The process followed by IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula and her executive committee in procuring the Riverside Office Park building in Centurion was "grossly irregular”, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday (26/08/2013).
"While there was no impropriety with regard to the [Independent Electoral] Commission handling its own procurement of immovable assets as a constitutional institution, the process followed by advocate Tlakula and her exco in the procurement... was grossly irregular.” Madonsela said it was characterised by a violation of procurement legislation and prescripts.
She said Tlakula issued a directive on February 11, 2009 for the procurement process to be handled by the executive committee, to the exclusion of the procurement committee, which was in violation of the IEC’s policy.
"In so doing she countermanded the decision of the commission, which had on 12 January 2009 made a decision to award the office space tender to a different company... Menlyn Corporate Park premises,” said Madonsela.
"There was no separation of roles and responsibilities between the various committees within the commission that are tasked with administration of the procurement process.” Madonsela found that the IEC’s decision to move did not constitute improper conduct or maladministration.
"There is satisfactory evidence supporting a genuine need for the IEC to move,” she said.
"Evidence includes the fact that the building posed a health and safety hazard.” Madonsela was releasing a report on an investigation into allegations of maladministration and corruption relating to the procurement of the Riverside Office Park to accommodate the head offices of the IEC. - Sapa