An intellectual gathering to discuss setting up of an action plan for elimination of bribery and corruption, chaired by Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando was held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (January 18).
Those who attended the meeting included Finance Secretary Dr R H S Samaratunge, Central Bank Governor Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, Director General of Bribery & Corruption Commission, Sarath Jayamanne, Executive Director of Transparency International, Ashoka Abeysekera, and representatives from Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Sri Lanka Professional association and media institutes.
The action plan is aimed at ensuring sustainable development in economic, social, cultural, legal and environment fields in Sri Lanka through the elimination of bribery and corruption.
All the countries in the world have identified the imperative need for elimination of corruption and bribery and action has been taken for enactment of international agreements, laws, regulations and mechanism for this purpose.
Sri Lanka too has identified this requirement for such a programme and the cabinet has approved formulation of a National Action Plan at the ministerial meeting held on October 24, 2017.
At present, the preparation works of that National Action Plan is being carried out speedily and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption is expected to get the ideas and suggestions of all the stakeholders, including the state sector, private sector, civil societies and the media.
In yesterday’s meeting the ideas and suggestions of intellectuals has been taken and it was discussed in detail regarding the strengthening of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, strengthening of the investigation process as well as the prosecution procedure and regarding the steps that should be taken to eliminate fraud and corruption.
It has also been identified regarding the need for awareness and educational programmes on eliminating the fraud and corruption. It is expected to eradicate the bribery or corruption acts done by the people’s representatives and to increase their adherence to truthfulness through the establishment of the National Action Plan with the participation of the public including the state sector, private sector and civil societies.
During this meeting, the attention was also paid regarding prevention of fraud and corruption in the private sector, prevention of fraud and corruption in the public finance management and state procurement procedure, enactment of laws regarding recovery of properties earned by fraud, corruption, money laundering and other criminal activities, protecting of the persons who raised voices against corruption as well as to limit the funding for the election propaganda.