De Lille instructs officials to open up tender processes

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille says a decision has been taken to open up tender processes to members of the public in a bid to curb corruption.

De Lille said this when she briefed journalists at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament ahead of delivering her Budget Vote speech in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Transparency is the most important deterrent to corruption. As such, I have already instructed my officials to put measures in place for the public participation in our supply chain management processes -- that is the ability of the members of the public to observe the evaluation and adjudication of our building processes,” she said.

De Lille, who will be delivering her maiden budget vote as a Minister in the current administration, said this is one of several interventions that are being taken to clean up the department of corruption.

Lifestyle audits

With regards to dealing with corruption and fraud in the department, an agreement was taken to subject the entire department to lifestyle audits.

“We have also agreed that we will start with lifestyle audits, starting with the Minister, between August 2019 and June 2020.

“We have been working very closely with the law enforcement agencies – the SIU [Special Investigating Unit]. We currently have 2 325 cases with the SIU and approximately half of them have been finalised,” the Minister said.  

Through the SIU, the department has been instructed to move to recover just over R403 million through investigations that have been concluded.

“We are also in a court process at the moment to recover R155 million related to the Nkandla expenditure from the Nkandla project,” said De Lille.

Irregular appointment of 11 senior managers to be set aside 

One of the matters De Lille will address during her budget vote speech is the investigation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) into the appointment of about 677 individuals in the department.

“They have so far submitted the first phase of their report and it has found that 11 out of the 37 senior management staff members were irregularly appointed and they have recommended that the appointments be set aside.

“I am waiting for the second phase. In the second phase, they have identified about 143 irregular appointments and they are now busy with the last phase. Once we receive the full report from the PSC, we will then start acting on the recommendations,” said the Minister.

De Lille raised concern about the failure by departmental officials to pay service providers within 30 days.

The failure to settle invoices on time has reportedly resulted in several companies, especially smaller construction companies, going under.

The Minister said to address this, she has decided to include paying service providers within 30 days as part of key performance indicator (KPI) for senior managers. –