Treasury expert brought in to put PRASA procurement back on track

8 September 2015

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is to restructure its procurement system, following findings of maladministration by Public protector Thuli Madonsela.

PRASA said it had asked the chief procurement officer at South Africa's National Treasury to second an experienced procurement officer to the organisation while it restructured its procurement management systems. The move is part of measures implemented to address issues of maladministration and irregularities raised in Madonsela's report last month.

Her report outlined findings from the investigation of 37 complaints, and said there had been a "systematic failure" to comply with supply chain management policy. Chairperson of the PRASA board of control, Popo Molefe, said the board had directed management to strengthen internal controls and overhaul supply chain management.

The agency will also carry out an audit to verify academic qualifications. Molefe said the agency would deal with employees implicated in irregularities and wasteful and fruitless expenditure by applying the disciplinary code of the company, and that any contracts identified or suspected to have been irregularly awarded would be suspended. The company will also address the unlawful suspension of contracts.

Molefe said the board had been shocked by the findings of the Public protector’s report.

“We remain committed to ensuring the roll out of a modern passenger rail system of the future, which will deliver on the PRASA mandate,” he said. “PRASA strives to remain a leader in the public transport solutions and preferred mode of transport.”

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