Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 28, 2022 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs has launched a new regularisation and registration process for the Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP). This new process is designed to eliminate multiple irregularities that have been discovered, and to ensure that qualifying persons in need of help can benefit.
The new process is now open, and applications will be conducted exclusively online at pap.gov.kn. Regularization means that the new process will guarantee that all payees have a valid application form that can be used to confirm the eligibility criteria of a household earning less than $3,000 per month. The Registration process is open to all present eligible payees and to any person who had not yet applied for or received a PAP benefit whose household circumstance fits the eligibility criteria.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for PAP, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, announced the new process during a televised address on Sunday, November 27, 2022. He indicated that on October 03, 2022, the Ministry of Social Development received the files related to PAP from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and a preliminary examination of the files revealed some troubling information.
The first issue mentioned was the absence of an application file for some PAP recipients. The persons were primarily added to the list of beneficiaries through a ministerial submission by Cabinet members without any verification process. Secondly, some names were added to the list without a valid social security number. This was as a result of the submission of names and not application forms.
Another irregularity highlighted was incorrect names being listed on application forms.
“The incorrect names made it possible for one person to be receiving two benefits by juxtaposing their names. For example, John James Doe and James John Doe,” Deputy Prime Minister Hanley said in his address. “As for the banking information, this led to incorrect postings to banking accounts not belonging to the beneficiary which, without a waiver or consent, the state had difficulty requesting and receiving the return of the funds.”
These irregularities contributed to a significant draw down of the $32 million allocated to PAP in the 2022 Budget. At the end of July 2022, more than three-quarters of the funds were spent leaving a balance of just over $6 million.
Dr. Hanley added that since the inception of the programme there has been no case management. Consequently, no one has graduated from the programme although some households make over $3,000 and no longer meet eligibility requirements.
“I use this opportunity to indicate that all eligible existing recipients of the Poverty Alleviation Programme are mandated to reapply by completing the application form by December 16, 2022. Failure to do so would mean that your payment will cease effective December 31, 2022,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.
Officers from the Department of Community Development and Social Services in St. Kitts, as well as the Department of Social Services on Nevis, will be at key community locations to assist persons requiring assistance to complete the online registration. The venue and time schedule can be found on the official Government and SKNIS websites and Facebook pages and posted at community centres across the Federation.