‘Investigations’ holding up issuing of pension books

Dear Editor,
On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, one would have expected all our vulnerable senior citizens, who must now tailor their lives to fit a paltry $6,300 per month, to be in receipt of their first pension for the New Year, if pronouncements from the Human Services Ministry are anything to go by. Not so.
Subject A

Has been in receipt of OAP for the past nine years but was refused his pension voucher book when he personally went to collect it on the grounds that his long-expired Guyana passport had to be submitted for “investigation,” the result of which is still being awaited. His overseas forays came up to a grand total of one time over the said nine years and lasted for one month.
Subject B

An 87-year-old widow, who is medically disabled, was informed that a house visit would be made before she could be issued her voucher book. This is also still being awaited and although she has never had and will never need a passport, her next-of-kin is wondering whether she must now have to obtain a passport to facilitate the minister’s “investigation.”
Subject C

In receipt of OAP for the past five years, but was denied his pension book until he produced his long-expired passport which had never been used.
At his own expense and inconvenience he had to travel to the Vreed-en-Hoop regional agency where he was given his voucher book upon presentation of the said useless passport.

The above have been citizens and residents of this country all along – a signature to this effect on a 3-line form can be more than adequate for the ministry’s records.
Is there a new policy from the ministry on the matter of eligibility or are certain people being deprived of their timely entitlement because of the whims and fancies of individual employees in the Human Services Ministry? So much for the much-heralded “exceeding customers’ expectations” in the public service.
Yours faithfully,
(Name and address
supplied)

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