The Air Force today was rapped by the CAG for "irregularities" in procurement of more than 100 expensive Mahindra Scorpio and Toyota Innova vehicles against the procurement provisions to replace existing ones.
"We observe that in contravention of the extant orders, Air Force headquarters had introduced between 2009 and 2011 two new types of vehicles, Mahindra Scorpio and Toyota Innova to replace the Maruti Gypsy and Tata Sumo respectively," the government auditor said in its report tabled today in Parliament.
The report said the IAF had procured 100 Scorpios at a cost of Rs 7.78 crore and "irregularities were observed in the procurement of these vehicles".
"Scorpio was introduced in replacement of Maruti Gypsy which was neither out of production nor redundant. By IAF's own admission, the Scorpio was costlier than existing category from maintenance and operational angle," it stated.
The CAG said the procurement of these vehicles "was against the procurement manual provisions as specifications were not clearly mentioned keeping in view the specific needs of the IAF but similar vehicles offered by different firms were not evaluated either on specification or cost basis".
The CAG said the IAF approved procurement of 19 Innova vehicles for their utilisation in Su-30 MKI combat aircraft squadrons and units situated at hill-stations for Rs 1.19 crore.
"We observed that there was no deficiency of similar vans and there was an excess of 88 similar vehicles against authorisation. None of the 19 Innovas was allotted to the units for whom these were stated to have been procured. They were allotted to other units in contravention of Defence Ministry orders," it said.
The CAG rejected IAF's claim that the vehicles were procured for transfer of sensitive electronic equipment and similar items.
The IAF was also reprimanded by the auditor for not outsourcing the vehicle requirements for officers of the rank of Group Captain and below through which it could have saved Rs 1.95 crore.