THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what could be suspected as a move to sabotage the probe into Sprinklr deal, the state government has appointed a second committee to probe the data deal with the US-based tech firm.
The move comes close on the heels of the first committee’s findings that some procedural irregularities had occurred while selecting the firm. Stating that the first committee’s findings were not comprehensive, the government on Monday decided to appoint a three-member committee headed by Justice (retired) K Sasidharan Nair to probe the deal.
Other than pointing out procedural lapses, the previous two-member committee -- consisting of M Madhavan Nambiar, former civil aviation secretary, and Gulshan Rai, former cybersecurity coordinator, Government of India -- also suggested measures to strengthen the state information technology department’s understanding, selection and implementation of data analytic digital platforms in the future.
However, the state government is of the view that a detailed examination by experts in legal, administrative and information technology domains is required on many aspects and the two-member committee didn’t offer its comments on the same. As per sources, the three-member committee has been appointed citing this.
As per the terms of reference fixed for the new committee, it will have to consider six aspects in its report, which will have to be submitted within two months. They are: whether the procedures laid down in the Rules of Business of Government of Kerala has been followed while signing the agreement/purchase order; whether lapses, which cannot be justified in the extraordinary circumstances prevailing while entering into the agreement/purchase order, have occurred; what are and what could have been the measures taken to ensure data security in various periods; what were the procedures to be followed, apart from those that have been followed, for the agreement/purchase order for obtaining services; and analyse the report submitted by the committee headed by Madhavan Nambiar and suggest guidelines to be followed in future.
It was the decision of the IT Department to appoint Sprinklr for big data analysis as part of containment activities of Covid-19 pandemic in the state which landed the government in trouble. The government later backed out from the deal.