COPE calls for special probe

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The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has instructed the Auditor General to conduct a special investigation into the confusion that has arisen as to who pilfered a staggering amount of money, following contradictory statements made by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) and a private software company, EWIS Sri Lanka, with regard to develop an inventory management software for the SPC.

While the SPC claimed at the COPE inquiry that Rs 644 million was paid to EWIS Sri Lanka for the software that does not meet its requirements, the Company claimed the cost for the total project was Rs 223 million. Following these statements, confusion has arisen as to who pilfered Rs 421 million of public money. The Company told the media that a clarification in relation to the matter was submitted to COPE.  Following the clarification, COPE said EWIS Information Systems Ltd informed they were paid Rs 223 million for the software.

However, the written submission of the State Ministry of Health shows that while EWIS Information Systems Ltd had been paid Rs 458 million, another company named EWIS Solutions (Pvt) Ltd had been paid Rs 66 million. Therefore, a total of Rs. 524 million had been paid for the said software. This creates more confusion as the amounts presented by the State Ministry and the company does not tally. Therefore, COPE instructed the Auditor General to conduct a special investigation and submit a report within a month.

BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake