May 25, Colombo: Professor Ranjith Bandara, Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) took exception at the outdated ‘Vision’ statement and Key Performance Indicators of the Authority following consistent failure to deliver its services with integrity and quality.
The Chairman began proceedings with a stern look at the inability of the body to ‘raise the living standards of the citizens’ – a mantra clearly highlighted in the body’s vision statement.
He directed the Director-General of the Mahaweli Authority to examine its policy and practices and re-invent the fundamentals of the body itself to reflect the modern world better.
On this note, the Committee further queried the lack of digital infrastructure in the land reservation process and directed the Authority to take measures to strengthen it.
Regarding the conveyance of lands, the Committee directed the Authority to submit the following:
• Report on existing land conveyance procedure to be submitted within 02 weeks.
• Report on how lands conveyed for investment purposes was completed including details of the investor, purpose of investments, etc. to be submitted within 02 weeks.
• Report on illegal constructions taking place within the purview of the body to be submitted within 01 month.
Following an incongruence between the annual report submitted to parliament and the data sought out by the Auditor General’s office, an urgent report of all lands released in 2022 was requested. This comes on the heels of the President’s directive where a stay order was made on the issuance of lands.
The Recruitment Process Management was scrutinized, and it was found that there were vacancies that had not been filled up owing to suspected reservations for promotions to the existing staff internally. The Chairman of COPE immediately directed that the vacancies be filled within the next 60 days.
The Committee directed that all issues be revisited for review and accountability on 21-07-2023.
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