The Oversight Committees in Developing Countries – Public Financial Control and the Expectations Gap – Some Empirical Evidence from Sri Lanka
This paper examines whether it is possible to implement an effective financial control through public oversight committees and establish public sector accountability and transparency as expected by the general public in Sri Lanka. The time is ripe for a debate on whether the public sector governance in Sri Lanka is socially well placed to safeguard the general public over the last few decades. Interviews with key stakeholders are analyzed using stakeholder theory. Findings reveal that despite the summons were sent to some public institutions, they did not appear before oversight committees. The standing orders specify that any person or document can be summoned before an oversight committee, yet parliamentarians are not summoned before oversight committees under any circumstances. The public officers responsible for fraudulent acts are transferred or retired before the completion of hearings of oversight committees. A little attention is paid on the best practice of parliamentary scrutiny and its impacts on the public accountability. There had been a civil war in Sri Lanka over the last three decades. Debate on the defence expenditure continues. This issue has to be further investigated in a future study.
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