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Issues

   
 

Derwin done with


Gamini Lokuge, Derwin Perera, Susanthika and PIU's report to the Ministry of Public Administration

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

The spreading disease of government corruption has extended its tentacles to Sri Lanka's sports bodies in equal measure with the latest scandal involving Deputy Director of Sports, Derwin Perera over the printing of certificates and ordering medals in violation of tender procedures causing a financial loss to the state.

The Sports Ministry official has been recommended compulsory retirement after a two year long investigation conducted by the Presidential Investigations Unit (PIU) found Perera guilty on all 20 counts including tender procedure violations, selection of wrong parties as suppliers, non adherence to transparent decision making, overlooking registered suppliers with necessary qualifications, making hurried purchases, submitting false technical evaluation reports, ordering excessive numbers of medals and certificates, and willful destruction of certificates by setting them on fire to acting outside the ambit of his authority.

Importantly, the PIU found fault with Perera for violating the trust reposed in him as a public servant and for taking willful decisions to cause financial loss to the state.

Following investigations, Director General, PIU, A. A. Wickremasinghe submitted a report to the Ministry of Public Administration recommending action against all eight officials including Perera.

Found guilty

Perera, a well known athletics coach was found guilty not only by the PIU but also the PublicAdministration Ministry. Subsequent to the two separate investigations, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has recommended that Perera be immediately sent on compulsory retirement.

According to the report submitted by the PIU to the Ministry of Public Administration, investigators have discovered that fraud had been committed by Perera and others for several years in collaboration with a company named Super Sunflower (Pvt) Ltd.

The report adds that the said company whenever it made applications, the documents did not bear a date and had a registration as name board manufacturers and painters. Yet, it was registered with the Sports Ministry as a qualified supplier.

Besides, since the year 2002, the same company has printed certificates with 45% of certificates being in excess. For example, when the requirement was 33,000 certificates, the order had been for 48,000. Some 13,463 certificates have been badly stored and allowed to decay and subsequently destroyed for which Derwin Perera is now being held accountable.

Within three years, the Ministry has sustained a monetary loss of Rs. 519,975 due to printing certificates in excess by the same company.

Besides, the same company has been awarded the tender over and over again for 'urgent purchases' when certificates are an annual requirement and not an emergency.

PIU also faulted Perera for false technical evaluation reports disqualifying other registered suppliers for the supply of certificates and medals.

Appealed to the PSC

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Derwin Perera said he has appealed to the PSC against the decision to send him on compulsory retirement but refrained from making further comment.

Taking a firm stand, Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge said that the sports field was becoming increasingly corrupt and that he was pleased that the PSC has adopted a strong stance against eight officials who had committed fraud against the Ministry and the state.

"There should be no cover. The country's sports are in this present state due to mismanagement and corruption. Perera's case is perhaps the tip of the iceberg," Minister Lokuge said.

A top official from the Public Service Commission (PSC) said it was unethical to comment on an investigation conducted by the body but confirmed Perera has submitted an appeal against the decision.

Perera was the former coach of Olympic Games medallist, Susanthika Jayasinghe, who was cleared of drug charges on a technical point, while two of his other products (Jani Chaturangani and Priyadharshini) were found guilty of taking a banned substance and suspended. 


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