THE REPORT on the special audit of Moti Lal Nehru Sports School, Rai, has revealed several discrepancies in purchases made by the authorities. The report has also brought to light alleged fraudulent payments, embezzlement and misappropriation of government funds.
The school, founded by the Haryana government in 1973, to provide education with emphasis on sports, has been in the midst of a controversy with Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij ordering registration of FIR against finance department officials for taking away documents of the institution. Director of the school and senior IPS officer Bharti Arora recently wrote to Sonepat SP, seeking registration of FIR against audit officials.
According to the audit report, for the period from April 1, 2015, to January 31, 2017, there are several cases in which Rule 15.2 (a) of Punjab Financial Rules, which states that “purchase order should not be split up so as to avoid necessity for obtaining the sanction of higher authority required with reference to the total amount of the orders”, was violated.
Sample this. Rs 23.33 lakh was paid to M/s The Punjab Sports House, A/Cantt, as cost of sports material from March 21-28, 2016, in 55 different bills. Similarly, Rs 2.92 lakh was paid to M/s Batra and Co, Sonepat, as cost of books from March 26-29, 2016, in five different bills. Payment of Rs 5.89 lakh was made to M/s Janta Sports, New Delhi, as cost of sports material in 13 different bills generated on March 29, 2016.
Then, Rs 5.07 lakh was paid to M/s VAP Traders and Suppliers, Meerut, for the cost of flex boards from March 13-28, 2016, in 17 different bills of Rs 29,879 each.
Similarly, Rs 8.46 lakh was paid to M/s VAS Traders and Suppliers, Meerut, for supporting frame base for flex board from March 12-28, 2016, in 17 different bills of Rs 49,810 each.
The audit has also found cases of “irregular/avoidable expenditure and irregularities during purchase”. According to the report, Rs 2.92 lakh was paid to a company in Sonepat for buying syllabus books for classes VII to XII for 2016-17. But the register shows not a single book was issued to students till January 31, 2017.
“Purchasing of books without actual requirement is an explicit example of misuse of government fund. Whereas, there is every chance that these books may have become obsolete and deplete in the next session, i.e. 2017-18. Besides, the books were purchased in the duration of three days, i.e. March 26-29, 2016, just to exhaust the budget which is in contravention of rules,” reads the report.
Further, an expenditure of Rs 98,290 was incurred on the purchase of 45 basketballs of sizes 6 and 7. Yet, the audit on the stock register mentioned that 215 such balls were already available.
The report also mentioned that chairs and tables for students and teachers amounting to Rs 1.98 lakh were bought from M/s Balaji Furniture House, Sonepat, on the basis of undated quotations collected from the open market within a week.
The amount was split into four bills. The audit even pointed out purchases of other items, including furniture and sports equipment, as “wasteful expenditure” as these were already available.
The audit report has pointed out several instances in which work was allotted and purchases made without issuing tenders or calling quotations. In one such instance, while making purchases from All India Chemicals and Scintific Co, New Delhi, and hockey sports material from Samira Impex, Jalandhar, “purchases were made without exhausting approved sources”. The report further mentioned that neither tenders were called nor quotations invited to get the benefit of competitive rates.
The audit also found that there were several instances of frequent withdrawal of temporary advances. The report states, “While checking the record of the institution, it has been noticed that the temporary advances were being sanctioned and drawn frequently to various officers/officials of the institution. The record of adjustment against such temporary advances within prescribed time as per government instructions was not shown to audit.”
The audit pointed out that in several cases, payments were made in the name of individuals, instead of firms, to evade VAT and other taxes. Further, for two firms to which payments of Rs 8.46 lakh and Rs 5.07 lakh were made, the dealers could not be found. Incidentally, Anil Vij said he was not aware of the contents of the audit report.
“The finance department has conducted the audit and the report has not come to me yet. Captain Abhimanyu will be able to tell about the contents,” he said. “I spoke to the DGP today about FIR not having been registered against the officials of the finance department for taking away documents from the school without permission. I told him that if this is the situation in a case where the government has recommended an FIR, what will be the condition of common people,” added Vij.