After detecting several irregularities in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) accounts department, the Standing Committee for Accounts now wants action to be taken against the department officials.
In a letter to BBMP Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda, committee chairperson A.L. Shivakumar has said that despite several meetings and inspections, the department officials had not taken any steps to bring in financial discipline in the BBMP.
“In view of this, the committee recommends that all officials in the office of the Chief Accounts Officer be transferred, and that charge-sheet be filed against the accounts clerks and accounts superintendents,” he said. The committee has urged the commissioner to issue a direction to the Joint Commissioner (Administration) in this connection.
After finding several irregularities during an inspection on March 26, the committee had sealed the offices of the accounts and cheques sections. However, following pressure from the ruling party (BJP), the seals were removed. The issue created a furore in the BBMP Council.
Mr. Shankarlinge Gowda, responding to a question on the issue, stated that sealing the offices was wrong and that that should have been the last step.
The inspection of the CAO's office revealed that the receipts and debits did not match and this gave room to suspicion that funds had been misappropriated. The committee also found that the auditing had been done for several years without maintaining balance sheets, and that the budget manual had been violated. The committee also found irregularities in the funds released for works taken up by the horticulture department. The office of the Chief Accounts Officer had issued cheques for Rs. 68 lakh for nine works, though they (works) had not been approved.