Lankapage Logo CP 18 YEARS
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to LankaPage.com

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka Cabinet of Ministers accused of planning to curtail powers of Auditor General
Mon, Aug 21, 2017, 12:15 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 20, Colombo: Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) says it regrets reports that cabinet ministers are planning to curtail the powers of the proposed Auditor General to delegate under the National Audit Act.

TISL expressed concern that the cabinet of ministers' plans to curtail the proposed powers of the Auditor General would limit the Auditor General's ability to hold individuals personally liable for losses caused to state entities.

The anti-corruption organization requested the government to, in keeping with international best practices maintain the powers vested with the Auditor General while being mindful of the opportunity to further detail the surcharge and appeals process at the committee stage of Parliament.

The TISL made this request in a response to a media report that the cabinet postponed again the issuance of the approval for the implementation of the National Audit Act, stating that the Auditor General will have unlimited powers under the act.

Transparency International Sri Lanka pointed out that National Audit Act approved by the Attorney General includes three very important issues.

The first is the power of the Auditor General to impose personal financial responsibility or surcharges on individuals who have caused financial loss to a state entity through fraud, direct willful negligence, misappropriation or corruption.

The second is the power to examine bank accounts in which the Auditor General believes that monies belonging to a state entity have been fraudulently, irregularly or wrongfully deposited; and third an independent budgeting mechanism designed to safeguard the independence of the prospective National Audit Office.

The third is an independent budgeting mechanism designed to safeguard the independence of the prospective National Audit Office.

"In light of these three provisions the draft National Audit Bill incorporates, to varying degrees, the venerated guidelines on public auditing: the Lima Guidelines. Most notably the powers of investigation and enforcement of audit findings, and financial independence of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have been recognized. The principle on enforcement recognizes that SAIís could be empowered to issue legally valid and enforceable judgments (e.g. powers of surcharge)," the statement said.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeysekera said that whilst surcharging powers should be retained, it would be prudent to ensure that the law specifies ever clearer processes for the imposition of a surcharge. "At the same time, the appeal procedure needs to be unbiased and devoid of any appearance of conflict of interest for the Auditor General. TISL believes that the current Bill raises issues in these two matters, which can be remedied and strengthened at the committee stage of Parliament."

After the present government came to power in 2015, the bill was produced in the cabinet in April that year but taking a decision on the bill has been postponed many times.

As a key pledge of President Maithripala Sirisenaís 100 day manifesto, the passage of the National Audit Bill is essential to strengthen financial accountability across the state structure, TISL said.

TISL called on the Cabinet to display its commitment to fighting corruption and enhancing the scrutiny of public finance by tabling the National Audit Bill before Parliament.

 


ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories ::
German Ambassador looks into infrastructure development in Kandy
-- [39 minutes ago]
Sri Lanka Bribery Commission to recruit 250 graduates as investigative officers
-- [1 hour and 28 minutes ago]
SLPA and container terminals hold first ever awards night on Monday
-- [2 hours ago]
Sri Lanka to launch World Bank supported Trade Information Portal tomorrow
Contacts between bond scam suspect Arjun Aloysius and criminals revealed
Prime Minister launches five-year National Export Strategy to strengthen exports
Sri Lanka asks Indian Airport Authority to submit business plan for Mattala airport operation
Mattala Airport agreement with India valid for 40 years - Eran
PM's Office orders investigation into statements against Human Rights Commission chairperson
Ukrainian border guards detain five illegal migrants from Sri Lanka

Copyright © 2000, 2016 by LankaPage.com (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of LankaPage.com, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from LankaPage.com, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.