Transport Department response to Democratic Alliance (DA) claims on Electronic National Traffic Information System (e-NATIS)
30 Sep 2010
The Department of Transport has noted with concern, but also surprise, the media statement by the Democratic Alliance’s Stuart Farrow regarding the Electronic National Traffic Information System (e-NATIS) contract dated 29 September 2010.
The gist of the statement seeks to imply that Tasima’s contract to manage the e-NATIS system was unlawfully renewed.
Not only is the e-NATIS a very important national resource, it is also a critical tool for service in the country. A tool as critical as the e-NATIS cannot be disrupted without a guarantee of the ensured continuity of services.
When the Contract RT119KA for the development and maintenance of the e-NATIS was awarded in 2001, provisions were included in the contract to manage a smooth and orderly handover of the system from the current service to the state upon expiry of the contract.
Schedule 15 of the contract mandates the Department of Transport upon expiry of the contract, to implement the transfer management provisions as contained in the original contract (schedule15). The transfer management provisions allow the department to terminate the current terms and conditions of the contract and to enter into a transfer management plan whereby the current service provider is obligated to support the system as agreed in a formal Transfer Management Plan.
Such a plan will include the phasing out of current services performed by the appointed service provider to the state or new contractors appointed by the state.
The department is not extending the contract in terms of standard regulations but implementing a transfer management clause that was included in the original contract. The contract runs and provides measurable skills transfer and capacity building.
Through Schedule 15 of the contract, the department invokes rectification of the contract in line with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) in order to ensure that proper internal capacity is built within the department and within the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) to take over certain functions performed by the service provider, and to issue separate smaller tenders for some of the technical services that cannot be performed internally.
Although the department is currently in the process of implementing the transfer management provisions of the contract, final terms and conditions, rates, and contracting are yet to be finalised.
The department will go out on tender for services that cannot be performed internally after all other services have been transferred to the department and to the RTMC. Schedule 15 was specifically included in the original contract to manage this change-over period without compromising system continuity and stability.
The initial period of the contract expired in May 2007, whereby a month-to-month extension mechanism was implemented in order to maintain system stability and system continuity. This presented Tasima with a challenge where, as a service provider they could not retain expertise and personnel. The resultant negative impact on the running of the e-NATIS system cannot be over emphasised.
Faced with this challenge, Tasima wrote to the department requesting an extension, which the department granted upon consultation and careful consideration of the likely repercussions on the matter.
The department is now entering into the transfer management provisions where comprehensive skills transfer will be implemented and the RTMC is currently establishing the required skills to take over the management of the e-NATIS system.
Tasima is in a position to meet its obligation of achieving 98% availability of the system, an important yardstick for the delivery of services to the people of South Africa.
Tel: 012 309 3698
Fax: 033 343 8255
Cell: 083 326 1521
Issued by: Department of Transport
30 Sep 2010
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