The CPWD has a track record which is clean. The systems in the department, the checks and balances that are in place ensure that the works are executed properly and within the framework of rules and regulations. Preventive vigilance also plays an important part in this. This is carried out by the Vigilance wing of CPWD.
Set up of Vigilance Unit in CPWD:
The Vigilance Unit is headed by a Chief Engineer (Vigilance) with 3 Superintending Engineers(Vigilance) for investigation of cases and follow-up action and one Superintending Engineer(Inquiry) to conduct the inquiry proceedings.
The 3 SE’s(Vig) are assisted by 10 Executive Engineers(Vig.) for investigation of cases and 3 Engineer Officers(Disciplinary) for presenting the departmental cases before the Inquiry Officer, as well as for the follow up action on the Inquiry Officer’s reports.
Besides, each Executive Engineer has one Assistant Engineer to assist him.
There are also two Sections, each headed by a Section Officer to assist the Vigilance Unit in all secretarial work.
Contact details of the Vigilance wing are:
Chief Engineer Vigilance--- Room No. 135 ‘A’, Nirman bhawan, New Delhi Tele:23792114, FAX:23012350
Role of Vigilance Unit
The role of Vigilance Unit is brought out in the Vigilance Manual Vol.I, Chapter I, para 3.1, as follows:
To act as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Ministry as well as the DG(W) in all matters pertaining to vigilance unit, and provide a link between the Ministry/Department and CVC.
· To conduct regular and surprise inspections of sensitive spots.
· To review and streamline procedures which appear to afford scope for corruption or mis-conduct.
· To initiate measures for the prevention, detention and punishment of corruption and other mal-practices in the department.
Matters relating to bribery, cheating, criminal breach of trust,possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income, allegations where truth cannot be ascertained without making inquiries from non-official persons or those involving examination of non-government records, books of accounts etc. are investigated by the CBI or the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Where they decide to prosecute the cases through criminal courts, necessary prosecution sanctions are accorded by the Department/Ministry, after considering the merits of the case.At times, the CBI/ACB also send us their investigation reports along with draft charge sheets for initiating departmental proceedings against the charged officers.
Definition of Vigilance Angle
The CVC has vide its circular
All other cases involving vigilance matters are investigated by the Vigilance Unit.The Vigilance Unit takes up only those cases where Group `A’ and/or `B’ officers are involved.If any Group `C’ or Group `D’ official is linked with the gazetted officers in any of the cases, they are also taken up by the Vigilance Unit.
Processing of Complaints
The complaints reach the Vigilance Unit from individuals within the department or outside the department, either directly or through the PMO/CVC/Ministry. At times, the complaints are also made by firms, contractors, or some organisations. Those complaints which are anonymous or pseudonymous in nature are simply closed as per CVC’s instructions.In respect of other complaints, the comments/reports are sought from the concerned Chief Engineers.Those complaints, where Chief Engineers emphatically report that there is no vigilance angle, are not pursued and are closed.Only those cases where lapses pointed out in the complaints are prima-facie established are taken up for investigation.
At times the complaints are received directly from our own officers in the department, or from other departments for whom CPWD is executing any work. Such complaints are taken up directly for investigation.
Once the case is taken up for investigation, the relevant records and reports are sought from the concerned units.If, on the basis of these reports and records, no lapses are established against any officer, the cases are closed.
If lapses are established against any officer, their explanations are sought, and based on their explanations, additional records and reports as required are sought from the concerned units, and a detailed investigation report is prepared.
In case no lapse is established after detailed investigation, the case is closed.Otherwise, the investigation reports are sent to the Ministry with due recommendations where Group `A’ Officers are concerned, and directly to CVC where only officers upto Group `B’ are involved, for obtaining first stage advice of CVC.
The entire procedure from the receipt of the complaint upto final disposal is detailed below.
VIGILANCE PROCEDURES FOLLOWED IN CPWD:
(i)DG(W) is the disciplinary authority for group' 8 officers, while the MoUD is for group' A' officers.
(ii)The MoUD is the disciplinary authority in the case of all retired officers, irrespective of their groups.
2. Preliminary investigation
(i) Anonymous and pseudonymous complaints are simply filed in the light of the recent directions from the CVC.
(ii) In the case of genuine complaints, a preliminary investigation is done by calling for the relevant records and report/comments on the complaint from the concerned Chief Engineers.
(iii) If prima facie lapses are established against any of the officers, detailed Investigation is taken up.
3. Detailed investigation
(i)Additional records as required are called for detailed investigation.
(ii)The explanations of the defaulting officers are called on the lapses identified against them.
(iii) If after detailed investigation, it is found that there is no case against any of the officers, the cases are closed at the CE(V)'s level where only group '8 and below officers are involved. If any group' A" officer is involved, detailed investigation report (IR) is sent to MoUD, duly approved by CE(V) recommending closure.
4. First stage CVC advice
(i) If after detailed investigation, lapses are found against any of the officers, the IR is prepared and sent to CVC directly, where only group' 8' and below officers are involved, and through MoUD where any group' A' officer is involved. The IR is sent with appropriate recommendations for initiating disciplinary proceedings, as duly approved by the DG (W).
(ii) The CVC, in their first stage advice, may advise closure of the case, issue of caution memo, or for initiating minor or major disciplinary proceedings against the defaulting officers, as the case may be.
5. Disciplinary proceedings
(i) Where a caution memo is advised by the CVC, a second opportunity is given to the charged officer (CO) to explain his position. Thereafter, the caution memo is issued to him in case his explanation is not considered satisfactory. This caution memo is issued by the next superior authority in the Vigilance Unit, or by the ADG(S&P)/DG(W), as the case may be.
(ii) Minor or major penalty charge sheets, as advised by the CVC, are served on the charged officers by the appropriate disciplinary authority. The draft charge sheets are prepared by the Vigilance Unit and approved by the CE(V).
6. Minor penalty proceedings
(i) On receipt of the reply to the charge sheet from the CO, the case is put up to the DG(W) in the case of group' 8' officers, for his final orders.
(ii) In case the DG(W) is not inclined to impose any of the minor penalties, the case has to be referred to the CVC for reconsideration of their advice, and further action taken accordingly.
7. Major penalty proceedings
(i) In case the CO accepts the charges, the case is put up to the disciplinary authority and the above procedure as under minor penalty proceedings is followed, for issue of final orders.
(ii) In case the charges are denied by the CO, 10/PO are appointed by the appropriate disciplinary authority to conduct the inquiry. Inquiry is conducted either by the CDI/CVC, or by the departmental officer, as advised by the CVC in their first stage advice. The SE (Inquiry), or one of the retired senior officers in the panel duly approved by the CVC, is appointed as 10 in the case of depar1mental inquiry.
8. Second stage CVC advice
(i) On receipt of the 10's report after the conclusion of the inquiry proceedings, the comments on the 10's report are prepared by the Vigilance Unit, and are sent to the CVC directly for their second stage advice in case of group' B' or below officers, and through the MoUD in case of group' A' officers. The comments are sent duly approved by the DG(W).
(ii) The CVC, in their second stage advice, may either advice closure of the case, or issue of caution memo, or imposition of a suitable minor or major penalty on the charged officers, as the case may be.
(iii) In the case of CVC advice for dropping of charges, or for issue of caution memo, the final orders are issued by the appropriate disciplinary authority.
(iv) In the case of CVC advice for imposition of a minor or major penalty, a copy of the 10's repor1 along with a copy of second stage advice from CVC, are sent to the CO for his comments.
(v) Detailed comments are prepared by the Vigilance Unit on the reply received from the CO, and are put up to the DG(W) for final orders in the case of group '8' officers. Where the DG(W) is not inclined to impose the penalty advised by the CVC, the case has to be referred back to the CVC for his reconsideration, and thereafter the final orders are to be issued accordingly.
(vi) In the case of group' A' officers, the comments on the CO's reply, with due recommendations for final orders, as duly approved by the DG(W), , are sent to the MoUD for issue of final orders.
(i) MoUD is the Appellate Authority in case of appeals from group' B' officers against the final orders issued by the DG(W).
(ii) Where an appeal is preferred by the CO, the comments on the appeal are prepared by the Vigilance Unit, and are forwarded to the MoUD, with due recommendations, as approved by the DG(W), for issue of orders.
(iii) There is, however, no appeal against the orders issued by the President of India, i.e. the MoUD for and on behalf of the President of India. In such cases, the CO can only represent for the review of the orders.
(i) MoUD, for and on behalf of the President of India, is the reviewing authority for group' A' & '8' officers, and for all retired officers.
(ii) Comments on the representation of the CO for review of the orders of the appellate authority (or for the orders issued by the MoUD), are prepared by the Vigilance Unit, and are sent to the MoUD with due recommendations, as approved by the DG(W), for issue of orders.
(iii)Review petitions are normally entertained only when there is new material or evidence which could not be produced, or was not available at the time of passing the orders under review, and which has the effect of changing the nature of the case, is brought to notice by the CO.
The time taken depends upon the receipt of records, reports, and comments from the field units, as well as the explanations of the defaulting officers.This time varies from as little as 2-3 months to as much as 2-3 years.Since the vigilance proceedings are quasi judicial in nature, a detailed case has to be made out and based on the relevant documents and statements, so that the charge sheet can be sustained during the inquiry proceedings. Once a charge sheet is issued, it is not possible to add any new documents or evidence during inquiry proceedings and as such the investigation report is to be carefully prepared if the charge sheet is to be sustained.
Since the papers have to be routed through the Ministry, CVC, UPSC, and at times even the DoPTthe whole process, right from the time of receipt of complaint upto the final disposal in the case of a Group `A’ officer can, therefore, take as much as 5 years.
Priority is being given to disposal of old cases. The main reason for delay in the investigation of cases is due to non-receipt of records, reports, and information/comments from the field units. In a few cases, the complaints were received in Vigilance Unit at a belated stage, when the concerned units were already closed, and the records etc. were transferred to other units, thereby leading to delay in locating the records.
Quarterly review is held by the Chief Engineer(Vig) with the SEs(V) and their EEs(V) and EOs(D) to sort out the bottlenecks and toy fix targets for the next quarter after reviewing the progress achieved vis-ŕ-vis the targets in the previous quarter.
LAPSES NOTICED BY THE VIGILANCE WING DURING ITS INVESTIGATIONS
i) Appointment of Consultants without approval of the competent authority
i) Splitting up of works by approving work orders to the same agency, at the same rates, and on the same date.
ii) Tenders issued to contractors without valid registration.
iii) Acceptance/recommendation for acceptance of tenders at rates above prevalent rates.
iv) Issue of tender documents to ineligible contractors, and suppressing the information to higher authorities while forwarding the tender documents.
v) Recall of tenders without approval of competent authority, leading to award of works at higher rates.
vi) Issue of work orders far beyond the permissible annual limits.
vii) Call of tenders without wide publicity.
viii) Interpolation of rates after opening of tenders
ix) Award of works at higher rates without proper justification.
i) Payment of secured advances for materials in excess of quantity stipulated in the contract, even though there is practically no change in the scope of work.
ii) Execution of substandard woks inspite of objections from higher authorities, including QC units e.g. Grit wash plaster, cement concrete flooring and plastering work, poor quality of steel centering and shuttering for RCC works resulting in honey combing, improper line levels in RCC works, etc.
iii) Passing of bills without mandatory test checks of measurements.
iv) Non-renewal of bank guarantee in time.
v) Large scale deviations of work without approval of the competent authority.
vi) Non-execution of ALR items to its full requirement in the contract, and getting the same executed through another contract.
vii) Execution of works without AA&ES and technical sanction, by charging the expenditure to various ARMO works.
viii) Huge deviations in execution of AHR items without prior approval of competent authority.
ix) Record of completion certificates without pointing out the defects for which reduced rate items were initiated.Defects were not pointed out at appropriate time during execution and no notice was issued for rectification of defects before initiating RR items.
i) Handing over of cheque to a person without proper authorization.
i) Procurement of stores from unauthorized cooperative stores, and at higher rates.
(i)Splitting of AR&MO works into multiple tenders.