Bribe complaints pile up

Bribe complaints pile up   

Thousands of complaints of bribery and corruption have piled up at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption   without action since the expiry of the term of office of the members of the commission in 2008, senior official of the Commission said yesterday.

Director General of the Commission Lakshmi Jayawickrama told Daily Mirror that the Commission had received a total of 1,354 complaints up to the end of January, 2011 on the incidences of bribery and corruption from many parts of the country since March 28, 2008 the day on which the office of former three commissioners expired.The Commission had received some 120 complaints in January 2011 alone, she said. The members to the independent commissions including the Bribery and Corruption Commission are appointed by the President following the observations of the Parliamentary Council constituted under the recently passed 18th Amendment to the Constitution. “We are waiting for the commissioners to be appointed to obtain instructions from them for further action on the complaints received. Only the three commissioners have the authority to instruct the Director General to record evidence, conduct investigations and raids and file action in courts against accused under the Bribery and Corruption Act,” Mrs. Jayawickrama said.

Mrs. Jayawickrama said the Commission’s functions have been restricted only to receive complaints right now.

She contended that the Commission had filed charges against 49 persons after March 28, 2008 as former commissioners had finalized and had given their sanctions for prosecution by the time they ceased to function as commissioners.

Mrs. Jayawickrama added that a case against a prominent politician was still pending and another politician had already been convicted on charges under the Bribery and Corruption Act.

“We have received complaints against several leading politicians and public officials. We expect to start investigations after we got the green light from the new commissioners expected to be appointed shortly,” she said.

Mrs. Jayawickrama pointed out that corruption was an evil that could stunt the development of a country and prevented the functioning of good governance.

She appealed to the people not to hesitate to lodge a complaint on bribery or corruption with proof and the public, the politicians and the public servants were duty bound to assist the Commission to minimize bribery and corruption in the country.

The public are free to dial 1954 at any time of the day if and when they want to lodge complaints on bribery or corruption with the commission from any part of the country.

The government rushed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution on September 7th, 2010 that replaced the former Constitutional Council with the PC as an urgent Bill.

The PC that consist the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the Opposition Leader gives its observations to President on the nominees to the seven independent commissions including the Bribery and Corruption Commission.

The Daily Mirror reliably learns that the Presidential Secretariat has not sent the list of nominees to the seven independent commissions to the Speaker up to yesterday for PC’s observations that would follow the activation of the seven independent commissions by the President.

/ News

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