Municipal procurement scandal could have been prevented

The theft of R140-million by corrupt officials and unscrupulous water tanker contractors from the uThukela Municipality over the past 5 years (Sunday Tribune – 25 August 2012) could have been prevented, Rudi Kruger, General Manager of LexisNexis Risk Management, told SmartProcurement.

uThukela Municipality paid R29-million a year over five years to a host of companies, many owned by council employees. A group of uThukela District Municipality employees flouted the law by either awarding tenders to non-tax-compliant or SARS registered companies or running their own businesses contracting to the municipality to deliver water.

“It could have been prevented, or stopped at any point in the five-year period, if appropriate checks and balances were in place to highlight conflicts of interest, said Kruger.

All procurement professional’s alike have a need for a proactive solution to assist them in identifying and mitigating the risks involved in procurement. Organisations should view it as an investment in protecting their reputations from the damage a scandal of this nature can cause.

LexisNexis, a legal publishing and solution-driven company, has investigated an online solution designed to bring fraud, corruption and conflicts of interest to the forefront of any Procurement department.

ProcureCheck, a first of its kind solution, uses multiple database sets to screen employees and companies. Its matrix identifies possible conflicts of interest, such as shared directorships of companies, and VAT registration number irregularities. ProcureCheck takes that hard work out of procurement vetting and provides peace of mind.

For more information on ProcureCheck and other services email LexisNexis on contact@lnrm.co.za

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