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By Citizen Reporter


‘Gartner, Bain roped in by Moyane’ for Sars IT restructuring

However, Gartner had not been the first choice to do the work and there were several mistakes in its proposal, the commission of inquiry into Sars heard.

Deputy director general and acting chief procurement officer at National Treasury Solly Tshitangano today testified at the commission of inquiry into tax administration, saying research and advisory firm Gartner had not been the first choice for restructuring the IT operating model for the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Suspended Sars boss Tom Moyane reportedly restructured the revenue’s operating model based on advice from Gartner and consulting agency Bain.

According to Tshitangano’s testimony at the commission, there have been seven transactions since 2014 to date that have been entered into between Sars and Gartner, with the current contract expiring on November 30, 2020.

One of these includes a two-phased ICT strategy development costing just under R160 million and research for IT executives and technical professionals worth just under R164 million.

Gartner’s proposal was reportedly filled with a number of errors, with Tshitangano revealing through a slide presentation at the commission that the mistakes may have been as a result of the December holidays.

The notice for a tender to restructure the IT operating systems at the revenue service was reportedly issued in December 2014.

Tshitangano told the commission that there was no evidence of when the terms of reference were sent to Gartner.

He said the proposal from Gartner is dated January 21, 2015, when the last sentence on page six reads that the project will commence on January 19 2015, while the first sentence on page 34 of the proposal reads that the proposal is valid for 30 days from January 2 2015.

Other errors revealed by Tshitangano include that a contract dated January 6, 2015, between Sars and Gartner may have been amended by pen to February 6, 2015, and that the contract had been signed on February 5 2015.

During his previous testimony, Tshitangano told the commission that Bain was not appointed properly and the process leading up to its appointment was flawed, with several red flags.

Tshitangano said the tender period for the Sars turnaround plan was very short – about a week.  This was under the 21 days that usually applies for State tenders.

He said Treasury never received any letters from Sars on why the tender period had been reduced to a week, saying that a number of issues around the tender were strange.

Bain further bid with a 50 percent discount that put it just under the bid of its closest competitor.

Meanwhile, the Daily Maverick reported on Tuesday that Gartner reportedly failed to observe its agreement with Sars so that it could give a portion of its R200 million tender to a company owned by a businessman who is reportedly associated to Moyane.

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