Non governmental organizations received a staggering amount of nearly Rs 40.1 billion for tsunami-related activities but it cannot be determined whether this money had been properly utilized, according to the parliamentary select committee investigating NGOs and their impact.
The select committee report was submitted to parliament last week. It states that Rs 40.1 billion had been received by 256 NGOs. “According to Central Bank reports, it was evident that even though these funds had been received within the year 2005, the service rendered had been minimal,” it elaborates.
The committee found that a huge monetary surplus of those NGOs had been carried forward from 1 January 2006 but no physical audit had been done to ensure that those cash balances had been utilized properly. Therefore, a conclusion regarding this issue could not be reached.
“It was clear that the amount of money recieved by the non-governmental organizations within the year 2005-2006 was nearly 20150 million rupees while the expenditure was 1,800 million rupees,” the report states.
“Although it appeared as if the money had been spent on housing projects, sanitary facilities and child health and mental development, it became clear that the total amount of money allocated for the year 2006 was approximately 60 per cent. It was revealed that 40 percent had been spent as administrative expenses.” The committee has held that there was no financial transparency among most NGOs in Sri Lanka. “In examining the accounts reports sent by CCF (Christian Children’s’ Fund) Sri Lanka and Foundation for Co-Existence, it became clear that a monthly salary up to one million rupees had been paid for the domestic staff,” the report reveals. The salary paid annually to the executive director of the Foundation for Co-Existence was nearly Rs 15 million while the salary paid annually to the executive director of CCF Sri Lanka had exceeded Rs 3 million.