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Sri Lanka

Coordination Among Anti-Corruption Agencies (LK0018)

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, Private Sector, 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: Access to Information 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 Participation5.
a) Government to establish an ad hoc multi-stakeholder committee comprising of government, civil society and the private sector in consultation with CIABOC to review the mandates of existing corruption investigation agencies to ensure the avoidance of duplication of efforts, enhanced information sharing (e.g. amendment to s.17 CIABOC Act) and specialized and independent investigations into allegations of corruption.
New August 2016 Dec. 2016
b) Multi-stakeholder committee on corruption investigation agency mandates to publish its findings in the public domain. New Jan. 2017 August 2017
c) Government and CIABOC to implement recommendations of the multi-stakeholder committee on corruption investigation agency mandates and each agency to annually publicly report on instances of duplication. New August 2017 June 2018
d) Civil society to publicly monitor progress of implementation of the findings of such committee. New August 2017 June 2018

IRM End of Term Status Summary

18. Coordination among Anti-Corruption Agencies

Commitment Text:

Main Objective:

Milestones:

  • 1 Government to establish an ad hoc multi-stakeholder committee comprising of government, civil society and the private sector in consultation with CIABOC to review the mandates of existing corruption investigation agencies to ensure the avoidance of duplication of efforts, enhanced information sharing (e.g. amendment to s.17 CIABOC Act) and specialized and independent investigations into allegations of corruption.
  • 2 Multi-stakeholder committee on corruption investigation agency mandates to publish its findings in the public domain.
  • 3 Government and CIABOC to implement recommendations of the multi-stakeholder committee on corruption investigation agency mandates and each agency to annually publicly report on instances of duplication.
  • 4 Civil society to publicly monitor progress of implementation of the findings of such committee.

Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to improve coordination and information-sharing among anti-corruption agencies (Part III)

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. [253]

Commitment Aim:

This commitment also aimed to strengthen the anti-corruption framework by improving the coordination and sharing of information among key anti-corruption agencies. Government and civil society representatives anticipated that better coordination and information sharing among these agencies would enhance corruption investigations and lead to more opportunities for prosecution. [254]

Status

Midterm: Not Started

Implementation of this commitment had not started by the midterm. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) did not establish a multistakeholder committee to review the mandates of the various anti-corruption agencies (Milestone 18.1). As a result, none of the other milestones under the commitment—i.e., publication, implementation, and monitoring of the recommendations of the committee—could begin (Milestones 18.1–18.4).

According to CIABOC, various agencies had formal purview over different areas in the collective effort to combat corruption. [255] The director general of CIABOC suggested that amendments to laws that govern the different agencies may need to precede efforts to streamline mandates. [256]

A civil society representative from Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) confirmed the lack of progress on this commitment, but added that the government had established a Presidential Task Force—the Stolen Assets Recovery Task Force. [257] Although set up to coordinate Sri Lanka’s efforts on asset recovery, this task force comprised key anti-corruption stakeholders, including CIABOC, the Financial Crimes Investigation Division, and the Financial Intelligence Unit at the Central Bank. [258] According to TISL, key stakeholders recognised and identified overlapping mandates of the different agencies through the functioning of the task force. However, this information was not made publicly available. [259]

End of term: Not Started

Implementation of this commitment had still not started by the end of term. [260] CIABOC could not be reached for comment. [261]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

Civic Participation: Did Not Change

At the outset of the action plan, the general framework of anti-corruption in Sri Lanka provided limited space for cooperation and partnership between anti-corruption agencies despite having common objectives and a shared mandate. This resulted in agencies performing overlapping functions and a disconnect in anti-corruption efforts. [262]

This commitment aimed to address this issue by establishing a multistakeholder committee to review the mandates of the anti-corruption agencies in order to: a) report on instances of duplication, b) enhance information sharing between agencies; and c) promote specialised and independent investigations into allegations of corruption. Publishing the findings of this committee would improve access to information. The multistakeholder composition of the committee would also increase civic participation of non-state actors in formal decision-making processes.

However, as the committee was not set up and findings were not published, this commitment did not contribute to opening government. While TISL confirmed this lack of progress, they did note that—in the multistakeholder discussions around the development of the action plan—stakeholders were considering revising secrecy provisions under the proposed corruption prevention action plan (see Commitment 16). [263]

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 that completion of this commitment was an important and necessary precursor to streamlining coordination, and enhancing the sharing of information, between anti-corruption agencies in Sri Lanka. Thus, the IRM researcher recommended that the government include this commitment in the next action plan, along with a few additions or amendments. These include: amending restrictive legislation to remove provisions that mandate secrecy between anti-corruption agencies; and establishing mechanisms through which the public can hold government accountable to implement recommendations of the proposed multistakeholder committee.

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

[254] Sarath Jayamanne (Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption), interview by IRM researcher, 20 September 2017; Asoka Obeyesekere (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 29 August 2017.

[255] Jayamanne, interview.

[256] Id.

[257] Sankhitha Gunaratne (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 17 October 2017. See also S. Gunaratne, M. Herat, and A. Obeyesekere, CSO GFAR Report on Sri Lanka (Colombo: Transparency International, 2017), http://bit.ly/2BB9318.

[258] Id.

[259] Gunaratne, interview.

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

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

[262] Gunaratne, interview; See also Gunaratne, Herat, and Obeyesekere, CSO GFAR Report on Sri Lanka.

[263] Herat, interview.


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