e-Government once again incurs irregular expenditure to the tune of R354 milion

The Department of e-Government in Gauteng has once again incurred irregular spending of R354 258 000 for the 2019-’20 financial year and the DA will now submit questions to ensure proper procurement processes are followed in the future.

The irregular spending was revealed in the annual report for the department for the previous financial year.

According to the annual report this irregular expenditure was incurred because of the following:

  • Month-to-month extension of an irregular Security Operations Centre extension due to the delay in the SITA procurement process.
  • Contravention of the PFMA 16A 3.2(a): Lease contract date precedes the evidence of ownership date.
    Request of variation after contract expiry: Email as a service.
  • Deviation from the normal procurement process for procurement of Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) services excluded from the SITA request for bid.
  • GBN proposed substantive conditions not yet attained.

This trend of irregular expenditure is extremely concerning as this is not the first time that irregular expenditure has occurred.

Last year the department incurred irregular expenditure of R31,9 million due to not following the correct procurement process.

It is becoming clear that this department lacks the political will to ensure that the proper procurement processes are followed as this is again the reason for the irregular expenditure for the 2019-’2020 financial year.

Given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country, the Department of e-Government can play a key role in improving service delivery to the residents of Gauteng, modernising the public service and stimulating the province’s knowledge-based economy.

Considering this year’s annual report and the history of this department failing to properly implement and roll out the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) then the department is falling on its core mandate to improve service delivery to the residents of Gauteng.

Last year, this department was identified as a key growth area by the Gauteng Provincial Government and received R1.4 billion to fund key projects like the GBN and the creation of the e-services platform that will allow residents to connect with government.

It is worrying that this department has once again regressed and received a qualified audit opinion from the Auditor General.

I will again be submitting questions to the MEC to determine what steps will be taken to ensure that the proper procurement process is followed by this department and if a resolution has been reached on the GBN and the implementation of the second phase of this project.