Integrity External Monitors denied access to files having national security implications
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Thursday issued a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) related to the adoption of the “Integrity Pact” for procurements and award of government contracts. One of the rules deny access of the Integrity External Monitors (IEMs) to files having national security implications.
The revised procedure states that IEMs will be provided access to all documents/records pertaining to the contract for which a complaint or issue is raised before them, as and when warranted. However, the documents/records/information having national security implications and the papers which have been classified as secret/top secret are not to be disclosed.
The 2017 directive stated that the IEMs would have access to all contract documents, whenever required.
The advisory role of IEMs is envisaged as that of a friend, philosopher and guide, states the new CVC directive. They may also send their reports directly to the CVO in case of suspicion of serious irregularities requiring legal or administrative action.
Only in case of “very serious” issues having a specific and verifiable vigilance angle, the matter has to be reported directly to the Commission.
Procurements and contracts now explicitly cover procurement of works, goods and services. After the award of work, the IEMs have to look into any issue related to the execution of contract, if specifically raised before them.
In the case of a joint venture, all the partners of the joint venture have to sign the Integrity Pact. If sub-contractors are involved, the principal contractor has to ensure that they also adopt the Integrity Pact.
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