Public officials should be able to provide inputs on policy matters – COPA

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has recommended that a policy decision should be taken regarding the space available for public servants to presenting their views on Cabinet decisions on perplexing issues.

The Chairman of the Committee Prof. Tissa Vitharana made this recommendation at the COPA meeting held on Tuesday with regards to the Special Audit Report pertaining to the renting of a private building for the Ministry of Agriculture.

It was also discussed at the meeting that a formal inquiry should be held into the leasing of a private building for the Ministry of Agriculture at a cost of Rs. 1,524 million from government funds, contrary to the proper procurement process without transparency.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Sumedha Perera said that an investigation is being carried out at the ministry level regarding this incident.

It was revealed at the committee meeting that the leasing of a private building for the Ministry of Agriculture was done in accordance with a decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers during the previous government.

The Committee discussed at length the need to formulate a proper system to prevent such incidents from reoccurring. The committee also focused on the need to formulate new rules and regulations for this purpose.

Minister Udaya Gammanpila, State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Duminda Dissanayake, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Members of Parliament D.Y.G Ratnasekera, Dr. Upul Galappaththi, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Tissa Attanayake, Prof. Ranjith Bandara, Buddhika Pathirana, S. Shritharan and government officials were present at this meeting.

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