Foreign companies with which the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games has had disputes over payments did not provide proper documentation to buttress their monetary claims, according to a top source.
The highly placed source in the OC told The Sunday Guardian on condition of anonymity that the companies did not fulfil the criteria laid out by the OC for payments. “They had to submit proof that the materials supplied by them were actually received and put to use. For this purpose, they had to get three signatures, including the stadium staff, and other functional authorities, as might be the case. However, none of the companies were able to do so which is why payments were delayed,” the source said. These companies had supplied overlays for the Games.
A source in a company flagged by the OC as having the least amount of documentation denied the charges. “We have submitted all the proof that was required,” the source said.
The OC and the companies that had supplied the overlays are currently involved in an arbitration process which is likely to draw to a close soon. However, the matter is likely to drag on further. This is because the OC has already moved the Delhi High Court in the case of one of the companies which has received a favourable award. The OC source said they were unhappy with the award being granted in the company’s favour as their claims lacked proper documentation although the money offered “was much less than what they had asked for.” The OC source also mentioned that arbitration was a lengthy and expensive process and it should have taken place faster than it has done till now. The OC is presently operating out of J.L.N. stadium on Lodhi Road. “Only those people who have detailed knowledge of the agreements signed with these companies are working here,” said the OC source, adding that several other foreign companies that had provided services for the CWG had to back out on their demand for full compensation after it was pointed out that their documentation, too, was incomplete. “We were approached by eight to nine such companies via the Ministry of Finance during the UPA regime, but we stood our ground and they withdrew,” the OC source revealed.
In fact, the OC refused to pay the costs incurred by sports officials who stayed at a five-star hotel in the capital during the games, running into several lakhs. According to the OC source, the main mistake with the agreements signed with these companies was that it was done barely a month or so before the Games began. “We should have done that two years ago as stipulated because we could have floated new tenders if we were dissatisfied with their work,” the source said. The CBI is yet to file a charge-sheet. The agency was charged with investigating the claims and procedures adopted by these companies.