Medical equipment scam surfaces in Bandipora

Published at November 15, 2017 02:00 AM 0Comment(s)2012views

Investigation team recommends strict action against erring officials


Medical equipment scam surfaces in Bandipora

M T Rasool

Bandipora:

In what appears to be a scam in the medical purchases, the investigation team constituted by Deputy Commissioner (DC) has raised many questions over the purchase of medical equipment, tendering process and delay in the establishment of cold storage unit here in Bandipora hospital.

The investigation team in its detailed report (in possession of Rising Kashmir) after finding violations of financial guidelines, irregularities in tendering process and fraud in medical equipment purchase have recommended administrative department to initiate strict action against the officials, CMO as per civil service conduct rule.

“Gross violations of purchase guidelines have been committed, the tendering process is vague and camouflaged” report said.
Earlier in the month of August 2017 CMO Bandipora issued tenders for the purchase of many machines including Blood Bank Refrigerator (01), Microscope Binocular (2), Isolated Carrier Box (2), Deep Freezer (1), Electric Cantti Fug (1), Haematology Analyser (2) Micro pipits (2) at the cost of 12 lakhs.
Later Deputy Commissioner received complaints of fraud and embezzlement during the purchase of same equipment. Following the complaints of alleged ‘massive embezzlement’ in the offices of Chief Medical Officer and Medical Superintendent Bandipora, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Sajad Hussain constituted an Investigation Team during the last week of September 2017.
The Investigating Team (IT) constituted of three officers was headed by Assistant Commissioner Revenue Bandipora Masrat Hashim submitted its detailed report within one month wherein it was exposed that the officials in CMO Bandipora office are involved in the fraud and violation of guidelines were committed during the purchase of medical equipment.

After a one-month probe, the IT in a detailed reportsubmitted to Deputy Commissioner Bandipora alleged that officials in CMO office had flouted tender norms and illegally awarded contracts to bidders reportedly in relations with the officials in CMO office.

“....it is quite evident from the sequence of events that quotations from all bidders were received after the cut-off date i.e13-09-2017 and were liable to be rejected but surprisingly that has not happened,” reports says.
“Tender was camouflaged to benefit a particular person/firm which is also evident from the fact that there was almost no response from supplier,” reads report on page 3
During the course of tendering only three firms Waheeda Enterprises, Denzone Pharmaceuticals and EMM KAY Traders submitted three quotations to the tender notice however beyond the due date.

“All the three firms are either directly or indirectly run by the officials having longest stay in CMO office Bandipora,” insiders told Rising Kashmir.

The report further says that the officials issued supply order in analogy Deputy Commissioner Anantnag's order No.CMO/Pgl/14/8449-51 dated 29-01-2014 without prior approval of HOD and same time issued tenders for the purchase of same equipment.

“...it becomes evident that all the rules of tendering process have been thrown to winds and appears that the sole purpose of the purchaser was to give undue favor to the bidder in question...” mentioned at page 4 of the Report.

Ironically, the CMO Bandipora was kept in dark about the purchase and it came to fore during many nonessential types of equipment like Haematology analyzer was unnecessarily purchased on the requisition of Medical Superintendent Bandipora vide order no 585 dated 01-09-2014.
The investigation has revealed that most of the equipment purchased in fraud were either substandard or malfunction or not put to use.
“The equipment is substandard and not put in use besides the amount 10 lakhs released for the establishment of blood bank by then MLC Nayeem Akther (now Minster) in the year 2015 has not been utilized so far”
While concluding the investigation, IT has recommended that staff in CMO office be revamped and official continuing beyond their mature stay be shifted (Page8), action should be initiated against involved officials and the investigation should be extended to other schemes also.
When contacted Masrat Hashim Assistant Commissioner Revenue Bandipora who was heading the Investigation Team said that all is not well with the purchasing of medical equipment by the CMO office.
He said that many shocking things were found during the investigation and a detailed report was submitted to Deputy Commissioner Bandipora for further course of action.

 

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