Chandigarh IT Dept overpaid SPIC Rs 1.62 cr in 2015; recover amount: Audit : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh IT Dept overpaid SPIC Rs 1.62 cr in 2015; recover amount: Audit

Chandigarh IT Dept overpaid SPIC Rs 1.62 cr in 2015; recover amount: Audit


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24

The Department of Information Technology, UT Administration, made an overpayment of more than Rs 1.62 crore to the Society for Promotion of Information Technology in Chandigarh (SPIC). This was revealed in a report prepared by the office of the Principal Director of Audit (Central).

The report mentioned the UT Administration had decided to permanently hand over ‘Project Sampark’ to SPIC from July 1, 2015, at the rate of Rs 25 per transaction for both urban and rural Sampark centres.

Excess charges for Sampark transactions

  • UT handed over ‘Project Sampark’ to SPIC from July 1, 2015, at the rate of Rs 25 per transaction for both urban and rural Sampark centres
  • But, scrutiny of vouchers revealed IT Dept in violation of order paid SPIC from Feb 1, 2015, instead of July 1, 2015, @ Rs 25 per transaction
  • In the process, dept paid Rs 1.62 cr in excess for five months —Rs 16.11/transaction extra for urban centres & Rs 21.10/ transaction for rural ones

During scrutiny of vouchers pertaining to the expenditure made by the IT Department, it was observed it paid Rs 25 per transaction to SPIC from February 1, 2015, instead of July 1, 2015, in violation of the order. Thus, an overpayment of Rs 1.62 crore was made to SPIC by the department for a period of five months.

For the payment of enhanced charges with retrospective effect from February 1, the department took the plea the SPIC had requested it for enhancement of rates of transaction charges from Rs 8.89 and Rs 3.90 for urban and rural centres, respectively, to Rs 25 on February 5, 2015.

However, the plea of the department is not tenable as the contract for the period from January 1, 2015, to June 30, 2015, was extended on the same terms and conditions (Rs 8.89 for urban and Rs 3.90 for rural centre per transaction).

Further, the sanction of the Administrator was sought in August 2016 for enhancement of transaction charges from Rs 8.89 to Rs 25, but payment of increased rates with effect from February 1, 2015, was not sought from the Administrator.

The UT Administrator accorded the approval of revised rates w.e.f. July 2015, but the department had already released the arrear of transaction charges to SPIC for the month of February 2015 in October 2015 (Rs 32,97,574), for March 2015 in December 2015 (Rs 40,36,326) and April & May in January 2016 (Rs 56,08,352), which was in violation of the rules, stated the report.

The audit report recommended that the overpayment made to SPIC may be recovered along with interest amount as applicable.

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