Hyderabad: The vigilance and enforcement (V&E) wing, following a detailed inquiry, has filed a report stating that there is a multi-crore scam in the supply of medicines to dispensaries and ESI Hospitals by non-rate contract firms, involving top government officers.
The V&E studied the pattern of medicine supplies by firms between 2016 and 2018 and found large-scale violations. It has recommended to the principal secretary, labour, to initiate disciplinary action against errant officials.
During the investigation, it was found that 77 firms were approved for supplying essential/oncology/CKD under non-rate contract through local purchase. The officials inspected the premises of Gayathri Pharma, RR Traders, Vaishnavee Enterprises, Vasudha Marketing, Seikotrick Pharma, Mythri Pharma and Mahindra Medical from whom crores worth of medicines were procured. The V&E reported that no drug procurement committee was formed by the Director, Insurance Medical Services (DIMS) for analysing the requirement of drugs and medicines at the beginning of the year.
The medicines which were not supplied by the rate contract firms and the medicines which were not included in the list were locally purchased without forming any local purchase committee, which is mandatory.
A tender scrutiny committee was not formed by the DIMS to identity bidders through the pre-bid process. The officials failed to identify the eligible firms, and as a result, the quotation was accepted from 2-3 forms which belong to a single family with minor variation in prices. Thus, the very purpose of the tender was defeated. Also, the V&E report said that the basic exercise of registration of suppliers was not done by DIMS and no wide publicity was given to attract suppliers, but only a list of a few suppliers was maintained at the Directorate level.
The list of approved suppliers of procurement was not exhibited on the website of the e-procurement portal. The officials have maintained secrecy and favoured a few suppliers for different seasons.
The final report (a copy of which is with this newspaper) said: ‘It is observed that certain drugs are procured from the Non-RC firms at high rates when compared to RC. The officials have deliberately split the incidents within the limits to `5 lakh to avoid limited tender and gone for local purchases thus violating the GO No 489 of Finance. The statement of Dr C. Devika Rani – Director Insurance Medical Services, and five other top officers are not convincing and it was found that no e-procurement system of purchase of medicines was followed up 2018, most of the drugs were purchased locally by accepting quotation without forming local purchases committee and obtaining their certificates, which is mandatory.’
The V&E has recommended the Principal Secretary to take action against the officers for purchasing huge non RC medicines and allegedly pocketing the money....