The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption which was set up in 1994 to investigate into bribery and corruption allegations is to be given constitutional status under the proposed constitutional amendments.
Speaking to the Daily News, constitutional law expert Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne said with the Bribery Commission being given constitutional status, it could act on its own without waiting for an allegation to be made.
"A Constitution cannot prohibit corruption, but it can put in place certain legal provisions which can be used to deal with issues like corruption and governance. This is one such measure that will enhance the scope and the powers of the Bribery Commission," Dr. Wickremaratne added.
"We also propose a right to Information Act and right to information is also recognized as a fundamental right. An Audit Service Commission will be established. The powers of the Auditor General will be strengthened. There have been requests from auditors and the Auditor General to get constitutional status to the Audit Service Commission and it will be given constitutional recognition," Dr. Wickremaratne, who was instrumental in drafting the proposed constitutional amendments, said.
He said the Government, under the proposed changes, is also in the process of setting up a National Procurement Commission to streamline procurement of goods and services.
Members are appointed on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The main function of the Commission would be to formulate fair equitable, transparent competitive and cost- effective procedures and guidelines for the procurement of goods and services by all government institutions, Dr. Wickremaratne said.