Auditor General reveals how Central Bank held back documents claiming confidentiality
Posted on June 12th, 2017

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena Courtesy The Island

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, yesterday testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged bond scams, said that although the Auditor General had the power to scrutinise any document, the Central Bank had withheld documents pertaining to bond scams.

The Auditor General told the Commission that the Central Bank had refused to provide information of the secondary market pertaining to the questionable bond issues, claiming that it didn’t have such information.

At this juncture, the Auditor General submitted to the Commission a copy of the written request made to the Central Bank on June 15, 2016 requesting the above mentioned information and the reply from the Central Bank.

Commission member Justice Prasanna Jayawardena: Did you ask for information from the Central Bank after June 15, 2016?

Auditor General: No, The Central Bank replied that the necessary documents were not available. But, the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE ) had requested the information.

Justice Jayawardena: Did you receive the information required for the audit inquiry from the Central Bank?

Auditor General: No. The Central Bank bought time refusing the provide the required information.

The Auditor General told the Commission though the Central Bank refused to provide the information in relation to secondary market of the treasury bond issues his department had been able to obtain almost all the information pertaining to the primary market.

The Auditor General told the Commission that at the bond auction held on February 27, 2015 the bids amounted to Rs. 20.708 billion and bids amounting to Rs.13.6 billion of the total amount had been received only eight minutes before the closing time.

He said bids amounting to Rs. 13 billion had been made by Perpetual Treasuries.

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe’s evidence was led by Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda.

The Commission will resume its sittings this morning at 9.45 a.m.

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