Panel blames governance structure of Prasar Bharati

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Strongly indicting PrasarBharti for irregularities in the telecast rights for CWGGames, a high-level probe panel constituted by the governmenthas blamed the governance structure established by theMinistry of Information and Broadcasting for the lapses sayingit proved unequal to the task.

Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha today,Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni saidmajor findings of the first report of the High Level Committeehave said that the governance structure established by theMinistry proved unequal to the task.

"While it enabled the Host Broadcasting MonitoringCommittee headed by CEO Prasar Bharti to make recommendationsand secure approvals of the oversight committee, the latterchaired by Minister of Information and Broadcasting wereunable to prevent the abuse of authority or even observance ofdue process by the former," she said.

After its constitution in June 2009, the Group ofMinisters on Commonwealth met 17 times upto March 5, 2010 whenPrasar Bharti finally entered into an agreement with SIS Live.

The PB was part of the agenda in these meetings without anynoticeable results, she quoted the report as saying.

The report further goes on to say that the Committeeof Secretaries monitoring the preparations kept nudging thePrasar Bharti but then CEO B S Lalli remained "undeterred fromhis objective of awarding the contract to SIS Live andthereafter facilitate its assignment to Zoom communications".

"The CEO Prasar Bharti in concert with the DGDoordarshan and some other senior entities were able to imposerestrictive and inflexible conditions in the tendering processto discourage competition," it said.

Prasar Bharti assumed no role in planning, methodologyand management by outsourcing Host Broadcast operations intheir entirety and ignored quantitative and qualitativedeviations in supply of equipment and instances of breach ofcontract, including non-supply of key personnel other staffand deliverables.

The report said that the CEO PB and DG DD were able tomisrepresent and suppress information crucial for informeddecision making, disregard or flout established pratices vis avis expression of interest or request for proposal therebyvitiating the selection process to the advantage of SIS Live.

Prasar Bharti has also deliberately delayed decisionsto accomplish its pre-meditated objective as fait accompli, itsaid concluding that "these actions are strongly suggestive ofcollusion between CEO Prasar Bharti and Director General DDand the service provider".

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