COPA awards best performing state institutions | Sunday Observer

COPA awards best performing state institutions

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) presented gold, silver and merit awards to 101 state institutions which showed high performance in year 2016 at a National Awards Ceremony held at the Parliamentary Complex, recently, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

The 837 public institutions coming under COPA have been selected through a computerized information management system subsequent to assessing their financial management and performance.

This was the second national ceremony organised by COPA to recognise state institutions with a high level of performance.

All the Ministries, Departments, Provincial Councils, Local Authorities, District Secretariats and Divisional Secretariats come under the purview of COPA. The task of COPA is to probe their managerial efficiency and financial discipline based on the Auditor General’s reports and observations. The awards were given under three categories- outstanding (Gold) 40 awards, successful (Silver) 21 awards and satisfactory (Certificates) 40. The number of institutions examined by COPA had increased to 837 in 2016 from a mere 198 in the first Parliament in the period 1978-1988.

According to COPA records compared to 2015 the number of institutions which have scored less than 50 marks have decreased by 80 percent in 2016 from 104 institutions down to 22.

The number of institutions that scored 70-90 marks which was 282 in 2015 has increased to 447 in 2016, while the 60 institutions which had obtained over 90 marks in 2015 have been increased to 73.

The COPA report on the performance of state institutions in 2016 was tabled in Parliament by COPA Chairman and Deputy Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Lasantha Alagiyawanna on June 19, 2018.

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the ceremony said, when the Yahapalana Government came into office, steps were taken to prevent fraud and malpractices in the state sector, by establishing new institutions, while steps were also taken to strengthen the Bribery Commission.

Amendments were also introduced to the Bribery Act. The establishment of the new Audit Commission is yet another significant achievement under the incumbent Government.

The Government will soon establish the Sri Lanka State Audit Service which will play a crucial role in curbing corruption in the country. President Sirisena said, Sri Lanka could achieve rapid development if those attached to the state sector work properly, at least four hours a day.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said, COPA has left a landmark in the examination of accounts of state institutions. “COPA has rendered yeoman service in warding off waste and corruption,” he noted.

He said “we have the largest Government workforce in the world. In other countries, there is one Government worker for every 250 people, whereas in Sri Lanka, it is one per every 15. They only work for 173 days of the year. If this force works efficiently for eight hours, we can easily make this country prosperous”.

The Speaker further said, Government services were incurring losses running into billions of rupees and if these losses are done away with through efficiency, Sri Lanka will no more need to obtain foreign loans. He appreciated the efforts taken by COPA and the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) to ensure proper management and transparency when using public funds.