COPE questions Litro on hiring of private audit company

Friday, 26 February 2021 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • COPE says Auditor General’s Dept. should audit these institutions
  • Committee to take up matter with Attorney General
  • Litro Chairman Anil Koswatte says no legal impediment for private sector company to carry out audit as decided by Board

Litro Gas Lanka and Litro Terminal Lanka, operating under Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), have conducted their audits through a private company disregarding the Auditor General’s advice to have the audits conducted through them, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) heard this week.

COPE members questioned on what grounds a private company, KPMG, was hired to conduct the audit solely on the decision of the Board of Directors when the Attorney General had instructed the Auditor General that there was no impediment to the latter auditing the two institutions.

COPE Chairman MP Prof. Charitha Herath said it was bewildering why Litro Gas Lanka and Litro Terminal Lanka as shareholders of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation owning 99.94% and 100% of shares respectively conducted an audit through a private company although the audit of SLIC was conducted by the AG.

Addressing the committee, Litro Gas Lanka Chairman Anil Koswatte stated that there was no legal impediment for a private sector company to carry out an audit as decided by the Board of Directors.

Given that the situation could adversely affect other administrative companies, especially those owned by SLIC, in the future, the Chairman highlighted that it was everyone’s responsibility to protect State-affiliated institutions. 

Accordingly, COPE Chairman Prof. Herath stated that COPE would inquire into the matter with the Attorney General and measures to inform of the findings through the Chief Accounting Officer.

COPE also discussed the loss of Rs. 36 million due to the closure of SLIC branches in the Maldives and Seychelles.

COPE directed the SLIC Chairman to submit a report on the reasons for the closure of its Maldives and Seychelles branches, losses and expenses incurred by the corporation for opening and closing those branches.

State Ministers Susil Premajayantha and Nalaka Godahewa MPs Jagath Pushpakumara, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Premnath C. Dolawatta, S.M. Marikkar and S. Rasamanikkam and officials representing SLIC and Litro Gas Lanka were present at the meeting held on Wednesday.