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Digitalisation of Police Traffic and Road Safety Division: CID probe on alleged irregularities

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

An inquiry is currently being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the allegations levelled by Opposition MP Manusha Nanayakkara in Parliament on 20 July regarding the irregularities of the digitalisation of the Police Traffic and Road Safety Division under the Police Department modernisation project.

The inquiry has been launched as per a request made by Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekera, stated Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Jagath Alwis on Friday (30).

When queried by The Sunday Morning, the Ministry Secretary said: “An inquiry is currently being conducted by the CID on a request made by the Minister on the allegations levelled by MP Nanayakkara.”

However, as alleged by MP Nanayakkara in Parliament, the project has been marred with alleged irregularities due to the appointment of several members for the committee established to formulate the “full terms of requirements” of the project, in contrast to the established government procurement guidelines.

Opposition policymaker Nanayakkara alleged in Parliament that the cabinet paper submitted by Minister Weerasekera, which was approved in March, was tailor-made for the wishes of one private company – Securatec Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., the company alleged to be engaged in the importation of equipment needed for the project.

He alleged that two persons who have served as directors of Securatec Lanka have been appointed as members of a subcommittee appointed to call for a report on the same project.

“This proposal states that the equipment required for this project will be imported by a certain company. The advisor you (referring to Weerasekera) have appointed to that subcommittee is an individual who has also worked in that private company. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the said company, and I have the relevant appointment letter,” Nanayakkara claimed, commenting on the subcommittee appointed to prepare a report on the project.

Speaking further, Nanayakkara alleged that another person from a state information technology (IT) company had also been appointed to the said subcommittee and that he too had been a member of the Board of Directors of the company in question.

Nanayakkara said that all relevant files would be tabled in Parliament, and that he hopes to lodge complaints in this regard with the President and all the other relevant authorities.

Moreover, a proposal submitted to the Police regarding the project in question was tabled by Nanayakkara.

Accordingly, Nanayakkara has tabled four documents including a brief about the situation, form 20 of Securatech Lanka, the cabinet paper of the project, and form 20 of Securatech Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd.

However, the cabinet decisions announced on 8 March stated that the proposal made by the Minister of Public Security to appoint a steering committee to design a project to monitor the overall modernisation process of Sri Lanka Police and to implement the same was approved by the Cabinet.

In the decision, it is further stated that Sri Lanka Police is a leading entity empowered to ensure the safety and security of the public as well as to maintain law and order. It also provides multiple services to people across the country. The necessity to modernise Sri Lanka Police by changing the traditional systems followed at present was highlighted.

In this context, it has been identified that the traffic handling process should be made effective and efficient through modern methods. In particular, priority should be given to streamlining the work of the Police Traffic and Road Safety Division using digitisation solutions to reduce existing traffic congestion in urban areas.