act of 1996, the SIU made a disciplinary referral against members of the informal procurement committee for flouting supply chain management processes and for exposing the Department to over expenditure of more than R6.5 million in the appointment of service providers”