The State IT Agency (SITA) has come under fire recently, with accusations that it is not living up to its mandate and is costing the state more than if government went directly to vendors.
The agency, which has a budget of R4.6 billion to provide IT services and procurement for government, has missed about two-thirds of its targets in the last financial year.
In a recent presentation to the Parliamentary portfolio committee on telecommunications, it was suggested that the agency does not add any value to government, but instead boosts costs, as it makes a profit on the goods and services it makes to the state. In the last financial year it made R843 million in profit, a 17.97% margin.
The presentation also noted that of the 39 performance measures SITA has in place, they only achieved 11, partially meeting 10 and missing 18.
Among the missed goals was a target on debtors’ days, and other on creditors’ days. SITA’s inability to pay suppliers on time is becoming an increasing problem which has led several to take court action. They are currently being sued for a total of R33 million.
SITA’s CEO, Freeman Nomvalo, who is the agency’s 17th CEO in the last 15 years, says improved service to customers, consistent corporate strategy, and retaining staff are key to turning around the struggling agency. He has also pointed out that SITA has made several achievements, including maintaining and supporting the movement control system, protecting the voters’ roll, maintaining and supporting systems that pay social grants, and enabling banks to verify IDs on the National Population Register.
The agency has also stated that irregularities will be addressed and procurement practices strengthened through its new strategies. Nomvalo added that SITA has taken the necessary action in instances where legislation was not complied with.