e-Government awards a tender even to a company that is being deregistered

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is shocked to learn that the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has awarded a tender to Finesse World Wide to sanitize documents despite the fact that this company is currently in the process of being deregistered.

According to the 2019 CICP records, this company which is owned by Koketso Pitso was in the process of being deregistered for annual return non-compliance.

In reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL), the MEC for Finance and e-Government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, confirmed that the company was appointed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and because government has an obligation to provide a safe working environment, the employer must ensure that the workplace is free from any risk to the health of its employees as far as it is reasonable and practicable. Furthermore, the department also recorded incidents of Covid-19 infections in its building and therefore documents received from the Document Management Centre (DMC) needed to be sanitized.

The DA has confirmed that this was not the first time that the department struggled with Occupational Health and Safety issues, as this was an audit related matter contained in the department’s 2018/19 Annual Report, and we agree that the department had to act fast to prevent the spread of COVID19 infections. It is however unacceptable that an organisation that clearly does not have all its paperwork in order is awarded a tender by provincial government to the value of R328 457,00. According to the MEC, Finesse World Wide (Pty) Ltd was the only company which responded to the department’s calls for a quotation, and which submitted supporting documents, including a BBBEE and tax certificate or pin, the Central Supplier Database (CSD) report and company registration documents. A memorandum to procure these services as an emergency procurement was approved by the Accounting Officer.

The DA is concerned that the validity of the tax certificate or pin had not been confirmed as the information on the company was merely obtained from the Central Supplier Database (CSD) report. It does not appear as though the latest CICP report was used by the accounting officer, as it seems that the company’s process for deregistration was overlooked.

The DA will be submitting further questions to the MEC for Finance and e-Government to determine if the department was aware that the company was in the process of being deregistered and if they were, then will the accounting officer who awarded the tender be facing any disciplinary action.