Compendium of Special Investigations Report on the Ministry of Labour & Social Security – NIF Equity Management and Rehabilitation Programme
National Outcome #3: Effective Social Protection, of the Vision 2030 National Development Plan (NDP), outlines one of the national strategies to ‘promote greater participation in, and viability of social insurance and pension schemes’ to achieve the National Goal – Jamaicans are empowered to achieve their fullest potential. This is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goal – Target 1.3 to ‘Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable’.
This report comprises a compendium of findings of special investigations of the acquisition of equity investments by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) Rehabilitation Programme. The audits revealed poor governance practices and instances where actions of public officials were in contravention of Government policies and guidelines.
Whereas NIF Investment Policy established thresholds for the approval of investments by the National Insurance Advisory Board, the Minister of Finance and the Cabinet, there were transactions that breached the guidelines regarding approval levels as well as, created a conflict of interest. In the case of the MLSS, control deficiencies in the Rehabilitation Programme, led to breaches of the related policy. The Auditor General’s Department warned the Ministry, that it had a high-risk exposure to irregular activities because of its failure to address these weaknesses in its control environment in a holistic manner; from as far back as 1990, in successive years and even more recently in our December 2015 – National Insurance Scheme (NIS) activity-based audit.
I wish to express my sincere thanks to the Management and staff of the entities for the cooperation and assistance given to the audit team.