Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for inviting me to speak before you today on a topic that I think is critical to the well being of Sri Lanka and to other countries both in South Asia and worldwide: that is, the importance of corporate governance in the public sector. It is a topic that is receiving increasing attention from the media, the public and governments themselves, although it has been long been of importance to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
For twenty years, IFAC has been working to improve the financial reporting and financial management of governments at all levels - national, state and provincial, and local - as well as that of other public sector entities worldwide. The fiscal accountability of governments is central to enhancing economic growth and development worldwide - one of IFAC's most important goals. Failing to hold governments to account, can, I believe, compromise and even jeopardize ongoing private sector initiatives to building and maintaining confidence in the financial reporting process, lead to friction within government management, and, in less stable environments, result in significant citizen unrest.