‘Minor’ expenditure for the municipality

THE Polokwane Municipality tabled a report before council on Thursday for the ratification of ‘minor’ breaches of procurement processes, unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure to the value of R641,85 million during the 2015/6 financial year and R222,5 million for the 2016/17 financial year.

The supply chain management policy and regulations state that goods or services may be procured, dispensing of the official procurement process in an emergency, if there is a single provider only, for the acquisition of special works of art or historical objects where specifications are difficult to compile, acquisitions of animals for a zoo and exceptional cases where it is impractical or impossible to follow official procurement processes.

The accounting officer must record reasons for the deviations in terms of sub-regulation (1) (a) and (b) and report them to the next council meeting and include as a note to the annual financial statements.

The report stated that deviations are only processed after a memo by the business unit has been approved by the CFO.

If not acceptable, the ratification is rejected. Minor breaches is ratified only where no bidder qualified for evaluation on functionality and also to avoid cost of advertising. Contracts were extended to allow service providers to finalise a project. A panel of service providers will be appointed to deal with council support as it is a vital part of municipal governing structures.

Unauthorised expenditure is said to be incurred due to impairment and depreciation of assets which are non-cash items, and irregular expenditure is due to a historical project appointed during the previous financial years and expenditure is therefore reported each finacial year until the end of the contract or completion of the project.

A large percentage of the expenditure was for catering and stationery, for which it would not have been problematic to acquire three quotations.

It was however in the majority of cases listed stated, that the deviation was the result of supply chain process was ‘impractical’.

More than 100 long service award watches were purchased from two suppliers for municipal employees during the two financial years, amounting to R988 234.

It was proposed that the irregular expenditure be referred to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee for investigation to determine if the expenditure is recoverable or irrecoverable and that it be disclosed in the annual financial statements for the financial year ending 30 June 2016 and 2017, and it be reported to the MEC for Local Government.

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Nelie Erasmus

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