TISL launches peps.lk, a politically exposed persons’ online database
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) launched an online database today (26) with information on politically exposed persons (PEPs) in Sri Lanka. The database can be accessed at peps.lk.
According to TISL, PEPs are individuals that are or have been entrusted with a prominent public function and are in positions that can be potentially abused for the purpose of corruption or bribery.
“PEPs can be individuals with very high levels of integrity, who are merely classified as PEPs due to the office they hold. PEPs are, however, individuals who are in positions that can be potentially abused for the purpose of committing corruption, bribery, money laundering, or terrorist financing. As a result, it is important that these individuals are recognised, and their transactions subjected to enhanced scrutiny,” TISL said.
Addressing the media, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said that its register is not limited to politicians.
“With the launch of peps.lk today, what we can see is Sri Lanka’s first politically exposed persons’ register. These registers are not new. These registers are already in existence and are widely used in the banking sector. When we are looking at public function it is important to realise that this is not only politicians. This is about looking at senior bureaucrats, people who have executive powers, senior managers, the board of directors of a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) etc. Individuals on peps.lk have a profile page and so do the SOEs,” Obeysekere said.
“In the future what we want to see in the individuals’ page is that we are continuously striving to ensure that asset disclosures of senior public officials are in the public domain. As soon we get the information in the public domain we are committed to putting it up in this web platform for people to be able to monitor it and hold people accountable,” he added.
Obeysekere went on to say that, for the first time in Sri Lanka, the entire structure of SOEs and all of their subsidiaries is available in one place.
“This will be a valuable tool for citizens and for journalists as they are trying to understand companies better. This will also be valuable for the banking sector as well,” he said.