BHUBANESWAR: Audit findings on the procurement of goods, including computers and accessories, by the Governor’s Secretariate during a period of five years between 2011 and 2016 without adhering to the purchase formalities has pointed fingers at irregularities in the top office.
According to the audit report accessed by ‘The Express’, computers and laptops of around `40.71 lakh were procured without publication of advertisement inviting tender in local newspaper. The audit by the Accountant General’s (AG) office found that Orissa Computer Application Centre (OCAC) was requested to supply the items against which the centre had submitted the cost estimate. Subsequently, the amount was sanctioned and paid to OCAC.
As per the Odisha General Financial Rules (OGFR), offers should be invited following a fair transparent and reasonable procedure and the authority should satisfy itself that the price of the selected offer is reasonable and consistent with the quality required. “Purchase formalities as stipulated in OGFR were not followed rendering the procurement process lacking in efficiency, economy and transparency. The competition between the offers was ignored to get the competitive price of specified products,” the audit report stated.
Though `30.02 lakh was drawn from treasury in different bills during 2013-16 towards purchase of computer accessories, the audit noticed that the amount was released to firms without receipt of materials.
The officials at the Governor’s Secretariate have also been pulled up for payment of consultancy charge and service charge to OCAC, rush of expenditure in the last quarter of the financial year, irregular purchase of `3,06,579 and irregular payment of VAT to different suppliers besides inadequate grievance redressal mechanism. The audit found that of 11,691 grievance petitions received during 2014-16 though 1,944 reply reports were received from different offices, the petition section of Governor’s Secretariate did not take any action to intimate the applicants regarding disposal of their applications.
In reply to the AG, even as the Principal Secretary to the Governor said OCAC had taken due steps to follow financial procedure for supply of computers and accessories, the audit report stated it is not tenable as OCAC has to finalise the specification and configuration after systems requirement study while purchase has to be made by the office concerned.