In the midst of reports of fake job letters and payslips being submitted for access to the government’s social relief, the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development has said checks and balances are in place to detect any fraud in the system.
It has been alleged that people are trying to defraud the assembly and the Ministry of Social Development, by submitting fake job letters and payslips for the social assistance grants, rental assistance or food cards.
Responding to questions from the media during a virtual news conference on Monday, the division’s secretary, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, said the matter has been brought to their attention and it is being addressed.
“We have been alerted that that is a possibility and I have since indicated to the administrator that there are to be checks and balances within the system. So, she has given me the assurance that the members of staff who are working, who are dealing with that aspect have all been alerted and the checks and balances have since been put into effect,” she said.
Davidson-Celestine called on people to be honest and said there are consequences for fraud.
“I am really hoping that no one at this point in time is attempting to defraud the THA or the Central Government, as the case might be.
“At this point, what we are trying to do is to help those persons who are in need and so we are asking, if anyone is involved in that practice, to refrain from that practice as much as it is possible and if anyone is caught, then we will have to treat with it, they would have to face the consequences going forward.”
She said, to date, 553 people have visited the division for assistance in filling out the social relief application forms, which have been sent to the Ministry of Social Development as well as the THA Division of Finance and the Economy. She said the division’s counselling hotline is still active.
“To date, we have received over 51 calls and we have some situations within the communities where persons are overwhelmed with emotions caused by covid19.
The psychologists and the social workers are out there in the communities and working with members.”