Indian auditor criticises Italian chopper deal: Report
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian auditors accused the government on Tuesday of breaking its own procurement rules to award a US$748 million (S$946 million) helicopter contract to Italian-owned AgustaWestland, which is under investigation for bribery, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The deal to purchase 12 luxury helicopters for use by VIPs came under scrutiny in India earlier this year after investigators in Italy began looking into allegations that AgustaWestland had paid bribes to foreign officials.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India's report, formally presented in parliament Tuesday, said the defence ministry "deviated from procurement procedure and tender on several instances in the deal", according to PTI.
The auditors also questioned the decision of the former air force chief, S.P. Tyagi in 2007 to conduct the helicopter trials overseas.