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Goldstuck on Gadgets

EOH spell out response to corruption in IT deals

After two years of steadily rooting out corruption, the IT services giant has come under attack from media that appear to have a short attention span, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK



EOH provided the following details of “Legacy Contracts” that are currently attracting media scrutiny:

Department of Defence

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) released a media statement on 21 April 2021 relating to 2016 and 2017 Microsoft licence sales.

EOH released a SENS announcement on 23rd April 2021 which provided clarity on the factual events that led up to the signature of the Acknowledgement of Debt (AoD) which was referenced in the SIU media statement.

Before being contacted by the SIU, regarding the specific irregularities at the Department of Defence (DoD), we had already reported our concerns regarding that matter to National Treasury, the Hawks through their Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) Unit and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). 

EOH entered into an AoD with the SIU at the end of September 2020. Since then EOH has already made multiple payments in terms of the AoD, beginning in October 2020.

City of Johannesburg

EOH received open letters addressed to the EOH board and leadership team (also published in the media), as sent by the employees who were employed to render services in relation to a 12-month fixed-term Support Services Agreement (SSA) concluded between EOH Mthombo (Pty) Ltd and the City that expires at the end of April 2021. 

EOH has been rendering SAP support services to the City since 2012.

The original agreement was for three years’ worth of support services with the City. The initial contract came to an end in 2015. This work has been extended multiple times over the years, the latest of which (and the resultant conclusion of the Support Services Agreement) took place with effect from 1 May 2020, in accordance with Regulation 36 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) Supply Chain Management Regulations.

When the service was renewed with a new contract in April 2020, EOH notified the City, at that same time, that they needed to re-tender the services in terms of the relevant MFMA regulations.

In February 2021, EOH, in an additional attempt to clarify the way forward, sent a written communication to the City, reminding them of the pending expiry of the contract.

EOH’s early notification to the City was also aimed at providing the affected employees with a fair opportunity to seek alternative employment if that was their preference. EOH has followed the stipulated section 189 process in accordance with the relevant legislation as part of the contract termination process. This process has now been completed and EOH has complied with all its statutory and other legal obligations relating to the employees.

It is important to note that the EOH employees involved in this matter are part of the initial contracted support project for the City. EOH has no ability to determine the City tender process, but in an effort to assist the employees EOH has engaged the City regarding the urgency required for timeous resolution of the matter. Furthermore, the City has initiated a closed tender process in which EOH is not a participant.

EOH has provided a written response to the employees’ open letter and, in the interests of absolute transparency, has also held regular meetings with representatives of the employees to ensure that they were consistently appraised of the status quo.

EOH deeply empathises with the employees’ current position and will continue to assist with the transition in compliance with all contractual and labour regulations.

In addition, EOH and the City had a contract for the implementation and upgrade of the City’s SAP ERP system (the ERP Agreement), which was terminated at the beginning of 2021.  EOH is currently in the process of executing its post-termination obligations and the City and EOH are in the process of agreeing on an exit plan. In November 2020, EOH presented the City with various options – some of which are still being explored with the City to find a mutually agreeable solution.

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