Tito Mboweni must order full disclosure of PPE procurement – GHL

DA MP notes that Treasury Instruction No. 5 of 2020/21 exempted provinces from competitive bidding processes

DA calls on Mboweni to put his money where his mouth is and instruct full disclosure of PPE procurement

3 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to put his money where his mouth is and issue a formal Treasury Instruction that would require the eight Provincial Treasuries which have not done so, to publish all Covid-19 procurement details in full.

Minister Mboweni has already called on Provincial Treasuries and health departments to follow the Western Cape’s lead and publish this information. But he should go further, and issue a formal Treasury Instruction, in terms of Section 76 of the Public Finance Management Act, requiring them to do so within set time frames.

Only the Western Cape government has decided to proactively publish the details of all Covid-19 related expenditure in regular transparent reports.

Click here to view the Western Cape Procurement Disclosure Report.

  issued in April 2020, exempted Provincial Treasuries from competitive bidding processes on procurement of PPE equipment, which is normal in a legitimate emergency, but crucially did not require special reporting transparency. This was a serious misstep that has opened the way for major corruption under “emergency procurement” regulations.

National Treasury, and Minister Mboweni, must take some of the responsibility for the wide-scale looting of Covid-19 emergency funds by senior ANC figures and connected cronies.

The Minister also did not reply to the DA’s proposal of a Special Inspector General for Covid Expenditure, which we proposed in May. This Special Inspector General would have had powers to interdict and stop corruption in real time, and would have stopped a lot of the disgraceful theft that is now being exposed after the fact.

With both of these opportunities missed, Minister Mboweni now has an obligation to stop corruption by compelling Provincial Treasuries to publish their PPE procurement details in full.

Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 3 August 2020