Corruption watchdog slams Sri Lanka tsunami relief agencies for financial secrecy

December 15 (LBO) – Corruption watchdog Transparency International slammed tsunami relief agencies in Sri Lanka on Friday for sloppy work and scant regard for an independent financial audit.

The agency audited six tsunami projects in Sri Lanka – the only six of 70 agencies approached, who agreed to a Value for Money audit by Transparency International.

The value for money audit tried to measure the effectiveness of every dollar spent on tsunami reconstruction by various government and private aid agencies.

Most agencies assessed failed to maintain monthly accounts and few financial records such as profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and receipt and expenditure ledges.

Some donors saw the Value for Money audit as interference in their financial freedom while others rejected a financial audit but agreed to a social assessment.

“We found that little respect was shown for comprehensive financial integrity in respect of adequately filed and completed financial documentation” the watchdog said in a report of its survey findings, released on Friday.

“We noted that a lack of a governing regulatory body may have allowed complacency in this regard.” Sri L