Public Protector’s report directs the Western Cape Department of the Premier to exclude special advisors from and improve Supply Chain Management

The Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela released her report on an investigation into alleged improper procurement of communication services by the Department of the Premier of the Western Cape Provincial Government titled “Yes, We Made Mistakes” at a media briefing held in Pretoria today.
This followed a complaint lodged by Mr S Stellenboom, Mr T Ehrenreich of COSATU in the Western Cape, Mr S Mjongile of the ANC in the Western Cape and Ndifuna Ukwazi a civil society organisation.
The complaint was that Premier Hellen Zille awarded a communications tender in December 2010 worth R1 billion to an advertising agency, TBWA/Hunt Lascaris (TBWA) without following proper procurement procedure and prescripts. The agency would apparently take over all the communications needs of the ten provincial government departments in the Western Cape.
The Public Protector’s findings are that the Department of the Premier:
  • failed to employ demand management as required by Treasury Regulation 16A3 in respect of the procurement process constituted maladministration
  • failed to employ proper demand management resulted in fruitless and wasteful expenditure
  • failed to keep records of the proceedings of the BEC constituted maladministration
  • acted improperly through the appointment by the Acting Deputy Director-General, Mr Groenewald, of two Special Advisers to the BEC
The remedial action of the Public Protector is that:
  1. The Minister of Finance to amend the Treasury Regulations to regulate the composition of Bid Specification, Bid Evaluation and Bid Adjudication Committees to avoid any   uncertainty in regard to the lawfulness and propriety of the appointment of its members.
  2. The Director-General of the National Treasury to take urgent steps to ensure that the legal status of circulars, practice notes and other instructions are clearly determined and defined in terms of the provisions of section 76 of the PFMA, when it is issued.
  3. The Director-General of the Department to take urgent steps to: 
  4. Improve the Supply Chain Management System of the Department to ensure that Special Advisers are excluded from being appointed as members of Bid Specification, Bid
  5. Evaluation and Bid Adjudication Committees;
  6. Improve the skills and the capacity of the SCM Division of the Department;
  7. Improve the record keeping of the SCM Division of the Department;
  8. Ensure that the officials of the SCM Division and the members of bid committees are trained on the prescripts of the National and Provincial Treasuries in respect of demand and acquisition management; and
  9. Take corrective measures to prevent a recurrence of the failure in demand management process referred to in this report.
The Directors-General of the National Treasury and the Department are to:
Submit to the Public Protector an implementation plan in respect of the remedial action taken within 30 days of the date of the issuing of this report; and
Submit a report to the Public Protector on the implementation of the remedial action within 90 days of the date of the issuing of this report.
The specific allegations and general findings are outlined in the attached executive summary and the full report is available on:
Issued by:
Kgalalelo Masibi 
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Published Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2012