Categorized | National News

Griffin Sought To Eliminate Fraud In Social Services

Melanie Griffin_A few months after an auditor general’s report revealed fraudulent activity within the Department of Social Services, Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin sought to prove that her ministry eliminated possibilities of fraud.

The minister led a delegation including ministry officials and officials from the Bank of The Bahamas, to North, Central and South Abaco on Monday to distribute the promised visa pre-paid cards to qualified clients of the ministry’s food assistance programme.

The pre-paid card system, is what Mrs. Griffin previously said would help to eradicate the issue of fraud.

As Auditor General Terrance Bastian’s report earlier this year revealed staff members at that department were involved in a fraudulent scheme whereby they used food coupons intended for Bahamians on welfare to purchase groceries for themselves.

Minister Griffin said the ministry is on target to meet its self- imposed deadline of ensuring that all qualified individuals receive and benefit from their visa pre-paid cards by the end of June, 2016.

“The Ministry of Social Services and Community Development has a mandate to assist persons who are in need of the basic necessities, namely food assistance throughout The Bahamas and to ensure that Family Island residents and food store owners benefit from having access to this modern payment system – the same as residents in New Providence and Grand Bahama. So please feel free to go to any store that accepts Visa Cards or has a Point of Sales Machine to purchase your groceries,” Mrs. Griffin said.

The cards, which were expected to go “live” yesterday, were simultaneously distributed to qualified recipients in South Andros, Mangrove Cay, Bimini, North, Central and South Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Exuma and its cays, Inagua, Long Island, and San Salvador.

There were 320 recipients in Abaco who received pre-paid cards on Monday.

Recipients in New Providence have already received their cards for the most part.

Mrs. Griffin said the only challenge may be the unavailability of pertinent information of some clients during the assessments; but assured that in such cases, recipients will receive their cards by the end of July.

“No longer will you have to go to the Department of Social Services every month for a food coupon. No longer will you have to pick up all of your grocery one time. You now have the flexibility to purchase your groceries and manage them better during the course of the month, however, you decide to purchase your groceries,” said Mrs. Griffin.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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