Patan Campus procured goods without tenders for two consecutive years, says National Vigilance CentreCampus chief claims the procurements were made in line with Tribhuvan University’s procurement rules.
Patan Multiple Campus procured goods for the college for two consecutive years without inviting bids, the National Vigilance Centre has said in its probe findings which suggested an intent for irregularities.
The anti-graft body, which comes under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office, said that all goods, including materials needed for the laboratory and the college, were procured through the “quotation medium in a fragmented way”.
“This clearly illustrates that the campus chief, chief of the department who oversees the goods and the account chief colluded for the purpose of financial irregularities,” said the report.
The Post has obtained a summarised version of the report, which does not provide details of how much money was spent on purchasing goods without tenders. The centre’s assistant spokesperson, Dalnath Aryal, could not make the details available immediately.
But Patan Campus chief Yogendra Prasad Shah claimed that all the purchases followed the procurement laws and regulations. “We have procured goods through tender, where this process is necessary,” he told the Post in a telephone interview. “We have also purchased through quotations.”
He said that certain procurements took place under his leadership as per the authority given to him as the head of college. The Tribhuvan University’s Financial Management and Procurement Rules govern the procurements made by the university and constituent colleges.
As per clause 51 of the rule, TU agencies should invite tenders for any construction work, goods or services that cost more than Rs2 million. As per clause 57 of the rule, TU agencies can procure goods and services of up to Rs2 million through sealed quotations.
According to the report, the campus told the probe centre’s team that it failed to issue tenders last fiscal year because an executive committee of the campus had not been formed at the time, and the staff that used to oversee procurement plan had retired.
“As the staff responsible for procurement plans has now been appointed, the procurement, henceforth, will be made by following the procurement plan,” the campus was quoted as saying in the probe report. The Vigilance Centre also said the tendering process by the Campus had been ignored consecutively over the last two years.
The report has also raised questions over a possible misuse of scholarship funds meant for sports quota students. The college has been providing scholarships to 20 percent of its total students, and of that 20 percent, 3 percent is reserved for sportspersons.
The college said that it has been allocating scholarships for sportspersons based on the recommendations of the Free Students’ Union. But in the absence of the Union, it provided scholarships based on recommendations of different students’ unions active in the college.
However, the probe report said Chidananda Mahatman Yadav, chief of Student Welfare Fund at the college, received funds amounting to Rs7,56,600 meant for the three percent scholarship quota from 2015-2018 and distributed the amount only in 2019.
However, campus chief Shah defended Yadav, saying that everything has been done following due procedures. The report has also blamed the campus administration for failing to take legal action against the alleged encroachment of its land by a local Guthi named Ta:Nani Mankakhala.
Although there had been an agreement between the campus administration and the Guthi to exchange equivalent land, the Guthi constructed the campus gate before the agreement was enforced. The Guthi also erected fences by occupying the campus’s land. Only after the Vigilance Centre started investigations in the matter following a complaint did the Guthi bulldoze fences and level the land.
“We recently got a notification that the land exchange has been done justifiably,” said Aryal of the Vigilance Centre. “The campus possibly wouldn’t have cared about the encroachment of its land without our intervention.”
The campus administration’s failure to take timely legal action against the Guthi shows the carelessness of the campus chief and responsible officials, the report said.
However, the campus chief claimed that the educational institute settled the land exchange issue in line with the instructions of the TU’s Executive Council.