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SECRETARY TO CABINET QUERIES SPENDING OF E1.6 MILLION

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MBABANE – Secretary to Cabinet Mbuso Dlamini yesterday questioned the use of E1.6 million on a feasibility study for a government project.


The project in question belongs to the Swaziland National Archives, which intends to introduce the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) in all the government ministries.


Dlamini, who had attended a breakfast meeting for presentation of the feasibility study final report at the Mountain Inn, was disturbed by the payment, more-so because government forbade its departments from paying for feasibility studies.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretaries (PS) from various government ministries.


“E1.6 million is a lot of money to have spent at feasibility stage. What if it was found out that this exercise was not going to be viable? This would have been a huge loss to government. That’s why payment for such was prohibited a long time ago,” said the Secretary.
Dlamini was of the view that the project should have been implemented so that the money was used on that, instead of studies.


In the past, government paid out millions of taxpayers’ money for feasibility studies for some projects that never took off, hence its decision to stop featability studies.  


Aware


Kholekile Mthethwa, Director of the Swaziland National Archives, in an interview, said they were not aware that such studies were no longer allowed in government. They only got to know about it yesterday.
“The E1.6m was paid to a local consultancy known as Kobla Quashie (KQ) who did the study for six months. The money was released by government knowing well what it would be used for. Changing to EDRMS is a massive project,” explained Mthethwa.


The purpose of the study was to ensure that government implemented an EDRMS that would meet her records management requirements and subsequently contribute to the overall efforts to improve the documents and records management practices in the country.
Before the system is rolled out, it will be piloted on two departments, that is, the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and the Cabinet Office.


Workshops will be held by Archives department for Under Secretaries and other government officials for the rest of the week.

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