Presentation on theme: "Rebuilding with Accountability after the Tsunami – Challenges and Opportunities for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal."— Presentation transcript:
Rebuilding with Accountability after the Tsunami – Challenges and Opportunities for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal 18th May 2005
Rebuilding with Accountability after a Disaster needs an Institutional approach
What is an “Institutional Mechanism”? It is a joint body, perhaps similar to a Joint Venture to: [a] formulate an acceptable policy, and [b] develop a delivery system for a specified objective
Why "Institutional Mechanisms" or “Joint Ventures” to deal with the Relief and Re-building Processes? Create priority measures to be undertaken by each stakeholder Prevent and curb corruption in service delivery and procurement Maximize the effectiveness of existing laws and procedures Assist stakeholders when such laws and procedures are considered to be inadequate
What should such “Mechanisms" cover? Assessing the Extent of Damage Assessing the Needs of Beneficiaries and Victims Raising the funds necessary to meet the cost of relief and re-construction Ensuring the Participation of "victims" in the rebuilding effort
What should such “Mechanisms" cover? Formulating Policies in relief and re-building Ensuring the Transparency of procedures Ensuring the Capacity of implementers to carry out the rebuilding processes
What should such “Mechanisms" cover? Creating awareness of work being carried out Implementing Projects while ensuring –Quality control –Peoples’ participation –Monitoring
What should such “Mechanisms" cover? Procuring of goods and services with assurances of quality, fair pricing, timeliness, while meeting contractual obligations Instilling and ensuring Financial discipline
What should such “Mechanisms" cover? Setting up procedures for grievance redressal Arranging disciplinary proceedings and anti- corruption measures Regular Reviewing of operations, outputs and outcomes
What are the elements/features that “institutional mechanisms” should possess? Clear Plans – at all levels Administrative control structures and systems Accountability Transparency Checks and balances
A “To Do” list for different stakeholders ….
Donors and Funders: Elect a “manager” who would set up a secretariat with costs to be shared Review and “endorse” needs established by the government Work out and publish a common “needs list” against which all donors will provide financial or “in-kind” assistance Verify and confirm all offers of assistance
Donors and Funders: Coordinate with bilateral “assistance adoption schemes” Agree on who does what (identified by region and/or content) Agree as far as possible on uniform procurement rules Allow flexibility for the employment of local contractors, suppliers and other service providers
Donors and Funders: Maintain clear books and records on all assistance pledged, delivered and utilised Maintain full transparency of such books and records Maximise “budget support” assistance as the form of aid leaving the recipient government the greatest flexibility in its use
Donors and Funders: Avoid “tied” aid Require a standard “integrity pledge” from each contractor/supplier/other service provider Assure full control of fund flows and other activities via effective internal and external controls.
The affected Government: Cooperate fully with the donors/funders Involve local beneficiary communities and civil society fully in needs assessments and reconstruction decisions Maintain full transparency of information related to needs assessments, assistance pledged, delivered and utilised, procurement rules and procedures, contracts awarded and progress
The affected Government: Hold public hearings to obtain stakeholder input into needs assessments and reconstruction decision- making Denounce corrupt behaviour Require an integrity pledge from its officials Require an integrity pledge from all bidders Appoint a senior official in charge of fighting corruption
Civil Society Organisations and Businesses operating in the disaster area (contractors, suppliers, consultants etc): Coordinate activities with the government (at all levels) and other NGOs Accept and implement full accountability for their activities Allow and encourage whistle-blowing Assist the affected government in facilitating maximum stakeholder participation and information exchange
Civil Society Organisations and Businesses operating in the disaster area (contractors, suppliers, consultants etc): Provide full transparency as to sources of their funding Report any suspicion of corruption among their own or other organizations to the authorities Monitor the relief and reconstruction process and publish results Hold government to task of providing full transparency of relief and reconstruction activities
Civil Society Organisations and Businesses operating in the disaster area (contractors, suppliers, consultants etc): Make sure all groups of beneficiaries are adequately informed and involved; Bring ultimate beneficiaries into the public decision making process on needs assessment, procurement and implementation Involve beneficiaries in priority setting and decision making
Media (domestic and international): Monitor the relief and reconstruction process, and facilitate the flow of information to the public (both in recipient and donor countries) Report to the appropriate authorities any suspicion of corruption Report to the public any confirmed incidents of corruption Hold government(s), donors and civil society accountable
In every stakeholders “To-do” list, the Role of the Accountant is obviously of prime importance!
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Re - building with accountability Strengthening procedures and capacities of TAFREN, Divisional Secretaries, Pradeshiya Sabhas, Auditor General, ICASL, Bribery Commission, etc., to effectively function in the post - disaster period. ICASL: Toolkit, Project Implementation systems, Review, Audit
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Re-building quickly Finding innovative and clear delivery systems and mechanisms. Even if they are joint mechanisms! ICASL: Good and sound MIS, Project Managers
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Re-building with peoples’ participation The victims should not be treated as passive on-lookers but as active stake-holders ICASL: Contribute to the Debate
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Capacity building and training of those engaged in the relief and reconstruction effort Some of the relief and re - construction efforts and delivery systems may be beyond the capacity and understanding of persons who are expected to deliver results. ICASL: Train and build capacity
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Revival of livehoods and economy The affected parties should be assisted to get back to their normal livelihood and normal economic activities as soon as possible ICASL: Advice, Management Skills, Policy Formulation
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Trade and enterprise resurgence This needs special innovative measures. e.g. the complete write off of outstanding loans of those affected - just like the country had a part of it's own debt written off. Bank exposures could perhaps be covered by a Government grant, using a part of the benefit of the country debt moratorium. ICASL: Advice, Management Skills, Policy Formulation
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Engaging local communities, foreign donors and NGO's effectively Co - ordination is vital. e.g. Having a consolidated web - site with sufficient publicity ICASL: Co-ordinating, Motivating, Providing credibility
Challenges facing Sri Lanka Establishing credible complaint and grievance redressal channels Review and Audit Mechanisms also have to be established ICASL: Reviewing, Auditing, Representing, Leading
Creating Enabling Institutional Mechanisms is not easy. It needs dedication, patience, innovation, professionalism and understanding. It is time to show the world that the ICASL has these qualities!