Re­cruit­ing UNP mem­bers to RDA un­law­ful - Of­fi­cial

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - FRONT PAGE - BY YOSHITHA PER­ERA

For­mer Min­is­ter of Highways Lak­sh­man Kiriella has cre­ated a new job cat­e­gory and ap­pointed 45 United Na­tional Party (UNP) mem­bers as public li­ai­son of­fi­cers and 102 con­sul­tants to the Road De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RDA) in Oc­to­ber 2015, it was re­vealed at the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mis­sion of In­quiry (PCOI) to in­ves­ti­gate cor­rup­tion of the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

These 45 public li­ai­son of­fi­cers were paid ap­prox­i­mately Rs. 1.1 mil­lion per month for a pe­riod of one year, and these of­fi­cers were not even asked to present a work plan

An of­fi­cial at­tached to the Min­istry, un­der con­di­tions of anonymity in­formed the Com­mis­sion that in late 2015, Per­sonal Sec­re­tary to the Min­is­ter Chamin­drani Kiriella had sent a list of names to the RDA Chair­man re­quest­ing him to re­cruit these 45 per­sons as public li­ai­son of­fi­cers.

It was re­vealed that the list com­pris­ing of UNP mem­bers from Kiriella’s elec­torate and most of them were local Coun­cil­lors of the Party from Kandy. “This po­si­tion was cre­ated with the in­ten­tion of man­ag­ing con­flict sit­u­a­tions dur­ing the land ac­qui­si­tion pe­ri­ods when start­ing new projects but the po­si­tion of public li­ai­son of­fi­cer does not ex­ist in the ap­proved cadre of the RDA,” of­fi­cer in­formed the Com­mis­sion.

It was in­formed the Com­mis­sion that these ap­provals had been made with­out hav­ing a cab­i­net ap­proval and the Min­is­ter could not make such ap­point­ments with­out the ap­proval from the board of di­rec­tors at­tached to RDA. “The Min­is­ter only sought the board’s ap­proval nine months af­ter the ap­point­ments were made,” of­fi­cer said.

The of­fi­cer also told the Com­mis­sion that when that mat­ter was raised at the Com­mit­tee on Public En­ter­prise (COPE) in May and June 2016, the of­fi­cials no­ticed that the Cab­i­net did not give the ap­proval for these ap­point­ments.

“These 45 public li­ai­son of­fi­cers were paid ap­prox­i­mately Rs. 1.1 mil­lion per month for a pe­riod of one year, and these of­fi­cers were not even asked to present a work plan. They were not as­signed to a par­tic­u­lar duty sta­tion. Af­ter a while they were asked to create their own at­ten­dance sheets to show that they were doing some­thing,” the of­fi­cer told the Com­mis­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.