Gauteng refutes DA claims of schools’ ICT programme tender rigging

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The Gauteng Department of Education has refuted claims by the DA that it rigged the equipment procurement process for its smart boards as part of its schools ICT programme.

Yesterday, The Citizen reported that the department may have rigged tender processes to favour a company to provide schools with smart boards in the 2015/16 financial year and that the boards were bought at inflated prices.

“The Auditor General noted that goods and services with a transaction value above R500,000 were procured without following correct procurement processes as required; sufficient appropriate audit evidence could not be obtained that contracts were awarded to suppliers with tax clearance certificates from the South African Revenue Service; and the head of department did not exercise adequate oversight over compliance with laws and regulations,” said to DA Gauteng member of the provincial legislature, Khume Ramulifho.

“The Gauteng Department of Education notes with concern, the allegations contained in the DA Statement that the department rigged the tender process on the ICT programme. Further, that a so-called service provider could have delivered the product at tenth of the value,” the department responded in a statement this morning.

Ramulifho said the party would be submitting written questions to Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, about the matter.

“We are further concerned about the DA’s tactic of raising issues in the media and claiming to ask the MEC questions later. We view this as deliberate attempt to cast aspersions and taint the image of the department,” the department said.

The department said it is waiting for the written questions. Meanwhile, it assured the public that the tender process for the ICT programme is above board and it obtained value for money from the suppliers.