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The auditor-general is looking into tenders issued by the provincial department of transport to check on due diligence and compliance with the regulatory framework.
ISMAIL VADI, the new MEC for roads and transport, has opened an investigation into tenders awarded by the department between 1 and 15 September last year.

 

MEC Ismael Vadi wants to keep a clean houseMEC Ismail Vadi wants to keep a clean houseVadi completed a preliminary review of departmental records and thereafter asked the auditor-general to examine these documents. “The auditor-general came back to me early this year and said that there were grounds for a further, in-depth investigation,” Vadi explained.
 

“This is essentially an internal investigation to assess whether or not there was due diligence on the part of departmental officials and compliance with established regulatory framework.”

He pointed out that the “most important issue is the perceived negative public image of the department. Whether it is true or not, the perception exists that the department’s procurement and tender processes lacked integrity and transparency.”

To ensure this transparency, Vadi insisted on starting the investigation. “As I assume office, I want to be able to sleep in peace.”

There are 13 contracts under review by the auditor-general, relating to:

Construction of roads, worth R900-million over three years;
Provision of security at department premises and buildings, worth R49-million;
The intelligent number plate project, worth R1,3-million;
The establishment of new driver-learner testing stations, worth R35-million;
The installation of a biometric verification system, worth R4-million; and
The construction and renovation of a department-owned building, worth R20-million.
Vadi expects the investigation to be completed within the next 12 weeks. Asked if any department officials had been suspended in connection with these matters, Vadi replied: “It is not my intention to suspend anyone, and I am not in a position to since we have not found any evidence of wrongdoing yet.”

He added: “The auditor-general may come to the conclusion that there is no serious breach, in which case I won’t need to take any action. Otherwise, I will table a document to the Legislature to take the matter further.”

Vadi was named MEC for roads and transport by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on 4 November 2010, and was formally sworn in on 10 November. His appointment followed a provincial cabinet reshuffle.

Before this, he was a member of parliament in the National Assembly and chaired the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. He also served on the portfolio committees on Education, Safety and Security, Public Service and Administration, and Correctional Services, as well as on the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence.

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