Auditor blames BMC for state of roads, wants tougher checks
Hinting at the contractor-official nexus in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), its internal auditor has recommended changes in the process adopted to release payments to civic contractors.mumbai Updated: Oct 14, 2011 01:43 IST
Hinting at the contractor-official nexus in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), its internal auditor has recommended changes in the process adopted to release payments to civic contractors.
In its latest report submitted last month, the department of the municipal chief auditor (MCA) has listed several methods contractors employ to cheat the BMC and obtain payments and has criticised the BMC for letting itself get conned so it cannot take contractors to task for shoddy work. The MCA department staff is employed by the BMC, but it reports to the standing committee, not the municipal commissioner.
The note, a copy of which is with HT, was submitted last month by MCA PC Pisolkar. Suggestions in an audit note, however, are not binding on the administration. The report calls for greater checks and balances in the system in order to detect malpractices by both contractors and errant civic officials.
It has also asked the administration to put in place a stringent process for the accounts department to follow when it comes to verification of the work done, only after which the payments are released to contractors.
The note says receipts and challans of the materials bought and used, proof of quality and details about the labour employed in the project needs to be submitted by the contractor before the BMC makes a payment.
The note points out how contractors, in connivance with officials, have been cheating the corporation by splitting the official contract period into two and submitting various deposit monies for just the first half of the contract period. The BMC takes these deposits in case the contractor acts truant or does a bad job. It also refers to how the bank guarantee submitted by contractors as proof of their commitment to work often expires before the defect liability period (DLP) of the project is over. The department has recommended that the bank guarantee be replaced at least a month before it expires. If not, the guarantee needs to be forfeited by the BMC.