NIS workers sacked in pension scam may take polygraph test

Stabroek Business has been reliably informed that several employees of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) who were sent home in the wake of the alleged pension scam have signed documents agreeing to subject themselves to polygraph tests.

This newspaper has learnt that the workers affixed their signatures to the document last Thursday in the hope that they will pass the test and eventually be reinstated.

A usually reliable NIS source told Stabroek Business that there was “much uneasiness” among staff over what, in some cases, was the arbitrary “sending home” of some employees.

The source said that while there appeared to be evidence to substantiate taking action against some employees, “no proper evidence” existed in several other cases.

Meanwhile the source told Stabroek Business that while it appeared that the Scheme remained financially sound it was “difficult to say for sure” since information on the Scheme’s finances did not filter down below a certain level. “Much of the problem has to do with the fact that the Board is politically controlled and the officers within the NIS simply do as the Board instructs.

Meanwhile, according to the source the delinquency within the business community with regard to the payments of worker NIS contributions “may have grown worse” since almost a year ago when the outstanding amount in employee NIS contributions was put at around $500m.

The source told Stabroek Business that it did not appear that either the Board or the senior management of the Scheme had “any clear idea as to how to go about dealing with this problem”.

Meanwhile, according to the source, the NIS continued to face problems associated with the issuing of bogus compliances to business entities tendering for state jobs though the source admitted that the problem may now be “less rampant.”

And according to the source while other events in the business and financial world had focused the attention of the NIS, it was “both very urgent and highly desirable” that an examination of the role of the NIS which sets aside the present “heavy political involvement at the board level’and deals with the significance of the Scheme be undertaken.

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