Public officials have developed a fear to commit wrongdoing, fraud and corruption in the last three years giving rise to a positive culture in the public service, President Maitripala Sirisena said.
The President said he was glad to see that change under his rule.
He was addressing the National Awards Ceremony organised by the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) to recognise the State Institutions with high level of performance held at the Parliament Complex yesterday.
“The public officials’ fear to commit wrong had vanished over the past years, especially because of the misconduct of politicians in power. We have been able to gradually change this attitude. Now I hear them saying that they would have to go to the CID or the FCID if they do wrong. We have had a committed and clean public service in the past and I want to restore the same in the country under my rule,” the President said.
President Sirisena pointed out the background for public officials to work with a backbone has been created in the country ending the years of political meddling into officials’ work.
“Politicians who misused power broke the backbone of our public officials. The honest and intrepid public servants and their families were harassed and attacked. It is not easy to change this culture which prevailed for 35-40 years. We have begun the process and let us create an excellent public service by rectifying the existing shortcomings,” the President noted.
Eighty one state institutions which showed high performance levels in the year 2015 were recognised at the ceremony yesterday with gold, silver and merit awards.
The President, while congratulating them, also told the organisers to invite the institutions with the lowest performance level to the next awards ceremony so that their performance could be questioned publicly.
COPA Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake also spoke. Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala and COPA members were present.