The Gauteng Education Department failed to provide the DA with all the documentation relating to the School Smart Board (ICT Tender), which was requested through a Promotion to Access of Information Act (PAIA) application.
The DA has submitted a Notice of Appeal to the department’s decision to withhold information requested. This is in accordance with section 75 of the PAIA Act.
This is the second inadequately answered PAIA from the department.
Last year, the DA was reliably informed that the department could have saved millions of rands had the ICT tender been awarded to an alternative service provider. It is alleged that the products that were delivered were not the same as those on tender specifications.
In our initial PAIA application, we requested a list of all the companies who put out to tender for the smart boards and a costing model for each. However, the department is refusing to share such information.
The department has only furnished the DA with a list of company names. Should these tenders have been awarded in an open and transparent way, it begs the question as to why the MEC is hiding this information?
It is of vital importance that whilst the MEC plans to roll out more ICT classrooms and high-level equipment to schools, that the tender process is open and transparent.
This project has raised more questions than answers. For instance, why were 88 000 tablets recalled? Not all grade 12 classrooms have smart boards and, connectivity is still a challenge as materials provided are alleged to not be the same as the ones specified in the tender notice.
The DA has asked the education committee to prioritise this project to ensure that it does not face the same fate as the R2 billion failed Gauteng online project. Should we not obtain the relevant information, for both the School Nutrition and ICT Tenders, the DA will have no other choice but to request the Office of the Public Protector to investigate.
|Khume Ramulifho MPL|
|DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education|
|082 398 7375|