Written by Zulfick Farzan
01 Feb, 2020 | 3:01 pm
WHEN WAS IT HANDED OVER TO COPE?
On the 29th of November 2019, the Forensic Audits commissioned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as recommended by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry was handed over to the Parliamentary watchdog COPE or Committee on Public Enterprises.
WHY WAS A FORENSIC AUDIT COMMISSIONED?
The Monetary Board, in consultation with the Auditor General and the Attorney General, took measures to commission six forensic audits pursuant to the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate and inquire into and report on the issuance of Treasury bonds during the period 01st February 2015 to 31st March 2016 and matters that had come to light over the recent years in audit reports and in findings of internal investigations pursuant to the exercise of certain regulatory and agency functions undertaken by the CBSL.
WHO CONDUCTED THE FORENSIC AUDITS?
BDO India LLP was appointed to conduct a forensic audit/investigation on the allegations of losses caused to the Government of Sri Lanka in the process of issue of Treasury Bonds during the period from 1 January 2002 to 28 February 2015.
BDO India was appointed to conduct forensic audit/investigation into the issuance of Treasury Bonds and Remittance of Funds to the General Treasury from 1 February 2015 to 31 March 2016
WHO COULDN’T COPE EXAMINE THE FA REPORTS?
However, in a surprising move President Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to prorogue Parliament on the 02nd of December sending shockwaves across the political sphere in Sri Lanka.
WHEN WAS IT TABLED IN PARLIAMENT?
When Parliament met for a new session in 2020, the Speaker on the 21st of January decided to table five volumes of the Forensic Audits despite requests from the Attorney General not to hand over the copies to the Members of Parliament.
WHAT DID IT COST THE TAXPAYER?
According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, five forensic audits were completed at a cost of Rs 275 million. The Central Bank refuted claims made by various parties who claimed the preparation cost the taxpayer more than 900 Million Rupees for this purpose alone.
WHAT WAS THE SCOPE OF CONDUCTING THE FA?
The Central Bank of Sri Lana said the FAs were conducted in five assignments as set out below on Terms of Reference finalized in consultation with the Auditor General and the Attorney General:
WHAT CONCERNS WERE RAISED BY THE MPs AFTER THE FAs WERE GIVEN TO THEM?
On Wednesday the 22nd of January 2020 Lawmakers called on the Speaker to ensure all details of the Central Bank’s forensic audit reports are released after some sections and annexures were found missing in the CD distributed to parliamentarians.
On Thursday the 23rd of January 2020 as per the directive by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, the Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake informed the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lank Deshamanya, Professor W D Lakshman, the five forensic audits were incomplete without the relevant annexes and exhibits.
TO BE CONTINUED…
This is the end of Part One of the Series on the Forensic Audits conducted on the issuance of treasury bonds by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Even at the time of preparing Part One, the respective authorities are studying the report.
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