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Sri Lanka

Implement UNCAC (LK0017)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the President, CIABOC (Independent Commission)

Support Institution(s): FCID, Attorney-General’s Department, All organizations and coalitions interested in anti-corruption efforts (Civil Society, Private Sector)

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Justice, Legislation & Regulation, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sri Lanka End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Sri Lanka Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Commitment: Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to increase constructive public participation

Freedom from corruption is a crucial and inseparable element of open government, and must be approached from the dual perspective of apprehension and prevention. The acknowledgment of the prevalence of corruption in the state sector and elsewhere serves as a necessary precedent to addressing the problem in a comprehensive fashion. A multi-stakeholder approach is necessary to ensure the method of addressing the problem is representative and participatory, while ensuring a strong legislative framework that is compliant with Sri Lanka’s UNCAC obligations.

Timeline: August 2016- June 2018

The enactment and implementation of the RTI Act
Lead Agency Office of the President, CIABOC (Independent Commission)
Other Actors FCID, Attorney-General’s Department, All organizations and coalitions interested in anti-corruption efforts (Civil Society, Private Sector)
Issues to be Addressed 1. To ensure conformity with the Constitution (Article 156A) and State’s UNCAC obligations, including the need for the inclusion of the private sector in the anti-corruption framework as referred to in Milestone 1.
2. To ensure coordination and information sharing among various anti-corruption agencies.
3. Lack of an assessment and the findings to be published on the requirement for a cadre of independent investigators on corruption issues.
4. Lack of a national corruption prevention strategy.
5. Need to regulate political campaign financing including disclosure of donors and resource providers.
6. Inability to disseminate asset declarations available to the public.
7. Address the disconnection in the mandate of corruption investigation and money laundering investigations.
8. The need to amend section 17 of the CIABOC Act to share information between corruption investigation bodies.

Main Objective To strengthen the anti-corruption framework and facilitate tri partite; public, private, civil society oversight and ownership of anti-corruption efforts.

OGP Challenge Improve public service deliveries, economical and effective management of state resources, constructive civic engagement in public decision making mechanisms and increase public integrity.

OGP Principles Transparency Accountability Public Participation2. Government to appoint multi-stakeholder monitoring council comprising government officials, civil society and private sector representatives to monitor the implementation of the mandatory and non-mandatory recommendations (1-15) as found in Sri Lanka’s UNCAC Implementation Action Plan. New September 2016 June 2018
3. Government to explore the inclusion in the new constitution a provision to recognize freedom from corruption in the Directive Principles of State Policy, as an element that guides the state in the formulation of its policy. New August 2016 Jan. 2017

IRM End of Term Status Summary

17. Implementation of UNCAC Obligations and Constitutional Reform

Commitment Text:

Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to increase constructive public participation (Part II)

[…]

Main Objective:

Milestones:

  • 1 Government to appoint multi-stakeholder monitoring council comprising government officials, civil society and private sector representatives to monitor the implementation of the mandatory and non-mandatory recommendations (1-15) as found in Sri Lanka’s UNCAC Implementation Action Plan.
  • 2 Government to explore the inclusion in the new constitution a provision to recognize freedom from corruption in the Directive Principles of State Policy, as an element that guides the state in the formulation of its policy.

Responsible institution: Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC)

Supporting institution: Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL)

Start date: August 2016.......    End date: June 2018

Editorial Note: The text of the commitment was abridged for formatting reasons. For full text of the commitment, see the Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016–2018 at http://bit.ly/2wv3jXR. [244]

Commitment Aim:

This commitment also aimed to strengthen the anti-corruption framework by a) monitoring implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) obligations and b) recognizing freedom from corruption in the Constitution.

Status

Midterm: Not Started

Implementation of this commitment was not started by the midterm. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) and Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) confirmed that a multistakeholder council was not appointed to oversee the implementation of UNCAC obligations (Milestone 17.1). [245]

Similarly, although the commitment vaguely refers to exploring the inclusion of a provision to recognize freedom from corruption in the Constitution, government and civil society stakeholders concurred that no substantial progress had been made toward this end (Milestone 17.2). [246] The director general of CIABOC did note, however, that the responsibility for introducing this provision primarily rested with agents or agencies involved in constitutional reform (e.g., the Elections Commission). [247]

End of term: Not Started

There was no progress toward the implementation of this commitment by the end of term.

Milestone 17.1: According to TISL, CIABOC had not confirmed, or referred to, the appointment of a council to monitor the implementation of UNCAC obligations. [248]

Milestone 17.2: TISL also confirmed that there were no significant discussions to amend the Constitution to include provisions on freedom from corruption. CIABOC had, however, independently evaluated potential references, or inferences, to anti-corruption in the existing Constitution, and highlighted such instances on their website. [249]

CIABOC could not be reached for comment. [250]

Did It Open Government?

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

At the outset of the action plan, there was limited, if any, public participation in the implementation of recommendations of the UNCAC. [251] The mandate to implement the UNCAC recommendations emanates from Article 156A of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. [252]

This commitment aimed to introduce a multistakeholder council to monitor implementation of these obligations, and thus contribute to improving civic participation in the country. However, as CIABOC did not appoint this monitoring council, this commitment did not contribute to opening government through increased civic participation.

Carried Forward?

Sri Lanka’s second action plan was not released at the time of this report. In the 2016–2017 IRM midterm progress report, the IRM researcher recognized the importance of ensuring implementation of the UNCAC obligations, and introducing constitutional protection of the freedom from corruption. Therefore, the researcher recommends carrying forward this commitment to the next action plan.

However, the researcher also concluded that stronger enforcement mechanisms can enhance the impact of this commitment. In particular, the researcher recommended empowering the proposed monitoring council to enforce action, or elicit responses and progress reports, from relevant state stakeholders involved in the implementation of UNCAC obligations, or the wider range of initiatives under the corruption prevention plan (see Commitment 16).

[244] In the action plan, all milestones pertaining to corruption are listed under a single commitment. For clarity, the milestones in this report have been separated into six different commitments (see 16–21), each looking at distinct components of the anti-corruption framework.

[245] Sarath Jayamanne (Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption), interview by IRM researcher, 20 September 2017; Sankhitha Gunaratne (Transparency International), interview by IRM researcher, 17 October 2017.

[246] Id.

[247] Jayamanne, interview.

[248] Maheshi Herat (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 27 September 2018.

[249] Suggestions and Proposals for the National Action Plan (Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption) https://www.ciaboc.gov.lk/prevention.

[250] The IRM researcher made several unsuccessful attempts to reach relevant representatives in August and September 2018. Attempts were made via telephone and email.

[251] Herat, interview.

[252] Sri Lanka Const. (as amended up to 15 May 2015), Nineteenth Amendment, p. 48, http://slembassyusa.org/downloads/19th_Amendment_E.pdf.


Sri Lanka's Commitments

  1. Integrity Officers to Decrease Bribery and Corruption

    LK0024, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Asset Declaration System

    LK0025, 2019, Asset Disclosure

  3. Increase Use of RTI

    LK0026, 2019, E-Government

  4. Citizen Participation in Health

    LK0027, 2019, E-Government

  5. Campaign Against Youth Drug Use

    LK0028, 2019, Education

  6. Open Data

    LK0029, 2019, E-Government

  7. Agriculture Support Policy

    LK0030, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Participation for Persons with Disabilities

    LK0031, 2019, Land & Spatial Planning

  9. Disability Rights Bill

    LK0032, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  10. Disaster Management Planning

    LK0033, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. Nationak Environmental Policy

    LK0034, 2019, Environment and Climate

  12. CEDAW Implementation

    LK0035, 2019, Capacity Building

  13. Local Service Delivery

    LK0036, 2019, E-Government

  14. Feedback on Public Bus

    LK0037, 2019, E-Government

  15. Implementing UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in a Participatory Manner

    LK0038, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  16. Improving Public Access to Preventive and Curative Strategies to Combat Chronic Kidney Disease

    LK0001, 2016, Health

  17. Transparent Policy to Provide Safe and Affordable Medicines for All

    LK0002, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. National Health Performance

    LK0003, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Ensuring Transparency and Impartiality in Teacher Recruitment Policy and Process in Sri Lanka

    LK0004, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Enhance the Services of Government Information Center (GIC- 1919) for Inclusive, Transparent, Accountable and Efficient Governance, Using ICT As Enabler

    LK0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promote the Open Data Concept and Delivering the Benefits to Citizens Through ICT

    LK0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. National Environmental Act (NEA) Amendments

    LK0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Coast Conservation

    LK0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Flora and Fauna Protection

    LK0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Transparent and Accountable Procurement System for Local Authorities in Sri Lanka

    LK0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Local Authority Procurement System Implementation

    LK0011, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  27. Annual Work Plan of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to Include a Transparent and Accountable Process to Implement Selected Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Concluding Observations.

    LK0012, 2016, Gender

  28. CEDAW Implementation – Accountability

    LK0013, 2016, Gender

  29. CEDAW – Inclusion

    LK0014, 2016, Gender

  30. Strengthening Women Participation in the Political Decision Making Process at the Local Level

    LK0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Strengthen the Anti-Corruption Framework to Increase Constructive Public Participation

    LK0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  32. Implement UNCAC

    LK0017, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  33. Coordination Among Anti-Corruption Agencies

    LK0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  34. Corruption and Money Laundering

    LK0019, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Campaign Finance

    LK0020, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  36. Disseminate Asset Declaration

    LK0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  37. Starred commitment The Enactment and Implementation of the RTI Act

    LK0022, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  38. Proactive Disclosure

    LK0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation