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COPE Committee directs NHDA to submit report on recruitment

The COPE Committee has directed the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) to submit a report on recruitment within a month, including overstaffing.

Accordingly, there are 688 vacancies in the National Housing Development Authority as at 31st May 2021 and the Chairman of the COPE Committee, Prof. Charitha Herath informed the Authority to work with the Department of Management Services to fill them expeditiously.

While there are 154 vacancies in the top management level of the company, the chairman has also questioned the officers regarding the existence of 46 additional posts.

“There are 116 vacancies at the tertiary level and if so, how can there be 218 surplus posts?” the committee asked.

The Chairman of the Committee directed the Secretary to the State Ministry of Rural Housing, Construction and Building Materials Industry Promotion Keerthi Ranjith Abeysiriwardena to submit a report to the COPE Committee within a month as this situation cannot exist within an institution.

Meanwhile, it was revealed at the COPE Committee that Rs. 583 million had been paid for the 3700 trained officers recruited to the National Housing Development Authority during the period 2017-2019.

When questioned by Parliamentarian Premnath C Dolawatta, the Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera also stated that the trained officers had not been assigned any proper duties.

The Committee also paid special attention to the failure of the National Housing Development Authority to table the annual reports properly in Parliament.

The Committee also noted the omission of the Annual Planning Plan, the Human Resource Development Plan and the Internal Audit Plan to be included in the Action Plan of the Institute.

Although the National Housing Development Authority was previously recommended to submit a quality report on the Janasevana One Million Housing Project to the Committee within a month, the Committee also pays special attention to its non-submission so far and the public property of 1,351 housing projects has not yet been transferred to the Local Government Institutions. The Chairman of the Committee also pointed out that this is a serious issue.

It was revealed at the committee meeting that although an agreement was reached with a private party for the construction and development of a 01 acre 26.5 perch land on Darley Road, Colombo, the land was sold to the relevant private company in 2006 at a contract price of Rs.

The National Housing Development Authority informed the Committee that legal action would be taken to reclaim the land.

The Committee also drew attention to the fact that the debt collection progress of the institution was at a minimum. The Committee informed the National Housing Development Authority to implement a systematic program to recover the debt, which stands at 60 percent of the annual debt.

Keerthi Ranjith Abeysiriwardena, Secretary to the State Ministry of Rural Housing, Construction and Building Materials Industry Promotion, was instructed by the Committee to take appropriate action to resolve the administrative problems of the National Housing Development Authority.

According to the financial statements of the year 2020, the amount due to the Sevana Media Unit of the Authority is Rs. 68 million.

The committee meeting was convened to examine the current performance of the National Housing Development Authority.