JVP opposes clipping AG’s powers by Audit Bill Amendment | Daily News

JVP opposes clipping AG’s powers by Audit Bill Amendment

The JVP yesterday, expressed its opposition to amending the National Audit Bill in a manner that weakens the power of the Auditor General.

Speaking to the Daily News, JVP - MP Bimal Rathnayake said the JVP would give leadership to a people’s campaign to demand the government to retain the surcharge provision in the Bill sans any amendment.

The Cabinet on Tuesday, cleared the long awaited Audit Bill subject to two amendments proposed by the Ministerial Sub-Committee headed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama. As per the proposed amendments, the AG has no authority to impose surcharge and that authority has been returned to the Chief Accounting Officers (Ministry Secretaries).

The surcharge provision enables recovery of an amount overpaid to a public servant, or a recoupment of any loss caused to the government for which he is held responsible.

“Surcharge provision has already been there in law, but some Ministry Secretaries were reluctant to implement it as they were also implicated in such cases somewhere in the process. That is why it was proposed to give that power to the AG. Changing that provision will ruin the spirit of the legislation,” MP Rathanyake said.

JVP - MP and COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said the proposed Bill has scrapped some of the existing powers of the Auditor General. “If the Government is trying to usurp the AG’s powers by way of this Bill, we are strongly against it. We will compare the draft Bill compiled by the AG’s Department and the one that was sent to the Legal Draftsman by the Cabinet and decide on the future course of action,” he said.


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