Investigating agencies probing the Commonwealth Games scam have raised questions over award of contracts by its Organising Commitee to firms sidestepping a nodal government department under the Ministry of Commerce designated to procure and standardise material.
The investigators, including those from the Income Tax department, CVC and the CBI, have found that the entire process of awarding contracts to various consortiums, executed by the Organising Committee, was done without taking the assistance of the government's central purchase and quality assurance organisation-- the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGSD)-- under the Ministry of Commerce.
The DGSD is mandated to assist those government departments or organisations "who have not built-up their own infrastructure for purchase" and they can raise their demands on DGSD for ad-hoc procurement.
The investigators however said that the OC had mentioned that while awarding the contracts the DGSD norms were stipulated and the rates established by the department were used while giving tender contracts.
"The larger probe will find out why the services of DGSD were not taken which is supposed to conclude rate contracts and determine purchase policy and procurement for government ministries and departments. The OC of the games was a similar entity," sources said today.
Intial probe suggests that the OC would not have taken the help of the DGSD as they were running against time to get contracts awarded and subsequent job done, they said.
Not all but a large procurement for the games could have be done through DGSD channels, sources said.
A number of contracts related to overlays works have been stipulated to have been awarded as per DGSD rate contracts by the OC, but whether they were implemented properly, is being probed, sources added.
The DGSD has a full fledged quality assurance wing which "renders wide ranging technical services inclusive of formulation of need based procurement specifications, vendor development, evaluation and assuring quality of goods for their conformity".
The DGSD facility helps organisations the facility of bulk purchase at lowest competitive price, they said.
As the multi-agency probe into corruption and financial irregularities moved forward, a criminal conspiracy angle will be probed by CBI in the wake of unearthing of discrepancies in awarad of contracts for some games-related projects causing huge financial losses.
Official sources said the discrepancies like payment to non-existent parties, wilful delay in execution of contracts, inflated prices and bungling in purchase and renting of overlays including equipment worth several crores through tendering have been noticed.