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Gijima wants COJ's ICT tender with DiData set aside

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Local ICT firm Gijima is looking to have a luctarive ICT contract between systems integrator Dimension Data the City of Johannesburg (COJ) revoked.

This emerged after IOL this week reported the city overpaid Dimension Data close to R1 billion in what has been termed “wasteful expenditure”.

However, the systems integrator has denied the allegations, saying it has always followed standard tender processes.

The report cites a forensic investigation that looked into IT contracts the city had entered into between 2011 and 2017.

It says the report compiled by Grant Thornton found the city paid Dimension Data over R900 million irregularly for ICT upgrades between the years 2010 and 2017.

According to the report, the original price for the ICT upgrades contract for the COJ was set at R39 203 641.92 and subsequently ballooned to the R1 billion mark.

No award or regret

Gijima is one of the companies that had applied for the tender and it wants the contract with Dimension Data to be set aside.

In court documents seen by ITWeb, the company says no letter of award or regret was received by Gijima from the COJ, and “it is believed that Dimension Data, together with its BBBEE partner Vanity Consulting, are rendering services in relation to the tender”.

The attorneys of Gijima, Nicqui Galaktiou Attorneys, told ITWeb via e-mail that in December 2015, Gijima submitted a compliant bid response at a bid price of R272 133 411.00 to a tender issued by the COJ for outsourced information technology services.

In June 2017, they add, Gijima inquired with the COJ as to the status of the tender process, given the COJ’s failure to advise if it had taken any decision to award the tender as Gijima had neither received a letter of award nor regret and had further reason to believe Dimension Data (with its BBBEE partner Vanity Consulting) were rendering services in terms of the tender.

According to Gijima, Dimension Data’s bid price was R410 992 445.41, approximately R139 million more than Gijima’s bid.

Gijima’s attorneys thereafter in July 2017 (and follow-ups in August 2017) sent similar queries to municipal manager Dr Lukhwareni and the then executive mayor Herman Mashaba.

“Again, no substantive response was forthcoming. Notwithstanding undertakings to then revert, pursuant to a meeting between the executive mayor, municipal manager, other COJ officials and our client in October 2017, the COJ failed to do so, resulting in Gijima issuing the current application in May 2018,” says Nicqui Galaktiou Attorneys.

Consequently, the relief sought by Gijima includes, among other things, reviewing and setting aside, alternatively declaring unlawful the decision of the COJ to award the tender to a bidder other than Gijima.

Alternatively, Gijima wants a review and setting aside due to the failure of the COJ to take a decision to award the tender, directing the COJ to appoint the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) to reconsider all submitted bids, directing the COJ to order the BEC to call upon Gijima and other bidders to make representations as to the nature and price of their services, directing the BEC and BAC to consider such representations and to make a final decision on the award within 60 days of their appointment.

Factually incorrect, defamatory

In a statement, Dimension Data tells ITWeb: “Dimension Data is a long-standing service provider to the City of Johannesburg. During this time, Dimension Data has been awarded a number of IT service contracts through the standard tender process, as has been other IT suppliers.”

The firm says it has been claimed in the Sunday Independent of 22 November, that Dimension Data had been overpaid by close to R1 billion by the COJ. This is factually incorrect and defamatory to Dimension Data, says the systems integrator.

“Reference is made in the article of a report by Grant Thornton from which this allegation is drawn. Despite numerous written requests to the COJ since 2017, Dimension Data has yet to receive a copy of the alleged report.”

ITWeb also did not receive a copy of the report from the COJ at the time of publishing.

The system integrator also notes the statement that Dimension Data “shut down” systems to the COJ because the COJ wanted to “reconcile the account” is incorrect.

“Dimension Data suspended services as a last resort after the city had reneged on its payment obligations on numerous occasions. The payment issues were subsequently resolved within the ambit of the contract and the Master Service Agreement. And as ever, Dimension Data remains committed to deliver its service commitments to the city,” it concludes.

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