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SPTC pays ‘ghost’ suppliers E177m

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By SENZO DLAMINI - SWAZI TIMES-22-Mar-2010

MBABANE – The Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporation paid over E177 million to ‘ghost’ suppliers.

This was between January 2006 – May 2009. This is contained in the forensic investigation into the operations of SPTC initiated by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology. The forensic, whose report was submitted to the ministry in August, last year, was performed by auditors Deloitte - a South African-based company.

‘‘We could not locate the following suppliers on the SPTC database of suppliers,’’ reads part of the report submitted to the ministry’s Principal Secretary Nathaniel Mahluza. The ‘ghost’ companies, as per the report, have been named as 2Cana Solutions (Pty) Ltd, Huawei Technologies South Africa (Pty) Ltd and RubieM Technologies CC.

‘‘We requested an explanation from a senior manager (name delibarately withheld) for the absence of the above suppliers from the SPTC supplier database. To date, we have not received a response in this regard. The SPTC and/ or MICT should make enquiries regarding the status of the above suppliers,’’ further states the report.

One of the ‘ghosts’ companies won a tender amounting to US$23 249 625.83 (approximately E168 million). 2Cana Solutions (Pty) Ltd was awarded a tender amounting to E6.5m to perform IT Architecture Re-Design.

The third ‘ghost’ company RubieM Technologies won a tender of over E3m. The forensic report states that the ministry, perhaps suspecting foul play, requested the auditors to focus on the tenders won by Huawei Technologies South Africa and RubieM Technologies CC. The report is yet to be adopted by Parliament.

Evaluation Committee was supposed to face disciplinary action

MBABANE – A recommendation was made that the SPTC Evaluation Committee be hauled over coals for alleged failure to execute duties in a competent fashion.

This is contained in the forensic investigation report into the operations of the Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Corporations. Names of the committee members have been deliberately withheld.

Considered ‘‘Disciplinary steps should be considered against the Evaluation Committee for lack of proper tender document management,’ reads the report in part. It states further: ‘One of the KPMG recommendations in 2006 was that tender documentation needed to be filed and maintained for record purposes.

Applicable

This has clearly not happened as the applicable documentation in respect of the tenders/contracts we had to review could not be produced and thus there is no audit trail in respect of most of these contracts. We were accordingly unable to come to conclusions regarding most of these tenders due to insufficient documentation.’’

Disciplinary steps recommended against former Managing Director

MBABANE – Disciplinary steps were recommended against the former Managing Director of SPTC, by auditors Deloitte.

The recommendation was made after the former was found to have concluded a contract with one of the suppliers without having followed the laid down procedures. ‘Disciplinary steps should be considered against the former for concluding a contract with RubieM Technologies CC without following the proper SPTC supply chain procedure.

The report further states: ‘During our review of the NGN Turkey Project Consultancy, we identified a contract concluded between SPTC and RubieM without the proper SPTC procurement process having been followed. The contract was signed by the former managing director of SPTC, and Dennis Magaya (RubieM Technologies Consultant) on behalf of RubieM.’

However, the contract was duly cancelled. The auditors further recommended the strengthening of the SPTC chain management policy especially the scoring process of tenders.


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