NIB to meet NCRHA on compliance audit
By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Wednesday, October 31 2012
THE National Insurance Board (NIB) will be meeting with officials of the North Central Regional Health (NCRHA) Authority next week on a “compliance audit” by the NIB following complaints from staff members of the authority.
Since September 28 the Public Services Association (PSA) publicly alleged that the NCRHA has not been remitting National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions and health surcharge on behalf of several of its staff members. In response to the PSA, the NCRHA via a release and advertisement said all remittances of NIS and Health Surcharge were current with September 2012, due on October 15.
NIB statements which were shown to Newsday indicated irregular contributions for some staff members over years and in the case of some workers no payments for 2012. One worker had given payments over the period 2003-2012. A range of workers are affected. Workers have been going to the NIB to get statements after their suspicions were aroused by the PSA’s complaint. The NIB has written to these workers asking them to provide their TD4 slips in order to update their records. Contacted about the issue, NIB Corporate Communications Manager Jenilynn Howe- Dopwell said the NIB had received complaints from employees of the NCRHA.
“We have spoken with officials of the NCRHA and will be meeting with them early next week to work it out. To determine if there is an error in the transfer of information or something like that. Basically we are conducting a compliance audit.”
She declined to comment further on what could account for the variations in payments over years until the NIB had discussions and did its review. Howe-Dopwell did explain how the process worked. She said there was usually a lapse in the calendar year because contributions are batched and recorded.
“This week’s contribution will not be updated next week. It will be batched by period of time which will be determined by the employer. 2012 contributions will not show up completely up to date.”
NCRHA Chief Executive Officer Collin Bissessar was not aware of an audit by the NIB or a meeting. “We have written a letter indicating our payments are up to date.” Bissessar said he was not contacted by the NIB “as yet.”
“There may be but I have not seen any official communication. We had offered for the NIB to conduct an audit any time they see fit based on their schedule. Otherwise, there has been no such formal communication.” Two weeks ago the PSA threatened legal action against the NCRHA and more than a week ago affected workers met with an attorney retained by the union. PSA President Watson Duke said the union was interested in the outcome of the audit. The PSA will seek a meeting today with the management of the NCRHA to bring closure to workers’ issues–arrears of salaries and allowances, NIB, and occupational health and safety concerns.