Education Ministry Secretary Kapila Perera has been instructed by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to appoint a sub-committee to look into the administrative affairs of the nine postgraduate institutions in the country, and submit a report within six months. The instructions were given after it was revealed that a former senior official of [...]

Education

COPE instructs Education Secretary to look into admin affairs at post grad institutes

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Education Ministry Secretary Kapila Perera has been instructed by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to appoint a sub-committee to look into the administrative affairs of the nine postgraduate institutions in the country, and submit a report within six months.

The instructions were given after it was revealed that a former senior official of the University of Peradeniya’s Postgraduate Institute of Science (PGIS) had fraudulently obtained Rs. 50 million from fixed deposits maintained by the institute.

This was revealed when COPE met under the Chairmanship of Prof. Charitha Herath to review the Auditor General’s report for the years 2018 and 2019 and the current performance of PGIS. The COPE recommended that a separate internal auditor be appointed for the audit of these postgraduate institutions rather than relying on the internal audit department of the university.

The Committee had discovered that PGIS had closed 14 fixed deposits which were under the Peradeniya Branch of People’s Bank, between January 01, 2009 and December 31, 2016. It had obtained a sum of Rs. 93 million.

Out of this amount, only Rs. 37 million had been invested in new fixed deposits and Rs. 50 million had been fraudulently obtained by the PGIS Senior Assistant Bursar.

It was revealed that the officer involved in the financial fraud had been interdicted and was being investigated by the CID. The University of Peradeniya Council is conducting a disciplinary inquiry and the Auditor General’s Department is imposing surcharges as well.

A spokesperson for the Committee also said the Research and Scholarship Fund, which was established by PGIS to provide research and scholarship facilities, had not spent any money in 2019. Accordingly the sum had a balance of Rs. 8,038,458 by the end of 2019.

(NF)

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