Information sharing, crucial in threat prevention: TISL | Daily News

Information sharing, crucial in threat prevention: TISL

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) expressed its shock and dismay over the tragedy that occurred on Easter Sunday. Whilst expressing their condolences and standing in solidarity with the victims, TISL called on all stakeholders, including the public, to focus attention on resolving systemic deficiencies that allowed these attacks to be carried out.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “The revelation that certain tiers of the country’s security apparatus were aware of intelligence reports regarding an impending attack, raise many questions regarding the information-sharing protocols of state agencies—and the manner in which such information is acted on by the political leadership.”

It has been TISL’s longstanding position that there was a need for greater information sharing across all state agencies. Obeyesekere added, “The current culture of secrecy, which has been reinforced by legislative provisions and the establishment code, continues to foster an environment where public institutions are operating within their own silos, with a limited common purpose. Through experience, we have seen this resulting in examples of two competing agencies investigating the same issues, with a reluctance to share information, thereby working against the public interest.”

TISL also highlighted the role that corruption can play in eroding national security, particularly on issues of procurement. On several occasions in the past, Sri Lanka’s national security has been exposed as a result of allegedly fraudulent procurement and tender practices, in addition to allegations of conflicts of interest.

Obeyesekere concluded, “The recent lapses in information-sharing, illustrate the devastating consequences of a closed state. Striving for a more open state, which communicates internally with a shared purpose, is essential. This requires reforming civil service procedures to bring them in line with the 21st Century’s practices. If lessons are to be learnt from these tragic events, the political and bureaucratic leadership must drive these much-needed reforms.”

 


 

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