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COPE concerned over lack of supervision by Treasury

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday expressed concern over the supervision of public enterprises by the Treasury, which is the controlling arm of state owned ventures.

COPE Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had shown a special interest on the recommendations made in the COPE report tabled in Parliament.

“President Rajapaksa submitted the report to the ministers and instructed them to implement the recommendations at their ministries. This is a move in the right direction to prevent waste and mismanagement at public enterprises,” the senior minister said.

The COPE prepared its detailed report after studying the audit reports and financial statements of some 250 state ventures. In a stinging indictment COPE said poor supervision by the Treasury had led to multiple corruption, financial and administrative mismanagement, inefficiency and waste at almost all the public enterprises put under the microscope.

“The Department of Public Enterprises and the National Budget are supervisory arms of public enterprises and various circulars and instructions are issued by these two departments for the sake of good governance, transparency and proper functioning of the institutions. A Treasury official is specially appointed to the board of directors of every public enterprise. But the Committee observes that although the instructions are issued by the Treasury, there is no proper supervision exercised by the Treasury to see that these instructions and guidelines are adhered to by the public enterprises,” the report said.

COPE also recommended that a check be carried out by Treasury representatives to see whether they were performing their duties efficiently.

It said it was essential for a public enterprise to prepare and update its Corporate Plan annually and to strictly adhere to the Treasury Circulars when the plan was prepared.
Source: Daily Mirror – Sri Lanka

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