On the recommendation of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), government bodies which have achieved a high performance level in the year 2018 were presented with awards at the Parliamentary Complex, (28) under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Of the 844 institutions of State, Provincial Councils and Local Government that have been evaluated, 109 institutions were finalized to be awarded. They were presented with 55, 23 and 31, Gold and Silver awards and certificates of commendation respectively. Gold awards for the state institutes with excellent performance were given away by President Rajapaksa himself.
During his speech, the President stated that the objective of the Committee on Public Accounts is not to impose legal restraints on the state officials. The President advised to evaluate all the institutes which come under the purview of financial inspection of the Parliament in the future. President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to update the questionnaire used to evaluate the institutes and pointed out the importance of using the procedures adopted by the private sector in their administration as a model.
â€˜The government is committed to expedite as well as to expand the process of management review. A number of protesting groups from state institutions daily hold agitations in front of the Presidential Secretariat. As a result of this situation, the staff of the Presidential Secretariat has to devote more time to these agitators than performing their duties. In the resort relevant ministries should take the responsibility for making room for those demonstrationsâ€™, the President added.
The Parliament has the full control over the public funds, the President said. The media report cases regarding financial mismanagement found in certain government institutions. President Rajapaksa further said that the Committee on Public Accounts has an important role to play in revealing whether the state assets are safeguarded against frauds occurring in excess of the expenditure approved by the Parliament.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Minister Johnston Fernando, Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Members of Parliament Sisira Jayakody, Dulip Wijesekara, Secretary-General of Parliament, Dhammika Dasanayake, Auditor General, Secretaries to the Ministries, Heads of Departments and Government Officials were present on the occasion.