Demanding action against corrupt officials involved in Project dakhyata
Bwlow is the memoradum submitted to Governor demanding action aginst corrupt officials and Selection Board memvers involved in corruption in project dakhyata.
The Hon'ble Governor, OrissaDate- 6.2.09
Sub- Request todirect the Govt. of Orissa to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the concerned officials of Panchayatiraj Dept. and take exemplary action against the selection board members involved in favouratism and nepotism in the selection process organized by Project Dakhyata, as per Enquiry report submitted by Mr. A.V.Swamy.
Greetings from Right to Food Campaign, Orissa
Right to Food Campaign is a state-level network of civil society groups carrying forward the campaign for effective implementation of Right to Information Act, 2005 and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 in Orissa.
As you might know, with a view to capacity building of Panchayat Representatives, the Govt. of Orissa with support from UNDP, DFID and Govt. of India has launched a multi-core project called Project Dakhyata in the State. As per the project plan, Dept. of Panchayat Raj, nodal Dept. to implement the project is required to develop the training material and training module in five thematic areas and conduct training for around 30,000 Panchayat representatives and Panchayat officials in collaboration with NGOs by December 2008. Accordingly, the Dept. of Panchayat Rajthrough advertisement started the process of selection ofNGOs as District Partner in the month of February'08. .
From the day one when the project started, gross irregularities, favouratism and nepotismin the selection process of consortium partners came to the notice of the public. Many Civil Society Organisations through use of RTI Act exposed the corruption and favoritism in Project Dakhyata and demanded an enquiry into it through a complaint memorandum submitted to the Chief Secretary of Orissa dated 16.7.08.
Then, on 28.7.08, theactivists of the state sat in a day-long Dharanaat Lower PMG and submitted a memorandum to His Excellency Governor Orissa demading a direction to the state Govt. from your esteemed office to enquire into the matter. Besides on 3.8.08, Civil Society Organisations assembled together in a state level convention held at ODESA Bhawan , Bhubaneswar passed a resolution urging upon the Chief Secretary Orissa to enquire into the matter.
Being pressurized, the Dept. of Panchayat Raj was forced to constitute an enquiry by appointing a senior and respected Civil Society Member Mr. A.V. Swamy for the purpose.Mr Swamy having made a thorough investigation submitted his enquiry report sometime in the month of October 2008. But the Dept. of Panchayat Raj neither disclosed the report in public nor took any action against the NGOs and Officials who indulged in corrupt practices as per the report.
Following a lot of protest by the activists of the state and faced with a series of RTI Applications from various quarters seeking information about the report, the Dept. of Panchayat Raj not only made the report public but also put it in the website of Panchayati Raj Dept .
The said report enclosed herewith reveals several acts of irregularities and favoritism in the selection process of Consortium partners of project Dakhyata, which too place under the direction of Officials of Panchayati Raj Dept. It is further astonishing to learn from the said report that Mr. Jagadananda Mohanty and Mr.Jagadish Pradhan who represented such organizations as CYSD ( Centre for Youth and Social Deve;lopment)and SVA ( Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyan) respectively and were contenders for Consortium partner and District partner, were themselves chosen as experts in the selection board. Such an unfairpractice gave rise to the scope for the above two persons in influencing the co-panelists in favour of their own organizations and the organizations whom they liked and against other organizations whom they didn't like. Thus vitiated the credibility of the very selection process itself.
The report inter alia says, " A look at marks given to CWS ( Centre for World Solidarity), Hyderabad on the theme "Transparency and Accountability" on different parameters seem inflated comparedto widely-acknowledgedcompetency of PRIA, New Delhi with intention to favourCWS". Thus Mr. Jagadananda Mohanty and Mr. Jagadish Pradhan, who were in the selection board deliberately under-marked PRIA with an intention to favour CWS as a consortium partner. Similarly, the said report also makes critical observation saying that there took place also a lot of irregularities in the process of selection of NGOs as District partners.
Under the circumstances, we would request you to urge upon the State Govt. to immediately take action against the above mentioned two selection board members along with initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the officials and Dakhyata Team members who were responsible for constitution of the selection board in a patently unfair manner.
Looking forward to a judicious order at the earliest,