COPE calls for parliamentary debate on two reports

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), chaired by Prof. Charitha Herath, unanimously agreed to request Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana to hold a two-day debate on two COPE reports tabled in the Ninth Parliament.

The second COPE report tabled in Parliament on April 06, 2021 is a special report on the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) Invested and Established by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund.

The debate on second report presented by the COPE is expected to spark a far-reaching discussion in Parliament and within the country on the current status of the SLIIT and the next steps to be taken in that regard, the Parliament’s Communications Department said in a statement.

The above report prepared on the basis of an investigation by the Auditor General’s Department has recommended that the SLIIT be recognized as a non-governmental institution and that the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on May 24, 2017 to not to include the said institution under any of the purview of the Ministry be reconsidered. It was also recommended that SLIIT be taken over by a Ministry after considering the contents of other Cabinet Memoranda pertaining to the institution.

The report, which was tabled in Parliament, also recommended that the situation be changed and the institution be taken over by the Fund and that students be given the opportunity to pursue higher education subject under a reasonable fee structure.

The COPE recommended that action be taken under the Public Property Act against all parties involved in the action taken to deprive the government of its ownership of SLIIT and its control by an agreement signed on 12.05.2015 without any formal authority.

The committee members pointed out that the privatization of SLIIT appears to be a complex and problematic process of organizational fraud and the legal ability to summon any institution funded by the Government to appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises.

State Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, State Minister Sarath Weerasekara, Members of Parliament Jagath Pushpakumara, Eran Wickramaratne, Harsha de Silva, Nalin Bandara, Shanakiyan Rajamanickam and W.P.C. Wickramaratne, Auditor General were present at this meeting held.

(ada derana)

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