Army Base Workshops modernisation ‘plagued by administrative inefficiency’: CAG report

Modernisation of Army Base Workshops was plagued by administrative inefficiency and delays in the decision to execute the modernisation project, either on turnkey basis or through a combination of procurement and others, the Comptroller and Auditor General flagged in its report on Tuesday.

‘Modernisation of army base workshops and implementation of ‘Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO)’ Model’ report was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

Army Base Workshops carry out repairs and overhaul of weapons, vehicles and equipment of the Indian Army.

In June 2006, Army Headquarters initiated a case for modernisation of these workshops in view of their old vintage infrastructure and plant and machinery available.

“Modernisation of these workshops was plagued by administrative inefficiency and delay in decision to execute the modernisation project either on turnkey basis or through a combination of procurement/works, etc,” the CAG said in its report.

In 2017, based on the recommendation of Committee of Experts, the Army decided to corporatise workshops on GOCO model and foreclosed the modernisation programme.

Expenditure of Rs 9.46 crore incurred on preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for modernisation of these workshops remained unfruitful, the CAG stated.

Meanwhile, the implementation of GOCO model is also delayed. The original timeline for implementing GOCO model lapsed in December 2019.

The implementation of GOCO model is fraught with risks and operational challenges as identified by the Headquarters Base Workshop Group.

The report also stated that 385 out of 1,077 affected civilian manpower of closed station and static workshop are sitting idle and the same situation may arise in workshops, if these issues are not addressed while implementing the GOCO Model.

The audit recommends that the Ministry of Defence formulate a strategy to mitigate all risks, including deployment of existing manpower, relating to GOCO implementation and to ensure implementation of GOCO and/or modernisation of workshops without further delay.

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