We’ll stick to the rules, says Zille

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IOL pic may14 helen zille democratic alliance Independent Newspapers Premier Helen Zille says her administration has learnt its lessons in the wake of Public Protector Thuli Madonselas probe. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Premier Helen Zille says her administration has learnt its lessons in the wake of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s probe into its R70 million communication tender – and will follow the correct procedures in the future.

Last week Madonsela found maladministration and fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the premier’s department, but found nothing unlawful.

In her final report the Public Protector also took into account the report of the Provincial Treasury on the procurement process and its “transversal nature, which made a number of negative findings against the department”.

“However, although it was concluded that advertising company TBWA would in any event have been awarded the contract, the supply chain management process revealed a lack of control measures and good governance principles,” Madonsela said.

The premier’s department identified the need for a single brand identity and communication strategy for the Western Cape provincial government before 2010.

The objective of this initiative was to procure a transversal term contract applicable to all provincial departments.

Zille said the lesson her administration has learnt is that the correct officials in supply chain management must identify “transversal tenders upfront, and implement the correct procedures for such tenders from the start so that we do not have to re-advertise”.

“We also know that score sheets and a summarised meeting report from a Bid Evaluation Committee are not believed to constitute minutes, as we previously believed, and we will have separate minutes of such meetings in future,” said Zille.

But the ANC plans to take the Western Cape communication tender to the Public Service Commission and the auditor-general as it believes Madonsela “erred” in not declaring the multimillion-rand contract unlawful.

Zille said the findings vindicated her government. Madonsela’s report showed “it was a storm in a teacup stirred up by our political opponents”.

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