New project launched to fight corruption

02 Feb 2009

Colombo, 2 February, 2009- The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) and the United Nations Development Programme, launched the ‘Support Efforts and Action against Corruption’ (SEAC) project, a new initiative to fight corruption in Sri Lanka. The launch was accompanied by a media briefing at the UNDP Country Office in Colombo this morning.

Justice Ameer Ismail, Chairman, CIABOC, in his opening remarks at the press conference, praised the new project and added that the "…project provides for opportunities for a critical assessment of the existing mechanism to combat corruption, to explore new approaches, to devise genuine mainstreaming measures for corruption prevention. With this objective we propose to work in partnership with experts in this field and concerned segments of the state and society."
The press conference also included remarks by the Attorney General who explained that he was participating voluntarily and in recognition of the urgency attached to the fight against corruption. He further added that the Attorney General’s office would extend all possible support to make the project a success.

SEAC is a three year project that will be implemented in partnership with CIABOC, and will aim to strengthen the national system to prevent and combat corruption, to ensure that public funds do not feed inequality and injustice but instead go towards provision of basic services and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. Douglas Keh, Country Director, UNDP, in his presentation to the media, stressed on the importance of fighting corruption. He emphasized that Sri Lanka, like most other countries loses important national resources to corruption each year and went on to explain that "At present, Sri Lanka faces tremendous challenges in building the foundations for stability and prosperity throughout the country. Experience globally indicates that it is precisely at these moments when the vulnerabilities to, and risks of, corruption are greatest, both at the macro-level, and micro-level in the delivery of basic service to the most vulnerable. We need only recall the experience of the tsunami to understand the risks ahead". He proceeded to outline the details of the new project while expressing hope that by addressing corruption challenges with interventions at multiple levels and in different sectors, the project would go a significant way in supporting national efforts to establish the foundations for a corruption free society.

With a budget of $858,500, the project will promote legislative and institutional reforms that contribute to fighting corruption in line with the recommendations of the UN Convention Against Corruption, establish mechanisms to monitor the implementation of anti-corruption policies, introduce new and innovative integrity initiatives in selected organizations, and also look to alter perceptions on cor