After being found to have interfered in a tender process of more than R120m, the former CFO, third in command of the beleaguered Road Accident Fund (RAF), has ended up at Medscheme, administering the medical aid of close to a million government workers for the Government Employee Medical Scheme. This, notes a Mail & Guardian report, is after spending six months on special leave during the investigation and collecting R3.5m at the end of the last financial year with a bonus of more than R700 000.
According to an internal investigation report, Rodney Gounden was found to have interfered in a tender process last year by meeting with a potential bidder before the process started and not declaring this to the RAF. “The tender process was irregular and did not adhere to proper procurement processes. Disciplinary actions must be instituted against the CFO,” reads the report.
For years the RAF has been trying to find a new building for its Johannesburg offices, advertising the tender five times. According to the report, after Gounden’s irregularities were flagged, the contract had to be advertised again. But Gounden denies that he interfered in the process, claiming that he was aware of the investigation but not the findings of the report.
After the investigation into Gounden was completed in July last year he remained on “special leave” until he got another high-ranking position at Medscheme, administering another government entity.
Medscheme’s CEO, Anthony Pedersen said that the company had followed the normal recruitment process, which included proper background and reference checks using highly reputable recruitment agencies. “When the allegations were brought to our attention, we contacted RAF to check or confirm the allegations – to date we have not received any report or concluded outcome which indicates that our employee was guilty of fraud or that the allegations were proven,” he is quoted as saying. Yet, notes the M&G, the RAF report states there was proof that Gounden met a preferred bidder, failed to disclose this information, misled the bid adjudication committee and changed specifications.Mail & Guardian report