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CAG-appointed auditors will visit work sites
October, 19th 2010

After the verbal spat between Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit over the audit of Games works and expenditure, the Delhi government is treading cautiously.

It is learnt that Dikshit, at a Cabinet meeting on Monday, told ministers that all information on Games projects being provided to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India must be properly screened by department heads and senior officers.

It was an informal discussion but the message was clear department heads should supervise sharing of information, said a minister who attended the meeting.

The CAG wrote to Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta last Monday, directing all state departments that together spent at least Rs 16,000 crore to prepare for the Games to keep their project records and documents ready for audit.

It is a crucial audit and we dont want any carelessness from anyone, the minister said.

CAG-appointed auditors will visit work sites and meet officials across ranks, taking details of projects and return an inspection report seeking clarifications on procedures and finances, said a Public Works Department official.

Officials usually send their replies to the auditor at their level at this stage without taking it through senior officials. It is only when auditors are not satisfied that they contact officials as senior as department secretaries, the official said.

Another senior official said the CM wanted correspondence with auditors to be overseen. Cost estimates and final expenditures of big infrastructure projects like the Barapullah elevated road are too technical. We often notice that lack of clarity in replies to auditors by junior officials creates unnecessary confusion and suspicion, said the official.

Earlier, a preliminary analysis by the Chief Technical Examination Wing of the Chief Vigilance Commission found alleged financial and administrative irregularities in 16 construction and procurement projects. Six of them were done by the Public Works Department, three by Municipal Corporation of Delhi, two each by Central Public Works Department, Delhi Development Authority and New Delhi Municipal Council.

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