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Finance wing recommends revenue recovery from PwC | Thiruvananthapuram News

Thiruvananthapuram: A report by the government’s financial inspection department on Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd (KSITL) has recommended the recovery of Rs 16.15 lakh from the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that appointed the accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, in KSITL’s Space Park project.
The report, accessed by TOI, said that if recovery is not possible from PwC, the amount should be recovered from IAS officer and former IT secretary M Sivasankar, KSITL MD Jayasankar Prasad and special officer of the space park Santhosh Kurup, as it was their deliberate and planned move that led to the appointment of Swapna Suresh, who did not even have the requisite qualifications to be hired as a junior consultant in Space Park.
The report states that Rs 19.06 lakh has been given to PwC for paying its salary and after deduction of GST, Rs 16.15 lakh is to be recovered. The report further said that KSITL should immediately end recruitment through consultants and rely on job placement for recruitment in unavoidable circumstances.
It also added that KSITL’s administrative division, the IT department, should ensure that nominations through project management units (PMUs) only take place after preparing a list of three or more candidates (with the required qualifications) and choosing of the right candidate after an interview by a selection committee. PwC was a PMU for the Space Park project.
Last year, a report by then Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Rajesh Kumar Singh found that Swapna had approached the Special Officer for Space Park in August 2019, with a reference from then IT Secretary M Sivasankar, while still employed as Secretary to the UAE Consul General. Also, KSITL’s MD and Space Park’s special officer had checked and confirmed Swapna’s reference to Sivasankar.
The commission had also reported that the overall sequence of events shows that Sivasankar had a hand in appointing a person with questionable credentials for a position at Space Park. The committee then recommended that PwC be blacklisted from participation in projects by the state IT department for two years, on the basis of which the government had issued an order banning the organization.
However, after PwC challenged the government decision in the High Court, the court suspended the government order.
The FIW report on KSITL also identified serious gaps in appointments in the organization. It said that while there were only six recognized posts and 15 other posts transferred from various other organizations in KSITL, 62 persons were appointed to KSITL from 2009 to 2020.
Out of 62, KSITL has no details on reporting the positions and training qualifications of 14 employees, which is a serious error. Although the report was prepared and provided to the department early this year, no action has been taken.

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