The two-day conference of accounts officers started on a heated note on Tuesday here with principal controller of defence accounts (PCDA), Western Command, GS Sood, coming down heavily on them for ‘lapses, delays and not reporting irregularities.’ Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen V Menon, who was the chief guest, told the account officers that about 600 to 800 bills were pending for clearance.
Later, the accounts officers informed the PCDA that this was not true as ‘fake’ reports were being generated on pendency.
During a session, where problems related to computerisation process and Project Vishwak, were discussed, Sood pulled up the officers saying, “If the system is not streamlined by December 31, I would report it to Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA). I will write a DO (demi official letter), following which shifting of officers could take place.” Additional controller Shivali M Chouhan said, “Irregularities are taking place but you people are not reporting it. We are monitoring it at main office.” She said that little work was being done at sub-offices. “Give us feedbacks. Where are bottlenecks, write back to us. A lot of irregularities are being noticed in the Air Force.”
Old cases, outstanding loss statements and those where gross expenditure was exceeding by 10 per cent of administrative approval, were discussed in the conference. Other issues included— ‘no’ close watch in obligatory expenses, late submission of final bills, delay in submission of contract agreements for scrutiny and cheques issued more than cash agreement.
About 52 accounts officers catering to Military Engineering Service (MES), spread over six states— Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh—participated in the event. These officers are handling the budget in Western Command to the tune of ` 3724.67 crore. They are working as financial advisors to the garrison engineers and their responsibility is to keep an eye on the expenditure of public money.