Global media and services company Thomson Reuters has suspended work with a South African subcontractor after a newspaper reported an alleged conflict of interest surrounding the government’s award of a R225 million IT contract.
< p>The < em>Sunday Times reported that Thomson Reuters, after winning a contract from the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) to supply court software, is taking 30% of the business as required by South African law a local company, ZA, subcontracted Square.
ZA Square was formed five days after Thomson Reuters won the bid and its three directors were all officers of OCJ.
The OCJ told the newspaper the three directors played a role in the selection process that led to the OCJ awarding the contract to Thomson Reuters.
As a result, the OCJ and Thomson Reuters have launched an investigation en opened on the newspaper’s allegations that the three directors set up ZA Square and, based on their knowledge, got a stake in the deal’s lucrative deal.
In a statement on Monday, Thomson Reuters said that “the principles of trust and integrity” and am investigating the matter “with the utmost seriousness”.
“We have opened a formal investigation to understand the facts,” it said.
“During this investigation, all work with subcontractor ZA Square has been suspended.”
Thomson Reuters is the parent company of Reuters News.
The OCJ said it was taking legal advice.< /p>
“We can assure the public that government funds are safe in relation to this matter,” it said in a statement.
“In light of this, the OCJ will at this time no further comments or additional information in this hi
The three OCJ employees who became directors of ZA Square – Nathi Mncube, Yvonne van Niekerk and Casper Coetzer – denied any wrongdoing.
Mncube spoke on behalf of the directors and referred Reuters to statements the three had made to local media.
Van Niekerk and Co etzer confirmed Mncube’s role as their spokesman on the matter.
The Sunday Times report focused on the circumstances surrounding a deal for a nationwide rollout of CaseLines, a court document and evidence from Thomson Reuters’ management platform.
South American law states that government procurement deals, that exceed a certain value must subcontract at least 30% of the contract value in order to strengthen the local economy.
ZA Square had registered as a new company with Mncube, van Niekerk and Coetzer as directors on 15. december About last year, five days after Thomson Reuters was awarded the contract to introduce CaseLines, SA’s business register shows.
Thomson Reuters selected ZA Square after recruiting a subcontractor in the January, Thomson Reuters spokesman Dave Moran told the newspaper.
ZA Square signed a deal with Thomson Reuters in late April, Coetzer told Reuters, after which the directors announced their resignations from OCJ and the company left at the end of May.
Thomson Reuters’ CaseLines contract came into effect on June 1.
Mncube told the Sunday Times that the formation of ZA Square and the subsequent agreement with Thomson Reuters did not materialize because the contract only began after the three company directors left the OCJ.