India news January 19, 2016

Mudgal report slams DDCA over 'deficiencies'

Mukul Mudgal was particularly scathing on a number of sub-committees that were formed to oversee various operations during the fourth India-South Africa Test in December © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Lack of transparency, poor record keeping, huge delays in bill payments, defunct sub-committees, mismanagement, rampant ad-hocism are some of the numerous issues listed as "deficiencies" of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) in a damning report prepared by Mukul Mudgal, the former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On Monday, Mudgal submitted the 27-page report to a two-judge bench of Delhi High Court which had appointed him on November 18 to oversee the conduct of the fourth Test of the India-South Africa series from December 3-7 at Feroz Shah Kotla.

Immediately upon commencing their job, Mudgal and his four-member team that also included IP Singh, a former deputy Comptroller & Auditor General of India, found that the DDCA had never maintained any records pertaining to various tenders, work orders, and all finance and accounts related activity. In addition, no minutes of the meetings were recorded and senior office bearers flaunted their power to pass approvals orally.

"For the previous matches, no records were available to indicate how quotations were invited, how the vendors to whom work was allotted were selected, how the competitiveness of the rates was ascertained," Mudgal noted. "There were no minutes, or record of the tender committee or committees set up for different tasks. There were no agreements with the selected vendors in the past available for perusal."

Absence of records "hamper transparency," Mudgal pointed out. He also repeatedly highlighted that vendors were aggrieved due to the delays in payments. "Many vendors complained that their bills for earlier matches organised during the last 2-3 years were not cleared," he wrote. "This resulted in a large number of vendors not bidding and others quoting higher rates to cover the risk of huge delays in getting payment."

According to Mudgal, the DDCA had given the contract of sale of tickets to an agency Ticket Genie. However a lot of discrepancies were found. The online ticketing suffered snags as the vendor had blocked tickets in advance thereby restricting the number of tickets fans could book online.

The report revealed the DDCA was yet to file the balance sheet for 2014-15. Not just delays, the DDCA was missing out on making profits. Mudgal cited the example of renewing the contracts for having the corporate boxes in the ground. "DDCA had long term agreements with corporate houses for corporate boxes allotted to them, which gave substantive revenue every year. These agreements have expired and need to be renewed or fresh proposals be invited from corporates for future matches."

Mudgal noticed that although the DDCA, for the "smooth functioning of the Test" had formed a lot of sub-committees - 12, they had remained "non-functional." As an example, he pointed out that the members of a special sub-committee, formed to look after the East stand where school children were permitted for free on each of the five days, remained absent.

"A separate Committee was formed for managing the Stand where the 8250 School Children were to be seated. However, not even a single day of the match were all the members of the said committee found to be present supervising the Stand where the Children were to be seated. After much persuasion, few members did visit the stand however one particular DDCA official even after being personally told to be present in the stands was not found to be there," Mudgal said.

Similar lethargic attitude was shown by the hospitality committee and the legal committee, the latter, Mudgal stressed, was formed "belatedly" on November 28. The only committee that was Mudgal found to be "most active" was the Ticket Complimentary Committee.

"This Committee wanted all the Executive Committee members to have 5 Accreditation passes each having access to all gates and stands. It was conveyed that this is due to complimentary meals which can be availed of by such card holders," the report said. But Mudgal said that only one pass would be issued to each executive member. "This ensured that persons without any duty or function being assigned did not enter the restricted areas."

Equally chaotic was the ticketing segment. According to Mudgal, the DDCA had given the contract of sale of tickets to an agency Ticket Genie. However Mudgal's team found there were a lot of discrepancies: the online ticketing suffered snags as the vendor had blocked tickets in advance thereby restricting the number of tickets fans could book online.

A fan then brought to the notice of Mudgal that the vendor was selling the tickets at bloated prices at one of the designated kiosks. Lack of security at other ticket selling centres, improper infrastructure at the ticket window outside the ground were some of the other issues the report highlighted.

Another area where the DDCA office bearers faced a lot of criticism dealt with the facilities provided to the broadcasters and the media. "The broadcasters also complained that the room allotted to them was infested by pests and that appropriate measures should have been taken prior to the match, to eliminate such infestation. This issue was neither brought to our notice nor was appropriately addressed till the end," Mudgal wrote in the report.

He might have been scathing, but Mudgal did not want to paint all DDCA officials with the Same brush. According to Mudgal DDCA could easily change its way if it desired. "DDCA management must review its internal controls, adequacy of the systems and procedures being followed and its information and monitoring systems. DDCA has a lot of potential and some very dedicated officials who are capable of achieving excellent results if DDCA is run in a more professional manner."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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