- No corruption cases reported in the past 2 years
The Ministry of Transport and Public Works formerly, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently handling about 20 cases of maladministration.
The cases were reported in the period between 2020 and 2021. The ministry has however claimed that there have never been any corruption cases in the past two years.
There have been claims that there is a cartel of officials at the ministry and the Department of Roads that engaged in underhand tactics in the evaluation and awarding of some of the tenders last year with the aim of influencing the award of the said tenders to contractors associated with the cartel.
There have been queries by some contractors on how the tenders are handled from the initial stages of Invitation to Tender (ITT) where preferred bidders are said to be favoured with information on the tenders so that they prepare themselves. The contention was also on the decision by the procuring entity to use a two-way envelope for the tenders.
The ministry’s Principal Public Relations, Doreen Motshegwa said other than the 20 maladministration cases, there have been no corruption cases in the ministry or any of its departments and as such there were none to refer to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). She said the ministry intends to conclude the maladministration cases soon.
On the issue of some of the employees especially Engineers who were selling to their preferred bidders, especially the four controversial tenders, Motshegwa responded:
“We are not aware of such allegations concerning the mentioned officers. We however appeal to members of the public and the media or anyone with such information to report the allegations to the relevant institutions so that appropriate action can be taken.
“Normally officers are investigated or questioned by the relevant Institutions if there are allegations or reported cases against them. The ministry will therefore act on the basis of the report from the investigating institution.”
The four tenders are; Tender No: MTC 240/5/56/2021-2022 (4) Shoulder Reinstatement and Asphalt Overlay of Sepopa-Mohembo Road 70KM; Tender No: MTC 240/5/56/2021-2022 (5) Shoulder
Reinstatement and Asphalt Overlay of Gumare-Sepopa Road 70KM; Tender No: MTC240/5/56/2021-2022 (2) Asphalt Overlay of Mokobeng - Sefhare Access Road 30KM; and Tender No: MTC
240/5/56/2021-2022 (3) Asphalt Overlay of Machaneng-Ramokgonami Turn-Off and Access Roads 60KM.
It has been argued that the two-way envelope method will disadvantage other bidders who might not have the financial muscle.
According to Motshegwa, the ministry is not aware of any tender having been sold to certain preferred bidders. She said due process is always followed when appointing people to the tender evaluation committee. She dismissed claims that the Evaluation Committee is compromised and not independent to execute its mandate without interference.
“There is a procedure that is followed when appointing Committee members. Appointing members to the Ad-hoc Evaluation Committee is based on experience and accountability. The procedure is that
Ad-hoc committee members are nominated by a Director and approved by the Permanent Secretary; consider the technical know-how of the project; consider where the project is based and appoint a secretary from that station; selection is then based on the availability of officers as well as funds in instances where officers are from outside the project area, and cost of the project is also considered when appointing Ad-hoc Committee,” revealed Motshegwa when responding to a questionnaire.
She could not answer the question regarding the names of the preferred bidders indicating that the ministry is not privy to that information.