The subcommittee of the Public Accounts Committee tabled its interim report with a set of recommendations to increase Government revenue by using information and communication technology effectively.
Improving the quality of service offered by State agencies and departments by upgrading the existing ICT system or introducing new areas to be covered by the ICT system, transparency improvements, using electronic payment methods and reengineering the work process where necessary are the key adjustments recommended by the subcommittee.
Presenting the report in Parliament yesterday, Deputy Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Lasantha Alagiyawanna said: “Unless they have a better plan these departments and State entities must implement these recommendations. We propose a continuous monitoring mechanism to assess the progress and a report from the Auditor General later. If these recommendations are established as expected the cycle of summoning these entities for future meetings will come to an end.”
While preparing the report the subcommittee primarily focused on three key establishments – the Department of Customs, Department of Inland Revenue and the Department of Excise, collecting over 80% of the State’s revenue. Immigration and Emigration, Registrar of Companies, Motor Traffic, Import and Export Control, Registrar of Persons are other departments taken into consideration. Ministry of Finance, Register General’s Department, Colombo Municipal Council, Bank of Ceylon, Peoples Bank, Institute of Communication Technology, Lanka Clear are also included in this report.”
“The committee met for the first time on 3 May 2016. Subcommittee Chairman Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne headed the process. Twenty institutions were summoned before the subcommittee. It was revealed that these institutions could provide more revenue-making use of the existing laws. But a considerable percentage of the prospective revenue is lost due to various reasons. Instead of summoning these departments in the future to hold post investigations, we thought of establishing a firm but long-lasting solution,” he added. (AH)