To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
The Auditor General wrote a scathing report on facilities management group Bosasa’s lucrative contracts with the correctional services department as early as June 2006, the Mail & Guardian can reveal.
His spokesperson, Joreta Linde-Ferreira, said the Auditor General remained “uncomfortable, as the level of assurance sought regarding supply chain management was not forthcoming”.
The Auditor General’s office handed records and other documents to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which is probing the Bosasa contracts and which aims to finalise its investigation within two months.
The M&G is in possession of a report sent by the Auditor General to former prisons boss Linda Mti after an investigation found the department had not adequately managed the Bosasa contracts.
The probe also found the department set inappropriate payment conditions, committed “fiscal dumping” by making huge payments at the end of the financial year and flouted its own procurement policies.
Ironically, the department’s former chief financial officer, Patrick Gillingham, responded on Mti’s behalf. The M&G revealed two weeks ago that Gillingham handed Bosasa confidential tender documents before they were publicly available.
Last week the M&G exposed how Bosasa sponsored flights and luxury hotel stays for Mti.
The Auditor General investigated four tenders awarded to Bosasa companies.
It shows he:
The M&G further showed that Bosasa had access to the fencing tender document months before it was formally published.
Gillingham responded that the department used public works department estimates, but enhanced these by including surveillance technology and detection systems.
The Auditor General found that the first payment of R56,4-million to Phezulu Fencing was made on December 14 2005—five days after the contract was publicly awarded—contravening payment conditions.
According to Gillingham, Phezulu Fencing indicated that it needed to make “substantial manufacturing deposits” with suppliers to ensure delivery deadlines were met.
During inspections in May 2006, the Auditor General’s office found that not all fences were erected by March 17 2006, the contracted date of completion. “By allowing the delivery date to be extended, other bidders may have been unfairly discriminated against,” the report remarked.
Gillingham responded that at the compulsory briefing session for prospective bidders, the department indicated it would allow installation to continue beyond March 17 2006 but would penalise “unnecessary delays”.
On a R224-million contract won by Sondolo IT for installation of 6 000 television monitors on March 10 2006, the Auditor General again remarked that he could not determine who wrote the tender specifications. The M&G has reported that Bosasa sent Gillingham a section of the tender document before the tender was advertised.
Gillingham responded that the tender document was compiled in consultation with the department’s IT staff and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
The report also noted late delivery on the TV tender. Gillingham stated that the majority of equipment was still “bonded in the warehouses of the suppliers”. The department this week instructed the SIU to do an urgent audit on the latest tender awarded to Bosasa Operations—a R900-million catering contract in 31 prisons.
Annexure: The Auditor General’s report on Bosasa’s correctional services contracts. (PDF)
Create Account | Lost Your Password?