More time, wider scope for PRECIFAC

Thursday, 18 February 2016 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shanika Sriyananda

The Government has extended the term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) till 3 March 2017.

Highly-placed PRECIFAC sources told the Daily FT that the Government is also expected to expand the scope of the Commission including granting more powers to investigate ongoing cases of large-scale fraud and corruption.

A few weeks ago, the PRECIFAC sent a letter to the President Maithripala Sirisena requesting an extension to its term till March 2017.

Appointed by President Sirisena, the PRECIFAC has received nearly 1,500 complaints of large-scale of frauds and misusing of power and public money in State institutions.

“Out of the 1,500 complaints, we have considered nearly 900 complaints during our first term. The remaining 600 will be investigated during the second term,” PRECIFAC Secretary Lacille de Silva said.

The PRECIFAC, which handles over 50 cases of large-scale fraud and corruption, has already submitted its third interim report and the final report on alleged misuse of State funds on the Negombo Lagoon development project to the President.

The Commission has decided to finalise the ongoing investigations into financial irregularities at the Independent Television Network during the presidential elections 2015 and the Coconut Cultivation Board during the same regimesoon.