Highlighting the Parliament’s special responsibility in ensuring financial disciplin, president Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of utilizing power effectively to prevent financial crises.
President Wickremesinghe made this observation during the gold and silver award ceremony held at the Parliament complex, where he commended the Committee on Public Accounts (CoPA) for their exceptional efforts in enhancing efficiency within the public sector.
He expressed gratitude towards minister of state Lasantha Alagiyawanna for his dedicated leadership in this endeavour.
The president highlighted parliament’s special responsibility in ensuring financial discipline and stressed the importance of utilizing power effectively to prevent financial crises.
He acknowledged the achievements of high-performing government institutions, which were honoured at the ceremony.
In his address, the president emphasized the significance of digitalization, innovation, and the need for unified efforts to drive economic progress.
He called for effective control of public expenditure, maximizing value, boosting revenues, and strengthening the country’s economy through a robust administrative mechanism.
Furthermore, the president underlined the importance of joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and expanding relations with India as essential steps toward building a strong economy.
Addressing the obstacles faced in agricultural modernization, the president acknowledged the challenges arising from divided institutions.
He urged the prioritization of programs aimed at overcoming these obstacles and achieving progress in the agricultural sector.
Each year, the computer network system developed by the Information Systems and Management Department of the Parliament evaluates the public accounting methods, financial control, and performance of state, provincial councils, and local governments.
This evaluation process is overseen by the Committee on Public Accounts and investigated by the Auditor General. Based on the assessment, government institutions demonstrating outstanding performance are honoured with awards.
In 2019, a total of 833 government institutions underwent evaluation.
Among them, 15 institutions received gold awards, while 30 institutions received silver awards.
These accolades were presented across various categories, including government ministries, government departments, government special expenditure units, district secretariats, provincial council funds, provincial ministries, departments, special expenditure units, provincial council statutory bodies, municipal councils, and regional councils.
The award ceremony took place virtually via Zoom technology, with participation from over 1,000 government institutions, including ministries, departments, provincial councils, and divisional secretariats.
During the ceremony, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, commended all successful government institutions and highlighted that over 98 percent of them had made significant progress since 2015.
The state minister emphasized the importance of responsible financial management and urged everyone to actively contribute to president Ranil Wickremesinghe’s vision of transforming the country into a developed nation by 2048.
Addressing the audience, Saman Ekanayake, the President’s Secretary, acknowledged that the constitution itself entrusted parliament with the responsibility of overseeing public finances.
He also expressed appreciation for the leadership role played by Lasantha Alagiyawanna, the Chairman of CoPA.
Prime minister Dinesh Gunawardena, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, deputy speaker Ajith Rajapakse, chief opposition whip Lakshman Kiriella, prime minister’s secretary Anura Dissanayake, secretary of the Ministry of Finance Mahinda Sirwardena, auditor general W.P.C. Wickramaratne, secretary general of parliament Kushani Anusha Rohanadeera, director of information systems and management of Parliament Mahesh Perera and others attended the event.