FR ,AR AND TREASURY –Stumbling blocks  in  development ….
Posted on July 31st, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

 I assume that FR stand for Financial Regulations and AR stands for Administration Regulations which are chapters in the Bible of Bureaucracy in Sri Lankan Administrative   Service .

Have ever heard of any Head of a Corporation or a Department charged with breaking FR and FR and send to prison ?  Even if there were violation or no compliance with FR and AR, they may have been charged for misappropriation of state funds or corruption.

It is the responsibility of the Permanent Secretary  ( sadly we do not have them in Sri Lanka as J R changed the constitution so that President can appoint  not so Permanent Secretaries .) to ensure that FR and FR are complied with .

Now among all the Secretaries we also have a super” secretary called President’s Secretary  and Secretary to Treasury who implement orders given by the president. As per the recent amendment  to the constitution ,I am not sure where Secretary to the Prime Minister comes in .

Government should prepare and Organization chart to show who should report and oblige to whom ?

Now main topic about stumbling blocks to the progress in the country .Treasury is often represented n Statutory Boards, Corporations and GOBU’s  .One of the treasury officer is nominated by the Secretary to the Treasury to the state body as per the regulation, who may not have any clue about the mandate of the organization. They come to the board meetings and look for any possible violation which may be happening in the future after studying the board papers .If they find a slightest violation they object and board paper may not go through .

( if the Chairman of the board persists boar paper may still go thru despite objection )

Chairman of the Corporation or the Board may be a very progressive thinking individual who would like to get some action initiated as asap possible, and try to get the approval of the Board of Directors as quickly as possible.

Representative of   the Treasury quite often blocks it !

In the event of a chairman is either sacked or resigns, government hurriedly appoints  a representative from the Treasury as acting  Chairman .

And then nothing will move until a permanent chairman come sin

There was an instance recently when a Chairman of a bankrupt Corporation wanted a board approval to obtain funds from a private sector to pay salaries, Treasury Representative blocked it and the Unions went up in arms .

Suggestion is that all Treasury Representatives are sent to Harvard or to the Institute in Singapore to learn how to bypass rules and yet do the job using a loop hole  .

Otherwise the country will never go forward

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

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