Electronic Invoice System open to fraud and corruption as Gauteng Department of Health records over 34 thousand duplicate invoices

Gauteng government departments are at risk of paying more than once for services that are rendered by service providers. Currently, suppliers can upload their invoices on the Electronic Invoice Submission (EIS) system and, if not carefully monitored could be paid twice for services delivered.

This information was revealed to me in a reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL). The Department of Health had a total of 34 856 duplicate invoices uploaded to the EIS system from 1st April 2021 to 31 March 2022. This amounts to a total of R24 256 537 105, 09. The Department of Infrastructure had 650 duplicate invoices submitted through the EIS system, amounting to R143 716 057,71.

While other departments have not had any duplicate invoices, it is very concerning that the Department of Health has the highest number of duplicate invoices submitted. This indicates a loophole in the current system, which opens the door for fraud and corruption to occur.

Our taxpayers cannot afford to have such a loophole that exists in the government invoicing and payment system. Each department has a limited budget and this crack in the system is putting an even greater strain on the budget.

The DA is therefore proposing the following:

• An exception list must be created every morning, so that duplicate invoices are flagged immediately.
• The service provider must be contacted to determine why a duplicate invoice was submitted.
• Repeat offenders must be red flagged for future business.

While none of the duplicate invoices was paid the risk of corruption occurring remains.

While human error may occur and there may be problems with the system while uploading invoices, the fact that only one department appears to have a high number is very concerning and warrants further investigation.

Furthermore, we urge the Department of Health and the Department of Infrastructure Development to engage with their counterparts to determine how they can quickly weed out duplicate invoices from their system or prevent them from being loaded onto the EIS for a second time.

Gauteng residents deserve a government that is detail oriented and that will put every measure in place to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent transparently and is not lost to corruption. Our residents do have an opportunity to change the current government come 2024 and vote for a DA government that is capable of clamping down on corruption.