Colombo Telegraph

Transparency International Begins Corruption Investigation Against Sri Lanka Chapter

A formal complaint filed from the membership of the Sri Lanka chapter of Transparency International (TISL) regarding serious irregularities and allegations of financial mismanagement within TISL has been referred by the Board of Ethics of TI-Head Office, Berlin to the Chair of the International Board of Directors of Transparency International (TI) for ‘necessary action as per the applicable rules’ of TI-International.

José Ugaz – Chair of the TI board

On inquiries being made from the Berlin office on Monday (9th), Colombo Telegraph learns that the reference has been made after comprehensive examination of the complaints filed by members of TISL.

The reference has noted that the undermining of ethical principles is evidenced on the allegations raised but that the issues are mainly related to management and internal governance. Given the important issues of internal governance and management presented in the complaint however, the Chair of the Ethics Board has indicated that the Ethics Board will be kept informed to decide about the way forward accordingly, as per article 6 of the TI’s Board Ethics Committee Procedure in case of complaints.

The Sri Lankan Chapter of the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International (TI) has been in the centre of public controversy during recent months with long standing staff members of the local chapter leveling serious allegations of corruption and malpractices and finally being ‘forced out’ of the organization.

The allegations relate to violation of procedures in recruitment, awarding of contracts without calling for quotations, removal of three senior employees by citing false information even when the funds were available, violation of organisation manual, ill treatment meted out to staff members as well as nepotism & insider dealings.

Serious conflict of interest allegations have been made due to Directors of the Sri Lanka chapter holding positions in other non-governmental organizations even as the TISL sub-contracted originally supposed to have been undertaken by TISL to those organizations and/or contracted evaluations of the Sri Lanka chapter to be done by those organizations. TISL’s Board includes J.C. Weliamuna, Shyamala Gomez (also Country Director, Fokus Women), Gehan Gunetilleke (also Research Director at Verite Research), Anushika Amerasinghe (also long time associate of Strategic Inspirations Pvt. Ltd) and Tony Senewiratne former ED, LEADS (Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Service).

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