Friday, October 30, 2020

DIS asks Parliament for money to pay back the Petroleum Fund

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has approached Parliament requesting for supplementary funds to pay back some of the money that it had ‘misappropriated’  from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF).

Parliamentary records show that the DIS through the Ministry of Presidential Affairs is requesting for supplementary funds from the Ministry of Finance amounting to more than P114 million.

According to the documents, the project that the intelligence agency is requesting for (an amount of P114 million) will be used for “strengthening of DIS capabilities.” 

It also emerges in the documents that the DIS wants to use the requested supplementary budget for “strengthening of DIS capabilities) to pay back the NPF money that it allegedly misused.  This was revealed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green technology and Energy Security which has also approached Parliament for supplementary budget to augment the depleted National Petroleum Fund (NPF) and pay Oil companies. In its request, the Ministry states that it is expecting P114 from the same supplementary funds requested by DIS. 

The Ministry has requested more than P520 million to argument funds in the cash strapped NPF and for payment for oil companies.

An “Expenditure from the Development Fund” document for the financial year 2018/19 dated June 2018, “as for the proposed 2018/19 provision of P520 million (requested by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green technology and Energy Security) will be partly offset by an amount of P114 million sourced from Strengthening of DIS Capabilities programme.”

Reports indicate that former Deputy Permanent Secretary Mineral Resources, Green technology and Energy Security Dr Obolokile Obakeng had earlier written to former DIS Director Isaac stating that “I would like to kindly request you [DIS] to pay back into the NPF the sum of P230 million, which was paid from the NPF into an account of some company called Khulaco on behalf of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.”

Obakeng added in the same savingram that “I refer to my correspondence dated 23rd November 2017 for which there has been no response from your good office…   I also refer to a Cabinet meeting of the 7th of February.”  According to Obakeng’s savingram cabinet had instructed the DIS boss to return the money to NPF.

Replying Kgosi stated that “We were made to understand that the sum of P250 million NOT P230 million from NPF was deposited into the account of some company called Khulaco on behalf of DIS. It is at the instance of this that we require documentary proof indicating total amount released and deposited as well as payments made from the deposited lump sum,” says Kgosi before adding that “as for repayment of the money, consultation between the Ministry of Finance and the Directorate is on-going.”

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently, Kgosi said he can only account for P118 million from the P230 million that was transferred to his organisation from NPF.

DISS had requested the sum of P250 million for engineering structures of storage facilities and expansion of strategic fuel storage facilities. 

After being given access to the funds, Kgosi then wrote to the Director of Energy Affairs directing that an amount of P230 million be transferred to Khulaco Pty Ltd on behalf of DISS.

The DIS later diverted the funds towards the purchase of military grade equipment to be used in fighting poaching, human and drug trafficking which are a threat to the country’s economy. 

An amount of P118 million was paid to an Israel company Dignia Systems for the purchase of the equipment. These are the funds that Kgosi owned up to this week when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC). 

Kgosi could not be drawn to say what happened to the other funds or who should account for them.

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