COPE instructs Sports Ministry to take legal action against former SLC ExCo if irregularities are found | Daily News

COPE instructs Sports Ministry to take legal action against former SLC ExCo if irregularities are found

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday instructed Sports Ministry Secretary Anuradha Wijekoon to take legal action if any of the former members of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee are found guilty of fraud. Committee Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath stated that the assistance of the Attorney-General could be obtained for the purpose.

The COPE Chairman said so at the COPE meeting convened to examine the Auditor-General's report and its current performance for the financial years 2017 and 2018 of the SLC. The committee pointed out that 123 of the 162 approved cadre are contract positions, which is a serious question. The committee also pointed out that the posts of Head of Finance, Legal Officer, Information Technology Officer, and Internal Auditor should be permanent positions.

The committee recommended that the procurement process of the SLC be streamlined and that a proper system be introduced to streamline it. It was also discussed at the committee meeting that the intervention of the Director-General of Sports should be at a higher level than the current one.

The committee also recommended that Sri Lanka Cricket should develop a proper format for disbursing funds to sports associations. They directed the Ministry of Sports and the SLC to take immediate action to amend the Sports Act.

Prof. Herath said that the reason for the massive collapse of cricket in the country was not the fault of the players, but the weaknesses of the cricket administration. The committee questioned the non-recovery of Rs.29 million in revenue due for sponsorship of the South Africa-Sri Lanka Cricket tour in 2018.

SLC Executive Officer Ashley de Silva informed the Committee that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has commenced an investigation into the matter. It was revealed at the meeting that the money had been deposited in an American bank account named ‘Diamond Channel’, and that investigations were focused on how it happened.

Prof. Herath instructed Wijekoon to conduct an inquiry and submit its report to the committee within three months.

It was also revealed at the meeting that Rs.30 million has been spent to take legal action against former SLC Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe due to the shortcomings of his agreement.

Although Rs.132 million has been spent for the construction of a National Cricket Stadium and a Multi-Sports Complex in Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa, the committee paid special attention to the fact that a title deed has not yet been obtained for the relevant land.

The committee directed the Ministry of Sports to take immediate action to resolve the issue.