‘Tainted NPC official’ not under SLTDA

The individual who was accused of financial fraud during his tenure at the National Procurement Commission (NPC) has not been employed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), The Sunday Morning learnt.

SLTDA Chairperson Kimarli Fernando asserted that no such individual was employed by the Authority.

“He is not under the direct employment of the SLTDA. He has only come on as a consultant to advise on the technical aspects regarding procurement guidelines and has been hired by a foreign donor agency,” Fernando said.

She revealed that the individual in concern was hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist the SLTDA.

She noted that none of the allegations against the individual have been proven in a court of law.

“These are only claims and rumours, and there has not been a legal verdict given on the matter. Regardless, he is not a part of the Sri Lanka Tourism Board (SLTDA) cadre,” she said.

The person in question was a former Director General of the NPC.

The individual has been accused of failing to formulate the national procurement guidelines for over a year, despite having his tenure extended by six months by the Commission on the conditions that he would fulfil all obligations to the Commission including the completion of the national procurement guidelines.

In addition, the Attorney General’s (AG) Department on multiple occasions had warned the Commission hierarchy that the individual in question was responsible for financial misappropriation during his tenure.

“It has been advised that the National Procurement Commission obtain the monies that were misappropriated by this individual before he concluded his tenure at the Commission,” a senior source at the AG’s Department told The Sunday Morning.

– Skandha Gunasekara