SLBFE and the questionable “pilot project”

SLBFE and the questionable “pilot project”

SLBFE and the questionable “pilot project”

Written by Tharushan Fernando

06 Nov, 2016 | 11:51 pm

Since the immigration service is bound with human lives, pilot projects and test measures should and can not be undertaken.

On Thursday, Action TV highlighted that the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, had issued a circular for such a pilot project.

While such pilot projects cannot be undertaken in the human resources market, Action TV also pointed out that, notwithstanding the fact that there are 1017 licensed foreign employment agencies in the country, the provisions of the circular apply to just one agency.

While the circular contains eight instructions in total, the third instruction is illegal and arbitrary.As per this clause, local agencies seeking authorisation for job orders, must place a bank guarantee amounting to 10 million rupees and valid for two years.

However, the bureau does not have the power to ask for a bank guarantee of more than 750,000 rupees from any agency seeking authorization for job orders.

On March 18, 2015, the Deputy General Manager of the Foreign Employment Bureau, utilising a power that he does not possess, addressed a letter to a private bank, requesting that an On Demand Bank Guarantee of 10 million rupees be issued to a certain agency, as per clause 3 in the circular.

According to the letter, the agency which has agreed to a bond of 10 million rupees, has received the approval of the Bureau for a special job order.

The special job order, enables this agency to charge a fee from workers who are called for employment overseas directly through friends and family or channels like Facebook, by passing the agencies.Even individuals who receive overseas employment via other channels and not through the agencies, must register with the Foreign Employment Bureau as per Act number 21 of 1985.

According to the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies, between 80,000 and 100,000 people receive overseas employment outside of job orders listed by agencies.The total sum of the registration fees paid by these individuals, must be credited to the account of the Foreign Employment Bureau.

As such, the estimated annual revenue for the government is approximately Rs. 1.5 billion.

This proves that by securing the assistance of a specific agency, what has been done in this instance is the initiation of a pilot project to defraud public funds.

Action TV will expose more information on the persons steering this dubious pilot project.

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