Minister to testify on September 23
- Recruitment to NHDA on contractual basis
By Yoshitha Perera
Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa failed to record a statement yesterday with the police unit of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate into corruption of the current administration due to official work.
Gunaratne Wanninayake PC representing the minister informed the commission that the statement would be recorded on September 23 and that the minister would testify on the same day.
Minister Premadasa will provide a statement on recruiting a large number of graduates and non-graduates to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) on a contractual basis at the beginning of the year without a cadre requirement or proper training. In earlier proceedings, the PCoI observed that the appointment of 2,300 persons to NHDA had taken place exceeding the approved cadre requirement.
Testifying before the PCoI, Additional Human Resources Manager at NHDA Lalith Edirisinghe noted that directions to recruit these people had been received via email.
“In September 2018, the ministry appointed 32 employees to several areas in the Hambantota District. We were asked via email to prepare the appointment letters in mid-January and Minister Premadasa handed over the letters the subsequent day,” he said.
Furthermore, the PCoI was informed that NHDA had not followed proper tender procedures in certain matters and that it had allowed officials to exploit the situations.
Accordingly, the Progressive Workers’ Union lodged a complaint in February 2019 with the police unit attached to the PCoI regarding the issue.