Updated: Oct 26
We are excited to share the latest developments and significant findings from Verité Research, the independent think tank in Sri Lanka that provides strategic analysis for Asia in the areas of economics, politics, law, and media. These highlight key activities and achievements of Verite during the year 2023 are pertinent to driving participatory governance in large-scale infrastructure (LSI) projects in Sri Lanka.
Infrastructure Watch 2023 Assessment
The 'Infrastructure Watch' assessment for the year 2023 conducted by Verité provided a comprehensive review that examined the Sri Lankan government's compliance with proactively disclosing information online for 60 large-scale infrastructure projects valued at LKR 2.54 trillion. These projects were implemented between 2019 and 2022, following the requirements under Section 9 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
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The report uncovered a significant gap in transparency. Shockingly, only 25% of the required information was made available online in 2023, and just 18% had been disclosed in 2022. These findings indicate that a substantial amount of project-related information continues to remain undisclosed, despite the legal obligations outlined in the RTI Act. It is noteworthy that these disclosures are essential to fostering accountability and ensuring that public funds are used efficiently.
The full 2023 Infrastructure Watch assessment findings are accessible on the trilingual 'Infrastructure Watch' dashboard, available in Tamil and Sinhala, hosted on Verité's publicfinance.lk platform. The report includes research insights presented through informative infographics that address the challenges of Large-Scale Infrastructure and Small-Scale Disclosure, as well as The Problem with Procurement.
Research Report: Ranking Public Authorities
Verité also published the Online Proactive Disclosure under the RTI Act in Sri Lanka: Ranking Public Authorities report. This report conducted a thorough evaluation of 29 cabinet ministries, the Offices of the President, and Prime Minister, from December 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022. The study was based on the requirements of proactive disclosure set out under sections 8 and 9 of the RTI Act, and Regulation No. 20 under the RTI Act.
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The full report available online provides executive summaries in English, Tamil, and Sinhala. This initiative not only underscores the importance of transparency but also encourages public authorities to embrace proactive disclosure practices, fostering trust and good governance.
Written by Shanika Gamage, Communications Consultant, ASI
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article reflect the author’s views, and not the wider views of the Alliance for Sustainable Infrastructure.