Last week, the Democratic Alliance submitted a notice to the Buffalo City Metro council to request that 15 outstanding forensic and internal investigations be submitted and finalised.
Good governance and transparency are necessary to have a well-run municipality, which includes avoiding wasteful expenditure.
In terms of National Treasury Guidelines, all investigations commissioned should be tabled in council or in a committee of council and dealt with to a logical conclusion, failing which the costs associated with such investigations will amount to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The DA also requested that progress reports by management on each of the investigations be referred to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee for consideration and that the reports set out the history of the investigations, key findings of the investigations, costs associated with the preparation of each such investigative report, persons implicated in each individual report and actions taken against such parties identified, inclusive of criminal / civil actions implemented.
Some cases date back as far as 2008. The amounts involved have accumulated over a period of time, but nevertheless are indicative of a poor control environment as highlighted by the Audit Committee.
The list of outstanding reports is as follows:
- Report on the investigations into alleged irregularities associated with grass cutting contracts awarded in or around 2008. (Value estimated at around R28 million.)
- Report on the investigations into alleged irregularities associated with the waste management contract awarded in or around 2008. (Value estimated at around R22 million.)
- Report on the investigation commissioned by the Executive Mayor in office around 2012 into a contract awarded for the provision of black refuse bags or alleged irregularities associated with such awarded contract. (Value unknown, but likely around R0,5 million.)
- Report on investigation into alleged irregularities associated with a contract for a general valuation around 2012, Contract 2953 – Tender for the Performance of the General Valuation 2013. (While the value of contract is several million, possibly more than R5 million, the Municipality has currently suffered no loss as no amounts were paid out.)
- Report on investigations into allegations of irregularities associated with contracts awarded for the World Cup 2010.
- Report on investigation into alleged irregularities associated with contracts forming part of the “Make a Difference” campaign – the so called EY report. (Total value unknown, but estimated to be about R40 million.)
- Report on the “review” of a forensic report commissioned by the Executive Mayor in or around 2008/2009 and progress against the resolution of council that the costs associated therewith be recovered from the parties considered to be liable. (Value estimated at R0,40 million.)
- Investigation Reports commissioned by the City Manager relating to alleged irregularities associated with Contract Numbers 13 and 26 which reports were referred back to management for input and report back to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. (Value unknown. If the entire contracts are irregular the value might well exceed R50 million over the full period.)
- Report on the alleged irregular appointments of staff by the City Manager in office at that time as reported in council. (Value not known, but estimated around R2 million.)
- Report on alleged irregularities associated with a tender for the supply, support and maintenance of an anti-virus solution for the municipality’s IT equipment awarded around June 2013. (Value estimated at around R3-million but only if the award itself was irregular.)
- Report on alleged irregularities associated with a tender for an electronic procurement system awarded around June 2013. (Value estimated at around R15 million but only if the award itself was irregular.)
- Report on alleged irregularities associated with a tender for the supply, installation, maintenance and support of the municipality’s debt management system awarded around June 2013. (Value estimated at around R10 million but only if the award itself was irregular.)
- Report on alleged irregularities associated with Housing contract BCMM/COO/HM/1330/2013 Professional Team for design and Project Management of DVRI Pilot Project Haven Hills South: 323 High density residential housing units awarded around June 2013. (Value may reach R50 million if whole contract determined as irregular. However value paid is relatively small – approximately R5-million.)
- Report on alleged irregularities associated with Contract No 156A for the removal of illegal electricity connections for a three year period understood to have last been updated 26 November 2013. (Value not known but estimated around R3 million.)
The BCM must engage with its residents and be accountable in order to ensure good governance.
The DA will continue to pursue this issue and ensure that the outstanding reports are finalised.
Cllr Geoffrey Walton
Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
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