New Delhi: After Firstpost divulges glaring irregularities within the civil production of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) tremendously sensitive Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) assignment, a former manager of a defense public quarter project and a whistleblower has surfaced alleging corruption in the procurement of software program for computerized command and control device for air defense operations. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defense public quarter mission, implements the Rs 7 900 crore undertaking initiated throughout the UPA regime.
The former supervisor of BEL, Bhupesh Sharma, in a letter to the Ministry of Defence and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on 29 June 2019, stated that pinnacle control of the defense public sector assignment quietly buried the findings of a 2016 internal inquiry, which indicted six BEL officers for alleged corruption. Sharma alleged that regardless of a reminder from the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the agency to the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of BEL in April 2018, no punitive action has been taken against the accused officers.
Sharma, then part of the procurement committee, had blown the whistle over alleged manipulation inside the procurement of Data Distribution Service (DDS) software to favor an American corporation. Sharma, alleging victimization, said accused officers indicted with the aid of vigilance were rewarded through BEL even as he became harassed for exposing deep-rooted corruption. “Even after CVC intervention and reminders by way of CVO to CMD (Chairman and Managing Director), no movement has been taken in opposition to the erring officers. I was pressured and bothered to the extent that I became pressured to surrender. Instead of blocklisting the seller M/S RTI USA, the order was sooner or later positioned on the seller.
The vigilance officer who inquired about this example has also been given punishment posting to a far-flung unit of BEL. The message conveyed by using the pinnacle control changed into clear that each person who speaks about corruption would be brutally suppressed. Those who play in conjunction with the individuals on the pinnacle having vested interests might be rewarded,” Sharma, who claims to have been decorated with innovation awards, excellence awards, and Raksha Mantri Award for IACCS undertaking, wrote to the CVC.
The documents also showhat BEL officials tried to conceal the alleged irregularities embyemoving the files and purchase order. Even the investigators had been denied full access to emails of the worried buy department. A unique questionnaire sent to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar, the Ministry of Defence, and BEL CMD MV Gowtama remained unanswered.
Unraveling of software scam
The first post has reviewed the documents submitted to the Ministry of Defence and the CVC, which shows that the procurement committee had engineered unwarranted specifications inside the procurement of the DDS software program to allegedly disqualify one of the two carriers in the race for the settlement.
The two companies, M/S RTI, USA, and M/S Prismtech, the UK, represented by M/S Mistral Solutions and M/S RTTS, respectively, were invited through the BEL to procure DDS software. The vigilance file stated that the procurement group had pre-decided to present the settlement to M/S RTI USA. The entire technique of actual time demonstration to assess feasibility, also referred to as Proof of Concept (POC), became simply eyewash.
Although the UK Company had quoted the value of the undertaking inside the range of approximately Rs 5 to 10 crore, the quote submitted by American corporation M/S RTI became about Rs 130 crore. However, because the BEL had decided to furnish the assignment to M/S RTI, USA, through its Indian representative, M/S Mistral Solutions, BEL officials inserted a selected specification that caught the eye of the vigilance group investigating the case. “Technical professional in his document has stated that there may be a loss of clarity within the PoC assessment system/standards, resulting in ambiguity and conspiracy.
Also, the technical expert has confirmed irregularities and inconsistencies in framing specifications and undertaking PoC. The scope of PoC for the DDS record no longer specifies any particular technique of demonstrating the PoC, and it generally highlights the functions to be shown in the PoC. Hence, the seller can pick any specific style and exhibit its capabilities. PoC evaluation criteria and the PoC check record are not uniform for all the vendors,” the vigilance document to the CVC said. The system Requirements Specification file signed with the client by BEL suggests no special specification requirements for the use and configuration of DDS.
Additionally, the safety of the information transferred to the use of DDS. PoC scope does not highlight that the above protection implementations need to match and verify DDS OMG standards. Although no vendor has a complete performance of DDS X kinds, nonetheless M/S RTI becomes proven complied for the duration of technical bidding concerning para 6.2 of technical specification,” the file similarly stated. The vigilance file made it clear that the procurement committee of BEL allegedly changed the specs cited above as ‘para 6.2 technical specs’ to a healthy American company. Sharma claims he had hostile such manipulation and grew to become a whistleblower by exposing the wrongdoings in his emails to vigilance and top officers of the BEL.