The losses incurred by government institutions last year is over Rs. 50 billion, Speaker of the House Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday.He pointed out that these funds could have been used for the welfare of the public or economic development, if proper public finance management was carried out by these institutes.
Speaker Jayasuriya said these losses should draw more public attention. “Instead we see reports of 118 MPs who are alleged to have been involved in the Treasury Bond issue, of which neither me nor the Presidential Secretary is aware of,” he said.
The Speaker was addressing an awareness programme for Parliamentary Journalists organised by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, at Waters Edge in Battharamulla yesterday morning. He also observed that a survey in 2014 revealed that 40% of all government department expenses is wasted.
He also pointed out that the Committee on Public Accounts and Committee of Public Enterprises are now able to summon the media at any time to update the public on investigations that they are conducting. Speaking on the strict supervision maintained by the present government over public fund management, Speaker Jayasuriya said that public funds cannot be used according to others’ whims and fancies like in the previous times.
“Now nobody can spend public money as they wish for whatever they want. We are striving hard for transparency in utilising public funds. The government institutions have to undergo an internal audit every three months now, unlike in the previous times. The government departments must submit information required by COPA on time, otherwise the responsible authorities will be regarded as not qualified to handle these subjects.
It has been revealed that continuous COPA probes have increased responses from the public institutes by 80%,” the Speaker also said.
Speaking on the COPA reports that will be taken up for debate in Parliament today, Speaker Jayasuriya said that extremely important information on public fund mismanagement and persons involved will be revealed. Speaking of the COPA procedure, the Speaker said previously there was a process where the Committee chases the thieves whereas now, it does not have to do so.
“From the new system adopted by the COPA, the shortcomings, mismanagements and wrongdoings will come in real time,” he pointed out.