The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) in Parliament recently highlighted the failure to utilise the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) data system provided to the Probation and Child Care Services Department in 2018. The Committee, while examining the Auditor General’s report and performance of the Department of Probation and Child Care Services for years 2019-2021, said the data system – provided at a cost of Rs2.3 million – in order to submit timely and accurate reports to the UNCRC, has not been used.
The Committee instructed officials to address technical and other issues cited by the Department and make arrangements to implement the data system without delay. COPA also instructed education and childcare authorities to maintain a data system to identify students who do not attend school regularly. Committee Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna told officials that a system should be introduced by collecting information once in two months from schools to identify absentees. He said students absent for a long period of time should be immediately identified in order to address the issues pertaining to their absence.