INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS TO GET MORE TEETH | Sunday Observer

INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS TO GET MORE TEETH

Measures are currently underway to further strengthen Independent Commissions established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, by giving them financial and management autonomy, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said.

The initial process in this regard has already commenced and a scheme will be introduced to recruit staff by next year, he said. “We have initiated discussions with the Government and Ministry of Finance and the ball is rolling. In the meantime, we have already conducted discussions with the Treasury and other management bodies, on the recruitment of staff for the respective Independent Commissions.

A scheme of recruitment will be introduced by next year,” he said, responding to concerns raised on the barriers to the independent functioning of the Commissions, at the National Symposium on the Role of the Independent Commissions, at Ramada Hotel, yesterday.

“For the Independent Commissions to have the capacity to excel in the services required by the public, a separate administrative structure, financial independence, and negation of political interference is important,” said Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Chairperson, Deepika Udagama, commenting on the same matter. National Procurement Commission, Member, Christy Perera said although there is a set of procurement guidelines introduced to Sri Lanka, there were many instances where procurement approval was obtained for tenders worth millions of rupees, through the Cabinet.

“There is the need for the Cabinet to give approval for these procurements, in line with the prescribed guidelines,” he said.

Chairman of the National Police Commission, P. H. Manatunga said requirements needed for the mandate of the Commission was not forthcoming, which is major stumbling block in carrying out the tasks of the Commission. “It is difficult to hire expertise due to financial constraints imposed by the Treasury. This is where the true independence of the Commission is tested,” he said.

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