NW Education paid R9 m instead of R2 m for masks – SIU

The North West Department of Education paid R9.2 million instead of R2.5 million for masks, the Special Investigating Unit said this week.

“An informal procurement committee set up by the North West Department of Education has exposed the department to over expenditure totalling more than R6.5 million relating to face cloth masks. Ordinarily, all competitive bids above R500 000 that are awarded by Government Entities must be awarded by a Bid Adjudication committee in terms of National Treasury regulations. The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) investigation has revealed that the department established an informal committee to manage the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) outside the Bid Adjudication Committee,” SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said.

“The investigation further shows that two requests for quotations (RFQ) were issued by the committee on behalf of the Department for the supply and delivery of 50 000 masks per RFQ. In the first RFQ, three service providers were appointed to the value of R3,7 million. With the second RFQ, five service providers were appointed to the value of R5,512 million. However, the Department used the two RFQs to procure 400 000 masks, 300 000 more than what was initially requested. The irregularity has resulted in the department having to pay more than R9.2 million for masks instead of R2,5 million. The regulated price for the face cloth mask by the National Treasury is R25.”

He said the investigation has also revealed that one service provider was appointed despite submitting a quotation after the cut off time. The committee also requested that one of the service providers reduce its quotation so that it be below the threshold set by National Treasury.

This is the second irregularity relating to PPE procurement that the SIU has uncovered in this department.”