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Umashankar’s suspension smacks of victimisation:: JAYA

Posted by egovindia on August 5, 2010

“Umashankar’s suspension smacks of victimisation”
Special Correspondent News » States » Tamil Nadu
CHENNAI, August 5, 2010
 
AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa has alleged that suspension of IAS officer C. Umashankar smacked of victimisation by the DMK government.
In a statement here on Wednesday, Ms. Jayalalithaa questioned the powers of the State government to place an IAS officer under suspension on the pretext that he had entered the Civil Services using a bogus community certificate.
“All civil service appointments in the country are done by the Union Public Service Commission. It is the responsibility of the UPSC to vet the antecedents of every recruit and verify their certificates,” she said.
She said the DMK government’s claim that Mr. Umashankar, belonging to Dalit community, had entered the service using a forged community certificate had given room for speculation on the reasons behind this.
Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled the government’s decision to launch Arasu Cable Corporation and the appointment of Mr. Umashankar as its Managing Director, and said the real motive behind it was to pose a challenge to the Maran brothers’ Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV).
Scapegoat
Ms. Jayalalithaa said after an agreement was suddenly reached between the warring cousins of Mr. Karunanidhi’s family, the IAS officer was made the scapegoat and shunted out.
She alleged that though Mr. Umashankar was appointed as the MD of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), he was removed from the post because he questioned the disappearance of ETL Infrastructure Ltd., a subsidiary of ELCOT, along with Rs. 700 crore assets.
Explanation sought
Demanding an explanation from Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on what happened to ETL and the fate of the Rs. 400 crore invested in Arasu Cable Corporation, she wanted to know why was a Dalit officer in government service being victimised.
 
Keywords: C. Umashankar, AIADMK, DMK
 
http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article551957.ece

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Posted in Andhra Pradesh eGovernance, Corruption in egovernance, COURTS in INDIA, DIT - MIT -, eGovINDIA Group, NANO Tech, NIC, NISG, NKC, RTI, Tamilnadu eGovernance, UNDP -NISG - NASSCOM, Whistleblowers, Worldbank | Leave a Comment »

World Bank and India: Corruption

Posted by egovindia on January 15, 2008

World Bank and India: Corruption

REVIEW & OUTLOOK
   

World Bank Disgrace
January 14, 2008; Page A12

Credit Robert Zoellick for knowing how to put the best face on a profound embarrassment. On Friday, the World Bank president announced in a press release that the bank had “joined forces” with the government of India to “fight fraud and corruption” in that country’s health sector. This is happening at the same time that Mr. Zoellick’s colleagues are hounding bank anticorruption chief Suzanne Rich Folsom, the person primarily responsible for bringing the scandals to light.

Corruption is an endemic problem in bank projects, swallowing unknown but significant chunks from its $30 billion-plus annual portfolio. No less a problem has been the bank staff’s ferocious resistance to anything that might stand in the way of its lending ever more money to projects run by the same governments that tolerate this malfeasance.

* * *

[See a photo slideshow.]
Renovated wiring outside of Laboratory CHC-II, Bijipur, April 5, 2007. See more images.

Yet nothing we’ve seen so far can compare to what has now been uncovered about five health projects in India, involving $569 million in loans. The projects were the subject of a “Detailed Implementation Review,” a lengthy forensic examination undertaken by Ms. Folsom’s Department of Institutional Integrity, known within the bank as INT. As of this writing the bank has not publicly released the review, though it’s been shared with the bank’s board. But we’ve seen a copy and are posting its executive summary on wsj.com/opinion and OpinionJournal. com (click here to see it). We are also posting photographs that show the real price that corruption in bank projects exacts on the poor. Here are some of the lowlights:

 In the $54 million “Food and Drug Capacity Building Project,” for which money is still being disbursed, the INT found “questionable procurement practices, some of which indicate fraud and corruption, in contracts representing 87 percent of the number of pieces and 88 percent of the total value of equipment procured.” That is nearly $9 of every $10 in aid funds.

 For the $194 million “Second National AIDS Control Project,” the INT discovered that “some of the test kits supplied by particular companies often performed poorly by producing erroneous or invalid results, potentially resulting in the further spread of disease.”

 In the $114 million “Malaria Control Project,” the review found “numerous indicators of poor product quality in the bed nets supplied by the firms.” And in the $125 million “Tuberculosis Control Project,” the INT discovered “bidders sharing the same address and telephone numbers, unit prices showing a common formula, and indicators of intent to split contract awards among several bidders.”

 After visiting 55 hospitals connected to the bank’s $82 million “Orissa Health Systems Development Project” (Orissa is one of India’s poorest states), INT investigators found “uninitiated and uncompleted work, severely leaking roofs, crumbling ceilings, molding walls, and non-functional water, sewage, and/or electrical systems.” It also found “neonatal equipment that lacked adequate electrical grounding, potentially exposing babies and their medical staff to electrical shocks.”

All this would be bad enough if Indian companies or officials were making off with ill-gotten gains behind the backs of World Bank staff. Instead, the INT found evidence of the bank repeatedly looking the other way. In the case of Orissa’s 55 “hospitals,” the INT found that the “construction management consultants (CMCs) who supervised the work certified that 38 of these hospitals to be complete to project specifications. ” In the AIDS Control Project, “the bank appeared to pay scant attention to the performance and quality of the goods supplied to the blood banks and testing centers, instead focusing on the number of such facilities being erected.”

The report goes on in this vein for hundreds of pages. With the exception of Paul Volcker’s investigation of the U.N. Oil for Food scandal, we can think of no comparable review of an international organization that has brought such damaging facts to light, certainly not one that was internally conducted.

Yet not only does Mr. Zoellick’s press release fail to praise INT’s dogged achievement, it ignores Ms. Folsom altogether. It does, however, give pride of place to bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was recently hired by Mr. Zoellick and is quoted as saying she is encouraged by the Indian government’s “strong resolve” to deal with corruption.

We’ll believe that resolve when we see it. Such promises would be more credible if Mr. Zoellick took meaningful steps to hold accountable those in the bank who acquiesce in this corruption. Former President Paul Wolfowitz showed real spine when he stopped lending to a related Indian health project after a previous INT investigation uncovered fraud. Yet lending to Indian health projects resumed the moment he departed last year.

We wonder, for example, what this now-documented Indian corruption means for the career of Praful Patel, who has been running the bank’s South Asia operations since 2003, and for Managing Director Graeme Wheeler, who until recently oversaw Mr. Patel’s work. Instead of accountability for these supervisors, the bank offers up the Orwellian contrivance by which Ms. Folsom has been whited-out from this story, like the proverbial vanishing commissar.

The foreign aid lobby sometimes says that corruption is the inevitable price of “doing good” in the developing world. Our online readers should look at the photographs of hazardous laboratories and sewage overflowing in hospitals, and wonder how anyone can make that case with a clear conscience.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120026972002987225.html?mod=opinion_ main_review_ and_outlooks

Posted in Worldbank | Leave a Comment »

Live Webcast / e-Discussion and archived videoclip will be available at:

Posted by egovindia on January 11, 2007

Live Webcast / e-Discussion and archived videoclip will be available at:
http://www.worldban k.org/edevelopme nt/live

a Global Dialogue on

Leveraging E-Government for Successful Anti-Corruption Programs

Wednesday, January 17, 2007: 9:30-11:30 am EST

LOCATION: I1-200 (1850 I Street NW Washington DC)

Speakers:

Nancy Zucker Boswell (President and CEO, Transparency International USA),
Basheerhamad Shadrach (Asia Senior Program Officer, International Development
Research Center, India) – via videoconference from Delhi
Knut Leipold (Senior Procurement Specialist, OPCPR, World Bank)
Enrique Fanta (Senior Public Sector Specialist, LAC PREM Public Sector, World
Bank) – via audio-bridge from Chile

Commentator: Daniel Kauffmann (Director, Global Programs, World Bank Institute)

Chair: Philippe Dongier (Sector Manager, CITPO)

Participating Countries: India, Kazakhstan (TBC), Paraguay, Russia (TBC), Sri Lanka (TBC)

Information communication technologies (ICT) — and e-government more broadly —
is widely seen as a powerful tool to enhance service delivery and government
effectiveness. Yet, have we investigated sufficiently the role it can play in
anti-corruption activities? This seminar seeks to discuss the role of ICT and
e-government in the Bank’s current anti-corruption agenda and generate
discussion now that the Bank is looking for specific instruments to implement
its new anti-corruption and governance strategy. For example, how can
e-government/ ICT tools enhance anti-corruption efforts by the Bank and its
client countries? How can we best leverage ICT to combat corruption? Should
anti-corruption become an explicit objective and design principle in order to
close all possible loopholes when introducing e-government/ IT systems in tax,
treasury, procurement, customs and other areas? Can e-government serve as the
“Trojan Horse” in difficult reform environments when more direct approaches are
not politically feasible? What are the pros and cons of giving more prominence
to e-government/ ICT tools in anti-corruption efforts by the Bank and its client
countries? Should anti-corruption become one of focus areas of e-government
strategies? What are the linkages between the two agendas?

We have invited several Bank and external experts to discuss these and other
issues and the role of ICT in anti-corruption and governance agenda from
different perspectives.

Nancy Zucker Boswell (President & CEO, Transparency International- USA) will
present from a perspective of a leading international NGO in the anti-corruption
area on TI’s views of the key entry points for leveraging e-government
opportunities to combat corruption.

Knut Leipold (Senior Procurement Specialist, OPCPR) will provide an overview of
the Bank’s and clients experience in fighting corruption with ICT and will in
particular focus on how ICT can dramatically reduce corruption in the public
procurement area.

Enrique Fanta (Senior Public Sector Specialist, LAC PREM Public Sector) will
share his experience in fighting corruption with ICT, using the examples of
customs and procurement in Chile.

Basheerhamad Shadrach (Asia Senior Program Officer, IDRC, India) will provide a
developing country perspective on using ICT for anticorruption in India across
sectors and regions.

Finally, Daniel Kauffmann (Director, Global Governance, WBI) will provide a
commentary and discuss implications and possible next steps for the World Bank
Group to leverage e-government and IT tools for anticorruption work as an aspect
of implementing the Bank’s governance and anticorruption strategy.

Speaker Biographies:

Daniel Kaufmann is regarded as a leading expert, researcher, and adviser to
countries on governance and development, Mr. Kaufmann, along with colleagues,
has pioneered survey methodologies and work on indicators and on capacity
building approaches for good governance and anti-corruption programs around the
world. He currently heads the work on Global Governance and Anti-Corruption, and
previously held positions at the World Bank which include managing a team on
Finance, Regulation and Governance, heading capacity building for Latin America,
and also serving as Lead Economist both in economies in transition as well as in
the Bank’s research department. In the early nineties, he was the first Chief of
Mission of the World Bank to Ukraine, and then he was a Visiting Scholar at
Harvard University prior to resuming his carreer at the World Bank. He is also a
member of the World Economic Forum (Davos) Faculty. His research on economic
development, governance, the unofficial economy, macro-economics, investment,
corruption, privatization, and urban and labor economics has been published in
leading journals. Mr. Kaufmann is a frequent speaker on governance issues in
major fora, such as keynote presentations at international Governance and
Anti-Corruption Conferences, and at the First Global Forum on Media Development,
as well as delivering the Annual Goodman Lecture at the University of Toronto,
and he is a guest expert at major programs such as the BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and
VOA, and his work on governance and development is frequently featured in
printed international media and policy circles. A Chilean national, Daniel
Kaufmann received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard, and a B.A. in
Economics and Statistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Nancy Zucker Boswell is the President & CEO of Transparency International- USA;
the U.S. chapter of the global non-profit organization dedicated to combating
corruption. She works with government officials, multilateral institutions, and
the private sector to promote the international agenda. She is also a member of
the Transparency International board of directors. Ms. Boswell has practiced
international law at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., focusing on
extraterritorial jurisdiction, export controls, and customs and trade disputes.
Previously, she was responsible for congressional liaison at the American
Association of University Women and international financial matters at Citibank.
Among her affiliations are the USAID Advisory Committee for Voluntary Foreign
Aid, the U.S. State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic
Policy and the US Trade Representative? s Trade & Environmental Policy Advisory
Committee. Her board service includes PACT, which focuses on civil society,
and the International Senior Lawyers Project, which provides pro bono legal
advice to NGOs around the world. Ms. Boswell is a member of the Conference
Board Working Group on Global Business Ethics Principles and the Carnegie
Endowment study group on Managing Global Issues. Ms. Boswell is a summa cum
laude graduate of American University?s Washington College of Law.

Basheerhamad Shadrach has worked since 1986 for a variety of organizations in
South Asia and Europe prior to joining IDRC as the Asia Senior Program Officer
for telecentre.org. His pioneering efforts in the field of information and
communication for development include the creation of an on-line news indexing
system for the Indian Express group; developing the first ever Indian on-line
development community, indev; organizing the first ever South Asian ICT
conference, Tasknet; and, the launch of the first ever global anti-corruption
Portal, CORIS. He has held several senior positions such as the member of
Transparency International’ s Senior Management team, member of the Management
Committee of OneWorld International Network and the Secretary of Mission 2007, a
national coalition that aspires to provide each and every village in India with
access to knowledge centers.

Enrique Fanta Ivanovic is Senior Public Sector at the World Bank’s LAC Region.
He received a degree of Civil Industrial Engineer from Universidad de Chile and
was Deputy Director of Chilean IRS before becoming Head of Chilean Customs
Service. After that, Enrique was deputy Director of the State Modernization
Project , in charge of e-government. At the same time, during his period as Head
of Customs and the state modernization, he was member of the Council of Internal
Auditing for the Chilean government.

Participants from outside the Bank do NOT need a building pass for this seminar
and no prior registration is needed for the webcast (but feel free to RSVP).
Feel free to forward and invite others! For further information on the seminar
or to join our mailing list, please write to edevelopment@ worldbank. org

Visit us at http://www.worldban k.org/edevelopme ntto download materials for this
and all previous e-development seminars (over 75 since Sept 2003).

Posted in Worldbank | Leave a Comment »

Strengthen Public Sector Accountability; World Bank

Posted by egovindia on July 26, 2006

Strengthen Public Sector Accountability; World Bank
New Delhi | July 26, 2006 5:33:06 PM IST

http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20060726/402926.html

The World Bank’s flagship Report for India released here today calls for strengthening Public Sector accountability and outlines an agenda for maintaining robust growth, which includes improving the state of the infrastructure, containing fiscal deficit and labour reforms.

The Report, which focusses on spreading the benefits of development to all areas and across all sections of people, outlines steps for reforming the financial services and enhancing productivity growth in agriculture.

The Report, ‘India, its Development Policy Review (DPR) 2006’ has its theme ‘Inclusive growth and Service Delivery; building on India’s success’ was released by Mr Michael Carter, World Bank’s, Country Director For India.

The DPR is one of the core analytical tools or instruments by which the Bank seeks to assist partner countries frame some of their key development challenges.

“We very much hope this report will advance the debate on what we believe is India’s key development challenge: how to build on India’s emerging economic success, make it truly inclusive for a quarter of the country’s citizens who still live below the poverty line, and improve the effectiveness of public spending for core public services to ordinary citizens,” Mr Carter said.

For India to continue on its trajectory of rapid growth and expand this growth across regions, sectors, and people, the report offers some suggestions.

— Remove key binding constraints of poor infrastructure and high fiscal deficits; –Focus on equalising accelerators: reforms that both improve economic efficiency and spread the benefits of growth such as changing labour regulations to spur job creation and reforming the financial sector –Raise agricultural productivity by greater investment in technology and infrastructure; –Improve the climate for growth in lagging states and regions by reducing the regulatory burden, ensuring law and order, and expanding rural infrastructure to increase connectivity; –Empower the poor through pro-active policies and programmes that assist them to take part in the market on fair and equitable terms; It gives a clarion call for strengthening the ‘systems of public sector accountability’.

The Report stresses the need for India’s rapidly growing economy to improve the delivery of core public services such as healthcare, education, power and water supply for all India’s citizens.

It underlines the importance of ensuring that public money is well spent through institutional reform of the public sector that creates effective systems of accountability.

The DPR states that while India has been very successful on a number of fronts such as reducing absolute poverty by more than half, dramatically reducing illiteracy, and vastly improving health conditions, these achievements have created new challenges for the country.

Commenting on the report, Dr Lant Pritchett, Lead Socio-Economist in the Social Development unit for South Asia and also a lead author of the Report, says: “For India to improve the delivery of core public services such as water and power supply, healthcare, education, and transportation, systems of accountability have to be strengthened. And this is possible only through institutional reforms.” The DPR outlines four avenues for reform that can promote effective systems of public sector accountability: internal reform of public sector agencies; producing regular and reliable information for citizens; strengthening local governments and decentralising responsibilities; and expanding the role of non-state providers.

It, however, cautions that planned reform alone cannot bring about the desired changes – “ultimately implementation is everything.” UNI GS VJ KN1627

Posted in Worldbank | Leave a Comment »

Unbelievable Act of World Bank

Posted by egovindia on July 4, 2006

Unbelievable Act of World Bank

From: “drverma” <drverma@tendercity.com
To: abhavnani@worldbank.org
CC: kleipold@worldbank.orgindiaegov@yahoo.com, vmkumaraswamy@yahoo.comumashankarc@yahoo.com, “Rsinha” <rsinha@tendercity.com>
Subject: Unbelievable Act of World Bank
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 11:36:17 +0530

Dear Mr. Bhavnani,

Today morning i had an ultimate bitter taste of my coffee sip while reading a news of World Bank as linked below

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/

EXTINFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/

EXTEGOVERNMENT/0,,contentMDK:20870206~menuPK:702592~page

PK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:702586,00.html

Before patronizing/glamourizing a SCAM you would have done some Homework on your own or through your investigating agencies. Should we believe that World Bank has lost the basic motive of the Millenium Development Goal or eGovernance at large.

I had earlier informed the person incharged in World Bank Mr. Knut Leipold about the facts of eProcurement being practiced in Andhra Pradesh, India long back and had requested him to assign suitable time what other good inititaives had been taken in India The Best Practice Real eProcurement in India but since then I’m waiting for his confirmation.

You are requested to read the following link to understand the other side story of SCAM in the name of eProcurement in Andhra Pradesh, India –

http://www.mpez.net//eprocurement-scam/default.asp

The above mentioned story tells the real truth of a bog scam in the name of eGovernance (eProcurement) in Andhra Pradesh and other similar to other parts of India.

The representation had been lodged to all the confirmed officials in Andhra Pradesh and GoI, but nothing has happened till now and as a sheer surprise World Bank is validating a SCAM and glorifying it to the World for practicing something opposite to the motive of World Bank initiatives.

While pursuing it with the GoAP and GoI officials we concluded that they might have been working Hands in Glove with this SCAM but to our Ultimate surprise WORLD BANK could not even distnaced themselves of the similar apprehension.

Investigate the Corruption and inappropriate eProcurement charges got established while exchanging communication with the GoAP and APTS the implementing agency.

Why it had violated the IT Act 2000 till 2005?

You mention in the case study of such report that “Encryption of data is happening on Server” what happens when it arrives on the server? did it not arrive in clear text on server? did the system administrator do not have access to these data?

a lot other you will find when reading the represented “eProcurement SCAM in Andhra Pradesh” Link.

With a sheer Shame and Great Disappointment “I WAS WORRIED TILL NOW FOR INDIA, NOW I AM WORRIED FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD” 

Had I skipped this News today?

For Global Citizen’s shake investigate it properly and request GoI for penalizing all the guilty and culprits of this nature of affair.

As a request to Mr. Knut Leipold – I’m still waiting to demonstrate the real eProcurement system in practice for which MDBs had drafted a guideline. Please assign us your valuable time.

Thanks & Regards

Dr. Manoj Verma

+ 919376128329

Posted in Worldbank | 2 Comments »