EOH’s days may be numbered in doing business with government
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This comes after a report with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) recommends the need to act on corruption findings related to a Home Affairs contract.
In response, EOH cited its attempts to clean up its act as a reason to keep the IT giant as a service provider to the South African government.
In a statement, the company indicated that it was surprised about receiving a letter from the SITA on June 21, which intimated that SITA would consider restricting EOH from doing business with the public sector based on Nexia SAB&T’s forensic audit report to Parliament on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) ABIS project.
If the South African government acts by blacklisting the IT company, this would significantly impact its bottom line.
In recent days, more details have emerged that reveal the extent to which the company used political connections to secure contracts with the government. EOH has been accused of wrongdoing for a number of contracts with the government. One that could lead to its blacklisting is related to the contract to migrate data on the current Home Affairs National Identification System, which only records photos and fingerprints of South African citizens, to the new ABIS. The final implementation of the system would provide a single source of identification for citizens across state institutions and private-sector entities. One factor that stood out is in relation to the tech companies’ process of bidding for the contract.
“The available evidence indicates SITA’s principal IT manager communicated with EOH before the ABIS project commenced and during the drafting of the specifications. Confidential DHA documents, including the proposed budget for the project, were provided to EOH and should not have been made available to them. This information placed EOH in an advantageous position and rendered the process unfair and non-competitive,” the report states.