The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) welcomes investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.


MEDIA STATEMENT
 
The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) welcomes investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.
 
The NHLS Board had discovered irregularities in the procurement and awarding of tenders and/or quotations during the period of 2015 to 2017.  The implicated officials were subsequently suspended and disciplinary proceedings were initiated. The irregularities were brought to the attention of the office of the Chief Procurement Officer in 2017. The reviews conducted by the office of the Chief Procurement Officer had identified tender irregularities and non-compliance.

The matter was also reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) – Special Commercial Crimes Unit for investigation in 2017.  The police investigations are in progress.
The Chairperson of the Board, Prof Eric Buch and the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Kamy Chetty approached the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate the matter with the view to expedite investigations and enforce accountability for governance of public funds and to assist with  civil proceedings.
 
On 14 March 2019, the Honourable President directed the SIU to investigate allegations of maladministration, improper, unlawful conduct and intentional or negligent loss of public money concerning the NHLS and those civil proceedings emanating from such investigation be adjudicated upon. Whilst the tenders were awarded between 2015 and 2017, the SIU investigation will cover the period 1 July 2015 to present, in order to determine the losses incurred at the NHLS.
The NHLS welcomes President Ramaphosa’s decision to direct the SIU to investigate all alleged procurement irregularities.
 
The SIU investigation will cover:
  • The provision of end-user computer hardware and related maintenance and support services for a period of three years in terms of Tender RFB 027/15-16;
  • The provision of a multi-protocol label switching wide area network (MPLS WAN) service to the NHLS for a period of three years in terms of Tender RFB 030/15-16;
  • The leasing of motor vehicles for the NHLS for a period of five years in terms of Tender RFP 001/15-16;
  • The replacement of water, sewer and drainage pipes in terms of Tender RFP1455602;
  • The renovation of the library at the National Institute for Occupational Health in Braamfontein in terms of Tender RFQ 1438906;
  • The renovation of the virology laboratory at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in terms of Tender RFQ 1481824;
  • The renovation of toilets at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 0695750;
  • Professional services for the construction of a refectory at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 1409815;
  • Professional services for the design, project management and the certification of renovations and structural changes to the Ermelo Laboratory in terms of Tender RFQ 706002;
  • The replacement of the waterproofing at the Centre for Enteric Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 0961241;
  • The renovation of the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis in terms of Tender RFQ 1486702;
  • Professional services for the design, project management and the certification of renovations and structural changes to the Diagnostic Media Products Building in terms of Tender RFQ 1351823; and
  • The construction  of a kitchen and function area in terms of Tender RFB031/16-17, which was re-advertised as Tender RFB062/15- 16.
 
The NHLS views this intervention as necessary and will assist the SIU to expedite the investigation process.
Ends.
Issued by Professor, Eric Buch, Chairperson of the Board and Dr Kamy Chetty, Acting CEO, National Health Laboratory Service. 

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