President Maithripala Sirisena this week sought Cabinet approval to obtain a grant of USD 235,000 (35.25 million) from the US State Department to empower the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC).
Cabinet granted approval for the signing of a MoU with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour of the US State Department.
CIABOC has often cited lack of resources and personnel to carry out investigations into the large number of complaints it has received and the grant will help in computerizing its systems and in the training of personnel.
Statistics show that from 2000-2015, the Commission received a total of 41,810 complaints and the Commission so far has completed investigations into 31,176 and has 10,634 complaints either pending or being investigated into. In 2016 alone, it received another 3450 complaints which need to be investigated into.
The Commission, the President’s Cabinet Paper noted did not have sufficient technical equipment available to speed up these investigations and it was necessary that the knowledge of the Investigation Officers and Legal Officers be updated and their skills honed “to keep abreast with the developments in the field.”
The government has thus asked that the US Agency provide the grant to enhance efficiency through the computerization of dossier management system (Rs. 13,500,000), improve the exchange of information between the public and the Commission and vice versa through the updating of the Commission’s website (Rs 1,500,000), conducting raids and investigations more effectively by the use of advanced technological equipment (Rs. 7,500,000), being able to conduct complex investigations more correctly and efficiently through a code of guidelines under implementation as a handbook and strengthening the legal process (Rs. 7,500,000) and capacity building of the investigation officers and upgrading of knowledge and attitudes of legal officers through training programmes (Rs. 5,250,000).
The State Department through an open procurement process has chosen the East West Management Institute as the Agency that will provide the grant through.