7th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption - Statement made by Mr. Sarath Jayamanne, PC

7th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
6-10 November 2017, Vienna
Statement by Mr. Sarath Jayamanne, President’s Counsel,
Director General of CIABOC – Sri Lanka
(Focal point of Sri Lanka)



Prevention

Mr. Chair, Sri Lanka isamong States that practice the Common Law adversarial system of adjudication. This applies generally to Sri Lanka’s legal and judicial principle and practices. Accordingly in the realm of anti-corruption, much of our law and legal system is based on enforcement and deterrence. This notwithstanding,Sri Lanka has identified and given prominence to the concept of prevention. SriLanka is currently working towards a culture of zero tolerance of corruption. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, as the main focal institution established by statute, in the fight against corruption, is forging partnerships with civil society, the larger public and the ‘National Integrity System’ (NIS) to realize this goal.

The following steps have been taken by Sri Lanka to realize this worthy objective.

1. Establishing a Prevention Unit
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has made a proposal to the Government to establish a separate unit for prevention. The Government has approved the cadre for this unit, and presently the scheme of recruitment is under preparation.
In 2018, we are planning to conduct a well-structured programme on preventive measures with the support of stakeholders. This includes establishing a prevention unit for each Province, development of a syllabus to teach anti-corruption to public servants, create a pool of resource persons to conduct lectures and workshops both within CIABOC and with the participation of civil society and citizens.

2. Efforts are currently underway to bring in necessary amendments to the Bribery or Corruption Law including Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law. This will be done upon approval by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Cabinet memorandum to that effect.

3. The Cabinet of Ministers has only recently granted approval to commence the drafting of a National Plan of Action on Anti-Corruption in consultation with CIABOC, AG’s department and other stakeholders.

4. On 04th July 2017, a public forum was convened by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption with the participation of diverse groups including the Chair and members of CIABOC, Chairs and members of other independent Commissions, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretaries of Government ministries, as well asacademia, legal professionalsand officers of the Attorney General’s Department and other government departments and institutions.

5. The CIABOC and the Ministry of Education have commenced several long-term and short-term projects to educate the youth and children. This includesthe month of October being declared as the anti-corruption month in all schools, creative competitions in 7 segments andintroducing regulations to curb corruption in the school administration. Introducing anti-corruption measures to school syllabuses, establishing Integrity clubs in all schools etc., are among long term projects. In our efforts to promote anti-corruption values including through their incorporationinto the school curriculum, a discussion was initiated with the National Institute of Education. As an initial step, “School Integrity Clubs” have been established islandwide following the conclusion of a residential workshop for children and teachers.

6. A three day conference which was organized by CIABOC with a view to sharing the best practices, mainly focused on inculcating a culture of integrity in the public sector, with an emphasis on the need for the development of codes of ethics within both public and private sectors. A main thrust was on establishing whistle blower protection mechanisms.

7. To date 45 officers of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption have participated in a one week conference on sharing experience on corruption management at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy.In addition, the CIABOC has also benefited from several local and international training provided to CIABOC officers in the area of prevention. I thank the Malaysian Institute of Integrity, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy and other regional international entities that assisted with capacity building.

8. This also includes a two day workshop on prevention strategies and integrity system conducted for the officials of CIABOC this year by the UNODC Regional in Bangkok and the training provided by the US Department of Justice for specialized staff of CIABOC and officers of the AG’s Department on Team Approach to Developing a Corruption Investigation and Prosecution mechanisms.

9. Building further on this momentum, Sri Lanka participated as an observer in the Sixth Session of the Assembly of Parties of the International Anti- Corruption Academy in October this year.

10. The CIABOC has actively joined hands with the civil society since 2015 on prevention work and since then several projects have been carried out with the active participation of the civil societies.

- Establishing Y-MaC- (Youth Movement against Corruption) in October 2016.Conducted several awareness programs educating the society on prevention.
- A conference to review the implementation process of the 1st review cycle with the collaboration of the Transparency International Sri Lanka, next month.

11. The government is committed to promote transparency, accountability and public participation (TAP) in the thematic areas of health, education, information and communication technology, environment, anti-corruption, local government, right to information and women’s issues in a measurable, time bound and specific manner. This encourages CSOs to act as watchdogs to ensure that the government organizations follow the rule of law.

It is noted that on 11th October 2016 the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.
Thank You.

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