Non-cooperation to invite strict disciplinary action
Release final payments only after inspections: Teams
JAMMU, Dec 5: To instil accountability and transparency, the Government has issued directions for conducting 100% physical verification of all the works completed during the last financial year and ongoing works of current year as expeditiously as possible and made it clear that non-cooperation with the inspecting teams will be viewed seriously and strict disciplinary action will be initiated against the concerned.
However, the inspecting teams have opined that exercise will yield desirable results when final payments are released to the executing agencies only after completion of physical verification as glaring instances have come to the fore during the inspection of several works and projects till date.
As per the General Financial Rules, no work can be executed without budgetary support, administrative approval, e-tendering, technical sanction and other codal formalities. Further, to ensure that all works are executed as per the Detailed Project Report/estimates and to instil accountability and transparency, 100% physical verification has been mandated.
To achieve this objective, the Finance Department has uploaded the list of all the works/projects completed during 2019-20 along with photographs in the public domain. However, in order to further fine-tune the present mechanism of conducting physical verification of works/projects, Financial Commissioner Finance Dr Arun Kumar Mehta has issued fresh instructions and directions.
“The process of conducting 100% physical verification of all works/projects completed during 2019-20 and ongoing works of 2020-21 shall be completed expeditiously and all executing agencies/officers shall lend necessary assistance to physical verification teams to achieve the desired objective”, the Financial Commissioner Finance said.
Through the latest instructions the inspecting teams have been asked to examine whether all basic codal formalities like administrative approval, technical sanction and e-tendering have been adhered to besides examining availability of budgetary support, DPR, tendered/allotted cost and expenditure incurred etc.
“The inspecting teams should verify any visible and major deficiency which require the attention of the executing agencies for necessary remedial action”, the Government said, adding “in case Regional Director considers it feasible to get any work technically inspected by Directorate of Designs, Inspections and Quality Control, he/she may take up the matter with the Chief Engineer concerned under intimation to the Finance Department and Public Works Department”.
Directing all the executing agencies to provide necessary details to the inspecting teams well in time and required support during the physical verification at the site, the Financial Commissioner Finance has made it clear that denial of information on the part of the executing agency will be viewed seriously and strict disciplinary action will be initiated.
The District Statistical and Evaluation Officers (DSEOs) will bring such cases to the notice of the Regional Director, who will take up the matter with the concerned agencies and in appropriate cases the matter will be brought to the notice of the Finance Department.
“Any deficiency found during the inspection with regard to UT/District Sector works will be brought to the notice of concerned Executive Engineer directly by the DSEOs while as serious deficiencies will be brought to the notice of the Chief Engineer R&B/head of the executing agency concerned for carrying out necessary remedial measures”, read the instructions.
However, in case of blatant violation of codal formalities, the same will be brought to the notice of Administrative Department/Finance Department by the Regional Director of Economics and Statistics with complete details.
The officers who are part of the inspection teams told EXCELSIOR on the condition of anonymity that exercise will yield desirable results when final payments are released to the executing agencies only after completion of physical verification.
“We have noticed glaring instances of leaving certain works on the ground and reflecting the same as completed in the papers only to get full payments released and this obviously has taken place with the connivance of the officers of the concerned departments”, they said, adding “there is a need to evolve a mechanism so that final payments are made to the executing agencies only when the inspecting teams verify that works have been completed strictly as per the Detailed Project Reports”.
Moreover, poor maintenance of recently completed works/projects has also come to their notice and this aspect is also required to be taken seriously by the Government and action should be initiated against those responsible for the same, sources said, adding “there is also need to give some sort of perks to the inspecting teams so that they are compensated for the additional task assigned to them”.