The Department of Social Welfare says it will report any individual to the Police, if their investigations find them to be abusing the Social Protection Program scheme.
Minister Responsible, Lynda Tabuya said they are still conducting their investigations for the cases reported to them and if it is a case where a crime has been committed, we will report them.
Tabuya has also shone the light directly at the Ministry’s internal processes who failed to stop the social welfare payments to deceased persons, while families continue to receive these monies.
“Some of these cases are really the Ministry itself that has not done its part to stop payments because the allowance is still being directly deposited to the account of the beneficiary and not the third person.”
“The department will now step up our own information gathering system and database, where we will work with Fiji Care to provide us information on a monthly basis of those recipients who have passed on to allow us to remove them from our system,” Tabuya added.
The Minister said it is not usually the first thought of families to stop the payment of social welfare benefit, which is why she said that the ministry has already received numerous correspondences from members of the public who have come forward with this information to stop payment.
The Government through Fiji Care pay out the death benefits to the families of social welfare pensioners; hence, the ministry is working with Fiji Care for the information of those that have passed on.