Thursday, October 28, 2021

Foul play mars Netball World Youth Cup spectacle

The organisers of the Gaborone 2017 Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) found themselves on the defence this week following allegations of improper procurements.

Barely a month after the Gaborone 2017 NWYC extravaganza, revelations which are likely to soil what was an otherwise splendid event are starting to emerge.

Documents suggesting possible flouting of procurement procedures and reports of possible corruption are already flying thick and fast.

Sunday Standard has since established that procurement procedures were not followed and services were sourced from companies without purchase orders and relevant documentation.

Contracts to provide services for the event never went out to tender in violation of treasury rules which mandate that contracts worth large sums must follow a competitive bid process to avoid irregular spending and corruption.

A letter dated 3rd August 2017 leaked to Sunday Standard from NWYC General Manager Tebogo Kesupile addressing NWYC2017 Local Organising Committee, revealed that lack of time forced decisions to engage suppliers without procurement procedures leading to engagement of emergency suppliers termed ‘retroactive approval of emergency suppliers ÔÇô round robin decision”.

‘’Under the circumstances of retroactive approval of emergency suppliers- round robin, the laid down procurement procedures could not be followed as there was no time. In this regard, services were procured from companies without purchase orders and relevant documentation. Services have however been delivered, and invoices have been presented for payments,” the letter read.

The predicament surfacing is that some companies face risk of non payment due to lack of purchase orders that are a prerequisite for a company to execute assignments. Furthermore, due to delayed payments, the letter seeks direction with regards to items awaiting payments.

‘’You are therefore kindly requested to retroactively approve the appointment of the listed suppliers, who were requested to provide various services as emergency, and therefore were not issued with purchase orders as should have been the case. Kindly indicate your decision for the items as indicated,” revealed the letter.

The other alarming raise in payments was due to deals that were closed under pressure on the eve of the event. Evidence of the agreement between one of the security companies engaged at the event has surfaced that they closed the contract on the eve of the event. ‘’Proguard provided man guarding for the games, at training venues, match venues and accommodation. A commitment letter was issued on the eve of the games due to reduced number of police officers,” narrated a document supporting the letter.

Botswana Netball Association (BONA) President Tebogo Lebotse Sebego referred the matter to LOC Chairperson Prisca Mokgadi saying ‘’we believe all procurement process where done accordingly”. For her part, Kesupile claimed not to be aware of the 3rd August memo sent to the LOC however saying “we have referred the issue to LOC, so the Chairperson will address the matter.”

Commenting on the matter, Mokgadi said to her knowledge, the LOC had ‘followed the procurement policy as set out.’

“To minimise risk to the event, all funds from government were kept at the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and payments made directly from there in line with the set procurement process,” Mokgadi responded.

Concerning the letter purported to be from Kesupile, who was NWYC2017 General Manager, Mokgadi said; “We unfortunately cannot verify the authenticity of the document.”

She however said the LOC is in the process of winding up the NWYC2017 and ‘a comprehensive report will be shared with all stakeholders on all aspects of the NWYC2017.’

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper