DoD “procurement irregularity” investigations underway

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Work is underway on acquisition and procurement “reforms” in the Department of Defence (DoD), a Parliamentary questioner was told.

Cyril Xaba, co-chair of both the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) and the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), wanted Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise’s input following what the Auditor General called “a lack of progress” in implementing “action plans” to address negative findings.

Xaba was told a ministerial directive was issued and its deliverables are being integrated into the coming calendar year’s medium term expenditure framework (MTEF).

Part of Modise’s written response read: “We expect to see the impact in the medium term.
“The impact will become visible in our [the DoD] APP (Annual Performance Plan) 2023”.

Modise told her questioner there was progress on investigations of “procurement-related irregularities” by the SIU (Special Investigating Unit), the Hawks and the Public Protector notwithstanding “wheels turning slower than anticipated”.

“Military personnel implicated by law enforcement agency investigations have appeared before the military justice system,” Modise said, without giving details of numbers, ranks involved or specific offences.

Among priorities given to the Secretary for Defence (Gladys Kudjoe) is development of a defence accountability model as well as streamlining delegation with “a focus on repeat offenders”. These will primarily be applicable in supply chain management (SCM) and asset management “in the military environment with footprints all over the country”.

Four components are identified, starting with action plans developed and monitored by service and division chiefs. Additionally, Kudjoe is “approaching” SETAs (Sector Education Training Authorities) to assist with interns for asset verification.

Modise ends by stating she has instructed service and division chiefs “to take full accountability for their environments and ensure repeat findings are curbed” with the DoD Internal Audit Division to follow up on implementation of the action plans.