Gov't promises to overhaul NIS for greater efficiency
The government has pledged to modernise its multi-billion-dollar National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to make it more efficient and to prevent leakage.
In delivering the Throne Speech at Thursday's State Opening of Parliament, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said the government would review the NIS Act of 1966 to change outdated practices and provisions, benefit rates and contributions.
Sir Patrick said drafting instructions to change the current NIS law will be sent to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel by the end of the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.
He also said pension payments are to be made by direct deposits to reduce the issuing of cheques.
In January, the Labour and Social Security Ministry under which the NIS falls, faced criticism after an audit done by the Auditor General revealed that the NIS overpaid nearly 160 pensioners more than $10 million.
The Auditor General said the NIS was on the brink of failure due to fraudulent practices which have plagued the pension process for years.
The Labour and Social Security Ministry pays pension benefits of over $14 billion to over 109,000 persons annually.