North West chief financial officer (CFO) found guilty of misconduct and more
8 Sep 2010
Suspended North West Chief Financial Officer, Kwekwu Odame-Takyi has been found guilty on 12 of the 15 charges of gross misconduct while his counterpart in the Office of the Premier has until close of business today to give reasons why he should not be put on suspension.
North West Premier, Maureen Modiselle, confirmed during a press conference in Mafikeng today (Wednesday) that she has given her CFO, Phillip Gumede, until close of business to give her reasons why he should not be put on precautionary suspension.
She said her move followed "serious allegations" of misconduct arising from a forensic investigation into the expenditure patterns and suspect procurement procedures in the Office of the Premier.
Misconduct charges against Odame-Takyi, arose from allegation that he failed to take effective and appropriate steps to prevent "unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure" and losses resulting in payments made to contractors doing business with the provincial department of Public Works, Roads and Transport.
Addressing the same media conference, Public Works, Roads and Transport MEC, Mahlakeng Mahlakeng said the disciplinary committee, found Odame Takyi guilty among others: "For payment of more than R673,5 million in respect of 19 contracts awarded to contractors without an open tender process".
Also contrary to the department's procurement protocols, Odame Takyi was found guilty for having caused amounts of more than R30 million to be paid to emergency contracts when in fact R30 million was authorised limit.
He has been on suspension since December 2009 following an investigation by auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers forensic commissioned by Mahlakeng confirmed irregular awarding of multi-million rand worth of road contracts to several contractors.
The apparent dishing out of contracts caused an unprecedented spending by the roads directorate, with 97.8 percent spending of the allocated road capital expenditure (capex) budget of R525 million being spent five months into the current financial year. This amount was depleted by 31 August 2010.
Eddie Thebe, the former Chief Director for roads, has since been fired for his role after he too was found guilty of gross misconduct on charges almost similar to those preferred against Odame Takyi.
Odame Takyi was also found guilty also, for his failure: "To ensure that the department has and maintains effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial and risk management and internal control".
He is said to have committed the department to an amount of more than R3,2 million being the actual payments made in respect of the asset register amongst other things, "when that amount of money had not been planned or budgeted for".
The total fee related to the said project was indicated as R14,3 million.
Modiselle said police have been approached to investigate criminal charges against senior officials in the Department of Social Development.
This followed "serious findings of offences", viewed to be criminal in nature, by the investigation team led by Advocate Jason Basson in September 2009.
She also the Auditor-General today (Wednesday) started investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
Meanwhile the filling of existing vacant posts for Head of Departments (HoD) in at least six provincial government departments will be filled soon.
Modiselle said requisite advertisements would be published before month end for departments of: Sport, Arts and Culture; Public Works, Roads and Transport; Education; Health; Social Development and Local Government and Traditional Affairs.
Cell: 082 305 4594
Issued by: North West Office of the Premier
8 Sep 2010
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