Public Watchdog

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The World Bank says it is critical Sri Lanka enacts the new Public Finance Bill that is in the works, to increase public scrutiny over the state purse.
In a country review on public accountability, the Bank says that Parliamentary control over public funds was ineffective and did not meet the expectations laid out in the constitution.rn

rnldblquote The accountability of the Executive at present is too focused on lquote spending to the budget, rather than on lquote managing for results
dblquote , the study says.rn

rnExisting financial accountability legislation dates back to colonial times and has no built in provisions to demand performance accountability.rn

rnldblquote The fiduciary implication is that even though funds might be accounted for, it cannot be ascertained whether they will be used for intended purposes, or whether the expenditure represents value for money
dblquote , the report says.rn

rnThe Bill raises reporting standards for public enterprises, with all state accounts to be tabl