Draft Anti-Corruption Bill to be forwarded to AG’s Department today | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Draft Anti-Corruption Bill to be forwarded to AG’s Department today

17 March, 2023

Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday said (16) that the Draft Anti-Corruption Bill aimed at curbing bribery of corrupt Government officials and politicians will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department today (17).

Addressing a press conference held at the Ministry of Justice on the Department of Community Based Corrections, the Minister pointed out that the Government, which signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2004, is yet to create a strong mechanism to curb corruption.

The present Government, which has been working to fill that gap, forwarded the new anti-corruption bill to the cabinet on March 15.

The Minister also pointed out that an anti-corruption mechanism is being prepared now. The Minister also emphasized that this new Act will replace the existing Commission to Investigate the Allegation of Bribery or Corruption with an independent and strong Commission.The Minister said that after being appointed as the Minister of Justice in 2015, he started drafting of the anti-corruption bill. He said that the new draft was prepared following the United Nations Convention against Corruption after consulting civil organizations, institutions and citizens of the country.

The Minister pointed out that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has focused on the Government’s programme to eradicate corruption in this country and pointed out that it is time to adopt an anti-corruption policy while borrowing from the financial fund.

“The Minister pointed out that the Government of Sri Lanka has obtained loans from the IMF 16 times before. However, if corruption is not curbed, the country will fall into an abyss again,” he said.

Speaking further, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe also said: “It is a timely need to update the Assets and Liabilities Act introduced in 1975. Politicians and Government officials must declare their assets and liabilities annually.

The old act is not strong enough and therefore, the Bribery or Corruption Investigation Commission will be empowered to supervise assets and liabilities. Also, if there is any change in the assets and liabilities of Government officials and politicians, provisions have been made to identify it technically and to act accordingly.”