Auditor General at SLC to inspect progress of forensic audit

Auditor General at SLC to inspect progress of forensic audit

Written by Staff Writer

01 Mar, 2019 | 8:37 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The Auditor General made a surprise visit to Sri Lanka Cricket this morning (March 1) to inquire into the process of the audit taking place on SLC.

On January 28th, the Sports Minister called for a forensic audit on SLC transactions from January 31st, 2016, to December 31st, 2018. He requested the report in two weeks. Reports indicate that the forensic audit will be conducted until the 31st of this month.

Issuing a media release SLC stated that the Auditor General met with the Chief Operations Officer of SLC Jerome Jayaratne.

SLC’s release states that the discussions ended on a positive note. According to an SLC statement, COO Jerome Jayaratne informed the Auditor General, that the SLC Executive Committee had directed the senior management to extend their fullest co-operation and assistance in conducting the forensic audit of the SLC accounts.

However, an email from SLC’s Accounting Officer Kamalika Jayasekera sent last night claims all information to be provided to audit personnel must be first sent to the internal auditors, and thereafter it will be sent to the National Auditor. This message was sent to 20 high ranking officials at SLC.

The E-mail further states that the compatibility of the information will be assessed by the internal audit officials before the information is forwarded to the Auditor General’s Department. According to the National Audit act No. 19 of 2018 officials are duty bound to support the officials of the audit department to carry out their services.

What are the powers that allow this official at SLC to ignore this duty and influence, other officials, to first submit all relevant to information to her?

Is she attempting to protect corrupt and officials?

Former Minister of Sports Faizer Mustapha had employed the company, Ernst & Young, to conduct the audit at SLC for the time period from January 1st 2013 to August 31st 2018. However, what happened to that audit report remains a mystery. The time period covered by the audit report also is questionable.

The reason for this is the fact that details of massive financial fraud inside SLC was only revealed a week after the end of that time period, that is on September 5th 2018.

News 1st revealed details of an impending massive financial fraud when US$ 5.5 million due to SLC for broadcasting the England matches was to be automatically transferred from a Malaysian account to an American account. If there was, in fact, an honest motive to reveal details of this fraud through an audit report, steps could have been taken to inquire into this incident during that time period. The fact that it was not done creates ambiguity around their intention.

It was also reported that the final payment for broadcasting rights of the South African tour was transferred to an American account. Amidst all of these irregularities the response of Sri Lanka Cricket towards the compilation of an audit report, that would potentially shed light on the real situation inside SLC, is suspicious, to say the least.

Our plea to the Auditor General is to continue with his investigations.

News 1st worked for the betterment of cricket over many decades. It is no secret that our organisation was instrumental in securing the test status for Sri Lanka Cricket.

We extended our support to the cricketers at a time when the industry was not earning massive profits and there was no power struggle in the governing body of this great sport. Therefore we have a right to speak about the sport and we stress that audits on cricket in Sri Lanka are an absolute must.

It should be noted that the transaction that took place from the time of the previous government should also be included in these audits.

 

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