In October 2016 I asked the Mayor to report on action taken:
(1) to recover the money the City has spent but found by the City’s own forensic report as being “irregular, fruitless and wasteful” in respect of the CTICC expansion, and
(2) to hold the individuals accountable.
The Mayors reply is purposefully factually inaccurate and misleading – basically saying there was no irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and that nothing will be done to hold the individuals accountable.
What is the Mayor hiding? Who is the Mayor protecting? Watch this space – it’s unravelling.
(See below the full question to the Mayor and her full answer.)
I passed on my question and the Mayors reply to some of the registered interested and affected parties and they confirm these facts:
• The Mayor replied to my question saying that “the report identified ‘potential’ fruitless and wasteful expenditure.”
This is not correct, it found that there was ACTUAL fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
• The Mayor replied that “the alleged irregularities were tested in the Western Cape High Court.
This is not true. All the WC High Court considered was whether the matter was urgent or not. It decided it wasn’t and suggested that the matter should be taken on review.
At no point did it test the irregularities.
• The Auditor-General did not say that there was no irregular expenditure, it said the board said there wasn’t.
In this respect, the Auditor-General made the following statement in its report to the Western Cape Parliament and the Council of the City of Cape Town on the Cape Town International Convention Centre Company SOC Limited (RF), 14 October 2015:
‘The board concluded that no parties were found to be grossly negligent or to have acted with undue regard to the entity’s best interests, and that no irregular expenditure occurred.’
• The Mayor replied that “all processes required by the National Treasury Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations and the Municipal Finance Management Act were followed by the CTICC.”
Yet the City’s own forensic investigation found to the contrary.
These interested and affected parties have lodged a complaint to the Auditor-General SA about the way it has dealt with this matter and confirmed they will pursue this further once the Public Protector has concluded her investigation into the matter.
FULL QUESTION POSED TO MAYOR DE LILLE:
The findings of the City’s own FSD forensic report in respect of tender irregularities relating to the CTICC expansion indicated that there was fruitless and wasteful expenditure in excess of R25 million.
Has the City taken steps to recover the money and to hold the implicated individuals accountable?
• If so, what are the details?
• If not, why not?
MAYOR DE LILLE’S WRITTEN ANSWER:
“The Forensic Report (the Report) identified potential fruitless and wasteful expenditure in respect of the appointment of the architectural team for the expansion of the convention centre. The alleged irregularities identified in the Report were tested by both the Auditor-General and the Western Cape High Court.
The Auditor-General (AGSA) issued a clean audit report to the CTICC for the 2014/2015 financial year. Note 18 to the Annual Financial Statements, which deals with “irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure”, indicates that there was no irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the year. In the audit report, the AGSA referred to the matter now being asked by Councillor Haskin and stated:
2. 1 As reported in the prior periods, an investigation was conducted by the Office of the Public Protector (OPP) into the purchase of land by the City of Cape Town. This resulted in a recommendation by the OPP that an investigation be instituted by the City of Cape Town’s forensic unit into the supply chain management procedures of the CTICC expansion project. The investigations by the forensic unit and the reviews by the board of the CTICC were finalised in October 2014. The board concluded that no parties were found to be grossly negligent or to have acted with undue regard to the entity’s best interest, and that no irregular expenditure occurred”.
All the processes as required by the National Treasury Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations and the Municipal Finance Management Act were followed by the CTICC.
Two unsuccessful tenders sought to set aside the appointment in the High Court but their application was dismissed with costs.
In conclusion there is no legal basis for the City to pursue the findings in the Forensic Report any further as both the Auditor-General and the High Court have dealt with the matter.”