Games GoM closes with a whimper

Organising panel gets extension, joint director under CVC lens

Games GoM closes with a whimper

There was no word whether Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Kalmadi, both of whom are on the GoM, clashed over charges and counter-charges of corruption during the ministerial confabulation. However, the GoM did decide to ask the Union Sports Ministry to extend the tenure of the OC so that its members were available to cooperate with the agencies probing allegations of widespread corruption.

Although Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, who heads the GoM, chose not to join the controversy over Dikshit and Kalmadi attacking each other over corruption allegations, sources said the meeting did not even broach the issue of bureaucratic dysfunction that was responsible for the messy staging of the Games. “I don’t have any right to advise any member,” is all Reddy said once the GoM meeting concluded.

Informed sources said  Games joint director Raj Kumar Sacheti, believed to be close to Kalmadi, has come under the scanner of the Central Vigilance Commission, which is spearheading the investigation.

In accordance with the directions from Chief Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas, notices have been issued to the Central Public Works Department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, and the Public Works Department so that they are able to respond to probe-related queries within four weeks.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has set a three-month deadline to scrutinise expenditure incurred for the various Games projects and fix “accountability” on officials against whom evidence is found of involvement in corruption.

CAG Vinod Rai has reportedly set three goals for the audit to establish “the physical outcome of expenditure, accountability, and whether it has been most optimal utilisation of resources.”

An interim report of the CAG has already indicted the OC for allegedly carrying out malafide business selections. The CAG has deployed a team of 80-100 officials to carry out the scrutiny of all Games-related documents.

The suspicion of “major corruption” in the CWG has snowballed with Kalmadi making no bones that Dikshit should take the greater share of blame for misappropriation of money, while Dikshit has claimed that the OC was neck-deep in corruption.

The CVC has expanded the scope of the probe by putting under the scanner the purchase of medical equipment. The Commission is understood to be focusing on investigating some questionable aspects of 22 additional Games-related construction and procurement works undertaken by agencies under the Sports Ministry, Urban Development Ministry and the Delhi government.

An estimated 24 government departments––14 of them belonging to the Delhi government––have been asked to explain instances of unusually high expenditure on each construction and on firms, companies, products, communication and consultants engaged for the CWG.

Off field

* Games joint director Raj Kumar Sacheti comes under the scanner of the Central
Vigilance Commission.

* CAG sets three-month deadline to scrutinise expenditure incurred for the various
Games projects.

* It is also meant to fix  “accountability” on officials against whom evidence is found of involvement in corruption.

* CAG has set three goals for the audit to establish “the physical outcome of expenditure, accountability, and whether it has been most optimal utilisation of
resources.”

* An interim report of the CAG has already indicted the OC for allegedly carrying out mala fide business selections.

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