ASATA provides this update on the project’s status in terms of:
- the recovery processes;
- dispute resolution mechanisms,
- contract disputes and the OCPO Governance,
- monitoring & compliance unit and its involvement to assist with recovery at a provincial level.
The Recovery Processes
The National Treasury has followed up with the departments in question in an attempt to resolve the issue of non-payment/late payment. Currently departmental Accounting Officers are responsible for ensuring service providers are paid within the 30-day legislated period. In addition the Treasury is investigating more drastic options of holding Accounting Officers accountable.
Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
The National Treasury and the MAF (through Kitso Consulting) has agreed on a process to be followed with regards to outstanding amount. The agreed process is illustrated below:
- If a business has outstanding amounts owing by Government, the business log the issue with the Industry Association and upload an accurate Age Analysis (split on separate tabs by Province and Department) on a monthly basis
- If a business has experienced ill practice by a Government Official or Department a formal complaint may be logged with your relevant Industry Association
- The Association will extract the Case Log and submit to the dedicated person at Treasury, monthly
- The businesses Age Analysis or official Complaint will be attached to each Case Log submitted
- Treasury will send a Letter with the applicable information for comment by the offending Department
- Treasury will provide feedback to the Industry Association regularly in this regard
- The Department will simultaneously resolve the issue directly with the business concerned
- If no resolution is found the business may request the they meet directly with the offending Department and a Mediation process may begin
- Progress regarding Case Logs will be shared continuously and managed at quarterly meetings between National Treasury and Industry.
- Contract Disputes
All contract payment disputes must be brought to the attention of the Governance, Monitoring & Compliance Unit within the OCPO at the National Treasury which will be resolved as outlined below.
The Governance, Monitoring & Compliance Unit
The Chief Directorate: Governance, Monitoring and Compliance within the OCPO have been co-opted to establish a direct working relationship with Kitso Consulting (ASATA representative) to resolve the backlog on the industry debt.
Regarding the implementation of the travel and accommodation business case/strategy:
Discussions held with various departments as it relates to current tenders on the basis of the approved travel and accommodation business case/strategy. It will further explain the process going forward for implementation of the procurement strategy.
The Chief Directorate: Strategic Procurement and the Industry Member Advisory Forum have, over the last 8 months, done intensive research, engaged with stakeholders and end users, analysed spend patterns, identified challenges, looked at improvement opportunities and developed a sourcing strategy for the category.
To date the National Treasury engaged with forty (40) national departments, seven (7) of the nine (9) provinces and five (5) of the eight (8) metros with regards to the scope of the travel and accommodation business strategy.
The scope of the project discussed was limited to compliance management and to four streams within the travel and accommodation category, i.e. Compliance Management; Travel management companies (Travel agents); Domestic accommodation; Domestic car rental and Domestic air transport.
In terms of implementation and the timelines, the Chief Directorate: Strategic Procurement will engage with the top spending National and Provincial departments to establish a Cross- Functional Sourcing Team (CFST) to deliver the following output:
Improve compliance and address behaviour:
- Draft a National Travel Policy
- Draft a Travel Code of Conduct
- Draft a Travel Do’s and Don’ts information leaflet
- Develop a business case for the implementation of Lodge Cards for travel
Travel management companies (Travel agents)
- National Treasury will not issue a Transversal Contract for Travel Management Companies (TMC’s)
- Departments and Provinces will still be responsible for the appointment of travel management companies (TMC).
- To support the above, the CFST will develop a standard TOR for the appointment of TMC’s that will be in line with the sourcing approaches for the other streams.
- This will include, amongst others, the standard requirements of an online booking tool.
Domestic car rental
- The CFST will develop the specifications for a Car Rental RFB with the view of implementing it as a Transversal / Framework Contract with regional appointment of Service Providers.
Domestic air transport
- The CFST will develop the specifications for a Domestic Air Transport RFB with the view of implementing it as a Transversal / Framework Contract.
- Negotiations may be required with this industry.
- The CFST will develop the user requirements for a web-enabled Government Travel Directory on which all qualified hotel groups, lodges, B&B’s can “advertise” their services. (Similar to any Travel Directory, but with Government established rates.)
- A price benchmarking exercise is to be undertaken to establish the acceptable government rates.
- In this case it will not be necessary for government to put out a RFB or contract with any hotel group or accommodation institutions.
The National Treasury will be going to the market soon to obtain the services of industry experts to assist is some of these activities.
The anticipated timelines are indicated in the table below: