- Argues that the nation deserves to know why and how the lodge was purchased
- OP says it is classified information
The National Executive Committee of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has resolved that the party should take the government to court to force it to release all information relating to the controversial purchase of Tautona Lodge.
The property situated in Gantsi was bought for P58 million. This comes after the government dug its heels in, saying the information sought by the Leader of the Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando, and the UDC on the purchase of the lodge was classified.
This week, Saleshando disclosed that the National Executive Committee of the UDC had decided to take the government to court to compel it to account to the nation about how public money was used to purchase Tautona Lodge.
Responding to Saleshando’s first letter last month, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, said there were details of the purchase that cannot be revealed.
“I have since been advised that I am not at liberty to disclose all documents due to the legal restrictions imposed by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act Cab 42:08,” Minister Morwaeng said in response to Saleshando.
“The context in which I made the statement that I had the documents and they were available for inspection must be construed within what is permissible within the confines of the law. As stated, the PPADB Act has several restrictions on disclosure of documents relating to bids. There are requirements for documents to remain confidential except in specific situations”
Section 93 of the Act, Morwaeng said, provides for information to be declassified only after two years, except in cases where such disclosure would be prejudicial to the interests of the government or contractors. Should that be the case, the PPADB Board shall retain such communication for a further two years.
Section 85 of the Act provides for access to documentation and data base. Subject to a fee, the Board can authorize public access of the following: a) the standardized bidding packages, forms, national standards specifications and Annual Report and amendments thereto and (b) the database containing the contractors’ register; specification provider, test and certification forms, insurance and intermodal transport operation, documentation collection, contractors’ prices and the construction price index, Morwaeng emphasized.