Following complaints from its member firms, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) has noted with concern the blatant abuse of Section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and therefore calls on the Auditor General, National Treasury and the Public Protector to investigate the deviations.
Section 32 deals with procurement of goods and service under contracts secured by other organs of State.
“Under no circumstances does the Section state that contracts secured by other organs of State are transferrable, which may lead to the illegal by-passing of internal supply chain management processes such as calling for tenders,” proclaims CESA CEO Lefadi Makibinyane.
He avers that CESA views this practice as irregular and says it may well lead to corruption and is to the detriment of CESA members and the public at large.
Makibinyane adds that what is happening is that municipalities use this clause to illegally extend existing contracts that are coming to an end. “They use it to avoid going out to tender for new projects, leaving it open to abuse as these contracts may be given to their cronies or family members.”
He believes that as it provides a loophole for corruption this clause needs to be tightened up but in light of the existence of Section 36, which provides for deviations from and ratification of minor breaches of procurement processes, Section 32 is actually unnecessary.