The National Treasury has initiated a forensic investigation into the Competition Commission’s dodgy procurement practices. The probe will dig into the financial affairs of the watchdog’s top executives to explore whether anyone is receiving kickbacks from external legal or IT service providers. The investigation, which will cover a period going back three years, has been sparked by the Treasury’s concern over the commission’s repeated overspending, findings of irregular expenditure by the auditor-general (AG), and media allegations over the commission’s suspicious procurement patterns. The commission will not receive its final medium-term budget allocation until the investigation is wrapped up, which the Treasury hopes will be at the end of May. This means that an additional R125m earmarked to enable it to investigate cartels and anticompetitive behaviour using its expanded mandate under the new Competition Amendment Act, will remain on ice. Meanwhile, the commission’s medium-term ...

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