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CASE STUDIES

1.   During investigation of a complaint regarding filling up of post of Inspectors at one of the Inspection Cells of CLW, it was found that a Notification dated 07.01.17 was issued for filling up of 02 vacant post. As per Notification, fresh faces will be given preference over the candidates who had already worked in the Inspection Cell. For this, a JAG level Screening Committee was constituted. The screening of the candidate was conducted by the Committee on 18.01.18 in which 05 candidates had appeared and the Committee found all 05 candidates suitable. The Committee had recommended all 05 candidates suitable but without indicating name of 02 candidates finally to be selected against the notified vacancy of 02 post. Further, among these 05 candidates, 01 candidate namely Mr. X had already worked at the Inspection Cell. Since against the notified vacancy of 02, 04 fresh faces were found suitable during Screening, Mr. X should not have been recommended by the Committee as 5th candidate, though he was suitable. Thus, the Performance Sheet had many irregularities. But the same was approved by the Panel approving authority, an SAG level officer.

 

While deciding the posting of the candidates, the ‘P’ Branch indicated that there were only 02 vacancies as per Notification. Further, 03 Inspectors were going to complete their tenure of 04 years at Inspection Cell and these vacancies should also be filled up. Therefore, all 05 candidates can be posted at Inspection Cell: 02 candidates against notified vacancy and 03 candidates against the arising vacancy due to tenure completion. The proposal was approved by the concerned HOD and an office order dated 31.01.18 was issued posting all 05 candidates. Thus, irregularities were committed by the Screening Committee as the Committee failed to highlight in the Performance Sheet about that candidate who had worked earlier in the Inspection Cell and also did not give their final recommendation for 02 candidates to be considered for empanelment. The ‘P’ Branch officer dealing the case and the concerned HOD who had approved the Performance Sheet as well as Posting Order also failed to set right these irregularities. 

 

The Screening Committee Members have indicated in their clarifications that they did the screening of the candidates and all were found suitable. Further, their name were arranged in order of preference with the thinking that if any candidate does not join, next candidate would be considered. The ‘P’ Branch Officer and the concerned HOD have mentioned that this was not a case of ‘Selection’ for promotion, rather it was related to horizontal transfer of the staff to Inspection Cell after their screening. All 05 suitable candidates were posted- 02 against notified vacancy and remaining 03 against vacancy arisen due to tenure completion of the incumbents at Inspection Cell. As such, no irregularities have been committed by them.

 

The above clarifications have not been found satisfactory as the notice was issued for filling up of the 02 vacancy with certain terms & conditions. Therefore, the candidates selected after screening should not be more than the notified vacancy and they should fulfill the criteria mentioned in the notification. Accordingly, the case has been  processed for obtaining remarks of PHOD & GM before sending it to Board for obtaining 1st stage advice.

 

2.    During a complaint investigation, it was found that a tender was opened for procurement of set of connectors for 3-ph loco. During technical scrutiny, the offer of M/s X, an unapproved firm was found technically suitable subject to assessment of the firm and with Prototype Inspection clause. Similarly, the offer of M/s Y, another unapproved and two approved firms were found technically suitable for placement of developmental order and regular order respectively. Offer of M/s X was L-1 and that of M/s Y was L-2. While finalizing the tender case, the SAG level TC also considered offer of M/s X and M/s Y technically suitable but recommended for a developmental order of 5% of NPQ (outside) on M/s X, being unapproved firm. The TC did not recommend any quantity on M/s Y due to one developmental order was pending on this firm. Prototype testing of part of set of Connectors was done and remaining part under process. The TC had also recommended placement of regular orders for full quantity on two approved firms.

Instead of accepting the TC recommendations for placement of developmental and regular orders, the Tender Accepting Authority (TAA) asked TC to indicate about the minimum quantity and service period for the Connectors required to be fulfilled by a firm for enlistment as approved source. The TC vide TCM dated 30.10.18 reiterated the earlier recommendations and also mentioned that a firm should have supplied minimum 20 loco set of the material with satisfactory field service of one year for enlisting as approved source.

 

The TAA mentioned that as there were only two approved firms, more firms were required to be developed. He further mentioned that the TC’s recommendation is for 5% of NPQ on M/s X. WAG-9 is the major product at CLW and tender quantity for set of Connector for WAG-9 loco is for 276 set. As such 5% of 276 comes to 13 loco sets. If quantity is increased to 7.25% of NPQ, it would be 20 loco set. Further, Prototype testing of the material against developmental order on M/s Y is in advance stage. After completion of the test, the material would be put to field service for mandatory period. Once it is completed, firm should have an order so that they may start material manufacturing. Accordingly, he increased developmental order quantity from 5% to 7.25% on M/s X. Further, he also ordered for another developmental order of 7.25% of NPQ on M/s Y. Thus, he ordered for developmental orders of 14.5% of NPQ - 7.25% on each firm outside NPQ. This was higher by 9.5% w.r.t. permitted limit of 5%. Accordingly, developmental POs for Rs.6.17 crores were placed on these two firms.

 

Since assessment of M/s X was yet to be done, followed by material manufacturing, Prototype testing etc. which are time taking processes. As such, considering the firm’s offer beyond 5% that too violating Board’s instructions was not found in order. In this regard, clarification of the concerned official was obtained. He stated that developmental order for 20% can be placed in case sources are limited. Further, the minimum quantity that required for enlistment of a firm can be considered while placing developmental order. In the instant case, the developmental orders were for 14.5% of NPQ i.e. within 20%. However, as per Para-3A (i)(a) of Board’s letter dated 13.01.15, developmental order upto 5% of NPQ (within or outside) can be placed in regular tender. Para-3A(i)(b) states that if sources is considered inadequate, quantity can exceed 5% limit (outside NPQ) for which special condition will be incorporated in the tender document indicating the quantity which can be considered for placement as developmental order duly concurred by the Finance. But no such special condition was incorporated in the tender. Thus, the acceptance for 14.5% of NPQ by the TAA, was not found correct. Accordingly, the case has been processed for obtaining PHOD’s and GM’s remarks before sending to Board for further action.

 

3.     A case regarding continuation of an approved firm for material X, a 3 Phase loco item in CLW approved list of vendors was investigated. The material is a single source imported item and the OEM is Germany based. In reference to a CLW letter of Oct’14, the OEM had indicated that they had informed their Indian agent in year 2007 & 2012 that they had discontinued the production of subject material. Since, the OEM had discontinued the material production, their name should not feature in the approved list of the supplier of CLW. But the firm’s name continued even after periodical review done on six monthly basis.

 

While investigating the case, the OEM’s letter of year 2007 could not be traced. However, one letter from the firm could be traced in which, they had indicated regarding supply of this material to CLW in year 2012. Further, their letter of year 2012 regarding their claim of discontinuation of the material production was found available in a tender case finalized in year 2013. The instant letter was enclosed by another firm in their offer in that tender case. This tender and the subsequent year tender were awarded to 02 different firms who had submitted fake tender specific authorization letter and also supplied the fake material to CLW in year 2013 & 2014 for which action of banning of business has already been initiated against them. The subsequent year tender for the same material was finalized in year 2015 in which the tender specific authorization letter submitted by the successful tenderer was got verified by TC from the OEM for its genuineness. In this tender, the OEM had indicated that they would supply the subject material by repairing/reactivating their production line and this would be the last production run, after that concerned M&Ps would be uprooted.

 

During investigation, it was also noted that procurement of this material was discontinued by CLW from year 2016 onwards due to specification change but the firm’s name was retained in the CLW approved list considering that zonal railways may procure this material as maintenance spares for their locos fitted with such material. Here, confirmation from the firm was not obtained whether they would continue the material production or otherwise. Further, from year 2017 onwards, status review of the firm was done in a very irregular manner as the review proposals were not initiated properly and even not put up to competent authority for obtaining his approval but the firm’s status was retained. For year 2019, even proposal was not initiated and the firm was retained in the approved vendor list.

 

Considering these irregularities, clarification from concerned officials were obtained and the same were not found satisfactory. They had indicated that production of Conventional loco has been discontinued at CLW from year 2015-16, but sources for Conventional loco item are being reviewed and kept unchanged. In similar way, status of the firm for the material X was reviewed keeping their status unchanged though the material was not being procured. In the instant case, since the firm had declared that they would not manufacture the subject material from year 2016 onwards, without obtaining the firm’s confirmation regarding material manufacturing, continuation of the firm in the Approved list is irregular. Accordingly, after obtaining remarks of PHOD & GM, the case file has been sent to Board for further action.  

 

4.     Based on a source information, a Preventive Check was done in a Thrust area pertaining to ‘P’ Branch. During the check, it was found that as per Railway Board’s order, an officer was transferred to a Zonal railway and accordingly, he was released from CLW for his further posting. Since a Substitute Bungalow Peon was attached with him in CLW, he applied for release of the said Peon on 16.07.19. As the said Subs. B/Peon was also interested to accompany him, he had submitted his willingness to CLW Administration. Accordingly, his case was processed and approval of competent authority was obtained on 23.07.19 for his release. Therefore, the said B/Peon should have been released immediately but the same was not done.

 

This B/Peon vide his application dated 25.07.19 submitted his refusal to accompany the above officer. After receipt of this application, instead of regretting this application and issuing of release order, his case was processed for retaining him in CLW that too without approval of the competent authority who had already accorded his approval for his release as mentioned above. The said B/Peon had completed 02 years 10 months of service so far. As per CLW policy, the Screening for regularization of a Subs. B/Peon can be done only after completion of minimum 03 years of services. Thus, he was not eligible for Screening for regularization. Considering this short duration and to make it up, a ‘P’ Branch officer asked the concerned OS to put up the case.

 

Accordingly, the case was put up to him and he ordered for retention of the said B/Peon in ‘P’ Branch till completion of 03 years of service. He further ordered that after completion of the qualified service of Screening, his case should be processed for his regularization. He also got a letter dated 03.08.19 issued to the concerned Zonal railway indicating that the said B/Peon would not be released by CLW as he is being posted in CLW for which approval of competent  authority has been obtained. This was another gross irregularity on the part of concerned ‘P’ Branch officer and those associated with the case as without taking approval of competent authority it was indicated opposite of the fact. However, after intervention of higher authority, the said B/Peon was released. Thus, the concerned ‘P’ Branch officer had tried to retain him in CLW by manipulating the case and violating the competent authority’s order. In view of this, the case is being processed for obtaining clarifications from the concerned officials.

 

5.     A complaint related to assessment of new firm for manufacturing of the material against developmental order and also inclusion of their additional Unit was investigated and certain irregularities were noticed regarding availability of M&Ps, testing facilities etc. as per schedule of technical requirement of the subject material.

 

During investigation, it has been found that there is a well laid down procedure for vendor development in CLW and for this, the Works Instructions have been issued vide CLW WI No. CLW/MLSA/EL/WI(Rev.3) dated 30.12.17 amended time to time. Para-5.3 of the WI deals with vendor assessment procedure and accordingly, when assessment of a new firm is done, a JA Grade officer is nominated for verification of various M&Ps, testing facilities and other statutory requirements. After compliance of all these requirements, firm is approved by the competent authority and registration certificate is issued. Para-12.5 of the WI deals with additional works set up by an already approved vendor. As per Clause 12.5.1 of the WI, if any approved firm apply for inclusion of their additional Unit, it should be dealt with as a fresh case for which the firm’s assessment should be done by deputing a JAG officer who verifies the availability of M&Ps as per Standard Technical Requirement (STR), testing facilities, other requirements. However, the vendor may use some of the facilities of the original works, as required. But testing and laboratory facilities required for the final inspection of the product shall be available in the additional works.

 

During the complaint investigation, it was found that an approved firm had applied for inclusion of their additional Unit for manufacturing of a loco material in Oct’17. In this case, as per procedure, the firm was asked to submit the M&Ps details and other required information for the assessment. The firm submitted the required details including M&Ps and the same were compared with the STR. As some deficiencies in terms of availability of M&Ps were noticed, the firm was asked to submit the compliance against deficient items. Accordingly, the firm submitted their compliance reply.  As M&Ps and testing facilities were found as per STR, a JA Grade officer was nominated by the concerned HOD for assessment of the firm. Accordingly, the nominated officer visited the firm’s premises and submitted his report dated 06.11.17 mentioning that the firm was having all M&Ps as per STR. Considering this report, the firm was granted permission for additional unit. Accordingly, a registration certificate dated 09.11.17 was issued to firm.

 

However, during STR verification, it was found that many M&Ps were not available in original Unit as well as the additional Unit as indicated in the Assessment report. But combining the M&Ps available at the original Unit and the additional Unit, the firm had fulfilled the M&Ps requirement as per STR. This indicates that firm’s assessment was not done correctly by the nominated officers. Accordingly, clarification of the concerned officials were obtained and they had indicated that at the time of firm’s visit, all M&Ps were available. However, the firm might have relocated the M&Ps between their units to optimize their resources. These clarifications were not found convincing as the firm cannot change the location of approved M&Ps on their own. Accordingly, the case has been processed for obtaining comments of PHOD and GM before sending it to Board.

 

6.     Based on a source information, a preventive check was done regarding clearance of Prototype sample of a material and found that a developmental PO dated 10.04.18 was placed by DLW on a firm for supply of 30 sets of material namely X for 3-ph loco with Inspection Clause that Prototype inspection of 02 loco sets to be done by CLW. Once 1st Prototype is cleared, the material will be fitted on the locomotive. After successful functioning of the locomotive, clearance for 1st Prototype would be given. Further, 2nd Prototype would be offered by the firm within a month from the clearance of 1st Prototype.

 

The firm requested CLW for the 1st Prototype inspection in 4th week of Aug’18. The inspection was done during 4th week of Aug. to 1st week of Sep. 2018. During inspection, many  deficiencies were observed such as all the cable looms were not available, cable looms marking were not matching with that as per specification, many cable looms were found one end closed instead of both end closing, Micrograph test was not done as the facility was not available, supporting documents of  Connectors used were not available etc. Accordingly, the firm was asked by CLW in Dec’18 to comply the observations. In the meanwhile, the firm requested CLW in mid Dec’18 to issue Provisional Inspection Certificate against the Prototype test done earlier. They further indicated that they had supplied 03 set material to DLW 01 set each on 17th Aug., 31st Aug. & 25th Sep. 2018.

 

Further, in compliance to CLW’s letter of Dec’18, they mentioned that since OEM of one of the components used in the above material, was not responding, that material was procured through some other source based at Bangalore who had procured it from another source who happens to be dealer of the OEM. They also indicated that 1st set of material was inspected by DLW and the same was supplied in mid Aug’19 and fitted in one of the Loco No.XXXAB. The 2nd set was inspected by CLW as Prototype sample and fitted on Loco No.XXXCD. Next 03 set were supplied to DLW one set each in Sep., Dec’18 and Jan’19 respectively and fitted in 03 locos which were working satisfactorily. Regarding missing cables looms, the firm issued a general certificate ‘To Whomsoever it may concern’ indicating that missing looms were supplied to DLW and material was already fitted on the locomotive. Considering the firm’s reply, Provisional IC dated 27.03.19 was issued with approval of concerned HOD, who was not competent for the same.

 

Thus, many irregularities have been found such as 1st set of material was inspected by DLW against the PO conditions, full materials of Prototype sample was not tested even by CLW and Provisional IC was issued etc. Therefore, the issue of Provisional IC has been found just as a formality because without doing complete test of full materials, such important certificate was issued. In view of this, the case has been taken up for detail investigation.

 

7.    A complaint regarding non-payment of the contractor’s bills of 05 months against supply of raw-dietary commodities at KG Hospital, CRJ was investigated and it was found that a tender was opened on 16.08.18 for supply of raw-dietary commodities for indoor patients at KG Hospital at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.93 lakh for 02 years. In response, 02 offers were received and the lowest offer was from the complainant @6.5% lower w.r.t. the estimated value but the firm had not given item-wise rate.  This being a direct acceptance case, the Tender Accepting Authority (TAA) asked the firm to submit item-wise rate for all items before acceptance.  This was an irregular act on the part of the TAA to ask item-wise rate from the firm after tendering. 

 

         The firm submitted vide their letter dated 03.10.18 item-wise rate changing rate of many items abnormally higher and also for many items abnormally lower w.r.t. the estimated rate keeping overall cost 6.5% lower w.r.t. estimated total cost.  The revised rates were sent to associate accounts for vetting and the same were also vetted on 04.10.18.  This was again an irregularity on the part of associate accounts who vetted the post-tender opening rates obtained from the firm.   After accounts vetting, the firm’s offer has not been found formally accepted by the TAA but a letter of acceptance dated 29.10.18 was issued asking the firm to supply the materials from 01.11.18.  The contract agreement was also signed on 18.12.18 indicating the rates obtained from the firm after tender opening.

           

            The firm commenced the material supply from 01.11.18 and submitted the Nov-18’s bill in Dec’18 as per revised rate.  The bill was sent to Accounts deptt for payment.  In the meanwhile, the executive detected the irregularity regarding revised rates submitted by the firm and corrected the same taking  individual rates 6.5% lower w.r.t. estimated individual rates and the same was again re-vetted by Accounts on 08.02.19.  The firm supplied the costly items in higher quantity and cheaper items in lower quantity, maximizing their profit fraudulently but the concerned executive has paid the bills at the firm’s original rate received in the tender i.e. @6.5% below the estimated rate. But the firm was demanding their payment at the rates submitted by them post tender opening which was highly irregular. Further, during investigation it was also noted that as per daily raw material receipt register, the firm had supplied raw materials less but submitted the bill for higher quantities. On this account, Rs.93,500/- (approx) was paid to the firm irregularly.

 

Keeping in view the above irregularities on the part of executive and associate finance, clarification of concerned officials were obtained but none of them have given satisfactory reply. Accordingly, the case is being processed for obtaining remarks of PHOD and GM before sending it to Board for obtaining 1st stage advice. Besides, action against firm is also being recommended.

 

8.  Based on a source information regarding sub-letting of railway quarters by railway employees, a preventive check was carried out in one of the areas of CLW Township. During the check, 04 quarters were jointly checked by a team consisting of Vigilance Inspectors, SSE(Works), Estate Supervisor and RPF Inspector and found that 03 out of 04 quarters were not being occupied by the original allottees ; rather somebody else were residing . In only one quarters, the original allottee was found residing.

Rule 15-A of Railway Service Conduct Rules, 1966, amended time to time deals with Sub-letting and vacation of government accommodation. As per Rule 15-A (1), no railway servant shall sub-let, lease or otherwise allow occupation by any other person of government accommodation which has been allotted to him. In the above Preventive Check, 03 railway employee have been found sub-letting their allotted railway quarters which is a very serious irregularity on their part and against the Railway Service Conduct Rules 15-A. Accordingly, the case has been registered for detailed investigation.  

 



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