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Instructions for expiditious passage to National Audit BILL

President Maithripala Sirisena said he had instructed relevant authorities to expedite the National Audit Bill and ensure its passage in Parliament.

“I have spoken about the National Audit Bill in Parliament as well. Our plan was to pass the legislation in Parliament, in January, this year.This is August and work is still in progress. I am sad about the current situation and I strictly instructed relevant authorities to finalise everything as soon as possible,” the President said.

“I have raised this matter before the Cabinet too. Although the Audit Commission has been set up, it cannot function without the new Act,” the President said, adding that it would not hesitate to walk an extra mile to ensure financial transparency of the government.

“Sometimes it takes time. For instance, a school principal was sentenced on Tuesday for accepting a bribe of Rs. 25,000. The sentence came nearly nine years after filing the case. I know people expect quick results and are very concerned about some large scale cases of corruption under the previous administration. But, the process is not so easy,” he added.

“These acts of corruption have been committed in a meticulous manner. Although everyone is aware of them, we have to find evidence to prove them before judiciary.”

“Former Brazilian leader Lula de Silva faced his lawsuit for nine and a half years. Even the cases against Ferdinand Marcos took a long time. But, there are also instances where cases of corruption have been expedited to deliver fast results.Take, for instance, the verdict against Nawaz Shariff which finally led to his resignation.”

“Therefore, I have instructed our authorities to take necessary measures to expedite these important cases. We have also shared views with legal experts as well. Sometimes, we, as a government, cannot directly get involved in such matters.We can only set the background and provide infrastructure,” the President said, during his meeting with media heads and newspaper editors.