The standing committee on public accounts on Friday heard that the auditor-general flagged the R518 million project for tender irregularities and had subsequently instructed the provincial department of finance to institute a probe.
The AG found that bid specifications had been altered – an indication perhaps that conditions of the original tender had been changed to favour the two successful bidders – Cloudseed and China’s Huawei Technologies.
“Contracts relating to the e-learning devices and the e-learning connectivity were awarded to bidders based on points given for criteria that differed from those stipulated in the original invitation for bidding, in contravention of Treasury Regulation 16A6.3 (a) and Preferential Procurement Regulations,” he said.
The AG also found that:
Procurement of IT-related goods and services went against regulations because they were not acquired through the State Information Technology Agency; and
Appropriate risk management was not applied to ensure regular assessment of IT risks.
According to the Public Finance Management Act, the accounting officer must ensure that bid documents and the general conditions of a contract are in accordance with the instructions of the National Treasury or the prescripts of the Construction Industry Development Board.