BU V-C shunts woman officer who exposed irregularities

Bangalore University V-C shunts woman officer who exposed irregularities

Documents available with DH reveal Parvathi held an independent audit of the varsity’s accounts and exposed several irregularities in the university

Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor Prof K R Venugopal has issued an order to relieve Finance Officer Parvathi H B from her post, days after she flagged financial irregularities in the varsity. 

Documents available with DH reveal Parvathi held an independent audit of the varsity’s accounts and exposed several irregularities and mismanagements in a report she submitted to the V-C on December 15. 

But on December 21, the V-C wrote to her parent department, Karnataka State Audit and Accounts Department, requesting her transfer. Without any communication from the KSAAD, the Vice-Chancellor on Monday relieved Parvathi from her duties, only for the department to write to the V-C the next day stating that Parvathi will continue in the position until further orders from the government. 

The letter also mentioned that his action in the case is against the government’s decision. “You had requested for the transfer of finance officer Parvathi H B and for the appointment of a new officer for the post,” reads the copy of the letter available with DH

“The step taken by you is against the orders of the government as she was posted in the university as per the directions and approval from the chief minister and additional chief secretary of the department. The services of Parvathi H B as finance officer in Bangalore University will continue until further orders,” the letter stated. 

The syndicate also condemned the V-C’s decision. “The decision taken by you to relieve the finance officer without bringing it to the notice of the syndicate is misuse of powers. We demand you to act according to the act and rules of the university,” it wrote. 

On Tuesday, the additional chief secretary of higher education called Parvathi to ascertain the facts. “I have given all details to the additional chief secretary about the developments and even about the independent auditor’s report,” she told DH

DH could not reach Venugopal for comment. 

What the finance officer’s audit report found 

The FO’s independent audit by engaging the university’s statutory auditors revealed several discrepancies:

* The FBAS software used to update accounts has no internal control

* Mismatch in opening balance, absence of transaction in detailed trial balance generated from the system

* The bank balance reported in the books of accounts does not depict the actual position of the bank balances held by the university

* The balance as per books of account is a credit balance of Rs 59.36 crore. However, on verification of bank reconciliation statement, it is observed that the university issued cheques to the extent of Rs 61.31 crore, but parties have not presented the same in banks

* The university has allowed some branches to maintain books of accounts and bank accounts separately and the transaction in respect of these institutions have not been included in financial transactions of the university

* Negative balance in Flexi deposit in particular bank

* Rs 35 crore has been overspent on salary grant

* Financial loss of Rs 56.68 lakh caused due to non-credit of funds within the time limit by a particular bank

* University did not attend to the observations made by the previous auditors while issuing the audit report for the financial year ended March 31, 2019. 

 

Complaints of workplace harassment

Two women officers — the Finance Officer and the Registrar (Administration) at the university—have filed a complaint with the state higher education department alleging workplace harassment by the vice-chancellor.