Corruption Watch has written to the Mpumalanga Department of Education calling for an urgent probe into the irregular tender awarded by the department to a number of private companies, for the management and supply of bulk foodstuffs to schools in the province.“Our public finance management laws require state departments to investigate any allegations of corruption in public tenders, to discipline officials involved in wrong-doing, and to hand over findings of criminality to the police,” said Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis.This step follows the handing down on 26 May 2014 of a judgment in the North Gauteng High Court in the matter of Valozone 268 CC and Others v The Minister of Education and Others (under case number 3285/14). In its judgment the court set aside the award of the contract and ordered the Mpumalanga Department of Education to reconsider the bid within one month.The court accepted the argument advanced by the losing bidders that the gross irregularities in the tender process were indicative of corruption. These include, amongst many other irregularities, a single bidder who submitted successful bids under the name of two different companies, as well as some highly questionable scoring outcomes. The court described the conduct of the officials involved in the adjudication of the bid as “abhorrent, shocking and a far cry from the constitutional values enshrined in the Constitution.” “Corruption Watch is gravely concerned that this feeding scheme tender was awarded in such an irregular fashion that it smacks of corruption. We await urgent action from the department to get to the bottom of the grossly unfair process,” said Lewis.For more information: David Lewis – 082 576 3748ExcerptCorruption Watch has written to the Mpumalanga Department of Education calling for an urgent probe into the irregular tender awarded by the department to a number of private companies, for the management and supply of bulk foodstuffs to schools in the province.