Audit Protest

Mar.26 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government auditors are threatening industrial action against chronic inaction by authorities and the parliament to crackdown on corruption and other shortcomings highlighted by them. The angry tones follows a statement attributed to the treasury secretary, which appeared in a Sunday weekly, criticising the audit report for having brought disrepute the public sector.

“As soon as we saw the statement we felt a sense of being let down,” says M S Nayana Kumara of the Sri Lanka Audit Service Association.

“When a senior government official says something like this, it reflects badly on the independence of the auditors. The message that comes through is that we should not audit.”

The auditor general is facing criticism from the department’s rank and file, who complain about difficulties in carrying out their duties.

“My staff are restless, it is a problem for me,” says Auditor General S C Mayadunne.

“My staff complains that they would find it difficult to go into state institutions and do their job. They are accusing me of staying silent.”

Auditors unions say the entire system of checks and balances relating to transparency in government accounts is being underm