Social services institutions to come under one ministry
The Committee on Public Accounts has emphasized the need for all institutions related to social services to be under one ministry.
COPA has met, chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitarana, to examine the performance of the Department of Social Services.
State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Punandupulle said it is essential that there should be standardization in the scope of ministries.
She also pointed out the need to set up institutions at the district level to work for the well-being of disabled children.
The need for one particular institution for the purpose of regulating rehabilitation, training and socialization of drug addicts was also stressed.
Prof. Vitarana said that the vacancies that have been existing in the Department of Social Services for a long time should be filled expeditiously.
The Committee Members agreed that it is important for the Department of Social Services to work in coordination with the Provincial Departments of Social Services.
The Committee was of the view that the increase in vagrants had become a national problem and that there should be a proper program to solve the issue.
The need for a joint program to address the matter was taken into discussion.
The Committee noted that it is very important for the Department of Social Services to obtain the findings of research done on this subject at the university level.
Discussions were also held regarding the non-acquisition of 22 hectares of land belonging to eight Vocational Training Centers under the Department of Social Services.
The Committee sought information from the Department of Social Services regarding the lack of a national database to identify all persons with disabilities in the community.
It pointed out that the absence of such a system is also a serious obstacle to the formulation of national policies.
Although the Batticaloa Vocational Training Center was built at a cost of Rs. 121 million, the Committee paid special attention to the non-utilization of those buildings.
Chandana Ranaweera Arachchi, Director of Social Services said that the activities of the center will commence soon.
The Committee recommended that action be taken to recruit volunteer officers for the activities of the Department of Social Services in a systematic manner.