Ending the impasse over the National Audit Bill, the Cabinet yesterday approved the landmark legislation with two amendments proposed by the Ministerial Sub-Committee headed by Dr. Sarath Amunugama.
The Daily News learns that the two amendments are to do with the surcharge provision in the Bill that enables recovery of an amount overpaid to a public servant or a recoupment of any loss caused to the Government for which he is held responsible.
A Cabinet Minister, speaking to the Daily News confirmed that the Bill was approved subject to several amendments.
“The Sub-Committee report was studied at length at the Cabinet and approved.
The report has proposed certain amendments to the draft bill. Once the proposed amendments are made, the Bill will be presented to Parliament,” he said.
Additional Auditor General W. P. C. Wickramarathna told the Daily News that they were yet to know the amendments proposed to the Bill by the Sub-Committee. “We got to know that the Bill has been sent to the Legal Draftsman’s Department by the Cabinet to incorporate the newly proposed amendments, but we are yet to receive them officially,” he said.
The Cabinet deferred approving the final draft of the long overdue National Audit Bill that was submitted in the first week of August and appointed a six-member committee to look into it.
The first draft of the National Audit Bill was compiled in 2004, and it had already undergone 22 revisions.
The objections from several ministers and CAOs (Ministry Secretaries) led to the procrastination of the Bill.