Audit Bill will be reality under new Govt: Maithri

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Says priority will be to establish financial discipline and management in the state sector

By Himal Kotelawala

The new Government appointed following the upcoming general election will present a new Audit Bill in Parliament aimed at establishing financial discipline at state institutions, President Maithripala Sirisena told a gathering of accountants yesterday.

Speaking at the Global Management Accounting Summit 2015 and Integrated Reporting Awards organised by the Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA), President Sirisena said this bill would act as a deterrent to the many irregularities and corrupt practices that have plagued the state sector for years.


President Maithripala Sirisena in conversation with CMA President Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala at the inauguration of Global Management Accounting Summit 2015 and Integrated Reporting Awards. IFAC President Olivia Kirtley (on right) and Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting are also present - Pic by Upul Abayasekara


“The people of this country appointed a new Government to bring about the changes and transformations necessary for the prevention of corruption at state institutions,” the President said, adding that even though the present administration could not achieve it over the past few months, a newly-elected Government would give priority to instilling financial discipline in the state sector.

“Under the good governance policy, I will give priority to establishing financial discipline and management in the state sector, and use budget allocations and domestic and foreign aid with the highest efficacy in order to develop the country,” he said.

Apart from the Auditor General’s Department, all ministries and state institutes have their own internal audit units. If these units carried out their duties the right way, said President Sirisena, the task of the Auditor General would be made a lot simpler.

“But in my experience, state institutions and ministries’ internal audit units are very weak, giving rise to serious questions about financial discipline,” he said.

The situation with regard to tender processes was particularly dire, he noted.

“The management of finance and cost control is an area that needs to be strengthened and has to go hand-in-hand with accountability and good governance. We should take all actions to wipe out financial and accounting fraud and ensure the Government, investors and the people receive correct financial information,” he said.

The President called on the accountants present at the event to do their duty by the country by being fearless in carrying out their responsibilities.

“When talking about good governance, in terms of financial discipline and financial management factors, accountants must carry out their duties in an honest and fearless manner. Doing so will add value to your profession,” he told the gathering.