Finance wing recommends clawing back PwC revenue | News Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram: A report by the government finance inspection wing on Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd (KSITL) recommended the recovery of Rs 16.15 lakh from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) through which the accused in the gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh was named in KSITL’s Space Park project.
The report, accessible by TOI, said that if collection is not possible from PwC, the amount should be recovered from IAS agent and former IT secretary Mr. Sivasankar, KSITL MD Jayasankar Prasad and Space Park Special Agent Santhosh Kurup as it was their deliberate intention and planned move that resulted in the appointment of Swapna Suresh who did not even have the qualifications to be appointed as a Junior Consultant at Space Park.
The report states that Rs 19.06 lakh was handed over to PwC for payment of his salary and after deducting GST, Rs 16.15 lakh is expected to be recovered. The report further states that KSITL should immediately end appointments through consultants and must depend on job exchanges for recruitment under unavoidable circumstances.
He also added that the administrative department of KSITL, which is the IT department, should ensure that appointments through project management units (PMUs) are only made after preparing a list of three candidates or plus (with the required qualifications) and having chosen the right candidate after an interview by a selection committee. PwC was a PMU for Space Park project.
Last year, a report from then-Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta and Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Rajesh Kumar Singh revealed that Swapna approached the Special Officer for Space Park in August 2019, with a reference from the IT secretary at the time, Mr. Sivasankar, while still working as Secretary to the Consul General of the United Arab Emirates. Also, the general manager of KSITL as well as the special officer for Space Park had crossed the reference of Swapna with Sivasankar and confirmed it.
The committee also reported that the overall sequence of events showed that Sivasankar played a role in appointing a person with questionable credentials to a position at Space Park. The committee then recommended that PwC be blacklisted for two years from any involvement in any project of the state IT department, on the basis of which the government had issued an order banning the organization.
However, after PwC challenged the government’s decision in the High Court, the court stayed the government’s order.
The FIW report on KSITL also revealed serious shortcomings in appointments within the organization. He said that while there were only six recognized positions and another 15 positions that were transferred from various other organizations to KSITL, 62 people were appointed to KSITL from 2009 to 2020.
Of the 62, no details regarding the post notification and credentials of 14 employees are available with KSITL, which is a serious shortcoming. Although the report was prepared and provided to the ministry early this year, no action was taken.

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