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Legal Services and Laws of Sri Lanka

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1981 Act

Parliamentary Commissioner For Administration

Act No 17 of 1981

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONER FOR ADMINISTRATION (OMBUDSMAN) INTERMS
OF ARTICLE 156 OF THE CONSTITUTION, TO DEFINE HIS POWERS,DUTIESANDFUNCTIONS,ANDTOPROVIDEFORMATTERSCONNECTED
THEREWITH OR INCIDENTAL THERETO-

BE it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows :

Short title and date of operation.
1. This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Act, No. 17 of 1981,andshallcomeinto
operation on such date as may be appointed by the President by Order published in the Gazette.

PART I

THE OMBUDSMAN

Establishment of the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.
2, There shall be a Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (hereinafter referred to as ''the Ombudsman").

Appointment and term of office. [ 2,16 of 1991]
3.(1)The Ombudsman shall be appointed by the President and shall hold office during good behaviour.
(2) The Ombudsman shall not be a member or an officer of Parliament or of any publiccorporation,localauthority,
or other like institution.
(3) The Ombudsman shall not, except with the written consent of the President, hold any otheroffice(whetherpaid
or not) or accept any place of profit or emolument or engage in any occupation for reward outsidethedutiesofhis
office.
(4)The salary of the Ombudsman shall be determined by Parliament, shall be chargedontheConsolidatedFundand
shall not be diminished during his term of office.
(5) The office of the Ombudsman shall become vacant
(a)upon his death
(b)on his resignation by writing addressed to the President
(c)on his attaining the age of seventy years
(d)on his removal by the President on account of ill health or physical or mental infirmity or
(e)on his removal by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament.
(6) If the Ombudsman is temporarily unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers,dutiesandfunctionsof
his office, the President may appoint a person to act in the place of the Ombudsman during thatperiodandwhileso
acting such person shall have and may exercise all the powers, and perform and discharge all the dutiesandfunctions
of the Ombudsman under this Act in all respects as if he were the Ombudsman.
(7) The procedure for the presentation and passing of an address of Parliament for the removalofaJudgeofthe
Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal shall apply in all respects to the presentationandpassingofanaddressof
Parliament for the removal of the Ombudsman.

Where public officer is appointed as Ombudsman.
4,Every person who, immediately before his appointment as Ombudsman was a public officer, shall, whensuchappointment
takes effect, cease to hold such office:
Provided that
(a)he shall retain his existing and accruing rights, as such public officer and
(b)for the purpose of determining these rights, his service under this Act shall betaken into account as ifit
were service in the public service.

Official path or affirmation.
5. A person appointed to the office of Ombudsman shall not enter uponthedutiesofhisofficeuntilhetakesand
subscribes the oath or makes and subscribes the affirmation set out in the Schedule hereto, before the President.

Duty to maintain secrecy.
6. (1) The Ombudsman shall, while he holds office and after he ceases to hold office, maintainsecrecyinrespectof
all. matters that come to his knowledge in the exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions,
except for the purposes of any investigation and of any report or recommendation to be made thereon under this Act.
(2) The Ombudsman shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he takes and subscribes an oath ormakesand
subscribes an affirmation before the President, that he will not divulge any information, received by him, or coming to
his knowledge, in the exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions underthisAct,except
for the purposes of giving effect to this Act.

Ombudsman not to hold public off without consent after ceasing to be Ombudsman.
7. No person who has held office as Ombudsman shall hold office as a publicofficeratanytimewithoutthewritten
public office consent of the President.

PART II
STAFF OF THE OMBUDSMAN
Deputy Ombudsman
8. (1) The President may from time to time, in consultation with the Ombudsman, appoint one or more Deputy Ombudsmen.
(2) The Ombudsman may, by writing under his hand, delegate to a DeputyOmbudsmananyofhispowers,dutiesand
functions tinder this Act, except the power of delegation under this section and thepowertomakeareportunder
section 18, in relation to any particular matter or class or category of matters,subjecttosuchrestrictionsand
conditions as may be specified therein. The Ombudsman may at any time, revoke, vary or otherwise amend such delegation.

(3) A Deputy Ombudsman may, subject to any restriction orconditioncontainedintheinstrumentofdelegation,
exercise, perform and discharge all the powers, duties and functionsoftheOmbudsmaninrelationtoanymatter
delegated to him.
(4) Where a delegation of any power duty or function is made under this section, theOmbudsmanmaynotwithstanding
such delegation, exercise perform or discharge such power, duty or function
(5) A Deputy Ombudsman may continue to exercise, perform and discharge the powers duties and functionsdelegatedto
him by the Ombudsman, notwithstanding the vacation of office by suchOmbudsman,untilsuchdelegationisrevoked,
varied or otherwise amended by any successor in office to such Ombudsman.
(6) The provisions of section 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 shall, mutatis mutandis, applyto,andinrelationto,aDeputy
Ombudsman : Provided however, that a Deputy Ombudsman shall vacate office on his attaining the age of sixty-five years.
Other staff.
9. (1) There shall be appointed such number of officers andservantsasmaybenecessarytoaidandassistthe
Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman in the exercise, performance and discharge of their powers, duties andfunctionsunder
this Act.
(2) The provisions of sections 5 and 6 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to,andinrelationto,allofficersand
servants appointed under subsection (1) :
Provided, however, that such officers and servants shall take andsubscribetheoathormakeandsubscribethe
affirmation referred to in section 6 before the Ombudsman.
(3) The Ombudsman may, by instrument in writing, authorize, subject to such restrictions or conditionsashedeems
fit, any officer appointed under this section, to exercise, perform or discharge any of the powers, duties or functions
conferred or imposed on, or assigned to the Ombudsman by this Act, except the power of delegation under section 8,the
power of making any report under section 18, and the power of issuing a certificate under section 20.
(4) Any person purporting to exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function of theOmbudsmanbyvirtue
of an instrument referred to in subsection (3) shall, when required to do so, produce such instrumentasevidenceof
his authority to exercise, perform or discharge such power, duty or function

PART III
POWERS, DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE OMBUDSMAN

Functions of the Ombudsman. [ 2,26 of 1994]
10. (1) Where the Committee of Parliament set up to consider petitions presented by MembersofParliament(hereinafter
referred to as the " Public Petitions Committee ") is of the view that any petition presented toitbyaMemberof
Parliament discloses an infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice by a pubicofficer,orofficerofa
public corporation, local authority, or other like institution, itmayrefersuchpetitiontotheOmbudsmanfor
investigation and report.
(2) A complaint or allegation of the infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice by apublicofficeror
an officer of a public corporation, local authority or other like institution maybemadetotheOmbudsman,bya
communication in writing, addressed to the Ombudsman.
(3) Where the Ombudsman is of the view that a complaint orallegationreceivedbyhimundersubsection(1)or
subsection (2) discloses an infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice by a public officer or an officer of
a public corporation, local authority or other like institution, he shall investigate and report on suchcomplaintor
allegation, in accordance with, and subject to. the provisions of this Act,andshallnotifythePublicPetitions
Committee, of the commencement of such investigations.
(4) Where the Ombudsman is of the view that a complaint orallegationreceivedbyhimundersubsection(1)or
subsection (2) does not disclose an infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice by a publicofficeroran
officer of a public corporation, local authority or other likeinstitution,he.shallrefusetoinvestigatesuch
complaint or allegation and shall inform the PublicPetitionsCommitteeandthepersonmakingthecomplaintor
allegation of his decision not to investigate such complaint or allegation, withinthirtydaysofhismakingsuch
decision.
(5) The Ombudsman may investigateandreportonanymatterundertheprecedingprovisionsofthissection
notwithstanding anything in any other "written law which provides that any decision, recommendation, or omissionshall
not be called in question in any court or other tribunal by way of writ or otherwise.
(6) In this section, "injustice" includes any injustice alleged to have been or to be likelytobecausedbyany
decision or recommendation (including a recommendation to a Minister) or by any act or omission, andtheinfringement
of any right recognized by the Constitution.

Matters not subject to investigation.
11. Nothing in this Act shall authorize the Ombudsman to investigate or report upon
(a)any complaint or allegation of the infringement of a fundamental right or other injusticeallegedtohave
occurred prior to the commencement of the Constitution
(b)any allegation of an injustice not amounting to an infringement of a fundamental right, relating to
(i) the exercise, performance or discharge of any power,dutyorfunctionunderthePublicSecurity
Ordinance or the law for the time being in force relating to public security
(ii)any decision, recommendation, or omission of anyattorney-at-lawactingaslegaladvisorto,or
appearing in any proceedingfor,theState,anypubliccorporation,localauthorityorotherlike
institution, including the Attorney-General, Solicitor-General or any legal officer of the department of the
Attorney-General, or any attorney-at-law acting under the special authority of the Attorney-General
(iii) any person who is or was a member of the Armed Forces, PoliceForceorotherForcescharged
with the maintenance of public order, s o far as the matter relates to(a) the terms and conditions ofhis
service: (b) any order, command, decision, penalty or punishment giventohiminhiscapacityassuch
member
(iv)the institution of civil orcriminalproceedingsortheconductthereof,andanydecisionor
recommendation thereof
(v) the appointment, transfer, dismissal or disciplinary control of public officers
(vi)any decision, recommendation,or omission of the Auditor General.
(vii) any decision, recommendation,or omission of the Commissioner of Elections or
viii) any decision, determination, recommendation,or omission of the Ombudsman or of any Deputy Ombudsman.

Reference of certain questions to Supreme Court.
12. (1) If, during the course of an investigation under this Act, any question of law ofexceptionalpublicimportance
arises (a) relating to the interpretation of the Constitutionor (b) as to whether in relation to any particular facts
there has been or is likely to be an infringement of a fundamental right by a public officer, or officerofapublic
corporation, local authority, or other like institution, the Ombudsman may state a case for the opinion of theSupreme
Court upon such question.
(2) The case stated shall contain a statement of the facts on which the question of law arises and suchfactsshall
not be liable to be questioned in proceedings before the Supreme Court under this section.
(3) The Attorney-General and the complainant, if any, shall be served with notice of any such case statedandshall
be entitled to make submissions at the hearing of any such case.
(4) The Ombudsman may at such hearing, make submissions through an attorney-at-law.

Ombudsman may discontinue investigation in certain cases.
13. (1) The Ombudsman may discontinue an investigation commenced by him under this Act if he Is of the view
(a)that in respect of the matter under investigation the complainant or person aggrieved has or had, underthe
law or existing administrative practice, an adequate remedy or right of appeal to whichitis,orwouldhave
been, reasonable to resort to or
(b)that the complainant has not a sufficient interest in the subject-matter of the complaint or allegation or

(c)that the complainant has been guilty of unreasonable delay in making the complaint or allegationor
(d)that such investigation may be prejudicial to the security, defence or international relations of SriLanka
including the relations of Sri Lanka with any international organization or agencyor
(e)that such investigation may be prejudicial to the maintenance of discipline or order in any prison orplace
of detention.

(2) Where, in the exercise of the discretionvestedinhimbysubsection(1),theOmbudsmandiscontinuesan
investigation, he shall inform the Public Petitions Committee and the person making the complaint orallegationwhich
was the subject-matter of the investigation, of his decision todiscontinuesuchinvestigation,togetherwithhis
reasons thereof.

Refusal to investigate not to be questioned [ 4,26 of 1994]
14. The refusal by the Ombudsman to investigate, or to further, as the case may be, any matter ontheinvestigateground
that such matter is not within his jurisdiction by virtue of the provisions of subsection (3) of section 10 orsection
11 , or the discontinuation of an investigation by the Ombudsman in the exercise of his discretionundersection13,
shall be final and shall not be called in question in any court or tribunal, or be reviewed or quashedinproceedings
for orders in the nature of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, preceded or otherwise.

Conduct of investigation by Ombudsman.
15. (1) Before investigating any matter under thisAct,.theOmbudsmanmayinformtheHeadoftheInstitution
concerned, of his intention to conduct such investigation.
(2) Every investigation by the Ombudsman under this Act shallbeconductedinprivateandnopersonshallbe
entitled as of right to be present at such investigation.
(3) The Ombudsman shall make all such inquiries as he considers necessary, but shallnotbeobligedtoholdany
hearing. He may hear the evidence of, or obtain information or entertainrepresentationsfrom,suchpersonsashe
thinks fit. Subject to the provisions of subsection (4), no person shall be entitled as of right to give evidence or to
make representations to the Ombudsman.
(4) (a)The Ombudsman shall not make any report or recommendation adverse to anyperson,unlesshehad,inthe
course of his investigation, given such person an opportunity to be heard in respect of the matter to whichsuch
adverse report or recommendation relates.
(b)No person shall be represented by any other person at any investigation.
(c)The Head of the Institution concerned shall be entitled to make representations either orally or inwriting
to the Ombudsman.
(d)Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Ombudsman may regulate his procedure in such manner as hothinks
fit.

Evidence
l6. (1) The Ombudsman shall have power for the purposes of any investigation
(a)to procure and receive all such evidence, written or oral, and to examine all such persons as witnesses,as
he may think necessary or desirable to procure, receive or examine
(b)to require the evidence, whether written or oral, of any witness to be given on oathoraffirmation,such
oath or affirmation to be that which would be required of the witness if he were giving evidence in court, and to
administer an oath or affirmation to every such witness
(c)to summon any person to give evidence, or to produce any documentorotherthinginhispossessionor
control, and to examine him as a witness or to require himtoproduceanydocumentorotherthinginhis
possession or control
(d)to direct any person in charge of a prison, houseofobservation,mentalhospital,orotherplaceof
detention, to produce any person in his custody or charge before the Ombudsman for the purpose of beingexamined
or to produce any document or other thing in the possession or control of such personand
(e)notwithstanding any of the provisions of the Evidence Ordinance or of any other written law butsubjectas
hereinafter provided, to admit any evidence, written or oral, which might in the opinion of the Ombudsmanbeof
assistance in the investigation.
(2) Every such examination of a witness shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding for the purposesofChapterXI
of the Penal Code.
(3) A person who is bound by the provisions of any special law to maintain secrecy inrelationto,ortorefrain
from disclosing, any matter, shall not give evidence or information, or answer any question, or produce any document or
other thing relating to such matter, if by so doing he would be acting in breach of such obligation of secrecy ornon-
disclosure:
Provided that, any such person may be required by the Ombudsman to give evidenceorinformation,ortoanswerany
question, relating to any statement made, or to produce any document or other thing furnished, to suchpersonbythe
complainant or person aggrieved or by anyotherperson,relatingonlytothecomplainantorpersonaggrieved,
notwithstanding such obligation and with the previous consent of the complainant orpersonaggrievedorsuchother
person.

(4) (a)No person shall give any evidence or answer any question or produce any documentorotherthing,ifthe
Attorney-General certifies that the giving of such evidence or Information, the answering ofsuchquestion,or
the production of such document or other thing as the case may be, will or is likely to
(i) prejudice the security, defence or international relations of Sri Lanka (includingtherelationsof
Sri Lanka with any international organization or agency)
(ii)involve the disclosure of deliberations or proceedings of the Cabinet, orofanycommitteeofthe
Cabinet, relating to matters of a secret or confidential nature
(iii) obstruct or hinder the investigation or detection of offencesor
(iv)contravene the provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
(b) Subject to the provisions of this Act, any rule of law which authorizes orrequiresthewithholding
of any document, or the refusal to give any evidence or information or to answer any question, on the ground that
the disclosure of such document, the giving of such evidence or information, or the answering ofsuchquestion,
would be injurious to the public interest, shall not apply in respect of any investigation by the Ombudsman.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (3) and (4), every person shall have, in relation tothegivingof
evidence or information, the answering of questions, and theproductionofdocumentsandotherthings,thesame
privileges and immunities as he would be entitled to if he were a witness giving evidence in a court of law.
(6) (a) No person shall, in respect of any evidence, information or answer given, or any documentorotherthing
produced, to or before the Ombudsman, be liable to any action prosecution or other proceedings civil or criminal.
in any court or tribunal.
(b)No evidence of a statement made or answer given byanyperson,toorbeforetheOmbudsman,shallbe
admissible against such person or any other person in any action,prosecutionorotherproceeding,civilor
criminal, in any court or tribunal.
(c)No evidence of any document that is sent to the Ombudsman or hisofficers,orbytheOmbudsmanorhis
officers, in the course- of, orforthepurposesof,aninvestigationunderthisArtandwasprepared
specifically for the purposes of an investigation shall be admissible in evidence inanyproceeding,civilor
criminal, in any court or tribunal: Provided that, nothing in the preceding provisions of this subsection shall
(i) abridge or affect, or be deemed or construed to abridge or affect, the liability of any person toany
action, prosecution or penalty for any offence under Chapter XI of the Penal Code read withsubsection(2)
of this section, or for any offence under section 20, or for the breach of his obligation of secrecy or non-
disclosure under this Actor
(ii)prohibit or be deemed or construed to prohibit the publication or disclosureofthenatureofthe
evidence or any part of the evidence of any person for the purposes of any such action or prosecution.

Determination of Ombudsman. [ 5,26 of 1994]
17.(1)Upon the conclusion of his investigation, the Ombudsman shall determine whether there has been, or islikelyto
be-
(a)any infringement of a fundamental rightor
(b)any other injustice, including the question as to whether any decision, recommendation,oromissionwhich
was the subject- matter of the investigation-
(i) was contrary to law
(ii)was based wholly or partly on a mistake of fact or of law
(iii) was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory or otherwise wrong
(iv)was in accordance with a practice that is, or may be, unreasonable, unjust, oppressiveorimproperly
discriminatory or
(v) was made or done in the exercise of a discretion-(A)whichhasbeenexercisedforanimproper
purpose or on irrelevant grounds or by reference to irrelevant considerations, or by failing to take account
of material considerations or(B) without giving reasons although reasons ought. in theopinionofthe
Ombudsman, to have been given or
(vi)was occasioned by unreasonable delay, apathy or indifference.
(2) The Ombudsman shall report his determination, together with his reasons therefore to the head of theinstitution
concerned, and the Minister to whom the department, public corporation, local authority or other institutionconcerned
has been assigned and also to the 'Public Petitions Committee.
(3) (a)In any case where the Ombudsman determines, that there has been or his likely to beaninfringementofa
fundamental right or any other injustice, the Ombudsman may In his report make such recommendations as hethinks
fit, and in such event, may require the head of the institution to notify within a specified time, the steps,if
any which he proposes to take to give effect to his recommendations.
(b)Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoingprovisionsofthissubsection,theOmbudsmanmay
recommend that-
(i) the matter be reconsidered
(ii)the omission be rectified
(iii) the decision be cancelled or varied
(iv)the practice on which such decision, recommendation, or omission was based, be altered
(v) reasons be given for such decision, recommendation, or omission.
(c)If within the time so specified no action is takenwhichappearstotheOmbudsmantobeadequateor
appropriate, the Ombudsman shall after considering the observations, if any, made by the Head of the Institution,
forward a copy of his report to the President and to Parliament. The Ombudsman shall attachtosuchreport,a
copy of the observations, if any, made by the head of the institution concerned.
(d)If, within the time so specified, action istakenwhichappearstotheOmbudsmantobeadequateor
appropriate, the Ombudsman may forward a copy of his report to the President and to Parliamenttogetherwitha
statement of the action taken.".

PART IV

GENERAL
Annual report by Ombudsman
18. The Ombudsman shall, at least once in every calendar year, send to the President and to Parliament,areportofthe
work done during the preceding calendar year in the exercise, performance anddischargeofhispowers,dutiesand
functions under this Act.

Power of entry on premises.
19. (1) For the purposes of this Act, the Ombudsman may at any time and any reasonable hour of the day or ofthenight,
enter upon any premises or place used or occupied by any Government department, public corporation, local authority, or
other like institution and inspect such premises or place and anything forthetimebeingthereinorthereonand
subject to the provisions of section 15, conduct therein any investigation that is within his jurisdiction.
(2) Before entering upon any such premises orplace,theOmbudsmanshallnotifytheHeadoftheInstitution
concerned.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall authorize the Ombudsman or any other person to enter any premises or place,ship
or aircraft which is a prohibited place within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act.

Offences
20. (1) Any person who
(i)fails without reasonable cause, to appear before the Ombudsman at the time and place mentioned in asummons
served under this Act
(ii) refuses to be sworn or affirmed or, having been duly swornoraffirmed,refusesorfailswithout
reason able cause to answer any question put to him touching the matters being investigated by the Ombudsman
(iii)refuses or fails, without reasonable cause to produce and show to the Ombudsman any document orother
thing which is in his possession or control and which he had been requested to produce for thepurposesofthe
investigation
(iv) willfully makes any false statement to the Ombudsman oranyotherofficeronhisstaffforthe
purposes of an investigation under this Act
(v)obstructs without reasonable cause, the Ombudsman or any other officer on his staff, in the exercise ofhis
duties and functions under this Act
(vi) acts in contravention of the duty to maintain secrecy under this Act
(vii)intentionally offers any insult or causes any interruption to the OmbudsmanwhiletheOmbudsmanis
making any investigation or conducting any inquiry under this Actor
(viii) by words spoken or intended to be read, makes or publishes any statement or does any other act,which
is calculated to bring the Ombudsman into disrepute,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction by the High Court after a trial without jury, be liable to
imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding one year or to a finenotexceedingfivethousand
rupees, or to both such imprisonment and such fine.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence referred to in paragraph (i) or paragraph (ii) or paragraph(iii)orparagraph
(v) of subsection (1), a certificate under the hand of the ombudsman to the effect that any person hasfailedwithout
reasonable cause to appear before the Ombudsman at the time and place mentioned in the summons served onsuchperson,
or has failed or refused without reasonable cause to answeranyquestionputtohimtouchingthemailersbeing
investigated by the Ombudsman, or has refused or failed without reasonable cause to produce and show totheOmbudsman
any document or other thing which is in his possession or contra) and which he has been requiredtoproduceforthe
purposes of the investigation made by the Ombudsman, or has obstructed without reasonable cause theOmbudsmanorany
other officer or servant of his staff, in the exercise of his powers or the performance and discharge of his duties and
functions under this Act, shall be received in evidence as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

(3) In this section and in section 21, the expression " Ombudsman " includes a Deputy Ombudsman.

Protection against suit or prosecution
21. (1) No suit or prosecution shall lie against the Ombudsman or any officer on his staff foranyactwhichingood
faith is done or purported to be done by the Ombudsman or such officer under this Act.
(2) The Ombudsman or any officer on his staff shallnotbecalledtogiveevidenceinanycourtorinany
proceedings of a judicial nature, in respect of any report made by the Ombudsman under this Act, or againstanyother
person in respect of the publication by such person of a substantially true account of such report.
(3) No action, prosecution or other proceeding, civil or criminal, shall beinstitutedinanycourtortribunal
against the Ombudsman in respect of any report made by the Ombudsman under this Act, or againstanyotherpersonin
respect of the publication by such person of a substantially true account of such report.

Rules.
22. (1) The Minister may in consultation with the Ombudsman, make rules in respect of the costs of travellingandother
expenses which may have been reasonably incurred by any witness appearing before the Ombudsman.
(2) Every rule made by the Minister under subsection (1) shall he publishedintheGazetteandshallcomeinto
liberation on the date of its publication in the Gazette or on such later date as may be specified in that rule.
(3) Every rule made by the Minister under subsection (1) shall, as soon as convenient after itspublicationinthe
Gazette, be brought before Parliament for approval. Any such rule which is notsoapprovedshallbedeemedtobe
rescinded as from the date of disapproval but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder. Notification of
the date on which a rule is so deemed to be rescinded shall be published in the Gazette.

Complaints regarding matters occurring before operation of this Act.
23. Subject to the Provisions of paragraph (a) of section 11, the Ombudsman may investigate any complaint or allegationof
the infringement of a fundamental right, or other injustice alleged to have occurred before thedateofcominginto
operation of this Act.

Savings
24. The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to the provisions of any other enactmentoranyruleoflawunder
which any remedy or right of appeal or objection is provided to any person,oranyprocedureisprovidedforthe
inquiry into, or investigation of, any matter, and nothing in this Act shall limit or affect the seekingofanysuch
remedy or right of appeal or objection or procedure as aforesaid.

Interpretation.
25. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires
" Head of an Institution " in relation to
(a) a public officer serving in a Government department, means the Head of that department or wheresuch
public officer is the Head of that department, means the Secretary to the Ministry to which thatdepartment
has been assigned
(b) a public officer who is serving in a Ministry, means the Secretary totheMinistry,orwheresuch
public officer is the Secretary means the Minister in charge of that Ministry
(c) a scheduled public officer, means the Judicial Service Commission appointed under Article 112ofthe
Constitution
(d) any other public officer, means the principal executive officerunderwhosegeneraldirectionand
control that public officer is serving
(e) an officer of a public corporation, local authority or other likeinstitution,meanstheprincipal
executive officer of that public corporation, local authority orotherlikeinstitution,orwheresuch
officer is the principal executive officer of that public corporation, local authority or institution, means
the Secretary to the Ministry under which such public corporation, local authority or institutionfunctions

" local authority" means any Development Council, Municipal Council, Urban Council, Town Council orVillage
Council and includes any Authority created and established by or under anylawtoexercise,performand
discharge powers, duties and functions corresponding to or similartothepowers,dutiesandfunctions
exercised, performed and discharged by any such Council
" officer " includes an employee or servant
" Ombudsman " includes a Deputy Ombudsman and any other officer of the staff of the Ombudsman exercising any
power, duty or function of the Ombudsman under any delegation made bytheOmbudsmanundersection8or
section 9
" President" means the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
" public corporation" means any corporation, board or other body which was or is established by or under any
written law other than the Companies Ordinance, with funds or capitalwhollyorpartlyprovidedbythe
Government by way of grant, loan or otherwise
" public officer " means a person who holds any paid officeundertheRepublic,otherthanajudicial
officer but does not include
(a) the President
(b) the Speaker
(c) a Minister
(d) a Member of the Judicial Service Commission
(e) a member of the Public Service Commission
(f) a Deputy Minister
(g) a Member of Parliament
(h) the Secretary-General of Parliament
(i) a member of the President's staff
(j) a member of the staff of the Secretary-General of Parliament.
(2) In this Act " officer" used with reference to any other like institution shall mean an officer of aninstitution
established by or under any written law, who is in receipt of any remuneration, allowance or other benefit out of funds
provided by Parliament and includes an officer of any business undertaking that is, or may be, vested in,oracquired
by the Government under the Business Undertakings (Acquisition) Act, No. 35 of 1971, and accordingly, any referenceto
"other like institution" shall mean any institution to which such officer belongs.




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