Top management of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) should be fired, says outspoken Government minister Donville Inniss.
Commenting on this week’s announcement by the NIS that the disbursement of all benefits, including pensions, would be delayed due to a computer hardware malfunction, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, International Business and Small Business Development said the situation amounted to nothing short of a “fiasco” and persons should be held accountable.
“I cannot sit here and make any excuses for the National Insurance Department. What I will tell you though, [is] that my personal opinion is that a fiasco like what happened at National Insurance should merit heads there rolling to some extent but that is their issue that they would have to decide on,” he told reporters during a Press conference at his office today.
While noting that the delay in the pension payments had its roots in a computer system, Inniss also pointed out that information communication technology (ICT) had a pivotal role to play in driving the country forward.
“So we can’t be distracted by what may have happened elsewhere occasionally and say that that would serve as the norm going forward,” he said.
“From the state’s end, we will continue to roll out ICT,” he added.
His comments come in the wake of concerns raised by president of the the Barbados Association of Retired Persons Ed Bushell that the “long” delay would be devastating to thousands of pensioners, especially the many who relied on it as their only source of income.
However, Director of the NIS Ian Carrington has since promised that pensioners’ cheques should be in the mail by the end of next week, and not longer as initially stated, if all goes according to plan.
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