Gauteng e-govt dept a law unto themselves – Adriana Randall

DA says dept spent over R104m on outsourcing cyber security contract

Gauteng e-Government department a law unto themselves, spends R104m on outsourcing cyber security contract

5 April 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is not surprised to learn that the Department of e-Government has now spent over R104 million on outsourcing its cyber security contract.

Last year, the DA raised concerns that SITA is delaying the implementation of the department’s ICT infrastructure.

This meant that the department had to appoint an outside service provider to provide cyber security.

This delay in the implementation of the ICT infrastructure has led to the department’s irregular expenditure over the last five financial years.

During a Standing Committee on Public Accounts meeting last year, the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomuntu Nkomo-Ralehoko revealed that the department had asked SITA to procure a Security Operation Centre on 15 December 2017 and had paid R28.4 million for this procurement.

A tender was then published on 19 April 2019, but SITA missed the deadline of June, September and October 2019 for providing this service to the Gauteng Provincial Government.

The department then tried to procure the services on its own but was unsuccessful as the Gauteng Provincial Treasury (GPT) advised that this will be in contravention of the SITA Act. Despite various strong warnings from Provincial Treasury, the  e-Government department kept on extending the GSOC Services contract on a month to month basis, failing also to make use of the open tender system for the appointment of a contractor.

However, when questioned in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during a sitting last year, the MEC claimed that it was SITA that had appointed the external company to provide cyber security and not the province.

The DA will request  the MEC to call for an forensic investigation into the unlawful extension of the cyber security contract and that those officials found guilty face the full might of the law. Their actions could have easily exposed the whole security environment of the province to hackers/scammers that could potentially cost us millions of rands.
The DA will continue to put pressure on the MEC to ensure that a proper cyber security system is put in place as the department cannot continue with a month to month contract as it is currently doing.

Issued by Adriana Randall, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance and e-Government, 5 April 2020