Sri Lanka Audit Service Association calls on Speaker to remove COPE Chief

Saturday, 18 November 2023 00:43 –      – 45

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  • Insists Speaker to appoint new MP fit and proper for responsible position 
  • Claims current Chairman undermined sovereignty of the people, compromised integrity of COPE
  • Says association received complaints against COPE Chief 
  • Lists four key complaints of many received since September 2022

Sri Lanka Audit Service Association raised concerns about the code of conduct of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara and called on the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to remove and appoint a new MP who is fit and proper for such a responsible position.

They charged that the current Chairman undermined the sovereignty of the people and compromised the integrity of the COPE.

In a letter to the Speaker, the association alleged the current COPE Chairman’s negligence in inquiring about important matters presented in the Auditor General’s reports taken up at the committee from September 2022.

They claimed that since the new COPE Chief took office, the association received several complaints from executives working in the Auditor General’s Department against him and based on those they listed four key points. These include; 1) negligence over priority orders highlighted by the Auditor General and wasting time of COPE on minor offences, 2) ending the committee proceedings without any recommendation or ending the inquiry without conclusion, 3) providing hand signals or gestures to the and conducting the proceedings partially to the public enterprise in question and 4) not conducting any prior meetings with Auditor General or officials to comprehend the facts before proceedings which was practised earlier by previous COPE Chairmen.

The Committee on Public Enterprises was established on 21.06.1979 to ensure the observance of financial discipline in Public Corporations and other Semi-Governmental bodies in which the Government has a financial stake.

The Committee on Public Enterprises, which consists of 24 Members reflecting the party composition in the House, is established under the Standing Order 126 at the beginning of each Parliamentary Session and the Chairman is elected by the Members of the Committee at its first session. Its quorum is four.

The Committee must report to Parliament on accounts examined, budgets and estimates, financial procedures, performance and management of Corporations and other Government Business Undertakings.