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NGO alleges scam in outsourcing of manpower at GHs
After registering complaints with the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption regarding illegalities in outsourcing housekeeping and security services at 70 government hospitals, Arappor Iyakkam, an NGO, claimed that they have proof of favouritism shown in awarding tenders.
Jayaram Venkatesan, convener of Arappor Iyakkam, alleged that favouritism is shown in awarding the tender to the owner of Padmavathi Hospitality and Facility Management Services, a close aide of former chief secretary Rama Mohan Rao.
According to the data compiled by the NGO, the firm claim extra amount from the government by over-invoicing. The data shows that it manages two separate registers to record daily attendance. All the housekeeping and security staff are made to sign both the registers. The actual staff register is used to pay salaries, while the one with inflated and false attendance has names of non-existent workers and is used to submit to the government.
A sample record of payment to the staff at the Institute of Child Health in February 2019 showed a difference of about Rs 3.41 lakh in the payment received and salaries paid to the employees. Accordingly, the estimated over-invoicing across 70 hospitals for three years in the duration of the tender is about Rs 35 crore.
“The housekeeping and security staff employed at government hospitals are sent to other private hospitals or even temples during their working hours. Though overtime is against the regulations, understaffing is covered up by overtime,” Jayaram Venkatesan, convener of Arappor Iyakkam, told the media.
As per the records from the NGO, the tender requirements state that the attendance has to be monitored using a biometric system. However, it is not practiced.
“While working conditions of the employees are poor, salary slip is also not given to them and their provident fund accounts also remain unlinked to Aadhar. Regular inspections are informed to the supervisors beforehand and thus arrangements are made to meet the requirements temporarily,” added Jayaram.