Friday, September 25, 2020

OP investigates purchase of minister’s refrigerator

The Office of the President has launched its own investigations into the purchase of Minister Ndelu Seretse’s expensive refrigerator as the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) prepares to sit next week to ponder whether or not to reject a retroactive request to pay for the P46, 000 refrigerator.

The Office of the President is conducting an internal investigation into the matter following The Sunday Standard story last week that PPADB had rejected requests to pay for Minister Seretse’s refrigerator.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary (media) at the Office of the President, Dr. Jeff Ramsay, has told The Sunday Standard that “something went wrong” in the process of the purchase of the refrigerator.
Ramsay would not divulge the terms of reference for the investigation. He would also not say who is likely to foot the bill in the event that the PPADB board rejects the retroactive request made by OP on 17 June this year.

It is more than likely that the retroactive request may be rejected. “PPADB does not adjudicate submissions from individual Ministers or any other officer representing their private interests, but from respective Procuring Entities representing the interests of Government and its end users being various Departments encompassed under each Ministry,” said the PPADB Ditapole Chibua-Tsheboeng the Public Relations and Education Manager.

It has emerged that Minister Seretse’s P46, 000 refrigerator overshot the amount reserved for the purchase of kitchen items pegged at P20, 185.

PPAB has also questioned the integrity of procurement process followed.

“The outcome of the Board’s adjudication will be published a week after next to all stakeholders.”
Chibua-Tsheboeng said this will be by way of publication on The Daily News and the PPADB website.

She said the board’s decision may range from either an approval of the submission, a deferral, a stand down, rejection or even a cancellation of the tender depending on the strength of the PPAD Act (2001) and Regulations (2006).

The minister last week said he did not have any idea how the refrigerator was purchased for him by the government.

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