Sunday, May 8, 2011

CWG Conman's Event Knowledge Services under investigation

Taking a serious view of Shunglu committee findings, the Prime Minister's Office has suggested to Sports Ministry a probe by CBI and Enforcement Directorate based on the panel's report into alleged irregularities in the contracts executed by CWG Organising Committee.

In its letter, the PMO has asked for probe by the agencies specifically in works carried out by Event Knowledge Services (EKS), an international private consultant, and other irregularities pointed out by the Committee.

EKS was given three contracts of over Rs 70 crore by the organising committee to extend consultancy services for the venue development and management, games workforce, and games planning and project management services.

The PMO has directed "expeditious action" on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's order in the matter and sought the reply of Sports Ministry within a month on the fifth report of the high-level committee appointed by him.

The financial loss suffered by the Government due to favouritism for workforce contract aggregated to Rs 18.36 crore, the report said.

"Department of Sports may forward, to the CBI/ED, for action as appropriate, relevant extracts of the report pertaining to the matter of EKS, and the clear cases of forgery, falsification, record creation etc., mentioned in case of other highlighted irregularities," the letter written to the Sports Ministry said.

The Prime Minister had on 25th October last year appointed the high-level committee under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu to investigate and report all irregularities in executing various projects by several government agencies during the Games held here between October 3-14 last year.

The committee, in its report submitted to the PMO on 28th March, found several discrepancies in the projects executed by the company and "collusion" among sacked OC Chief Suresh Kalmadi, Chief Executive Officer of CWG Federation Mike Hooper and other senior functionaries of the Games body.

"The contract was awarded on a single source basis on the recommendation/statement of Mike Hooper, CEO of CGF that EKS was much better informed regarding Delhi venues status than any other International Consultant. This was both a biased and misleading statement," the report said.

"CEO, CGF made every effort to ensure award of these contracts to EKS. The CEO not only personally testified the credentials of this firm but also justified the reasonableness of rates and maydays utilisation and also attended the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) meetings," it said.

The panel found indication of "personal interest" by Kalmadi, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, in giving the contract to EKS.

"The fabrication of the minutes of two meetings (to decide on contracts) purportedly held on January 30, 2008 and March 10, 2008 was strongly suggestive of collusion between OC top management, CGF functionary and EKS for accomplishing its pre-meditated objective," the report said.

Interestingly, the Games Planning and Project Management Contract permitted EKS to assign the same to a sister concern.

EKS incorporated a new company in November, 2008 in Mauritius by the name Event Knowledge Services Pvt Ltd.

The entire contract was assigned to the new company in June 2009, thus, making a mockery of Quality Based Selection System (QBS), it said.

"This is a fit case for reference to the CBI and the ED. They would have to investigate the ownership of EKS Private Limited, Mauritius and trace the flow of funds from the OC to EKS private limited and onwards to other recipients.

"The aspects of fraud involved in this case would also need to be investigated and suitable criminal action taken against the guilty," the findings read.

The committee's fifth report has scrutinised all projects like sponsorship, ticketing, overlays, ceremonies, technology contracts and catering among others executed by the Games OC. (SP-8/5)
PMO recommends CBI, ED probe in CWG contracts

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