Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Colette Roberts- Risden, says an alleged $600 million fraud at the National Insurance Fund, NIF, amounted to a procedural breach.
An investigation into the alleged fraud was launched by the Financial Investigations Division, FID, last year.
However, Mrs. Roberts-Risden, told yesterday’s meeting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, that the agency did not actually lose any money and at least one of the persons responsible for the violation was given a warning.
Chevon Campbell tells us more.
Just a procedural breach.
That’s how Permanent Secretary Roberts-Risden described what was reported as a multi million dollar fraud at the NIF.
Almost two years ago, the Ministry of Labour called in the Financial Investigations Division, following reports of a massive fraud in excess of $600 million at the Fund.
Reports at the time were that questionable transactions were made in relation to the purchase and sale of stocks.
But, the Permanent Secretary says despite the breach, customs and practices at the NIF empowered its management to act in a certain way.
Mrs. Roberts Risden says since the breach, the NIF’s procedures have been revised and strengthened to eliminate a recurrence.
However, she was questioned as to why the FID was called in to investigate.
But, Mrs. Roberts Risden was hesitant to explain why, due to ongoing investigations.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Roberts Risden, told the PAAC that she’s been provided no update from the FID as it relates to the NIF probe.
In response, PAAC Chairman, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the lack of updates from the responsible agencies regarding several ongoing investigations is concerning.
He says the PAAC may be forced to call the agencies to give account.