Sports Ministry audit report sheds light on fraud
Nov 20, 2015

An audit examination of the utilization of the provisions made for the Ministry of Sports has uncovered several fraudulent activities running into millions of rupees in the Ministry. It has also found several financial irregularities at Sri Lanka Cricket and the Football Federation of Sri Lanka for the year 2014.

According to the Annual Audit report for 2014, Sports Ministry has ‘fraudulently’ purchased carom and draughts boards at Rs. 39 million for distribution to sports clubs across the country. However the audit found no evidence of distribution.

“There was no evidence of distribution. Though the storekeeper had acknowledged the receipt of goods, those had not been received by the Ministry,” the audit report which was presented to the Speaker last month revealed.

Daily Mirror however learns that the purchases were done through the state-run Sathosa on verbal instructions given by the government big-wigs ahead of the January 8 presidential election this year, to be distributed among people in violation of the election law.

When contacted a Sports Ministry official admitted that a purchase was done late last year but no payments were made since it has not followed the proper procurement procedures.

“I can confirm that no payments were made so far,” an official confirmed on the condition of anonymity.

The report signed by WPC Wickremasinghe, Auditor General (Acting) also revealed that the Ministry of Sports had spent Rs. 1,617,000 for transporting members of sports bodies to Temple Trees for the distribution of 2,500 sets of sports goods but only 10 sets had been distributed.

The report also highlighted two instances of deviating from proper tender and procurement procedures when purchasing goods and other facilities, worth Rs. 34.81 million.

“Department of Sports had procured accommodation facilities for the staff of the XL National Sports festival and 3,500 each of T Shirts, travelling bags, for distribution among sports persons and sports officers and sports goods costing Rs. 21 million without following the Procurement Procedure. A sum of Rs. 13.81 million valued sports goods had been purchased deviating from the tender procedures,” the report stressed.

The report has also highlight several frauds at Sri Lanka Cricket and the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

According to the report, the former chairman of the Management Committee of Sri Lanka Football Federation had fraudulently obtained US$ 100,000, Euro 40,400 and Rs. 5 million out of the donations received by the Federation

“Out of US $ 30,000 withdrawn from the Bank Account of the Federation on 06 June 2008 by the former Chief Executive Officer a sum of US $ 12,533 had not been returned to the Federation even by 19 January 2015,” the report added.

“The former Chief Executive Officer of the Football Federation had transferred US $ 60,000 through a fictitious Bank Order to the private account of the former President of the Management Committee for the settlement of a loan of Rs. 6,000,000 obtained from the former President on 06 June 2008 without the approval of the Executive Committee despite the availability of adequate funds in the Bank Account of the Federation,” the report pointed.

In 2014 Sri Lanka Cricket had incurred a net operating loss of Rs. 392.7 million and been without the liquid assets to settle the existing liabilities amounting to Rs. 4,303.5 million. Despite heavy losses and huge liabilities amounting to billions of rupees, the SLC had spent Rs 26.7 million as salary increment for the year 2013.

In addition Rs. 57.6 million had been spent as an urgent requirement for the purchase of 11 motor vehicles for which provision was not made in the budget.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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