Treasury wants to curb tender deviations
TREASURY wants to cut down on deviations from procurement processes in government, as it would reduce the tender bill.
Acting chief procurement officer Willy Mathebula told members of the standing committee on finance they have proposed measures.
In the 2016/17 financial year, deviations from normal tender processes cost R37 billion.
Departments and state-owned entities (SOEs) apply for a deviation if there is an emergency and the tender can’t be processed through normal competitive bidding. On top of the list was Eskom with R31bn approved by Treasury followed by Sars with a deviation of R1bn.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform asked for a deviation of R685 million. It was followed by the South African Social Security Agency, whose tenders worth R405m were not up for competitive bidding.
Transnet was also granted a deviation of R380m.
Mathebula also told the committee the other departments and SOEs were Home Affairs, with a deviation of R347m, and Water and Sanitation with R334m.
The SA Local Government Association asked for a deviation of R268m and the Road Accident Fund for R154m.
Dikeledi Mahlangu of the ANC warned that this was the tip of the iceberg, as Treasury had not provided them with figures for municipalities and provincial governments. She said there were also deviations in those two spheres of government and they could be running into further billions of rand.
Mahlangu said Treasury must give a detailed report on the departments and SOEs who applied for deviations. Mathebula said they now wanted to strengthen their monitoring mechanisms.
Peace Mabe of the ANC said the proposal by Treasury to deal with deviations was not effective.
She said they needed more stringent measures to curtail it.
She said spending billions of rand in deviations in one financial year was a lot of money.
Mathebula said this was the problem they were sitting with because departments and SOEs come to them every year to apply for deviations.
There were various reasons why the entities wanted to deviate from competitive bidding.
He said they wanted to tighten up mechanisms to prevent fraud and corruption in the deviation procedures.