Mvoko demands answers on state officials bagging Covid-19 contracts

TROUBLE BREWING: Finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko has warned of pending action against any government officials who do business with the state
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

Eastern Cape government departments have two days to explain how some state employees managed to secure Covid-19 contracts to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.

Finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko was responding to an article in The Herald last week that revealed 10 people employed by the state had secured contracts, worth a combined R24m.

“Doing business with government while you are the employee of the same government that pays your salary constitutes a serious breach of government regulations,” Mvoko said.

He said provincial treasury boss Dalu Majeke had written injunction letters on the conflict of interest to all departments involved and demanded immediate action.

“It is concerning that such conduct continues to take place despite clear regulations that need to be followed when conducting procurement.”

The letters state that any official who received such a contract was guilty of a clear conflict of interest.

“It exposes them to criminal prosecution,” Mvoko said.

This would be done through the Public Administration Management Act, which came into effect on April 1 2019.

“As such, the affected departments have to respond in writing to treasury by Wednesday and indicate any application of consequence management.

“All those who are in the value chain of our supply chain processes must be made to account.

“Furthermore, the department should also mention what measures it has implemented to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future.”

He said a National Treasury note outlined guidelines to verify prospective suppliers.

“The said regulations compels procuring officials to verify key information.”

He said the provincial treasury would continue to monitor potential cases of conflict of interest.

BY MICHAEL KIMBERLEY

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