19 November, 2018

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Auditor General Warns He Will Quit If Government Interference Does Not Stop

Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe has warned that he will quit if the government continues to interfere in his functions.

According to Wijesinghe, if the Auditor General is allowed to work independently, he can contribute immensely to enhance good governance in the country.

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe

He said his foremost obligation was to check if the good governance promises are being delivered to the people by the government. “Time is needed to reveal all the inside happenings of the present government. Until then I will be strict. If I cannot take decisions unwaveringly I will give up my position and retire,” the Auditor General said in an interview with the Ceylon Today.

He noted that certain senior ministers in the government such as Minister Lakshman Kiriella had criticized him. “The main reason for criticism is my exposure of unlawful expenses by the government,” he said.

At the moment, all trade unions of the Auditor General’s Department have risen up in resistance against moves to clip the powers vested in the Auditor General to impose surcharges on public officials in the Draft Audit Act. The government has hence delayed bringing in the Audit Act as promised.

Wijesinghe added that the situation has landed the AG’s Department in hot water. He added that the delay in bringing in the new Audit Act was making the motives of the government questionable.

The power to appoint or transfer auditors was earlier vested in the Public Service Commission (PSC) and subsequently in the Audit Commission under the 19th Amendment. The National Audit Commission functions within the provisions of the Audit Act. Therefore, the delay in passing the Audit Act has paralyzed the audit service, claimed Wijesinghe.

“Government must enact this piece of legislation quickly lest we fall into deeper problems. Politicians rule the country. They must be able to lay the foundations of good governance. The Auditor General is one of the major pillars in that foundation. If you say you do not want the Audit Act, that means you do not want good governance. The Auditor General’s Department has been weakened. Does the government say that the Auditor General’s Department must not work? Is that the message delivered by not activating this Act?” he questioned.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    3

    All sections and sectors of the population should rise up, and from time to time march in a massive show of support for the two Public Officials holding the posts of Attorney General and Auditor General.

    The support shown should be forceful and palpable as to convince the President and Prime Minister that they have no choice but to discharge their duties in such manner as to serve the interest of the General Public; that the two A-G’s are the watch dogs acting on behalf of the Public to keep the PM and President on the straight and narrow.

    • 2
      0

      Auditor General has expressed his opinion and in an extreme case it can be challenged in court and there is nothing wrong in it or to to get an expert third party opinion. I would like to know as to whether any expert on bond trading was used by AG prior to issue of his report.

      Infact AG has even out sourced the audits of CBSL, PB and BoC to private auditors to obtain expertise required for such audits.

      Same way even any audit opinion expressed by any big 4 audit firm can be challenged and can be subjected to an expert opinion.

      Cannot see what the issue is.

  • 15
    1

    A healthy democratic society must have an independent Auditor-General,
    Election Commissioner, judiciary, Police Service and Public Service Commission. Tinkering with anyone, some or all of these is to open the doors for the rule of the jungle – such as the one we have progressively suffered from the coming of the Apey Anduwa culture. Despite all of its many faults India – the country John Galbraith rightly called “a functioning anarchy” – survives reasonably well. Comparably, Pakistan that played about with these is now a virtual basket case.

    At best, it will take the next 50 years for us to restore good governance we enjoyed prior to the 1950s. That is, provided, we clean our stables starting now. Can we? Will we? That is the question.

    Backlash

    • 0
      0

      Backlash
      Totally agree with you!
      Unfortunately we, the Sri Lankan people, have to change the ‘ as long as i am not affected by it, its fine’ attitude!
      We are also not a country, where the middle class will get on the street in protest. The poor have to be paid to shout about things they don’t believe in!

      Corruption is like Rust, if not treated at the beginning it will corrode to its entirety!
      We have been given a chance to treat this menace, which was taken to its peak by the previous regime, if do not take this opportunity, we like the rusted steel, will give way without our knowledge.
      Lets hope that The President and the Prime Minister Live up to the PEOPLES VOTE, by which they were elected into office…
      OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE!

  • 14
    0

    It appears that the regime wants a ‘pliable’ Auditor General who will ignore wrong doings of politicians propping up the “yahapalanaye” a.k.a Good Governance.

    Moat state enterprises are loosing entities as even Internal Auditors appear to be not part of the administration.
    In the old days, every public servant was conscious of expenditures and book keeping in line with formats demanded by audits.

    If there is no proper accounting/auditing, always corruption creeps in.

  • 8
    5

    I am surprised Kirra hasn’t sacked him..

    He must resign after disclosing UNP Govt secret fund raising for the next Election against Yahapalana Bodhi Sira Faction,

    And the 35 Million Car Lottery Tickets with a 100 % winning guarantee which were handed out as Santhosams.

    With the Yhapalana PM,s current visit to present his progress report to the Diaspora, and arrange the next round of financing, this AG can not be allowed to look at the details with his magnifying glasses.

    Wonder why SL PM Batalanada Ranil took his Yahapalana FM Samare to sign Free Trade Agreements with Singapore Chinese?.

    Unless our Yahapalana PM wants his FM to brief the Chinese PM on the fantastic work the Govt has done on the LGBT rights clause in the Yahapalana Manifesto.

    And persuade the Chinese PM also to do so, after our FM signed the UN Charter as parter of the Re Conciliation…

  • 9
    3

    Yes, the AGs department is now a joke. So much corruption and part of the impunity comes from the AGs Dept. Well known for covering up or whitewashing corrupt practices at high places.

    Gamini Wijesinghe is asking for more powers. For what use this power will be used is another matter.

    We will have to wait and see. After all this is the proverbial miracle of Asia.

    • 0
      2

      BBS Rep in his/her/their pseudonym and hiding behind the facade of CIA/Diaspora/RAW/Vatican/Colombo seven Rnil and his Coterie have so far succeeded in their orchestrated plan to dismantle the base of indepenedent democratic institutions.They have now taken control of police, judiciary, attorney generals department and central bank. Only the Auditor General’s dept has refused to buckle down.
      Anarchy is the aim. Then Americans, West and christian NGOs would take over.
      We are witnessing a take over by anti buddhist, counter cultural subversion.

  • 9
    0

    Dear Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe

    RE:Auditor General Warns He Will Quit If Government Interference Does Not Stop

    “Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe has warned that he will quit if the government continues to interfere in his functions.”

    “According to Wijesinghe, if the Auditor General is allowed to work independently, he can contribute immensely to enhance good governance in the country.”

    The politicians are not used to good governance.

    They were used to bad governance only.

    They want to safeguard their tectonics and crooks.

    That is why they want to interfere.

    So, when a politician interferes, make it public. Make sure the media picks it up.

  • 10
    0

    People should demand enactment of a public interest disclosure law in Sri Lanka, permitting any public officer to disclose unlawful interference with their duties by any person holding pubic office, with a provision to remove such anti-social elements from office forthwith.

  • 7
    0

    Honurable Auditor General,
    I congratulate you Sir for your dedicated and honest service to the nation.If all public officers were to display the courage to render their services in this manner our motherland would indeed be a better place to live.Regards
    Lakshman Keerthisinghe

  • 4
    0

    This is a monumental shame.

    We the People most strenuously petition the Prime Minister and President to stop prevaricating and get the draft Audit Act presented, debated vigorously, strengthened (NOT weakened or diluted) as appropriate and passed by the highest possible majority in Parliament.

    In this case, the ex-President who screams blue murder at the government for its ‘failings’ should muster his troop of MP supporters too to give vigour and strength to this important piece of legislation pronto.

    If this act is delayed further, We the People call on the Prime Minister to tender his resignation as he will have failed his country.

  • 6
    4

    Mr.,

    What is the real reason you want to quit ? They turned down your request for an increase in your salary, didn’t they ? So now finding excuses and making threats to leave !

    You did have an agenda right from the beginning.

    Is this what we have in public sector ? What a shameful ?

    • 8
      3

      Point of View,

      You have raised a valuable point. Auditor General is behaving not like an Auditor. He is behaving like a Politician or actor. Sometimes he is behaving a member of Wimal Weerawansa’s 3 Wheel party. Auditors are not Blood Hounds. They are watch Dogs. Auditors should not speak to the gallery. Don’t quit giving silly reasons. Work for the betterment of the General Public.

  • 5
    3

    While there maybe many interferences on the part of the Government, the Auditor General’s department has developed an increasingly self-important role for itself since of late blown out by public support, which is not always for the right reasons. The recent dispute over the borrowing limit itself is enough proof to highlight his arrogance, where he has erroneously computed rolled-over short term debt maturities, seriously deviating from common sense and general practice for the sake of sophomania. Having gone flat on his nose over key indicator with far-reaching consequences its apparent the department lacks necessary expertise to conduct audits on unconventional matters. This is a known fact among those who are familiar with their auditing skills, understanding of processes and professional conduct (ironically) where arrogance has taken over.

  • 3
    2

    The message to all politicians – ‘Hands off the AG / SG / IGP unless they are found wanting in their work. Let them work efficiently and honestly without any bias.’

  • 6
    5

    At long last, a head of an institution with integrity and ‘telling it like it is’! Well done Gamini Wijesinghe. If we only had more public servants like you we would be in a much better place.

    The idiotic Kiriella, whose main function appears to be to laugh at the PM’s awful attempts at humour and talk rubbish, is once again displaying his moronic character by trying to defend the indefensible.

    Let’s hope the President will not condone the actions of his lackeys and instruct them not to interfere with heads of institutions, except through the proper channels.

  • 5
    4

    Where were you when the last regiment ruling the country

    • 3
      1

      Mugalan

      Not in Auditor General’s Department.

  • 1
    0

    The one cry of OUR political masters is “Look NO Hands”.

    Functions that are necessary for a proper democracy ie independent Police, Justice and Audit etc are ‘for show’ in Our Island in the Sun.

    The power and reach of our ministers are as unlimited as they are unaccountable.

    As one said “how can a mere auditor tell me whether my department has done right or wrong? I am elected, he is not. We can change him anytime. I am only responsible to the President (and he is responsible only to God)”.
    ]
    Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

    ALL this, only in the Miracle of Asia.

  • 4
    1

    Must teach politicians a lesson to humiliate them. PM is the bloke who cu interfering with Auditor General and COPE Aalso appointing PM henchmen Sujeewa to COPE

  • 2
    1

    Government should appoint a qualified person from a minority community to this very important position. Sinhalese are passive racists and will never fully support the reconciliation efforts of the President and Prime minister.

  • 0
    1

    If one thinks that the country is better off with yahapalanaya, he/she is highly mistaken. There is not single honest fellow in this government. All of them are full blooded rogues. Now what we have is instead of Rajapaksa crooks, Ranil/Sira crooks.

  • 0
    1

    This what Yahapalanaya forcing you to do. TO GET RID OF YOU AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE.

    STAY PUT AG AT ALL COSTS.

  • 1
    1

    Keep fighting for the right thing. We must all act to get this government to the right track!

  • 2
    1

    Auditor General

    Please don’t quit, you seem to be qualified to hold the position; the most important one, bravery to resist politicians whether ruling or the opposition..

  • 2
    1

    This Auditor is a political stooge who is bent on creating trouble for the current government. He can get lost if he wants to quit please go ahead. The pay rise he asked for is also drama staged to make a bogus case of political victimization. These are the fellows who worshiped the rajapakshes and would do anything to help their cause. They will find something wrong in everything the current government does while never lifting a finger in protest during the previous regime.

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