A CBI probe has revealed that officials of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC) had allegedly paid over Rs 90 lakh to a Swiss firm for technical consultancy work even before the contract was signed.
Documents scrutinised by the CBI investigators showed that a few OC officials had allegedly signed an order in July 2006, sanctioning the payment of the sum—US$ 2 lakh (over R90 lakh)—to the Swiss firm as an “advance” months before the contract was concluded with it. The contract was connected to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in October 2008.
“This was an instance of the OC awarding contracts in an irregular manner, without adhering to the required norms. We suspect this was to benefit favoured contractors,” said an agency source.
The OC later awarded to the same Swiss firm the technical consultancy contract, worth around R71 crore, for the CWG Games as well, said the source. The CWG contract, said the source, was also allegedly awarded in an irregular manner too and is being probed by the CBI after registering a preliminary enquiry in this regard.
“The Swiss firm was awarded the CWG contract without seeking the Group of Ministers’ requisite approval, and floating of a tender for one of its components. The contract included work related to monitoring of the venue development (worth R14.58 crore), games’ workforce services (R22.36 crore) and games’ planning project & risk management services (R29.66 crore),” said the source. The CBI is looking into allegations that the firm was allegedly favoured because a former CWG Federation official had recommended it.
CBI to quiz a few OC consultants
The CBI is likely to quiz some of the consultants/advisors hired by the OC for different Functional Areas (FA) in the run-up to the CWG, over allegations that they were appointed in an irregular manner. The agency is probing allegations that some of them, though paid hefty sum on a monthly basis, did not perform adequately.