Saturday, November 27, 2021
HomeMedico-Legal‘Negligent’ Gauteng Treasury pays Microsoft $20m instead of R20m

‘Negligent’ Gauteng Treasury pays Microsoft $20m instead of R20m

An “act of negligence” has led to the Gauteng Department of Treasury squandering R6 843 737.90 of taxpayers' money, which could have bought the country around 48 000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines and protected many lives from COVID-19, reports MedicalBrief.

This was revealed on Tuesday by Adriana Randall, DA spokesperson on finance and e-government in Gauteng, according to IOL.

The DA said it would not rest until the money was recovered and the implicated officials were charged. The Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines were priced at $10 (R142.44) per dose in April, according to the health minister.

The money was successfully recalled in February, with an amount of R311 464 203.81, resulting in a shortfall of R6 843 737.90 because of the exchange rate.

“Provincial Treasury erroneously processed an amount of $20 913 793.81 instead of the rand value of R20 913 793.81 as per e-Government payment advice, for the cost of Microsoft fees. This resulted in a debit amount of R318 307 941.79 from the e-Government bank account,’’ Randall said in a statement.

“This money that was lost could have also gone a long way to improving the efficiency of the Gauteng Broadband Network that will assist our residents seeking job opportunities and connecting our people to government. According to the MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the amount to be paid to Microsoft Ireland was R20 913 793.81. The department submitted the payment advice to Provincial Treasury, Cash Book and Services for processing.

“After the error was made, e-Government requested Provincial Treasury to recall the full amount of R318 307 941.79 from Microsoft. The money was successfully recalled in February 2021, with an amount of R 311 464 203.81, resulting in a shortfall of R6 843 737.90 because of the exchange rate.

“While the DA welcomes the investigation into this forex transaction, we believe stronger action should have been taken and the official responsible should have been suspended immediately and the money recouped from that person."

IOL story (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Procurement scandal is the 'ugly face' of Gauteng Health — Premier

 

NHI Bill: Inadequate measures to prevent looting, warns DA

 

SA’s medical schemes will pay more than R300 a vaccine jab

 

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