The National Insurance Appeal Board has been out of existence for the past two years in Region Two; the chairman of the board has been sick and the board has not been meeting to conduct the people’s affairs as a consequence of which there is a backlog.
The appeal system needs new, trained, highly skilled members. At every meeting there should be at least three members, one of whom would be the chairman and another a co-opted member. The three form a quorum, but there has been no quorum for the past two years.
A new chairman was recommended to replace the ailing one, but he was rejected for some reason or the other, and in any case only those who hugged the soup bowl were likely to get the job. Neither the government nor the Chairman of the National Insurance Board has sought to correct the system so as to give every appeal case in the backlog an equal chance to be heard.
We need a new appeal board which recognizes from the beginning that it is their duty to guarantee contributors some minimum level of fairness when dealing with their cases. The state should be actively concerned not merely to preserve but to improve the quality of its service for NIS pensioners.