Draft National Audit Bill before Cabinet next week


The draft National Audit Bill will be taken up at the Cabinet meeting next week, along with the report of the Ministerial Sub-Committee appointed by the Cabinet to study the legislation, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said.

Speaking to the Daily News today the AG said Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, who is chairing the Ministerial Sub-Committee, assured him that the report would be presented to the next Cabinet meeting, without fail.

The Cabinet deferred approving the final draft of the long overdue National Audit Bill that was submitted in the first week of August, and appointed a six-member committee to look into it.

Its report was expected at the last Cabinet meeting, but as it was not presented, the Cabinet postponed taking up the bill.

The National Audit Bill has undergone 22 revisions since its first draft was compiled in 2004.

The AG said he was yet to be informed of any further amendments proposed to the Bill, adding that there had been no new Amendments proposed by the Sub-Committee as at last week.

The AG noted that certain Ministers have reportedly opposed to the surcharge provision in the Bill that enables recovery of an amount overpaid to a public servant, or a recoupment of any loss caused to the Government for which he is held responsible. “The objections they have must be presented in writing. If such objections were raised we would have to revisit the draft,” he added.

The AG, convening a special press conference on August 18, appealed to the Government to gazette the long awaited National Audit Bill, observing that the inordinate delay in passing the legislation has hampered work of his Department.

JVP MP and COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti has expressed his intention of presenting the draft Audit Bill to the House as a Private Member’s Bill as the Government constantly delays it. Handunnetti said the work in this regard is progressing, and added that he hopes to present it to Parliament within this month.   











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