New Delhi: After Firstpost divulge on glaring irregularities within the civil production of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) tremendously sensitive Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) assignment, a former manager of a defence public quarter project and a whistleblower has surfaced alleging corruption in the procurement of software program for computerized command and control device for air defence operations.
Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defense public quarter mission is implementing the Rs 7, 900 crore undertaking, which became initiated all through 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 has 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 turned into 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 becomes harassed for exposing deep-rooted corruption.
“Even after CVC intervention and reminders by way of CVO to CMD (Chairman and Managing Director), no movement turned into taken in opposition to the erring officers. I was pressured and bothered to the extent that I turned into pressured to surrender. Instead of black listing the seller M/S RTI USA, the order was sooner or later positioned on the seller. The vigilance officer who did the inquiry in this example has also been given punishment posting to a far-flung unit of BEL. The message given by using the pinnacle control changed into clear that each person who speaks towards corruption would be brutally suppressed and those who play in conjunction with the individuals on the pinnacle having vested interests might be rewarded,” Sharma, who claims to were decorated with innovation award, excellence awards and Raksha Mantri award for IACCS undertaking , wrote to the CVC.
The documents also screen that efforts were made by way of BEL officials to conceal the alleged irregularities by means of removing the files and purchase order. Even the investigators had been denied full access to e-mails of worried buy department.
A unique questionnaire sent to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar, 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 surely shows that the procurement committee had engineered unwarranted specification inside the procurement of 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, UK represented by using M/S Mistral Solutions and M/S RTTS respectively had been invited through the BEL for the procurement of DDS software. The vigilance file stated procurement group had pre-decided to present the settlement to M/S RTI USA and the entire technique of actual time demonstration to assess feasibility additionally referred to as Proof of Concept (PoC) became simply an eyewash.
Although UK Company had quoted 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, on account that, the BEL had decided to furnish the assignment to M/S RTI, USA thru its Indian representative M/S Mistral Solutions, BEL officials inserted a selected specification which caught the eye of 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 which results in ambiguity and conspiracy. Also technical expert has confirmed that there are irregularities and inconsistencies in the framing of specifications and undertaking PoC. Scope of PoC for the DDS record does no longer specify any particular technique of demonstrating the PoC and it generally highlights the functions to be shown in the PoC. Hence the seller can pick out any specific technique and exhibit the capabilities. PoC evaluation criteria and the PoC check record is not uniform for all the vendors,” the vigilance document to the CVC said.
System Requirements Specification file signed with the client by BEL suggests that there are no special specification requirements for the use and configuration of DDS and additionally the safety of the information transferred the use of DDS. PoC scope does not highlight that the above protection implementations need to match and verify to DDS OMG standards. Even although no vendor has a complete implementation of DDS X kinds nonetheless M/S RTI become proven complied for the duration of technical bidding concerning para 6.2 of technical specification,” the file similarly stated.
The vigilance file made it clean that specs cited above as ‘para 6.2 technical specs’ were allegedly changed by the procurement committee of BEL to a healthy American company. Sharma claims he had hostile such manipulation and grew to become whistleblower with the aid of exposing the wrongdoings in his emails to vigilance and top officers of the BEL.