Procurement breaches over upgrades to president Zuma's house

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1 February 2013 | Adam Leach

There were irregularities in the procurement of contractors carrying out security upgrades to the private residence of South African President Jacob Zuma, an investigation has found.

This week, minister of public works Thulas Nxesi, reported the findings of a special task team established to discover whether any public money had been used to build the house, and whether proper procedures had been followed to upgrade security arrangements.

The team concluded no public money had been used in the construction of the house, but the procurement of security, which is paid for from the public purse, was not conducted correctly.

The report found a number of breaches of the supply chain management policy of the Department of Public Works. While it did not detail each breach uncovered, one rule that was broken surrounded Treasury regulations that permit a variation from an initial procurement order of up to 20 per cent. This was not observed.

The investigation also found an approval for the project was granted to a regional bid adjudication committee to adopt the process of appointing contractors, despite it being a national project with responsibility for decisions taken at a national level. It said there were a number of irregularities in appointing service providers.

In response, Nxesi explained the findings of the report would now be passed on to the relevant law enforcement agencies, with a view to investigating potentially criminal acts. Further, if professionals or contractors are found to have acted unethically, they will be reported to their professional bodies, while the government will institute immediate disciplinary actions on officials found to have flouted the procedures.

However it did not explicitly state which officials this refers to.

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