New local Boards of Guardian have been installed across the country effective February 1, 2016 to process Public Assistance applications. The Local Board of Guardians are responsible for evaluating and determining the legitimacy of the Public Assistance applications from outside of Georgetown to ensure that tax-payers’ dollars are justifiably spent.
INews understands that Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence, this morning met members of three of the five Boards responsible for Region Three at the West Demerara Secondary School.
Apprising the members of their roles and expectations, the Minister urged them to be compassionate towards people seeking assistance and at all times treat cases with the highest confidentiality. She told the members to network with other services offered by the Ministry, such as training through the Board of Industrial Training and job placement through the Central Manpower Agency to further empower persons seeking Public Assistance.
This is important, Minister Lawrence noted, as the Ministry plans to introduce conditional cash transfers in 2017, which will seek to empower families, rather than individuals.
Board members are appointed by the Minister of Social Protection in accordance with the Pension Ordinances, Chapters 36:02 and 36:03 respectively. Members are selected from communities within the Regions. The several persons from the previous boards, which recently expired, were returned to serve on the new boards. There are 28 such Boards across the country, all of which report to the Poor Law Commission, which also has responsibility for Public Assistance in Georgetown.