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Jamaica: Hundreds Not On PATH List Get Payouts

A MAJOR discrepancy was unearthed by the Auditor General’s Department (AuGD) in one component of the Government’s COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme with more than 700 people appearing on the May list for payment, despite being ineligible for the benefit.

The Pamela Monroe Ellis-led AuGD found that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security approved payment last month in the sum of $5,413,100 to 776 people who were not qualified to receive a benefit under the Programme of the Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

The auditor general urged the ministry to “review its systems to ensure that the controls in place to enforce the eligibility requirements for PATH beneficiaries are operating effectively to reduce the risk of irregular or erroneous payments”.

Monroe Ellis said that the ministry should also take the necessary steps to ensure that only legitimate beneficiaries who have satisfied all the requisite criteria are paid the COVID-19 PATH grants.

The error was attributed to the ministry’s Beneficiary Management Information System (BMIS).

In her report, which was tabled in Parliament Tuesday afternoon, Monroe Ellis said that her department found that an additional 8,933 beneficiaries were added to the May 2020 payroll of PATH beneficiaries, resulting in an increase of $58,770,400 in approved benefits over April 2020.

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