Sunday, October 16, 2016

Recommendation for departmental action against Jacob Thomas

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance inspection wing recommended the government to take departmental action against vigilance director Jacob Thomas on the irregularities in connection with the implementation of solar panels when he was the ports director. By installing solar panels in harbor offices and purchasing electronic equipment including laptop, Thomas had caused a loss of Rs 52 lakh to the government. The equipment was purchased just before the final days of the financial year during the tenure of the previous government. A probe was ordered when the allegations were leveled against him. The investigating report was submitted to the government in March 2016. No further steps were taken on this report after the new government assumed power.

He spent 275% more than mentioned in the estimate of the ports department. While the estimate amount submitted by the directorate of ports was Rs 2.10 crore, the ports director spent Rs 5.84 crore for the installation of solar panels in 2013-14. When Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (Anert) has to install the solar panels in government offices, four of the projects implemented without their advice is non-functional. The ports department has not informed the finance inspection wing the present condition of the others.

The report says norms were violated for granting contracts to Keltron and SIDCO to implement the project. Before implementing the project, technical advice should be sought from Anert. However, the ports department was not willing for that. Not only that, the report criticizes awarding the contract to Keltron and SIDCO which are not accredited by the government. When permission of the finance inspection wing and IT department are needed to purchase equipment above Rs 10 lakh, Thomas purchased it illegally. He purchased laptops, computers and printers worth Rs 54.28 lakh for various offices.


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