Recent instances of old age pension books being issued with no one signing for them, in order to ensure accountability, have come to the attention of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
According to PAC member Juan Edghill, it is an illegal act to be issuing pension books and not collecting signatures. However, he stated that a representative of the ministry has admitted that employees of the ministry did just that, during the PAC’s latest meeting.
“That was an admission made at the PAC by the accounting officer at the Ministry of Social Protection — that there are pension books that were issued (for which) no signatures could be found,” Edghill stated in a recent interview.
It is understood that upon being pressed by the PAC for an explanation, representatives of the ministry stated that a crowd crisis at the distribution point caused the books to be issued without being signed for.
“It is an illegal issue,” Edghill affirmed. “And the explanation they gave was that there was a crowd crisis. So people collected the books without signing. It’s not plausible, it’s not acceptable and it can’t stand the scrutiny.
“Because if you have a crowd crisis, what you have to do is control your crowd and continue,” the former Junior Finance Minister said. “But you can’t just be passing out books to people and they’re not signing (for them).”