Speaker approves release of forensic audit reports

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday approved the tabling of forensic audit reports on bond transactions of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), arguing that the release of the documents would not impact investigations or legal proceedings.

Justifying his decision to release the forensic audit report yesterday in Parliament, the Speaker held that the release of the report would not have any impact on ongoing legal proceedings.

“I have considered the finance authority vested with the Parliament, the powers of the Committee on Public Enterprises (CoPE), the provisions of Standing Order 136, the Speaker’s ability to take independent decisions and the prior examples set by former Speaker Anura Bandaranayake. Having also considered the considerable cost incurred to conduct the forensic audit with the services obtained from local and foreign experts, I hold it is suitable to make this report available to all lawmakers instead of making it available to a few members of CoPE.”

In 2016, CoPE recommended a serious investigation into the questionable CBSL bond issuance in 2015 to quantify the loss incurred by the Government and a subsequent forensic audit was launched by the CBSL as per the recommendation received from the Presidential Committee of Investigation.

“CBSL officers have made a detailed submission on the areas the forensic audit would cover, the matters investigated, the procedure to follow and the cost. Having concluded the forensic audit, the CBSL made a detailed report available to the CoPE Chairman, having taken into consideration the request received from the Attorney General. However, CoPE came to an end with the conclusion of the third session of the eighth Parliament on 2 December 2019. With CoPE getting re-established for the fourth session, I have considered the requests received from lawmakers to table the report and the discussions had with the party leaders,” he added.

Lawmakers representing the United People’s Freedom Alliance, the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna requested a two-day debate. Speaker Jayasuriya agreed to consult party leaders to set dates for the debate.
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