Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi has been indicted yet again, this time by the high-powered V.K. Shunglu committee, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to probe the Commonwealth Games mess.Shunglu slammed Kalmadi and his aides for mismanagement, arbitrary award of contracts and outright dubious acts of omission and commission that resulted in heavy losses to the government exchequer.Accusing Kalmadi of running the OC like a private club, the Shunglu panel report said: “The OC seemed to function as a ‘club’ where the criteria for recruitment and promotion seemed to be ‘who knows who’ rather than merit.” The panel’s fifth report on OC’s mismanagement, which was made public on Thursday, pointed out that Kalmadi’s “monopolistic” functioning led to the mess that has sullied India’s image in the sporting arena and cost huge loss to the exchequer.”There was extreme concentration of powers at the top and conflict of interest among OC officials. It was found the OC had serious governance problems due to an unwieldy general body with 500 members and a subservient executive board. The OC was synonymous with the chairman,” the report said.The report pointed out that Kalmadi approached the government for an additional Rs 900 crore in August 2010, when there was no need for additional funds at that point.In fact, the report notes, Kalmadi and the OC consistently kept “misrepresenting” the Games as being “revenue neutral” in order to justify its extravagant spending.Kalmadi spent Rs 5.06 crore on a “reckless exercise of patronage to send people unrelated with sports to the Beijing Olympics on a pleasure trip,” the report said.advertisementInsiders in the OC have all along held that if the contracts were awarded judiciously, it could have saved more than Rs 350 crore. Accusing Kalmadi of deliberately concentrating all decision-making powers at the top with himself or his trusted aides, Shunglu said Kalmadi functioned with a “coterie”, so that “most of the decision making was controlled by the chairman and his loyal appointees.””The very fact that people seemed to be shunted, transferred or superseded at times when they appeared to dissent or raise concerns suggests that the philosophy was to recruit and promote candidates who would follow directions without question,” the report said.It said the “extreme concentration of power at the top” ensured that decision-making remained limited with the chairman and his coterie of loyal senior management.Pointing out severe conflict of interest within the OC, where key officials of Kalmadi-controlled Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also held senior positions in OC, the panel said accountability, internal and external, “was not the norm.”The executive board hardly exercised its governance role and often delegated responsibility to the executive management committee to the point ofabdication of responsibility, the panel stated.According to documents available with Mail Today, the OC managed to award only 47 out of 542 contracts in four years between October 2006 and December 2009. Left with no time, it was forced to award 495 contracts in just nine months (January to September 2010).”But that cost OC at least Rs 350 crore more than what was estimated earlier in 2006-07 when the Games budget was finalised. With no time left, we haphazardly awarded 495 contracts in just nine months beginning January to September 2010,” a top OC official admitted.In fact, as many as 75 contracts were awarded in October 2010. The highest number of contracts-130-were awarded in September last year, just a few days before the CWG, sources said.Naturally, the cost escalated when OC went to negotiate. From simple deals for sports equipment, functional area logistics, hotels and flight bookings to big contracts in overlays, catering and Games management system software to digital scoreboards (TSR) for real time results, the cost soared well beyond estimates.The committee found irregularities and revenue losses in executing contracts related to ticketing, sponsorship, overlays, timing, scoring and results, catering and recruitments. Calling the award of three contracts to Event Knowledge Services, a consultancy firm, for venue development as dubious, the committee recommended a probe by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to trace the flow of funds from OC to the company in Mauritius.The panel had raised objection on some positions being filled with persons of questionable integrity with past records of vigilance cases against them.Government instructions were flouted in posting of staff in sensitive positions, it said.”It was clear the OC CEO Jarnail Singh was not given adequate responsibility when he joined the OC in 2009. Again till the end, he was not given crucialpowers (appointment of staff, consultants, and vendors, signing of contracts, etc) and was not made the head of the secretariat,” the report said.advertisementOC sources have confirmed that Singh had raised objection to appointment of M. Jayachandran, officer on special duty (finance and accounts) as “against the government rules”. But he was bypassed by Kalmadi and his close aides, including Lalit Bhanot.In fact, the panel pointed out that there were serious differences between former chief operating officer V.K. Gautam, joint directgeneral T.S. Darbari and director general V.K. Verma.The report noted that the TSR (time score record) contract was awarded after great delay to Swiss Timing. The OC took two years and nine months to finally award the contract and as a result, the vendor itself charged a premium on Rs 18 crore, citing delay on the part of the OC.The overlays contracts, aggregating Rs 630 crore, were greatly delayed and initiated only in December 2009 because OC intentionally did not provide estimates and had included provision for overlays in the several budgetary exercises it had undertaken.The report also says that the technology contract for Games management system, signed at a ‘crisis stage’ in March 2010 for Rs 21 crore, was actually managed by Melbourne for just Rs 5 crore.