26 November 2019 - NW1093
Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of Communications
With reference to the approximately R364-million framework agreement contract between the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and Micro Focus, (a) why did the Micro Focus terminate the two-year contract with Afrocentric Projects and Services after just eight months, (b) what was the reason for appointing a X-Telecoms in place of Afrocentric Projects and Services for the remainder of the contract and (c) what role did her Department’s Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, play in the decision to change small, medium and micro-sized enterprises contractors and appoint X-Telecoms instead?
I was informed by SITA as follows:
a) According to the letter from Microfocus, Afrocentric fulfilment agreement was terminated for convenience in accordance with the agreement between the parties. After insisting on reasons, SITA was informed that there were some irregularities that led to the on-boarding of Afrocentric, which SITA is currently investigating. No further information was given to SITA which tend to prove or disprove this allegation.
SITA embarked on a preliminary investigation following the reports in the media. Subsequent the allegations purported in the media, the Agency received formal correspondence from Microfocus dated 01 October 2019. SITAs Internal Audit Unit initiated a forensic investigation on 03 October 2019, which is underway.
b) SITA has ensured that the onboarding of SMMEs is addressed by clause 12.2; 12.3 and 12.4 of the SITA Framework Agreement. In addition, there’s Annexure J of the agreement that governs the relationship between SITA and Microfocus states that Microfocus agrees to make use of the selection criteria for the purposes of selecting a black owned Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) to develop and empower. It is with this provision that InnovD (Afrocentric) was onboarded as a fulfilment agent to Microfocus. To date SITA has not onboarded any additional fulfilment agent. SITA received an email correspondence dated 21 August 2019 from Microfocus communicating they have identified a fulfilment partner. This was followed with official correspondence from Microfocus dated 02 September 2019, communicating details of the identified fulfilment partner. SITA has not implemented the recommendation. As an interim arrangement SITA is engaging directly with Microfocus and not utilising any of the fulfilment partners.
SITA through the office of the Acting Executive SCM raised an objection to this appointment as per the clauses that govern this agreement on the 3rd September 2019. A meeting was convened on 25th September 2019 and a follow up was held on the 11th October 2019. SITA and Microfocus agreed that a process which is compliant with PFMA will be used for the appointment of Fulfilment Agents going forward.
It is envisaged this process should be finalised at the end of November 2019.
(c) SITA has never received any instruction from Deputy Minister to on board SMMEs to the Framework Agreement.
MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS