IAF attaches delayed acquisition of equipment: CAG

The CAG pointed out that even after the vendors failed to adhere to delivery schedules, no liquidated damages were levied on them.

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2011, 18:28 PM IST

New Delhi: Slamming IAF attaches in embassies for delays in acquisition of "critical and urgent" equipment from foreign vendors, the Comptroller and Auditor General has stressed on the need for revamping the system of procuring stores through them.

"Procurement of critical and urgent aviation stores through Indian embassies was beset with delays. The Air wings didn`t demonstrate, due diligence in inviting commercial offers from prospective vendors," a CAG report, tabled yesterday in
Parliament, stated.

"It exemplified huge and unexplained delays at every stage," it added.

The CAG report was based on scrutiny of 55 urgent and critical procurement cases finalised by the air wings in Indian embassies in London, Moscow, Paris and Kiev between 2007 to June last year.

The government auditor said, the decision making of Air Headquarters was also very slow and led to delays in conclusion of contracts in several cases.

"The contract delivery schedules were significantly longer thereby undermining the urgency of procurement," it said.

The CAG pointed out that even after the vendors failed to adhere to delivery schedules, no liquidated damages were levied on them.

"The spares support programme for Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) operations was poor as the IAF was yet to draw up a long-term product support programme with the manufacturers (BAE Systems) of the aircraft," it said.

Citing examples of cases, where there was a long lead time before delivery, the auditors said in London, the expected lead time ranged up to over 15 months against the stipulated 180 days in the Defence Procurement Manual (DPM).

The Air Wings abroad are guided by the DPM for procuring equipment.

The CAG also pulled up the Air Wings for flaws in pricing method of indents, saying "it was either based on assessed prices or last purchase prices, which appeared to be flawed."

The government auditor noted that the Defence Ministry has also accepted the facts, which underscored the "need for revamping the whole procedure for procurement of critical and urgent stores through Indian embassies."

PTI