The recent revelations surrounding the IAS Formula E Event Season 10 in February 2024 have brought to light significant governance concerns within the Government of Telangana. This article delves into the controversies and lapses, questioning the actions of Sri Arvind Kumar, IAS, the former Special Chief Secretary to Government, MAEtUD Department.
Violations and Explanation
1. Improper Approvals and Violation of Rules
The first glaring violation revolves around the tripartite Long Form Agreement entered into with Formula E Operations (FEO) and a private organizer for Season-9 and Season-10. This was done without due approval from the Competent Authority, raising questions about adherence to Secretariat Business Rules.
2. Lack of Due Permission and Accountability
Another concern arises from the termination of the Season-9 agreement without seeking due permission or notifying the Competent Authority. This allowed the defaulting promoter to escape liability, transferring the additional burden of event management to the Government.
3. Neglect of Financial Implications
The failure to examine the consequences of dropping the Season-9 “Promoter” and the subsequent lack of action to claim damages from the defaulting firm is a serious lapse in financial stewardship.
4. Unapproved Agreement for Season-10
The questionable conclusion of the Season-10 agreement without the knowledge or permission of the Competent Authority raises eyebrows. Furthermore, the failure to explore alternatives for a new private “Promoter” compounds the governance issues.
5. Inadequate Due Diligence
The absence of thorough due diligence to safeguard the financial interests of HMDA/Government, especially in light of assuming additional responsibilities as “Promoter” for Season-10, is a cause for concern.
6. Violation of Model Code of Conduct
Entering into a revised agreement with FEO for Season-10 during the Model Code of Conduct, enforced by the Election Commission of India, adds another layer of controversy. The agreement was made without the necessary Competent Authority’s permission.
7. Improper Designation of Nodal Agency
Designating HMDA as the Nodal Agency without proper approval violates Secretariat Business Rules and raises questions about the decision-making process.
8. Unjustified Financial Expenditure
The significant financial expenditure of Rs.46 Crores plus a tax amount of Rs.9.00 Crores from HMDA resources before obtaining the required approvals raises serious financial governance concerns.
9. Lack of Formal Consent
Failure to seek formal consent from the Competent Authority, as mandated by Article 299 of the Constitution of India, when making major policy decisions and financial commitments for Season 10 and the subsequent two seasons, is a critical oversight.
Conclusion and Call to Action
In light of these governance lapses, Sri Arvind Kumar, IAS, is called upon to provide a detailed explanation within seven days. Failure to do so will result in the initiation of further actions based on the available records. The controversy surrounding the IAS Formula E Event Season 10 underscores the importance of transparent governance and adherence to established protocols.