Minister De Lille and her Department unable to agree on Archibus progress

During a briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure today, the Department of Public Works sought to address ongoing delays in the digitization of the Immovable Asset Register by the Property Management Trading Entity (PMTE). This has been an area of particular concern to the DA for quite some time.

The Department sought to convince the committee that the finalisation of the system and the consequent integrity of data that one would expect from a 6-year process was just around the corner.

However, Minister De Lille took the Portfolio Committee into her confidence right at the end of the meeting and painted a completely different picture of the situation than her Departmental officials.

According to Minister De Lille, the Audit Committee advised that the Archibus system should have been implemented in 12 months, not the 6 years it has already taken. In addition, she revealed that 3 different companies had received a total of R42million to assist with the conversion and implementation of the system.

According to the Minister, the contract with Archibus ended in 2018 and yet, the third implementation partner was awarded a tender in that same year. Furthermore, a fourth tender for conversion and digitisation was drafted in January of this year to the tune of R37million. The tender has subsequently been withdrawn following the findings of the Audit Committee and the intervention of National Treasury who have seconded 2 people to assist with determining the specifications of a tender to finalise the process.

The Audit Committee has established that despite the transfer of the data from Excel to Archibus, the integrity of the data is compromised and there are numerous duplications and errors.

The contract with Archibus consists of 10 modules. 8 of these were completed, but R43million later, only 3 have been activated.

Of further concern is that the R42million was only for external service providers to assist with implementation. The DA will follow up with parliamentary questions, in order to ascertain how much has been paid to Archibus themselves in terms of the cost of the system, as well as whether or not there will be any support for the system in the future now that the contract has ended.

It is shocking to know that 3 years after the contract was cancelled, the Department was willing to spend an additional R37million to implement what might very well be redundant software systems. It is also of grave concern that Minister De Lille and her Department do not seem to agree on the current state of the implementation of Archibus.

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