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GMCH contractor's 'ghosts' busted, but little headway in fake staff scam

A contractor providing outsourcing services at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has gobbled up lakhs of rupees in three years by showing on the books around 50 contractual employees who never actually worked at the hospital.
By Vishav Bharti | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2014 12:08 AM IST

A contractor providing outsourcing services at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has gobbled up lakhs of rupees in three years by showing on the books around 50 contractual employees who never actually worked at the hospital.


The contractor executed the entire scam in connivance with officials of the hospital, it is learnt. However, no action has been taken in the matter even when it was flagged around two years ago.

According to information obtained by HT, in May 2010, the GMCH administration roped in a Faridabad (Haryana)-based firm, Shree Shyam Enterprises, to provide general service personnel, including ward attendants, watchmen, gardeners, cooks, mortuary attendants, for three years.

The contractor deputed only 50% of the staff of the total strength. Since salary of each contractual employee goes to the bank account directly, in order get that money the contractor opened bank accounts of the remaining 50% 'ghost' employees on forged documents. And he kept withdrawing salaries in the name of non-existent staff. Attendance cards were required to be provided to each employee, so even those were forged by the contractor.

Sources further said the scam was executed in connivance with officials of the establishment branch of the hospital. Even an audit report of the hospital found that "in the past, salary has been released in the fake names and the contractor failed to produce those workers in whose name the salary was drawn."

The wage bill submitted by the contractor was allowed to be passed without supporting challans or receipts of deposits.

When a whistleblower filed a complaint in 2012, the matter came into the knowledge of GMCH's higher authorities. But no action followed. It again came to light only when a new contractor came in last year and noticed the 'ghost' employees. But no action has followed.

Even as the matter was flagged in 2012, the 'fraud' contractor's agreement was cancelled only eight days before completion of his term. On paper, the company was blacklisted, but a bank guarantee of `14 lakh was never forfeited despite rules.

When contacted, Dr Atul Sachdev, director-principal of GMCH-32, said the matter was in his knowledge and "action has been initiated against Harjeet Singh, a superintendent in the establishment branch".

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