29 September, 2020

Spooky Money

Hundreds of crores, collars turned up, vanishing down the lane

Illustration by Sorit
Spooky Money
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

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  • Guidelines for intelligence operatives were framed by the Union government in the Financial Power Rules, 1958.
  • Although accounting is informal, an officer is supposed to be held liable for every little expenditure he authorises.
  • A register has to be maintained with the date and amount of each bill, even if it is something intangible, like paying an informer.
  • A controlling officer audits all operations and funds annually and submits a certificate to the accountant general by August 31.
  • However, the fund cannot be scrutinised by any auditing authority, including the CAG.

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Everything around seems infected by the corruption curse, so it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. It almost seems too good to be true—secret service funds (SSF) running into hundreds of crores, cloak-and-dagger operations, no questions asked, no audit reports required. It’s one of the many privileges our intelligence agencies...

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