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Unethical for firms to draft own terms of reference, Nugent Commision hears

This was among the submission by South African Revenue Services (Sars) senior specialist Michael Mavuso at the public hearings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

FILE: Retired Judge Robert Nugent pictured on 2 July 2018. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA – The Nugent Commission of Inquiry has heard how IT consultancy firm Gartner drafted its own terms of reference before being awarded a contract worth tens of millions of rand.

This was among the submission by South African Revenue Services (Sars) senior specialist Michael Mavuso at the public hearings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The commission has heard how the revenue service has not had a major IT upgrade since 2014 when Commissioner Tom Moyane halted the modernisation programme.

Evidence leader, Advocate Carol Steinberg, asked Mavuso about Gartner drafting its own terms of reference prior to being awarded the tender.

“Is it proper for the companies who are going to receive the contract to write the terms of reference?”

Mavuso answered: "No it's improper and unethical."

Steinberg summed up the case against both Gartner and Bain.

“You see Sars say we want this quick diagnoses, then we will put it out to market in order to implement the findings of the diagnostic, yet in both cases, a deviation procedure was chosen and the same consultancy was used to implement its findings.”

The hearings resume today.