Posted on July 8th, 2024

Ranjith Soysa

At a recent discussion hosted by a well-known public TV channel, on the subject of the agreement with the IMF regards the restructuring of foreign debts of Sri Lanka  an office bearer of the Government Audit officers’ association revealed a very important issue discussed in the Government’s financial management bill. He stated that when a government official had caused a financial loss due to negligence or wilfully as an act of corruption such incidents will be referred to the Auditor General for investigation. But, under the proposed changes earmarked in the Government’s financial management bill, the responsibility of rectification of such a serious action will be transferred from the Auditor General to the Secretary of the Treasury department with powers to reduce the punishment applicable to the offender or to completely do away with the punishment.

I am certain that the statement made at a public forum by such a responsible person must be true. If so, what is the intention of the Government in formulation of financial management bill to encourage corruption and continue the public waste which is endemic to the state sector?

Can the Government explain why they plan to reward corruption even at this stage of laborious restructuring the debt burden in pardoning the financial frauds when the country was bankrupt mainly due to faulty and corrupt policies of respective governments and government senior officials?

Ranjith Soysa

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