Johannesburg – The police are investigating Ekurhuleni municipal employees after a forensic audit found numerous irregularities in the awarding and delivery of an IT contract.
The municipality had raised concerns over the procurement of a contract that was awarded to Dimension Data. It then hired SizweNtsalubaGobodo to do a forensic investigation.
In 2012, the municipality published a tender in various newspapers for IT equipment.
Seven companies applied for the tender, but all of them were later disqualified for not meeting the bid conditions.
The SizweNtsalubaGobodo report indicates that the auditors believe the bidders were not given enough time to compile their submissions.
Also, they could not find any real reason why one of the companies was disqualified.
After the disqualification, the metro’s employees proposed that a Section 32 contract, which would be quicker than going out to tender again, be considered.
A Section 32 contract comes into play when one government department asks another’s permission to use an existing tender.
Ekurhuleni looked at a few state departments and settled on a tender Dimension Data had with the City of Nelson Mandela Bay. The report said the council had a contract with the IT company for R16.9 million.
The report said Dimension Data indicated the pricing would be higher for Ekurhuleni as there would be changes to the underlying products and services required.
However, SizweNtsalubaGobodo said the use of Section 32 usually suggested that the goods procured would be at the same price.
The report raised doubts about the dates that the municipality said it had considered a Section 32 contract, as the dates coincided with the initial disqualified tender.
The report also indicates Ekurhuleni employees awarded the contract to Dimension Data without the permission of the city manager, which is procedure for any contract over R10m.
It recommends that corrective action be taken against five employees for all these irregularities.
In terms of the delivery of goods, the report alleges that there were two sets of delivery notes, that goods worth R33m were paid for before delivery and that some goods were allegedly not delivered.
The report recommends that action be taken against two employees who paid for the goods and that Dimension Data pay back money for goods allegedly not delivered.
The report also recommends that the case be referred to the police.
Ekurhuleni municipality spokesman Themba Gadebe said the matter was under investigation by the Germiston Commercial Crime Unit and that the metro was allowing the investigation to run its course.
Dimension Data said it was concerned and surprised that the report was in the public domain, and added that it had never been furnished with a copy of it.
“It obviously follows that we are not able to meaningfully deal with the questions posed by you and will only be able to do so if and when we are officially furnished with a copy of the report,” the company said.
The company said it had received a request from SizweNtsalubaGobodo to consult with them, and when the company replied, they were never contacted again.
They therefore questioned the veracity of the report.