COPE says public sector weak

The parliament Committee on Public Enterprises, also known as COPE, has recommended in its report submitted to parliament today, that the public sector salary scales be increased to avoid any possible collapse of the public sector.
The report also said that at least 16 government institutions were operating at a loss, including Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka.
The report said that it was important to increase the professional capacity in the public sector but that cannot be done as professionals cannot be either recruited or retained with the existing salary scales in the Public Sector.
Because of this situation, certain institutions had been compelled to recruit personnel to the high ranking posts on contract basis which leads to a serious problem with regard to the responsibility and the accountability of those personnel recruited on contract basis.
The COPE report has recommended that the Treasury take immediate action to raise the salaries and other remuneration of these posts to avoid any possible collapse of the public sector.
The Chairman of the Committee, Minister D.E.W Gunasekera, in submitting the report to parliament today, said that the Committee was able to complete the examination of financial accounts relating to 229 state institutions in the first round (2010/2011) and submitted its First Report to Parliament on 01.12.2011. In the second round (2012/2013), the Committee completed examination of 244 State Institutions and its Second Report was presented to Parliament today. An Interim Report has already been submitted to Parliament on 25th October, 2012 in respect of 32 institutions.
“The attention of the executive should be drawn to the need for enhancing the quality of leadership of the Public Enterprises through the appointment of professional, experienced and skilled personnel. They should be made fully answerable and accountable for their performance. This can be ensured by the maximum degree of autonomy and minimum degree of interference from above. There is a dearth of professionals in the field of Accountancy which can only be corrected through a deserving remuneration. The Treasury and the Public Administration Ministry should seriously consider these deficiencies in order to enhance the quality of leadership. It is high time that we shift to a higher level of accounting and auditing in keeping with international standards. This is imperative in the case of large public enterprises,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)