Sri Lanka holds the dubious distinction of being the worst performer in South Asia when it comes to blacklisting corrupt contractors in public procurement, a new report reveals. Unlike its neighbors, the island nation neither recognizes fraudulent practices as a reason for disbarment nor actively enforces existing rules against defaulting contractors.

Verité Research, the organization behind the report, identifies outdated procurement guidelines and lack of compliance as key culprits. Notably, Sri Lanka’s public blacklist of contractors remains empty, despite provisions calling for its use alongside publication of defaulters’ names online. Neighboring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh demonstrate stark contrasts, boasting hundreds of entries on their databases.

This concerning report echoes earlier assessments by civil society and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both highlighting high levels of corruption in Sri Lankan procurement. The IMF further underscores the need for immediate action, urging the enactment of a new public procurement law aligned with international best practices by December 2024.

With pressure mounting, it remains to be seen if Sri Lanka can bridge the gap and join its regional counterparts in tackling corruption through effective contractor blacklisting practices.

The report by Verité Research, titled “Backwards in Blacklisting: Gaps in Sri Lanka’s Procurement Framework Enable Corruption”, is available on the Verité Research website –

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