15 April 2021 - NW982
Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health
(1)How will the element of corruption be addressed in respect of the (a) distribution of vaccines and (b) vaccination process; (2) in view of the statement by the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa, that Black Economic Empowerment opportunities will be available during the vaccine roll-out, how is the element of corruption envisaged to be (a) addressed and (b) eliminated in the process?
1. The Department has put in place mechanisms to eradicate any element of corruption during the vaccine roll-out through the implementation of policies and legislative framework governing the distribution of medicines
a) The National Department of Health (NDoH) has been guided by National Treasury in the procurement for services related to the warehousing and distribution of vaccines. An open bidding process was followed to contract appropriate service providers for the warehousing and distribution of vaccines. Being a specialized supply chain, service providers were required to meet specific criteria aligned to the requirements in the Medicines and Related Substances Act.
b) All vaccination sites will be required to meet specific criteria, aligned to the requirements in the Medicines and Related Substances Act as well as the Pharmacy Act. In addition, where private sector service providers are contracted, the relevant requirements in terms of the procurement policies of the NDoH will be followed.
2. (a) The NDoH conforms to its policy and delegations on procurement of goods and services. The selection of service provider in the Central Supplier Database (CSD) albeit being done manually, a criterion for selection is enforced through various filtering fields in the system i.e. per province, district, local municipality, town/ city-based and BEE status.
Officials that are involved in the procurement process are made to complete all necessary declaration forms for confidentiality and business interests. This enables officials to disclose upfront if they have people they know who may lead to the procurement process being compromised. Officials who are found to be linked to any business interests are recused from the procurement process. The Department further ensures that segregation of duties and authority levels within the department are adhered to. The NDOH provides transparency in the entire procurement cycle in order to promote fair and equitable treatment of potential suppliers.
The Department further maximizes transparency in competitive tendering process and takes precautionary measures to enhance integrity and ensure accountability for public funds expenditure. The Department also strives to ensure that procurement officials meet high professional standards in knowledge, skills and integrity and establish responsibility along with control mechanisms in order to avoid any corrupt activity.