SOEs: Politicians must leave them alone

Thursday, 27 February 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The incumbent Government has appointed a number of individuals to head public institutions, though some of these appointments are far below the standard of expectation of the general public. Leave that as it may, the appointments are made and institutions have now been constituted with Boards of Directors.

It is best that these boards be initially commissioned with the task of taking stock of the current situation and disclosing same for the benefit of the public. Practically all of these institutions have been shy of disclosing information to the public in the past, and they are far behind in terms of the standards they should maintain as public institutions. 

While it is mandatory for public quoted companies to disclose their operational aspects and their financial health for the benefit of the stakeholders, it is pathetic to see State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), duty bound to disclose; treating this obligation with impunity. This has to end and public disclosures must be made mandatory and I hope the President will set a higher standard and will make them happen.

It is my final hope that politicians, most of whom are alienated from management capabilities, will leave these technocrats and professionals alone without interfering with their work. Yes, leave them alone and only make them responsible and accountable.  The politicians have enough opportunities in Parliament, through COPE for example, to rectify any shortcomings without interfering in the day to day running on which they have little knowledge. 

Sri Lanka can prosper with such an attitude.

E. Perera

Colombo 5