It appears as though Valmiki Singh thought that he had more power than was actually allocated to him as Head of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU). And perhaps, the organizational structure of the entity contributed to him acting outside of his authority in various instances.
This is according to findings documented in a report that was prepared by forensic auditors from Ram and McRae, Chartered Accountants.
In that detailed report, the auditors noted that while the Minister who has oversight for the NFMU, is the person designated to determine the remuneration of persons employed, after consultation with the relevant union, Singh who was only the Managing Director, arbitrarily determined the salaries of his workers.
The auditors revealed that NFMU was established as a “corporation sole”. This means that the entity does not have a Board like other companies would. It meant that the Managing Director operates as the Board.
Ram and McRae auditors also commented that such an organizational form is subject to minimal accountability and is precluded from benefitting from the range of skills typical of a Corporation with a Board of Directors.
Given the nature and scope of the work required to be done by the NFMU, the auditors emphasized that this type of organizational structure is completely inappropriate. As such, they recommended that it be governed by a Board of Directors with a range of skills and qualifications and offering some insulation of the management from the political functionaries.
They said that the entity’s only reporting obligation is to a Minister of the Government, who, for much of the NFMU’s existence, has been the President, which, even with delegation does not offer sufficient opportunities for oversight and consultations.
The auditors revealed too, that while such a Corporation may employ a Secretary, and other officers and employees it considers necessary, their remuneration and terms and conditions of employment are to be determined or varied by the Minister.
They said that the Minister is required to consult with the trade union, which represents the majority of officers or class of employees, and the Corporation in setting the terms and conditions of employment.
The forensic auditing team noted however that except for the position of the Managing Director, this requirement has not been complied with. In this regard, the auditors highlighted that Singh took it upon himself to establish the remuneration packages for other levels of employees. The auditors said in no uncertain terms that Singh acted ultra vires, that is, outside of his legal power.
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