ECONOMYNEXT – A new non-profit, apolitical outfit led by Sri Lankan professionals will launch an online portal to accredit candidates running for public office, rating them on criteria like educational qualifications and getting them to declare their assets.
Citizens for Accountable Governance (Guarantee) Limited (CAG LANKA) said it aims to empower voters with required information on the candidates they are hoping to vote on at elections.
The accreditation process ranks politicians according to a rating system for prescribed criteria and a weighted average determines the final rating of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit along with a star rating
The two-pronged approach has a certification process and a legal mechanism.
The accreditation mechanism requires any candidate running for public office at elections to apply to the Accreditation Board and agree to certain conditions.
Candidates are required to declare assets and liabilities by signing a deed of declaration and also sign an irrevocable deed of Trust voluntarily vesting all undeclared and ill-gotten assets to the CAG Trust.
They should also submit a service agreement describing their individual manifesto while agreeing to an accountable governance structure along with a completed rating application.
The rating will be passed after considering factors like highest education qualifications, legal cases for frauds, political history, achievements and conduct.
“The reason for the current predicament and the distressed old people is purely because of the lack of the key features which would entail in an accountable governance structure,” Mangala Niyarepola, executive committee member said.
“The legal framework of CAG Lanka is made up of an Individual Service Plan and an applicable policy.”
“A troubled conscience is what motivated us to initiate this cause,” said Janaki Kuruppu. “We require people to spread this message and make use of what we have created.”
The need to constitutionalize the process was highlighted by Mahendra Amarasooriya who said that even though this is a good cause, it needs to be a law for it to be practiced.
The organization said that atrust fund named CAG Trust will establish a charitable trust benefiting Sri Lankan people.
The trust will operate under the discretion of a board of trustees to act as trustees of or for any fund created. (Colombo/Oct14/2019)