Coordination Among Anti-Corruption Agencies (LK0018)
Action Plan: Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016-2018
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
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 AreasAnti-Corruption, Anti-Corruption Institutions, Private Sector, Public Participation, Social Accountability Measures & Feedback Loops
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
- 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
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. 
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.  The director general of CIABOC suggested that amendments to laws that govern the different agencies may need to precede efforts to streamline mandates. 
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.  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.  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. 
End of term: Not Started
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. 
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). 
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.
 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.
 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.
 Jayamanne, interview.
 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.
 Gunaratne, interview.
 Maheshi Herat (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 27 September 2018.
 The IRM researcher made several unsuccessful attempts to reach relevant representatives in August and September 2018. Attempts were made via telephone and email.
 Gunaratne, interview; See also Gunaratne, Herat, and Obeyesekere, CSO GFAR Report on Sri Lanka.
 Herat, interview.
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