19 September, 2018

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Make The Office Of Auditor General The Most Powerful Audit Office

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

A leading weekend print media reported recently that the final draft of the National Audit Bill was submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by Legal Draftsman on 14 June 2016 and it is held up there since then.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose days as the premier appear to be almost numbered, should see the importance of making the office of the Auditor General absolutely independent and most powerful. He should comprehend the bigger picture in establishing the office of the Auditor General with sweeping powers to audit any public office with no impediments whatsoever. The politicians may come and go, but there shall be a powerful audit office, as the only way forward in the right direction of good governance. Ranil Wickremesinghe should understand that he has no moral right to impede the process of making all organs of the government accountable to the people for all their actions.

With the bond scam coming to light with overwhelming evidence, it appears that Wickremesinghe government that pledged people ‘yahapalana rule’ has miserably failed and it is very unlikely the recovery of the lost ground, as people seem to have withdrawn their confidence in the regime.

At this crucial point of time what the nation demands is to facilitate the establishment of a powerful national audit office to deal with any public office as this country has enormously suffered enough in the hands of people with no integrity and who are responsible for abusing the public office for private benefit, which make them liable under the bribery and corruption law.

Wrongdoers can either be Mahinda Rajapaksa or Wickremesinghe loyalist. Yet, what the people demand now is justice, for the serious crimes committed against them, whose trust has been miserably abused by the dishonest politicos with scant respect to the rule of law.

In Sri Lanka, which is a representative democracy, it is the people who hold inalienable autonomous powers, including legislative, executive or judicial powers, that is being exercised by the people elected or appointed as MPs, Cabinet of Ministers or the Judiciary purely on trust. Therefore, the people have every right to demand for a foolproof audit system to make any person accountable to all forms of misdeeds, which cannot be ensured without such an authority in place (office of the Auditor General), similar to National Audit Office in the UK. However the dishonest politicians may naturally not like it, but they should understand that it is one of the foremost necessities in good governance.

People of Sri Lanka can learn a lot from the UK, considered the mother of democracy, where there is a National Audit Office established by law, which is an absolutely independent body responsible for auditing the entire government business with unfettered powers conferred in it. It gives assurance to the people over three aspects of the government expenditure, the truth and fairness of financial statements, the regularity of the government expenditure and propriety of the audited body’s conduct in accordance with parliamentary, statutory and public expectations. It meets the International Standards of Auditing (ISAs) in all aspects.

In recent past the national audit office made number of MPs who were found to have abused their office to resign including the most powerful Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith. She was caught whilst making wrong claim of just 9 pounds from the taxpayers’ money. This amply shows how a democracy should work.

Like in the UK, the office of the Auditor General shall also conferred with powers to carry out value for money audits (VFM) that are non-financial audits to ensure the effectiveness, economy and efficiency of government spending. This shall include the auditing of the major projects undertaken by the previous regime as well as the financial irregularities of the Wickremesinghe government.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Nagananda! My good wishes to your quest for social justice. Both sides of the divide wants some infirmity so that the side that holds power can Rob, Rob and Rob to the hilt.

  • 5
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    See how often politicians make claims to the responsiblities of the Bureaucrats. that is heavy politicization. Even though there are ministries, departments, bureaucrats, it is the pol.ittician make the decision. that should be stopped. Long Ago, the ministry secretary was a qualified person. Now, it is some onw who came completely on political – favourations.

    Every where, bureaucrats should be allowed to be independant.

    Ranil even rewarded the guy with a minister post, the one who gave the suggection to steal money from CB. they knew Bond sales were crooked – scam. Yet they continued it and earned money. Even when media started complaining it, they continued it for another 23 times.

  • 8
    1

    Nagananda,

    I do respect you for taking on the uphill task of trying to reform Sri Lankan politics for the better.

    But in this instance you are asking Ranil of all people to make The Office Of Auditor General the most powerful audit office. This will not happen. Ranil is one of the stumbling blocs to good governance. He has been so for a long time. Trying to cover up the bond scam is just one of his recent reprehensible acts. Secondly even if the Audit office is made the most powerful, our degenerate politicians of the calibre of MARA will do things over and above with the collaboration of the Sangha, that will undermine any powerful office.

    Basically this Sinhala Buddhist nation is not mature enough for good governance – that is the simple truth.

    • 8
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      BBS Rep

      I wish Nagananda Kodituwakku well for his good intentions but wonder his judgement.

      It is not the office that is weak and unable to deliver what it is suppose to deliver.

      It is the officers who work for the department counts. Ranil can make the “Office Of Auditor General The Most Powerful Audit Office” however the appointment of corrupt official make it much worse than a weak office.

      Now look at the presidency, most powerful and tell us what it has delivered since its inception.

      • 0
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        ms native veddha

        “Now look at the presidency, most powerful and tell us what it has delivered since its inception.”

        it has delivered this,for which women in srilanka are eternally grateful.

        http://www.itnnews.lk/local-news/giant-yam-from-ministers-home-garden/

        how many quid foreign women have to fork out.here they get it for practically nothing from their home gardens.

  • 3
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    “In SL which is a representative democracy, it is the people who hold the inalienable autonomous powers.”
    How many people know that for real?
    Are they at least aware of that important power they have?. No.
    That is because their whole attention is diverted and manipulated systematically by politicians and the media by giving false information on a daily basis with biased news reports and underrated third rate entertainment to lull them into a state of mind to accept their hopeless drudgery as normal.
    The different religious opium that they are afflicted with makes sure that they remain that way.
    It is only when they come out of that debilitating stupor one fine day that they will awaken to right the hopeless predicament they are in.

  • 4
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    Mr. Naganand: This “Audit Bill” has a long HISTORY. This was in DRAFT form during “MHARAJANOS” times, but did not proceed beyond that “FORM” to the Statute Book. The present “Youva Raja”, the “CHETHIYA” will never ever allow it become the LAW. Please consult the retired Auditor General, Mr. Mayadunne; he will tell you what happened and why it is not finding its birth. It is a “Still Born “baby. That is why the “Golayas” of the “Youva Raja” were instructed to direct an scathing attack on the present Auditor General at the COPPE meeting that considered a report by him on the Bond Scam. But this opinion of mine will not in any way undermine or underestimate your efforts in ushering in an ear of “Good Governance”. I congratulate you on your efforts towards that worthy cause.

  • 3
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    Good idea, Nagananda.

    The problem will be in finding the right individual to be the Auditor General. Who will appoint him/her? And will there be a non-partisan group to do the appointing?

    In any event, it is unlikely that these guys in charge will follow through with this idea, as they will be among the first to be audited (ideally) if the AG will be truly objective.

    So let’s not hold our breath!

  • 4
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    Nagananda Kodituwakku

    RE: Make The Office Of Auditor General The Most Powerful Audit Office

    “A leading weekend print media reported recently that the final draft of the National Audit Bill was submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by Legal Draftsman on 14 June 2016 and it is held up there since then.”

    Are you surprise? Are the voters surprised?

    See what the Traitor “President” Gon Sirisena Gamarala is doing. He is in cahoots with the Rajapaksa crooks, and killers, enjoying the payoff of the stolen billions from the people and going after the independent commissions.

    Can you try to start impreachment proceedings against Traitor “President” Gon Sirisena Gamarala?

    From the Bulath Vines, Vettila Vines and Grape Vines..the Vine News

    Bail granted to suspects not only in Ekneliyagoda’s but even Lasantha’s murder confirming ‘Sirisenalization’ of judiciary.

    -Wijedasa and Shiral mounted illegal pressures on judge Amal !

    Vine News. Sergeant major Premananda Udalagama, a prime suspect in the ghastly cold blooded murder of editor Lasantha Wickremetunge , and a leader of the murder squad of Gota was yesterday released on bail. This was the latest in the series of callous release of suspects who were involved in the brutal ruthless murders of journalists during the nefarious decade , coming closely on the heels of the recent odious and outrageous ‘cyanide ‘ speech of the president , and clearly evident illicit ‘Sirisenalization’ of the sacrosanct independent judiciary.

    When this case was called up yesterday before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate court , magistrate Mohomed Shabdeen decided to enlarge the suspect on a cash bail of Rs. 50,000.00 and three surety bails in sums of Rs. 500,000.00 each during the non summary trial that is being heard under the criminal procedure code , despite the fact , never before suspects were so released on bail.

    It was the opinion of the legal luminaries that this is obviously and clearly the outcome of secret and stealthy ‘Sirisenalization’ of the judiciary.

    Even after Rivira Editor Upali Tennekoon identified Udalagama as the suspect who attacked and attempted to kill him , the Gampaha magistrate Kaveendra Nanayakkara earlier on enlarged Udalagama on bail. Besides , the case is now being heard most eccentrically . Kaveendra instead of deciding duly on the assault launched on Tennekoon is now focusing on how Vine news is receiving information ?

    The photo of Udalagama posted by Vine News was referred to in court with a view to resort to this diabolic diversion from the actual subject matter of the case .Today (28) ,when this case was being heard , the CID was ordered to furnish a report on Vine News today. Might we state , Vine news has already complained to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the Attorney General in relation to the topsy turvy manner in which this judge hears cases.

    Udalagama the suspect in Lasantha’s murder and attempted murder of Upali , was in remand custody for a relatively short period of 3 months. By granting bail to such a dangerous suspect who led a murder squad , and allowing him room to mingle in society freely is most portentous , and is to endanger the entire society . There are 17 witnesses for Lasantha’s murder case , and they could all be in peril since this notorious Udalagama the criminal can be a serious source of threat and intimidation to them, without any trace of doubt.

    It were Wijedasa and Shiral who exerted pressure on judges to release murderers on bail !

    Meanwhile it is none other than the minister of justice Wijedasa Rajapakse and President’s two penny half penny co ordinating secretary Shiral Lakthileke , the brief-less black coated shark and NGO culprit who have mounted intense pressure via phone calls on Avisawella high court judge Amal Thilakarathne on the 24 th to release the prime suspects , army Lieutenant Colonel Shammi Arjuna and sergeant major Rajapakse Mudiyansalage Priyantha Kumara Rajapakse in the Ekneliyagoda abduction and murder case . Amal Thilakarathne himself has made a confession in this regard.

    Amal Thilakarathne who is addicted to liquor had divulged the whole truth when under the influence of liquor to a friend . Shiral being a ‘bottle friend’ of Amal had assured that he would shield and safeguard him , Amal had further revealed .(The voice tape in this regard is with Vine news)

    At the same time , based on reports ,the investigators conducting investigations into the murders of Lasantha and Ekneliyagoda have also been threatened and pressurized. Details pertaining to these criminalities Vine news shall reveal shortly .

    There was a rising tide of public opinion locally and internationally when the Rajapakses were leaving no stone unturned to safeguard the criminals involved in the murders of journalists , Lasantha and Ekneliyagoda during the period of the oppressive and despotic Rajapakse regime. It was at that time Maithripala Sirisena as the common opposition candidate came to power after making most solemn pledges to the people , and swearing publicly he would conduct impartial and independent investigations into these crimes , and duly mete out punishment to the culprits.

    Miathripala at no stage or time prior to 8 th January 2015 say , he would show sympathy if the suspects or criminals are from the forces. Neither did he announce what action he would take against his minister of justice and his coordinating secretary if they mount illegal pressures and threats on the judges to grant bail to criminals .

    In other words , the nation even in its wildest dreams never believed based on Maithripala’s loud assurances and solemn promises that his justice minister and his coordinating secretary would be this villainous or traitorous towards the masses who risked their lives and worked with commitment day and night to propel the president to power . This buffoonery and tomfoolery are therefore least expected from a president by the people on whose backs he rode gleefully to the winning post when he was being threatened with death by Gotabaya and Rajapakses at every turn.

    Gon Sirisena Gamarala is a traitor and should be impeached.

    • 5
      0

      Amarasiri,

      Congratulations.
      You have summarised the situation lucidly, in a nutshell.
      It is shocking that magistrates are intimidated by ‘political lackeys’.

      We now nave a “injustice” system entrenched in place of a Justice System.

      This President is clearly unable to govern as a Just Head of State.

  • 8
    0

    Unfortunately Nagas advice with all good intentions will not succeed.

    If Ranil makes Auditor General’s office independent and most powerful how can the Royal College clan arouñd him continue their underhand dealings.

    More importantly how can Ranil manipulate the system?

    • 1
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      Another Royalist rogue may be appointed to lead the Audit Office! Cannot trust anybody in high places in SLK.

  • 4
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    Absolutely agree that we should have a most Powerful Audit Office. What is ridiculous is that all legislators are crying foul at different times but never take steps to prevent recurrence, including duty free and other benefits. This soup will last until treasury is fully empty.

  • 2
    0

    Absolutely………………… It should be a priority.

  • 2
    0

    Robbed the people’s money, invest to propup up certain sectors of the stock market and on propaganda machinery and load back loss on the people.

    This is Yahapalanaya as some private people enjoy the fruits sharing with the some yahapalanaya people.

    What was that threesome meeting inside the CB by Malik/Ravi/Kabir?
    With whom and on what? Unheard.

  • 2
    0

    Mr. Nagananda Kodituwakku,
    Apart from making an appeal to Ranil, please see whether you along with Civil Society Organisations could get the support of the Professionals’ Associations to make a common request to the Government to bring in the Audit Bill without diluting them, as early as possible. If it does not lead to a satisfactory outcome, such Associations should agree to launch an agitating campaign, starting from a Lunch Hour Protest campaign.
    This will be in the interest of professionals themselves and they should not leave it to Audit Dept’s trade unions to wage a lone battle. Ranjith

  • 0
    0

    N.K. Congrats,you have really hit the nail on the head. Although the real patriotic people will support this all important piece of legislation the corrupt politicians will do everything in their ill got powers to thwart it’s passage in parliament.It is
    the solemn duty of the civil society to discipline the dishonest politician starting from political party leaders.”Every prospect pleases only the ‘Politician’ is vile.”
    This is the bane of our country.”Only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for the so called good people to be silent.”

  • 0
    0

    ‘”In recent past the national audit office made number of MPs who were found to have abused their office to resign including the most powerful Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith. She was caught whilst making wrong claim of just 9 pounds from the taxpayers’ money. This amply shows how a democracy should work.”

    This will never happen in our paradise being made into a hell, by our politicians and public servants.

    WE NEED A PEACEFUL, BUT EFFECTIVE REVOLUTION NOW.

    Let us stop genflecting and calling the crooks, thieves, cheats , self seekers and ignoramuses in our parliament and other elective bodies SIR/MADAM starting NOW. NO MASTER CALLS HIS SERVANTS SIR/ MADAM!

    Let us stop inviting them to our family occasions and public functions, also starting now.

    Let us demand that they are shorne of all freebies and learn to work for their salaries.

    Show our disdain for them, whatever high office the hold, peacefully- SATYAGRAHA.

    Do the same to our public servants.

    The results will be revolutionary.

    It is in our hands to set our our nation right.

    We cannot do it through our. vote, but WE CAN DO IT WITH OUR UTTER DISDAIN!

    Pass the message.

    Let us do the same to our public servants.’

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
    0

    Correction: Genuflecting.

  • 0
    1

    Noble thoughts which get blown away like sand on the beach. SL has got a plethora of laws covering religious intolerance, racial hatred, inciting violence etc., ad infinitum but none of these laws are ever enforced. The audit bill is another one no matter how strong the legislation is that will be consigned to oblivion. A political appointee will be made AG, the present incumbent is impotent- he did nothing when the Rajapakses were in power and do not expect any worthwhile input from this guy. The staff in the AG office are incompetent based on past reports where nothing of importance was reported. All a bunch of bean counters with no innovation or lateral thinking- these guys are more interested in waiting for their pension than doing any work. The whole bunch should be sacked a strong leader appointed who will make decisions without fear or favour, But can you find such a guy in SL. the only way this outfit will produce results is if an independent international audit expert is appointed to change the culture and deliver services that the public will appreciate. Some one who has the balls to investigate politicians first and expose their corrupt actions to the public. Lets live in hope and die in despair.

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