South Africa has banned Bain & Company from bidding for public-sector contracts for a decade, following the lead of the UK, after the consulting firm was accused of helping government officials degrade the South African Revenue Service’s ability to probe tax evasion.
National treasury said in a response to queries that the ban will last for a decade and relates to the company “engaging in corrupt and fraudulent practices related to a Sars contract”. The UK in August banned Bain from public contracts for three years because of allegations related to Sars.
Bain was found by a judicial commission to have had ties to illegal dealings during work restructuring Sars, where senior staff were ousted and the institution’s investigative capacity was gutted.
Last month, Stephen York, the firm’s managing partner in South Africa, said it was “ashamed” of its work at the tax agency and his company apologised to South Africans in a full-page newspaper advertisement. Still, York said, some of the allegations were untrue and asked for the consultancy to be given another chance. Bain didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Ismail Momoniat, the treasury’s acting director-general, has described Bain’s conduct as “treason”.
Bain is one of a number of international companies that have acknowledged playing a role in misconduct at state-owned companies during former President Jacob Zuma’s rule, during which funds were funnelled out to private entities. McKinsey & Co, SAP, KPMG, ABB and EOH have all accepted responsibility for improper work and in some cases paid back fees. Zuma has denied wrongdoing. — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP