R1 billion government IT contract mess

Government has written off R1 billion which was spent on National Treasury’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS). This is according to a Sunday Independent report.

The report states that government scrapped the nearly complete R1 billion IT project in favour of another new project which could cost another R3 billion.

The newspaper added that the South African State Information Technology Agency (SITA) may also face expensive legal battles to get out of contracts with many service providers.

A spokesperson for SITA and the Treasury said that the decision to change the solution was “strategic”.

BMI-T analyst Tertia Smit recently said that Government is spending billions on ICT at national and provincial level, but to assure the most effective use of these funds the various arms of government need to communicate with one another.

This, she said, was to ensure effective management of projects, lack of overlap or redundant efforts and expenses, and that projects are prioritised and executed in order of importance.

Government has also been at work on a number of large ICT projects in recent years, many of which have gotten attention for all the wrong reasons.

“Systems like the Treasury’s IFMS, Home Affairs’ Who Am I Online and Transport’s eNatis have all faced problems of governance and capacity alongside questions over SITA’s involvement,” she said.

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R1 billion government IT contract mess