The Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) has informed that its chief executive officer, Mr Manoj Srivastava "did not go on any official foreign trips and the foreign trips undertaken by him were in personal capacity", further stating that the ‘reimbursement of mobile bills was taken by Mr Manoj Srivastava during his personal foreign tours.’
The information received under the Right to Information Act vide a letter ESG/Admn/12-13/RTI/1472 and dated September 7, 2012 further reveals that the ESG has reimbursed an amount of ` 8,17,130 to Mr Srivastava for calls made or received by him from September 2008 to July 2012.
Interestingly, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, who is also the chairman of the ESG is very particular about his own telephone calls, and lists all calls made by him so that the government is not charged for his personal calls.
Furthermore, another reply provided by the ESG under the RTI Act states that the ESG is not aware of any guidelines/ circulars/ office memorandums/ notifications issued by government of Goa, for telephone facility (landline/ mobile) in respect of entitled categories of government employees.
It may be noted that the government of Goa had issued a Circular no. 7/4/93-GA&C/Vol I, dated July 24, 2007 with a per month ceiling of ` 1,000 for reimbursement of phone charges of cell phones used by the head of departments, including rentals and other charges.
The department of general administration had issued an Office Memorandum no 7/27/2001-GAD-II (PF), dated June 22, 2009 wherein the maximum amount of reimbursement of mobile/ landline/ broadband etc, for joint secretaries/ head of departments/ officers on special duties to the Chief Minister were fixed at `1,800 per month. The same memorandum also stated that the government officers will not be provided with the mobile set and in special cases, an amount of ` 500 will be reimbursed to the officer for purchase of a mobile set.
Incidentally, the offer letter issued to Mr Srivastava under D O no ESG/07-08/349 and dated April 9, 2008 clearly states that the CEO will be entitled for reimbursement of telephone and mobile expenses applicable to Group A government officers.
Yet another RTI reply given by the ESG under ref no ESG/Admn/12-13/RTI/1173 and dated August 17 also reveals that the cost of the Blackberry 8700 handset purchased by Mr Srivastava is ` 24,990.
The CEO of the ESG has taken reimbursement of mobile bills amounting to ` 1,15,362 after the new governing body of the ESG under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar was constituted, earlier this year.
Finally, in reply to a question as regards the nature of foreign calls made by the CEO of the ESG, the information under the RTI states that ‘no (related) records are available with this office.’
Coincidently, a website indicated connections of the CEO of the ESG with a Germany-based company BNA, Germany. He, as per this website, was found to be holding the post of the deputy managing director and marketing/ advertising in charge in this company. [NT]