Nov 27, Colombo: Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has launched an online database on Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) which can be accessed at www.peps.lk.
TISL believes that this database, which will be updated periodically, will serve as an important tool in mapping out the network of political power in the country.
A politically exposed person (PEP) is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an individual who is or has been entrusted with a prominent public function. Due to their position and influence, it is recognized that many PEPs are in positions that potentially can be abused for the purpose of committing corruption and money laundering offences.
TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, it is important to note that identifying politically exposed persons and employing enhanced due diligence is a standard banking operation. "The fact that someone is classified as a PEP in no way attributes any wrongdoing - it is reflective of their prominent public function."
TISL said the information published on the database was collated using publicly available sources and through the submission of 88 RTI applications. The database contains information on 2,324 individuals encompassing senior politicians, senior public officials, military officers, judges and senior executives of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Furthermore, this is the only public database which maps out the web of SOEs and identifies their senior executives and subsidiary structure. The database also includes information on politically exposed persons at the local level, who are generally not captured in such scrutiny, including municipal commissioners and the heads of local government authorities.
Obeyesekere called on the media, the banking sector, the public and other stakeholders to engage with the web platform to better inform themselves of state structures and the individuals charged with administering them.
To contribute further information to the database, or for questions, email email@example.com.