Sweeping changes at Central Bank? | Sunday Observer

Sweeping changes at Central Bank?

As the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) makes preparation to launch a full-scale investigation into the leak of information last week from within the Central Bank, bank authorities have initiated comprehensive internal reforms to correct systems and prevent a similar breach of security in the future. Highly placed Police sources said the CID would launch investigations into the leak tomorrow (October 17), after Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last week requested Police involvement, as the leak amounts to a criminal offence, under laws stipulated in the Monetary Act.

Apart from investigations by the CID, the Central Bank has initiated its own internal process to examine the root causes for the leak. Highly placed sources within the Bank said the internal review will focus on rectifying anomalies within the system, and less on people involved with it.

“There will be comprehensive reforms, from the top to the bottom,” a senior Central Bank official said emphatically, refusing to disclose the names of those tasked with handling the reforms.

Meanwhile, a highly placed source within the Central Bank, speaking to the Sunday Observer, called to question the vacuum that created conditions for the emergence of a whistleblower: “What we need to ask ourselves is why there is the need for whistleblowers in the first place,” he said. “Does this mean that whoever leaked the report before it was ready for public consumption had little faith in the process? That he or she did not feel the authentic version of the report would reach the public?,” he queried.

“It calls into question the integrity of officials of Central Bank at various stages, right to the top,” he said, adding that the Central Bank initiated reforms would address these issues at many levels.

The source also added that there rumours were rife that some of the officers required to certify the on-site examination report were themselves responsible for certain controversies – “This could well be the reason for the leak,” he speculated, “But, these are just assumptions. A proper investigation into the matter will unearth the truth,” he said.

The official also said he had complete faith in the integrity of the newly appointed Central Bank Governor, that he would handle the matter in a completely transparent manner.

When asked to comment on the ‘sweeping changes’ to the Central Bank, State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the SundayObserver that he was not in a position to confirm anything.

“But, I also heard something like that,” the State Minister said, in a brief telephone conversation, on Thursday.

Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomarawamy was not available for comment.