COPE calls for a Parliament debate on COPE reports

 COPE calls for a Parliament debate on COPE reports

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) chaired by Prof. Charitha Herath which met on the 04th of June 2021, unanimously agreed to propose to the Hon. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana to hold a two-day debate on the two COPE reports tabled of the Ninth Parliament.

The Second Report of the Committee on Public Enterprises tabled in Parliament on 06th April 2021 is a Special Report on the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) Invested and Established by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund. The debate on Second Report presented by the Committee is expected to spark a far-reaching discussion in Parliament and within the country on the current status of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and the next steps to be taken in that regard.

The above report prepared on the basis of an investigation by the Auditor General’s Department has recommended that the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology be recognized as a non-governmental institution and that the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on 24.05.2017 to not to include the said institution under any of the purview of the Ministry be reconsidered. It was also recommended that Slit be taken over by a Ministry after considering the contents of other Cabinet Memoranda pertaining to the institution.

The report, which was tabled in Parliament, also recommended that the situation be changed and the institution be taken over by the Fund and that students be given the opportunity to pursue higher education subject under a reasonable fee structure.

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) recommended that action be taken under the Public Property Act against all parties involved in the action taken to deprive the government of its ownership of SLIIT and its control by an agreement signed on 12.05.2015 without any formal authority.

The committee members pointed out that the privatization of SLIIT appears to be a complex and problematic process of organizational fraud and the legal ability to summon any institution funded by the Government to appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises.

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