Corruption and Money Laundering (LK0019)
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 Institutions, Legislation & Regulation, Legislature, Private Sector
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
Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to increase constructive public participation (Part IV)
- 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
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.
The commitment achieved limited completion by the midterm. According to the director general of CIABOC, the commission made an informal submission to the government  to expand the scope of CIABOC to investigate cases of money laundering (Milestone 19.1).  Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) proposed that this amounted to an initiation of legislative amendments. 
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.  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. 
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.  Compounded by poor coordination and information sharing among anti-corruption agencies (see Commitment 18), this legislative limitation often brought investigation processes to a standstill. 
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.
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.
 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.
 Sankhitha Gunaratne (Transparency International Sri Lanka), interview by IRM researcher, 17 October 2017.
 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.
 “CIABOC to Probe Money Laundering” (The Sunday Times).
 Jayamanne, interview.
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Corruption and Money Laundering
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