Cape Town - Something was "amiss" in the Road Traffic Management Corporation's (RTMC's) "irregular" R11m appointment of auditing firm Deloitte to do a "financial clean-up", Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele
told MPs on Tuesday.
Ndebele told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts the department was in talks with the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) to evaluate the RTMC's appointment of Deloitte.
"We will be engaging Saica to assist on the evaluation of the appointment of Deloitte who were hired irregularly to do what was then called a 'financial clean-up' project, which resulted in irregular expenditure to the tune of R11m," Ndebele said.
"There is something amiss when a firm of Deloitte's status is hired in the way it was hired, to do the kind of work that results in the taxpayer being duped, and we therefore believe that this has to be investigated by the relevant body."
Ndebele said the RTMC's problems had been "tormenting" since its inception. The corporation had four CEOs in seven years. It followed that its stability had always been "suspect".
Ndebele, who appointed a task team to investigate the corporation in February 2010, said he had been inundated with "various complaints" about the then management and allegations of mismanagement at the RTMC since he started his term as transport minister in May 2009.
The task team had unearthed problems including mismanagement, a lack of skilled personnel, inadequate or absent controls, and the abuse of supply chain procedures.
The team's report, released in August 2010, was given to the police for further investigation. Ndebele said "possible criminal charges" would be laid against "various individuals and companies" implicated in the task team's forensic report.
Serious lapses of procurement procedures had led to R360m in irregular expenditure. This figure included R200m in e-Natis transaction fees that were supposed to have been paid to the department.
Ndebele said the corporation's turnaround had been "a daunting task". Improvements had been seen in areas including the control environment, the supply chain, and the realignment of the RTMC with its core business, as defined in its founding legislation.
"We have seen the irregular expenditure (fall to) zero from the reported R360m in the previous year, and we have also seen stability and improvements in delivery," Ndebele said.