No record of the purchase of 200 blankets for earthquake victims, discrepancies in purchase of ration for the ‘Food for Rs 10’ scheme and payments that were not under the objectives of the Indian Red Cross Society, were some of the observation of the Audit department in its special audit of the time period from 2015 to 2018.
The 72-page report, a copy of which is with Chandigarh Newsline, revealed that the society had showed purchases of 1,200 blankets worth Rs 2.28 lakh, which were to be sent to the earthquake victims in Nepal. However, no record was found for at least 200 blankets, as the documents only mentioned that 1,000 blankets were dispatched.
The department said that the file related to the purchase had not been made available to the department officials by the society. “Only 1,000 blankets were remitted to Delhi for the Nepal earthquake victims, as is evident from the transport charges undertaken in June 2015, however, the disposal of 200 blankets was not explained to audit department,” the report said. Moreover, during the purchase of ration for ‘Food for Rs 10’ scheme, the audit pointed out several irregularities.
“During the audit it was noticed that there were no norms for the consumption of raw materials for the preparation of food packets were worked out and approved from a competent authority. The details of the items purchased and food packets prepared got verified and signed from the authorised officer for the purpose along with physical verification certificate of the balance of the material at the end of each month,” the report said. It is also mentioned that in the absence of any norms fixed by a competent authority, the audit could not verify the consumption shown in the accounts by the office.
It was noticed that an Rs 71,84,661 was paid for the purchase of vegetables, ration articles and packing material for the Annapurna Akashypatra Project during the period, January 2017 to March 2018 and the amount for the purchase of the articles stands outstanding as on March 31, 2018.
“The purchase of vegetable, ration articles and packing material, among others, amounting to Rs 71,84,661, by the committee constituted by the Chairman IRCS got regularised from the managing body as the Chairman is competent only to sanction an expenditure of Rs 1,00,000. It is further advised that a rate contract by calling e-tender may be entered into for the supply of the said articles to make the purchase at competitive rates and in a transparent manner,” the report specified.
Purchase of goods by purchase committee, GeM
The audit department observed that as per the Rule 146 of the GFR 2005 and Rule 155 of GFR 2017 for purchase of goods costing above Rs 15,000 to upto Rs 1,00,000 and between the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,50,000, respectively, on each occasion, may be made on the recommendations of a duly constituted committee.
In most of the cases, the requisite certificate that is important has not been recorded while making purchase by the Local Purchase Committee, it was observed.
As per the Rule 149 of GFR 2017, the procurement of goods and services by the ministry and the departments will be mandatory from the goods or services available on GeM. The said provision is applicable with effect from January 1, 2017.
“However, it has been observed that the procurement of goods and services have been made from the open market instead of the GeM portal during the period January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018,” the report said.
Logbook of vehicles
In maintainence of the logbook of vehicles, the department observed several discrepancies.
The department found that the logbooks for some of the vehicles had not been made available to audit for particular periods. Moreover, there were some entries of the purchase of POL stands but their bills were not made available to the audit for verification.
The department observed that the monthly abstract of petrol consumed and vehicle run during the month had not been worked out to ascertain the excess/less consumption of the petrol. “In the absence of which it could not be ascertained how much petrol or diesel has been consumed in excess during the period of audit. The same can be worked out and further action can be taken accordingly, as per rules,” the report said.
Expenditure on foundation stone laying ceremony of PGI Sarai
The department observed that the Red Cross Society had incurred expenditure of Rs 4.60 lakh on foundation laying ceremony of PGI Sarai. However, it was said that the expenditure “was not covered under the objectives of the society”.
“The expenditure were incurred on the foundation laying ceremony of PGI Sarai. The project is not covered under the objectives of the society, while the approval of the governing body for the project has not been made available to the audit department. The quotation, tender and sanction file related to the expenditure has also not been made available to the audit, in the absence of which, the procedure followed for making the following work could not be verified as correct,” said the audit report.
Celebrating world Red Cross day
The society spent a whopping Rs 2.81 lakh for celebrating the World Red Cross day in 2018 and objections were raised in this regard.
“The total expenditure on World Red Cross Day 2018 was Rs 2,81,884. All the works were done on the basis of the lowest rates certified by the Committee by mentioning it as an urgency and no spot quotation were collected. However, the event is celebrated every year and the dates are also pre-determined, so if the work was done without inviting competitive rates, that is not justified,” the audit report said.
The department observed that the society had showed payments of Rs 25,000 for the Independence Day celebrations, however, they did not have the list of students who participated in the event. The audit team said that it was “not a fit charge in the fund.”
It was also observed that the society had showed payments for purchase of 20 blankets for the Sector 31 police station, as relief fund. As per the record, the payments were on the request of the IGP of UT Chandigarh “for persons in the lock up according to the approval of the Chairman of Red Cross”. However, the department observed that it was “Not a fit charge on the fund”.
The audit of the societies under UT Administration is being conducted on the complaint of activist RK Garg. The Red Cross Society also comes under the ambit of the UT Administration.
A senior official of the society, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “All the purchases and expenditure is done with due approval of the higher authorities. If there are objections, we will check the same and reply.”
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