A COPA sub-committee to resolve the issue pertaining to the lack of skilled workers to meet foreign job demands.
The Committee on Public Accounts disclosed at the Committee meeting held yesterday (22) that complaints against the, currently suspended Omani embassy officer were made since February this year. However, a decision on the matter has been delayed.
Additional Auditor General. Mr. P. L. K Perera pointed out that on 28.02.2022, the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau has requested an investigation through the Internal Audit Division regarding this particular officer. The Additional Auditor General further pointed out that financial fraud, certificate fraud, etc. had been reported regarding this official.
Thus, it was disclosed that the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, had requested the Ministry in February of this year to make arrangements for him to be brought back to Sri Lanka immediately, as investigations may be hindered if this person remains in the post. The committee expressed its strong displeasure for not taking action until the incident received a lot of publicity through the media.
The Director General of the Foreign Employment Bureau said that on 28.02.2022, according to the request of the former chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau, an investigation on this official was conducted through the Internal Audit Division. However, the allegations could not be confirmed. The Director General said here that after calling for a report from the Ambassador of Oman and based on the investigation report received from the Criminal Investigation Department on the 4th of November, the Bureau too action to suspend the said officer.
The Committee expressed its displeasure over the lack of prompt action regarding this officer and questioned on the matter at length.
The secretary to the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment said that even though he came to this Ministry after the month of May this year, he will accept the responsibility. The committee pointed out that even if the secretary changes, the officials should take responsibility for this.