The process to appoint Bain by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) was irregular and riddled with "red flags", in a manner that suggests that the consultancy’s appointment was predetermined, a Treasury procurement official said on Friday. Bain conducted the far-reaching restructuring of the Sars operating model at a cost of R164m, which is said to have destroyed the revenue collector’s capacity and neutralised its efficiency. The Treasury’s Solly Tshitangano told the commission of inquiry into governance at Sars that the 50% discount that Bain gave the tax agency — which ensured them the tender for a diagnostic exercise on the restructuring — was "unusual". He said it was "very strange" that the second company’s price had come in at R2.8m and Bain’s as the winning bidder came in at R2.7m only after the 50% discount. He disclosed that before the tender process had even begun, Sars wrote to Telkom, which had had an existing contract with Bain to request that the tax agency "participate" in ...

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