Rani Channamma University’s audit report for 2017-18 has found grave procedural lapses in the purchase of laptops. The computers were distributed to SC/ST students studying in post-graduation and PhD students. According to the details in the report, a copy which is available with TOI, the university had bought 592 laptops under SCP/ TSP scheme by spending Rs 2,09,17, 136 (each laptop costs Rs 48,000). The report has raised objections over the cost and procedural lapses. The report says there was no comparative price chart of laptops from different companies while selecting the product of a particular company, reports the Times of India.
The report makes mention of the vendor and how the tender process was executed flouting rules, but the vice-chancellor Shivanand Hosamani said tender procurement was done as per procedures. The audit report has given some suggestions which would be looked into, he said.
The TOI further reports, Before calling the tender notification for purchasing the laptops, a technical committee in the university had finalized the needed technical requirements in the product. The technical details were suitable for laptops from HP and Lenovo. However, on the request of Patil Computers, Belagavi, the committee changed the technical requirements making it suitable for laptops of Dell. The report says, prima-facie, the committee favored Patil Computers by recommending technical details which suit just Dell laptops.
The report also found procedural lapses in the tender notification. According to rules, minimum two-month time must be given for the tender procurements costing more than Rs 2 crore. However, the university called a short-term tender notification on December 8, 2017 giving just one month to the bidders. No prior permission was taken from the authorities concerned for making these changes. At the time of tender opening, the presence of tenderers or one of their representatives is required.
However, the laptop related tender opened without tenderers. According to rules, a third party had to conduct an inspection of the product but this has been done by the technical specification advisory committee of the university itself. The audit report also states many other violations in the purchase of laptops.