Docket emanates from whistleblower’s report on IT project manager at Local Governmen
The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has referred a case in which certain senior employees of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) were allegedly involved in a scheme of insider trading and influence peddling for tenders of projects funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the Botswana Police Service.
This comes after a report, that features a senior manager at the ministry, was compiled by a whistleblower and reached DCEC.
DCEC spokesperson Lentswe Motshoganetsi has confirmed this. “We received a report from an anonymous source that we realised was a matter for the police when we analysed it,” Motshoganetsi said. “So we have referred it to the police.”
The head of DCEC, Tymon Katlholo, had said he could not discuss the case because of a contractual obligation with a whistleblower. “We have a contract with the whistleblower because whenever he or she reports to us there is confidentiality,” said Katlholo.
At ministry headquarters, Minister Kgotla Autlwetse responded: “Whenever DCEC investigates something involving an employee of the ministry, they do not disclose that they are doing so because that could compromise the investigations,” the minister said. “At this point we have not been told anything by DCEC.”
Sources say the whistleblower’s report detailed a 2016 tender for support services for a Financial Management System (FMS) used by councils. The ministry created a pool of IT officers drawn from various councils as support teams. However, it is alleged that the selection criteria were not merit-based but were purely at the discretion of one of the appointed project managers.
The project manager allegedly elevated one junior IT officer to be her confidant despite there being more qualified and experienced systems analysts at councils around the country. The report alleges that the project manager and the IT officer together compiled a request for funding for training from UNDP that was not in the project scope. They allegedly detailed other system requirements like human resources and payroll systems to inflate the cost of the tender.
In November 2019, the ministry rejected the request for funds to travel to a Microsoft Dynamics GP User Conference in the United States due to lack of funds. It is alleged that the project manager and her confidant subsequently went to the ministry’s IT department and a certain officer applied for funds from the IT department on their behalf making it appear that he was travelling with them only to change at the last minute that he would not be joining them.