Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Keen to put its house in order, particularly its financial aspect that is under intense public scrutiny after the IPL betting-fixing scandal, the BCCI on Monday announced the hiring of Deloitte, the second largest professional services network in the world as part of its ambitious ‘Project Transformation’.
The decision was reportedly taken by BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who is keen to improve the public image of the richest cricket body in the world after a spate of controversies in the last two years, said sources.
“The idea of hiring professional services of a company was first mooted soon after the IPL was launched in 2008, when Manohar was BCCI president in his first stint [2008 to 2011]. The idea was floated because IPL was about big money,” a senior BCCI official told jantakareporter.com, recalling the original discussions within the Board.
“But somehow that idea was not taken up vigorously at the time and then Manohar’s term got over in 2011. After his term ended, the idea got buried,” said the official who was part of discussions.
“The idea discussed at that time was not about hiring Deloitte, but for hiring a reputed firm that could help BCCI manage its finances in a professionalise manner in view of the money-spinning IPL.”
While acknowledging that the original idea was mooted in 2008, a source gave another perspective into the hiring of Deloitte.
“IPL COO Sundar Raman has so far been the sole person who has been managing the IPL affairs, including its finances, in close association with N. Srinivasan, a former president. All the financial power has virtually been vested in Sundar,” the source told jankareporter.com
“Now, possibly Manohar wants to delegate the power that Raman has been enjoying unhindered. So far, Sundar has been taking all the decisions regarding the finances of the IPL and the BCCI while the IPL governing council has been approving all his recommendations,” he said.
“Either the IPL council members have not been able to understand the financial issues, particularly those of the shares transfer case of the Chennai Super Kings, owned by Srinivasan, or have deliberately turned a blind eye to those,” he said. “We don’t know what all Raman and Srinivasan have done regarding the Board’s finances because we suspect that they have not us everything about money matters.”
After taking over as BCCI president on 4 October, Manohar had announced a spate of measures that he intended to take in his second stint as Board chief. They included setting the financial structure right and uploading the BCCI’s constitution on its website, which was done on 7 October.
As part of its ongoing efforts to change the image of the BCCI, it announced on Monday its ‘Project Transformation’. It was being launched for “strengthening organisational and governing structure” of the Board.
The Board said that the goal of ‘Project Transformation’ is to achieve the following objectives: strengthen the BCCI’s organisation/governance structure; revolutionise its operational practices; formalise the policies and procedures in line with world-class standards; improve the financial controls and processes etc.; and identify opportunities for operational effectiveness and efficiency etc.
The BCCI has sought help from Deloitte on certain specific aspects. They are: advising BCCI as they develop the detailed Accounting Manual and Standard Operating Practices on an end-to-end basis; advising BCCI as they put in place a comprehensive Internal Control and Financial Reporting platform duly considering the best practices; providing various recommendations for process and control improvements/cost control/strengthening/governance/compliance mechanisms through Gap Analysis.