Government Printing Works head cleared of graft, but not off the hook


Under-fire Government Printing Works (GPW) acting CEO Alinah Fosi has been cleared of corruption by the Public Service Commission (PSC), following an investigation into allegations of maladministration and corruption at the printing works.

She was fingered, however, in a series of irregularities and MPs now want her out.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed Parliament's Committee on Home Affairs during a virtual sitting on Tuesday.

The investigation zoomed in on issues around supply chain management and human resources and security systems at the GPW – the agency responsible for the printing of security documents like passports, visas and identity documents.

A draft final report by the PSC, however, implicated Fosi in irregularities with the evaluation of three quotations for the provision of facilitation services.

"Ms (Alinah) Fosi, the Head of the Branch: Strategic Management appended her signature to the submission that approved the appointment of the service provider prior to the involvement of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) unit, thus failing to fulfil her duties in ensuring that the relevant SCM processes were adhered to.

"The PSC found that the strategic support unit wrongly recommended that a service provider, who scored lower, be appointed."

"She was also the acting CEO and she therefore had an additional fiduciary duty as the accounting officer to ensure that all the SCM processes were fully complied with," the PSC found.

The payment of R82,800 was made to the service provider on 10 January (2020) – almost three months after the services had been rendered to the GPW. The PSC found this to be irregular.

Motsoaledi has also approached the Hawks to investigate claims that he has been lobbied by MECs and ANC members to appoint Fosi permanently.

Recordings

"This former employee says that he contacted the acting CEO and without her knowledge he taped her. In February, I received another letter. The Public Service Association sent me a letter telling the man who made the allegation is their member and asked me to suspend the acting CEO and investigate her," Motsoaledi told MPs.

He says when the recording was requested, the former employee said his phone was damaged.

"I asked the PSC to investigate the allegations. While they were investigating, on 15 April my PA received an email from a gentleman Siphokele Mike Mgwambi who made several allegations on that email. The allegation was that I am protecting the acting CEO and that I wanted to appoint her full-time despite the (known) allegations.

"He claimed I am being lobbied by senior ANC members and directors-general. And that I have business dealings with the acting CEO," Motsoaledi said.

Fosi told the PSC that she realised during the investigation a former supply chain management director deliberately did not comply with SCM policies, "so that he could come back to blackmail her and irregularly extend his employment contract, which she did not do".

The commission recommended that Motsoaledi consider corrective action against Fosi for not complying to SCM processes.

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