Accountant General – Pension Payments Made Without Verifying Life Certificates

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Auditor General's Findings

The Auditor General’s Department Annual Report for the 2019/ 2020 Financial Year stated that:

3.2.63. The process of checking to ensure that pensioners are alive before continuing disbursing pension payments and removing deceased pensioners from the payroll remains ineffective. We found instances in which the Accountant General’s Department (AcGD) paid a total of $1.8 million to 25 pensioners, for periods up to seven months, after the expiration of their life certificates and acknowledgement of their deaths…. In addition, we found that AcGD made pension payments of more than $609 million to pensioners living overseas between 2012 and 2018, without verifying that the pensioners are alive. We found seven instances in which pensioners did not submit any life certificate for periods up to 17 years.

3.2.64. The Jamaican Missions made payments to pensioners living overseas, and AcGD reimbursed these payments monthly. However, we found that the AcGD routinely reimbursed the Missions without any verification to confirm the legitimacy of the payments. The matter was further exacerbated by the absence of formal procedural policies between the AcGD and the Missions to ensure the necessary verification that pensioners are alive.

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Permanent Secretary (current): Darlene Morrison

Breach Category: Resource Management

Permanent Secretary (at breach): Darlene Morrison

Breach Type: Inadequate Supporting Documents

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