Sat | Jan 22, 2022

Letter of the day: Inefficiency entrenched at Accountant General’s Department

Published:Tuesday | July 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I write to register my disgust with the level of service provided by the Accountant General's Department (AGD) as it relates to the handling of pension-related matters.

Each pensioner must submit a life certificate quarterly in order to receive his or her pension. Currently, the AGD has a facility in place where these certificates can be received via a deposit box that is placed strategically in the organisation. Having adhered to the rule of providing a life certificate as required and placing it in the appropriate drop box, the agency has no mechanism in place to record receipt of same so as to provide timely payment of the pension benefit.

Further, a system of accountability is clearly lacking within the AGD, as members of the public are greeted with nonchalant response regarding matters of utmost importance such as the handling of their documents.

The process of producing a life certificate, especially for someone who resides overseas, is time consuming and costly, as each certificate has to be notarised and mailed. When they claim they are not in receipt of documents that were clearly hand-delivered, it raises questions regarding competency of the staff, the level of care and consideration they give to the public, as well as their internal accountability standards, especially on the matter of clearing the deposit box.

It cannot be that when they fail to account for the documents that have been received, the pensioner, who is a client, should suffer.

The AGD is established to serve thousands of Jamaicans, especially during the most vulnerable periods of their lives, and so the agency must begin to serve effectively. I recommend that immediate attention be given to ensure that all documents received through the deposit box are accounted for during clearing and sorting processes and acted upon so that pensioners can be in receipt of their entitlement in a timely manner.