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Verité report exposes Sri Lanka’s procurement corruption risks

February 19, Colombo (LNW): A staggering revelation comes to light exposing Sri Lanka’s critical vulnerabilities towards combatting corruption in procurement, according to a Verité Research report.

The report, “Backwards in Blacklisting: Gaps in Sri Lanka’s Procurement Framework Enable Corruption“, points out that Sri Lanka’s procurement guidelines, established in 2006, lack essential provisions, notably the absence of recognising corrupt activities during procurement as grounds for blacklisting contractors.

This omission exposes the system to potential corruption risks.

Furthermore, the report reveals a lack of compliance with existing regulations, such as the failure to blacklist contractors who default on contracts, as mandated.

Unlike neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka’s Department of Public Finance has not populated its online database with the names of such defaulters.

These findings underscore the pervasive corruption within Sri Lanka’s public procurement system, corroborated by assessments from civil society governance diagnostics and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF has stressed the urgency of enacting a public procurement law by December 2024 to align with global best practices, emphasising the need for comprehensive reform in this critical area.

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