President wants greater scrutiny of Public Accounts

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa/PMD photo

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is calling on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to grade all government institutions whose accounts are examined by the House.

The President’s remarks were made on Friday when awards were distributed to 109 State, Provincial and Local Government institutions whose accounting practices deemed to be the best, a press release from the Presidential Secretariat said.

A total of 844 institutions were examined by the PAC for the year 2018, and from them, 55 received Gold Awards, 23 Silver and 31 Merit Certificates.

President Rajapaksa urged the PAC to update the questionnaire submitted to the institutions and also emulate the accounting practices used by the private sector.

The President pointed out that Parliament has full control of all government funds and the PAC’s task is to ensure that state institutions do not spend more than what the House has allocated to them.

The PAC should reveal the overspending and it should safeguard public property he said. The President remarked that there are groups of protestors from various state institutions arriving at the Presidential Secretariat almost on a daily basis.

“Secretariat staff who should be implanting government policy are dealing with these protestors. Finally, each line Ministry should take over this task,” Rajapaksa said.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the PAC Chairman State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Minister Johnston Fernando were among those present at the awards ceremony. (Colombo, February 29, 2020)

-AR