After three months on suspension, the Director-General of the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) and a Deputy Director-General have been reinstated but they now have to keep a weather eye on personnel to prevent financial shenanigans of any kind.
Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, placed Tsepe Motumi and Major General Lifeni Make, Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services, on “special leave” with immediate effect three months ago while a full forensic investigation into irregularities was undertaken.
She, according to her spokesperson Joy Peter, “carefully studied” the report on allegations of irregularities at the DMV and decided both men should return to work on August 1, three months after being told to leave their offices.
“The Director-General’s return to work is to be accompanied by an undertaking on his part to implement the findings of the report (on the forensic investigation into allegations of irregularities) with immediate effect,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
“In particular, steps must be taken to ensure supply chain and contract management in the department is brought in line with National Treasury prescripts. Certain officials are to face disciplinary action as a result of the findings outlined in the report, while others face further investigation flowing from the recommendations of the report. The contracts which formed the bases of the investigation will be further scrutinised by legal counsel before a decision on the way forward is taken.”
In terms of the responsibilities that go with a Director-General post as outlined in the Public Finance Management Act, Motumi will be held responsible for the adverse findings in the report “as far as they relate to failure to maintain an appropriate procurement and provisioning system”.
The investigation found “several” instances of non-compliance with both departmental policies as well as provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.
“These were in respect of the requirements to ensure a fair and transparent procurement system and the need to ensure every official takes reasonable steps to avoid unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” the Minister said.
The investigation was prompted by alleged irregularities in DMV bidding processes that saw contracts apparently inappropriately awarded for the supply of furniture, the provision of security and cleaning and catering services.
“The delivery of benefits to military veterans is a priority for me and the actions I have instituted are an effort to strengthen benefits delivery by ensuring services are correctly procured and well managed once procured,” Mapisa-Nqakula added.