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Sri Lanka

Corruption and Money Laundering (LK0019)

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, Legislation & Regulation, Legislature, Private Sector

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

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 Participation8.
a) CIABOC to initiate legislative amendments to broaden CIABOC’s scope to include the offence of ‘money laundering’ where the predicate offences fall under CIABOC’s mandate (in line with UNCAC Article 14). New Jan. 2017 March 2017
b) Government to table and enact legislation referred to in Milestone 8(a).
New April 2017 July 2018
c) CIABOC to publish statistical data on money laundering cases, without prejudice to on-going investigations (number of cases, outcomes of closed cases, etc.) New Jan. 2018 June 2018

IRM End of Term Status Summary

19. Corruption and Money Laundering

Commitment Text:

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

[…]

Main Objectives:

Milestones:

  • 1 CIABOC to initiate legislative amendments to broaden CIABOC’s scope to include the offence of ‘money laundering’ where the predicate offences fall under CIABOC’s mandate (in line with UNCAC Article 14).
  • 2 Government to table and enact legislation referred to in Milestone 1 (i.e. 19.1)
  • 3 CIABOC to publish statistical data on money laundering cases, without prejudice to on-going investigations (number of cases, outcomes of closed cases, etc.)

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

Supporting institutions: Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID); 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. [264]

Commitment Aim:

This commitment aimed to strengthen the anti-corruption framework by addressing the disconnect between the mandate of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) in investigating money laundering and corruption.

Status

Midterm: Limited

The commitment achieved limited completion by the midterm. According to the director general of CIABOC, the commission made an informal submission to the government [265] to expand the scope of CIABOC to investigate cases of money laundering (Milestone 19.1). [266] Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) proposed that this amounted to an initiation of legislative amendments. [267]

However, as related discussions continued, CIABOC could not propose or enact the anticipated amendments (Milestone 19.2), or publish data on money laundering cases (Milestone 19.3). The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) maintained primary authority to conduct investigations into money laundering.

End of term: Limited

Commitment implementation remained limited at the end of term.

Milestones 19.1–19.3: According to a civil society representative from TISL, CIABOC had proposed to pursue legislative amendments to extend their purview over money laundering cases as part of the corruption prevention action plan. [268] This was in addition to the informal submission made at the midterm.

However, as the corruption prevention plan was not yet finalized or published (see Commitment 16), there was no concrete evidence of this proposal. With discussions still ongoing, there were no further developments under this commitment. CIABOC could not be reached for comment. [269]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did Not Change

At the outset of the action plan, laws governing predicate offences linked to money laundering did not accommodate the investigation of money laundering. For example, the mandate of CIABOC did not extend to cases of money laundering. As a result, the commission was unable to investigate or file charges of money laundering against individuals, even when the predicate offence related to bribery or corruption. [270] Compounded by poor coordination and information sharing among anti-corruption agencies (see Commitment 18), this legislative limitation often brought investigation processes to a standstill. [271]

This commitment attempted to address the inhibitive disconnect between investigations of money laundering and corruption. To do so, the commitment endeavoured to initiate, propose, and enact legislative amendments to broaden the scope of CIABOC to investigate cases of money laundering in cases where the predicate offence is bribery or corruption. Through this, the commitment proposed to collect and publish data on money laundering, and thereby improve access to information.

However, as CIABOC was unable to move beyond initiating the relevant amendments, they could not publish data, and thereby did not improve access to information or opening government.

Carried Forward?

In the 2016–2017 IRM midterm progress report, the IRM researcher suggested that this commitment—and the amendment of the legislation to broaden the scope of CIABOC—was not fully relevant to the values of open government. Therefore, the researcher recommended that this commitment is not carried forward into the next action plan.

However, relevant stakeholders were also encouraged to adopt a few minor measures to increase the relevance and specificity of this commitment. These include: outlining the specific avenues and mechanisms through which the publication of statistical data on money laundering will take place; and engaging civil society experts on the investigation of money laundering to develop training curricula for investigation officers.

[264] 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.

[265] “CIABOC to Probe Money Laundering” (The Sunday Times, 12 November 2017) http://bit.ly/2s7Omuv.

[266] Sarath Jayamanne (Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption), interview by IRM researcher, 20 September 2017.

[267] Sankhitha Gunaratne (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 17 October 2017.

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

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

[270] “CIABOC to Probe Money Laundering” (The Sunday Times).

[271] Jayamanne, 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