Against the Rules Too
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela released her report titled “Against the rules too” which is the second and final installment in an investigation into the leasing of the South African Police Service (SAPS) headquarters in Pretoria and Durban.
In the report, the Public Protector found that the lease agreement in respect of the Transnet building was signed between Roux Property Fund (RPF) and the National Department of Public Works (DPW) and not by the National Commissioner of the SAPS as was alleged. The Public Protector however found that the deal would have cost the government more than it would have in the open market, but could not establish an improper relationship between RPF and the SAPS which motivated the deviation from required tender procedures
It was also found that the procurement process that led to the conclusion of a lease agreement with RPF was fatally flawed in various respects. This included non-compliance with prescribed procurement procedures and conditions imposed by the Special National Bid Adjudication Committee (SNBAC) and the accounting officer.
The DPW’s disregard of the investigation, proceeding to sign the lease contract during the investigation was improper and their conduct with the SAPS in relation to the leasing of the SAPS accommodation in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal was also found to have been improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration and in breach of section 217 of the Constitution, section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act and the relevant Treasury Regulations. The action undermined the public confidence in organs of state.
Other key findings relate to the failure to follow tender procedures as prescribed by law and treasury regulations, failure to get value for money for the state, failure to ensure financial planning for the lease which resulted in money reserved for operational costs being redirected to fund the procurement of the lease.
Several players within DPW and SAPS including the Minister, the National Commissioner and the Head of the KZN Provincial office were found to have acted improperly.
The remedial action to be taken is that the lease process should commence anew under the guidance of Treasury against all players whose conduct according to the report was improper and unlawful. Also the SAPS should engage the DPW with a view of identifying alternative accommodation for the operational staff of the Family Violence, children Protection and Sexual Offences Unit referred to in the report in a closer proximity to the communities they serve.
For full report visit www.publicprotector.org