Colombo (LNW): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Governance Strategic Assessment (GDA) report on Sri Lanka has issued sixteen priority recommendations to be implemented.
These measures are designed to address major governance shortcomings and deep-rooted corruption within governmental operations, paving the way for the country’s economic growth potential.
- By November 2023, establish an Advisory Committee, composed of independent experts on anti-corruption to assist in the nomination of CIABOC Commissioners and the Director General.
- Publication of Asset Declaration for senior officials (President, Prime Minister, ministers) on a designated website in line with Anti-corruption Law by July 2024.
- Enact Proceeds of Crime legislation that is fully aligned with UNCAC and FATF standards by April 2024.
- Amend the National Audit Act to enable the Auditor General to levy surcharges on officers, including Chief Accounting Officers, for failure to properly discharge responsibility for oversight and accountability for use of public resources.
- Finalise and implement regulations to support the provision of beneficial ownership information as required by the Companies Act and establish a public beneficial ownership registry by April 2024.
- Enact a Public Procurement Law that reflects international good practice by December 2024.
- In December 2024, publish report on a designated website on progress in increasing the proportion of competitive tendered procurement contracts in the 10 agencies determined to have the lowest level of competitive tenders in 2022.
- Starting in March 2024, publish on a designated website: (i) all public procurement contracts above LKR 1 billion, along with comprehensive information in a searchable format on contract award winners; (ii) a list of all firms receiving tax exemptions through the Board of Investment and the SDP, and an estimation of the value of the tax exemption; and (iii) a list of firms receiving tax exemptions on luxury vehicle import. Information to be updated every six months.
- Implement the SOE Reform Policy, ensuring that the holding company (HoCo) and the advisory committee are comprised of skilled, independent, and ethical staff.
- Abolish or suspend application of the Strategic Development Projects Act until promulgation of explicit and transparent process for evaluation of proposals and costing of investment promotion conditions.
- Amend tax legislation to eliminate or restrict ministerial authority to introduce tax changes without prior parliamentary approval and ensure that such changes do not generate revenue losses.
- Institute short-term anti-corruption measures within each revenue department to strenghten internal oversight and sanctioning processes and linkages with CIABOC and related criminal investigation and enforcement processes by Dec 2023 and issue a public report on steps taken and results obtained by Dec 2024.
- Following a broad consultative process, produce a Cabinet policy paper by June 2024 on options for establishing new management arrangements for the Employee Provident Fund that terminates direct CBSL management.
- Revise legislation, regulations, and process relating to financial sector oversight in the banking sector, including strengthening corporate governance for banks with government ownership by improving the selection of executives and Board members.
- By December 2024, establish an on-line digital land registry, and publish, on a designated website, report on progress in implementing published Plan for registering/titling all state land.
- Establish and implement a plan to expand the resources and skills available to the Judicial Service Commission in order to enhance their ability to carry out their function and define potential options for modifying governance arrangements in the Justice sector to strengthen oversight, monitoring, and proper sector development.