Thiruvananthapuram, January 20 : Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also holds the IT portfolio, was kept in the dark about the agreement his government signed with US-based company Sprinklr for data analysis of covid-19 patients in the state, says the report by the expert panel constituted by the LDF government to look into the controversial Sprinklr deal.
Neither the chief minister nor the then chief secretary Tom Jose was kept in the loop about the state government’s inking an agreement with the US-based company to collate and analyse health details of covid-19 patients in the state.
The decision to rope in the company for data analysis purportedly to aid the state’s fight against covid-19 was reportedly taken unilaterally by then IT secretary and the chief minister’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar, who is in the eye of a storm now after being arrested in connection with the UAE-consulate linked gold smuggling scandal.
The contents of the report became public after the general administration department put out the report in response to an RTI query. Previously, the department had stonewalled RTI requests to publish the report. The CPI(M)-led LDF government had also turned a deaf ear to the demand of the expert panel itself to place the report in the public domain.
The expert panel had submitted the report to the state government in October last year. Media reports at the time had suggested that the report contained damning findings against former IT secretary M Sivasankar.
According to media reports at the time, the expert panel had found that Sivasankar unilaterally took the decision to rope in Sprinklr by bypassing the law and health departments. The reports also suggested that the panel charged Sivasankar with showing undue haste in inking the agreement with the US-based company.
The LDF government had constituted the panel to look into the Sprinklr deal following the opposition’s charge that the deal was inked in violation of procedure and norms.