Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 25 September 2016





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Government Gazette

Public Accounts Committee needs more powers - Report

The first report of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) of the eight Parliament includes, comparatively, the largest number of investigations conducted within the three months from January 9 to April 7, 2016 with 41 investigations pertaining to 38 State institutions summoned before the Committee on account of the Reports of the Auditor General issued in respect of the years 2005 to 2013.

The Committee report has also made specific observations on the Employees Provident Fund, Department of Labour, Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Official Languages, Department of National Archives, Department of Export Agriculture, Department of Motor Traffic, Department of Examination and Valuation Department.

The first report of COPA presented to Parliament by its Chairman, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna on September 22 observed that orders given by the COPA are sometimes not implemented effectively because as per the Standing Oder 125, the Committee doesn’t have the authority to issue strict orders. Therefore, it is essential to amend the existing Standing Orders to give more powers to the COPA.

The Committee report has revealed that the resources possessed by the Auditor General (AG) are not sufficient to audit all the sub institutions in detailed manner and the Committee recommends that AG’s Department should be strengthened in physical and human resources.

The report has also revealed that although a large amount of money had been allocated for computer information technology programs in state institutions those computer programs have not been finalised on many occasions and the manner the Government institutions have used information technology is not at a very satisfactory level.

There were instances of recommendations made by the COPA not been implemented even at the time some institutions appeared before it for the second time. There were instances of inconsistencies among aims, expected functions and certain activities being handled by some institutions.

Meanwhile, the Committee has observed that there are instances where public officials are not able to carry out their duties and responsibilities properly in the issue of misappropriation of public funds due the political and other interferences. In addition, the successful implementation of activities of state institutions are hampered owing to the existence of vacancies in institutions over a long period of time.

According to the report, there was under-utilisation of annual allocations and resources in many institutions which makes a negative impact on the implementation of the development policies of the country.


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