MCC Compact and missing $ 10 m: Cabinet to discuss this week

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

A decision on investigations into the allegation that the previous Government had signed agreements to receive a sum of $ 10 million in two phases in 2017 and 2018, in the final report of the Expert Committee appointed to review the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, would be taken up at the Cabinet meeting this week, The Morning learnt.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardana told The Morning that the ministers were asked to give their opinion about what action the Government should take on the alleged agreements signed by the previous Government.

When asked whether a forensic audit would be carried out, he said: “The Cabinet will take a decision this week.”

The committee report raised questions over the two agreements as the funds were not recorded in any of the documents in possession of the External Resources Department (ERD) of the Ministry of Finance.

In the final report of the four-member Expert Committee appointed to review the proposed MCC Compact, it is stated that two agreements on 26 July 2017 and 18 June 2018 were signed to receive $ 7.4 million and $ 2.6 million, respectively, between the MCC and the Treasury Secretary of Sri Lanka.

However, the report did not mention that the respective funds had been received by Sri Lanka as Expert Committee Chairman Prof. Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said no account details of the said monies are to be found anywhere, and the Committee could not find respective receipts in that regard either.

The United National Party (UNP) has denied the allegation.