Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) officials had undertaken foreign tours with air tickets provided by Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank — two foreign banks involved in the controversial oil hedging deal– the report of the powerful Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) presented in Parliament on Wedneday, 19 August stated.
“Upon questioning of certain CPC officials, it had been found that foreign tours had been undertaken with air tickets provided by Citi Bank and Deutsche Bank,” the report said.
COPE has recommended that CPC should submit another report about its loss of US $ 12 million in oil refining.
Presenting the Report, COPE chairman Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne noted that the Committee decided to refer certain observations against the Development Lotteries Board to the Bribery Commission through the Speaker, regarding the payment of an advance of Rs. 24 million to purchase motor vehicles.
Among the State institutions that came under the scrutiny of the COPE, the Sri Lanka Tea Board had been identified as an institution without a proper action plan.
COPE had found an inordinate delay on the part of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau in the payment of compensation to expatriate workers who lost their employment in Kuwait several years ago. The Bureau had agreed to publish a newspaper advertisement to pay compensation.
The Sri Lanka Fisheries Corporation had failed to recover Rs. 16 million due from foreigners as charges for anchoring their vessels in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. COPE had observed that the Corporation should renew its corporate plan. There had been numerous lapses in the accounting process.
The financial situation of the Sri Lanka Water Resources Board had declined because of a flawed accounting process. The loss for the year 2008 had increased up to Rs.16 million.COPE had noted in its report that there was the need to reconsider whether the country could afford to retain the Board any longer.
The Consumer Affairs Authority, the Land Reforms Commission, the National Transport Commission and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation are a few other State organizations where the COPE has identified irregularities and shortcomings
COPE’s first report exposd multi-million rupee financial irregularities and other shortcomings in 20 State institutions during the period between July to December 2008.
Source: Daily Mirror – 20 August 2009