Andre Scheepers, a former executive in the IT division at the South African Revenue Services told the Nugent Commission of inquiry that work provided by Gartner a global advisory firm, did not add any value at Sars. Photo: Brenda Masilela/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – A former executive in the information technology (IT) division of the SA Revenue Services (Sars) on Tuesday, told the Nugent Commission of Inquiry at the work provided by Gartner a global advisory firm, did not add any value at Sars and was not worth it.

"I would have not spent that amount of money for this piece of work," Andre Scheepers told the inquiry.

Gartner received more than R200 million in a phased tender to review and develop a new IT strategy for Sars in 2015, prior to halting the IT modernisation project which is a critical element for the agency's online revenue collection system and its security.

Suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane – who was appointed in 2014 – reportedly restructured the Sars’ operating model based on advice from Gartner and consulting agency Bain.

Witnesses who was testified before the inquiry have blasted both operating models for bringing Sars to its knees and fracturing crucial units in the revenue service.

Scheepers said he did not see Gartner's final assessment of Sars' IT systems, he said they were only given snippets of the actual report. 

"It was not allowed to be shared with us and we were not allowed to keep any copies."

Scheepers describes how after the restructuring the new IT ManCo included people who had no idea about IT. He had to explain what a software refresh was and why they needed it.

He explained that in 2015, a hardware refresh did not happen. 

"We had to start a procurement process and spent the rest of the financial year going through that process."

The commission heard that the last major hardware refresh conducted at Sars was in 2014. 

Scheepers said if that's the case, Sars was sitting with a serious problem.

African News Agency (ANA)