Sri Lanka govt performance audit, action tracker mooted by Ceylon Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has proposed an action tracker for all Sri Lanka government initiatives and mandatory performance audits along with a “sound” public communication strategy to try to revive the island economic growth.

The proposals are in the chamber’s draft ‘2020-25 Economic Acceleration Framework’ launched at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit this week.

Hans Wijayasuriya, the head of the chamber, said the framework was focused on “re-calibrating” Sri Lanka’s economic trajectory.

“We need to recognise, that when we talk about recalibration, we live in exponential times.

Recalibration would need to be done on a very regular basis – and planning will never be static, it needs to be multidimensional,” he said.

The Ceylon Chamber said in a statement its Economic Acceleration Framework is a collective aspiration and action plan, which will guide Sri Lanka’s economy from an 89 billion US dollar economy, to a 134 billion dollar one in five years.

This can be done, Wijayasuriya said, by consolidating and pivoting on fundamental strengths, including fiscal discipline, macro stability, Sri Lanka’s strategic location, international relations and quality of life.

“This would require focus on balanced sectoral growth, and establishing growth enablers and accelerators, covering digitisation, education, SME acceleration, energy, and more,” he said.

“A holistic framework for inclusive economic acceleration would also require the good governance, an installation of meritocracy, transparency, and elimination of corruption.

The draft Economic Acceleration report said governance improvements were needed to ensure proper implementation.

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“Sri Lanka has many vision documents and national policies across many sectors. However, the execution and implementation is often weak, or non-existent,” it said.

It lists several current plans and programmes that must be implemented fully, like the National Export Strategy.

Recommend initiatives include a ‘National Implementation Oversight Committee’ consisting of both public and private sector officials, with sub-committees formed at different levels.

An action tracker for all government initiatives, mandatory quarterly progress reports and a sound public communication strategy is also recommended, along with mandatory performance audit by the Auditor General’s department, in addition to a fiscal audit function.

The report suggests vesting the overall function of monitoring development projects with a line Ministry responsible for monitoring and evaluation.
(COLOMBO, 18 Sep, 2019)