Convicted tender fraudsters not blacklisted

PEOPLE who have been convicted of defrauding the government in the past are able to commit fraud again because the courts are failing to place their names on a register of fraudsters.

The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that the public register of companies that have been convicted of defrauding government, does not contain a single name.

The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, which became law six years ago, says the Treasury is responsible for setting up the register, and employing a registrar to maintain it.

The register would "place certain restrictions on persons and enterprises convicted of corrupt activities relating to tenders and contracts" - effectively preventing them from being awarded more government tenders in the future.

It even prevents new companies set up by convicted individuals from being considered for tenders.

Treasury spokesperson Lindani Mbunyuza said they had set up the register, but the courts had failed to provide it with the names of companies convicted of fraud.

But the law itself does not make it compulsory for the courts to forward the names of convicted tender fraudsters to the registrar.

The law says only that the court may order convicted peoples' names to be endorsed on the register - if it feels like it.

It is not clear why the courts are failing to issue court orders for fraudsters' names to be added to the register.

Justice Department spokesperson Tlali Tlali said his ministry was currently investigating the matter.