AGD Improves Service to Pensioners

Photo: Michael Sloley In this file photo, Accountant General, Mrs. Carlene Murdoch (right), assists pensioners at her office in downtown Kingston. The Accountant General’s Department serves over 40,000 Government pensioners.

Story Highlights

  • The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) has introduced a number of initiatives to improve service delivery to Government pensioners.
  • Accountant General, Carlene Murdoch, told JIS News that the most recent initiative introduced late last year is a receipt system that helps to improve efficiency in processing pensioners’ life certificates and ensure the timely delivery of pensions.
  • Mrs. Murdoch noted that after listening to feedback from this group of key stakeholders, her office has been working over the past years to reduce complaints about its services.

The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) has introduced a number of initiatives to improve service delivery to Government pensioners.

Accountant General, Carlene Murdoch, told JIS News that the most recent initiative introduced late last year is a receipt system that helps to improve efficiency in processing pensioners’ life certificates and ensure the timely delivery of pensions.

“We have found in the past that some pensioners who say they deposited their life certificates did not do so or it was sent in but at a later date or it was invalid. Another issue is that sometimes pensioners give their life certificates to their children or grandchildren who would delay for weeks in dropping them off,” she said.

“We now have a receipt system that all walk-in pensioners who deposit a life certificate receive. This receipt is system generated and once you have it, you have to be paid because your information would have already been entered in the system. It is scanned into the system and it is scanned straight into a waiting queue for the payroll,” Mrs. Murdoch added.

In addition, the life certificates have been revised to include barcodes that store vital information about pensioners and can be easily scanned and uploaded. The contact details section of the life certificate is also now more prominent.

These changes allow the AGD to contact pensioners quickly if there is an issue instead of them waiting until the end of the month to find out when they do not receive their pension. Life certificates are also now being issued via email.

The customer service centre has also been expanded to better address the needs of the approximately 40,000 pensioners that the AGD serves. The Accountant General said this has significantly reduced complaints by an estimated 70 per cent.

Mrs. Murdoch noted that after listening to feedback from this group of key stakeholders, her office has been working over the past years to reduce complaints about its services.

Since 2013, a Pensioners Day of Activities was introduced and in 2015, Pensioners Information Forums across the country. Mrs. Murdoch said these sessions have helped to lessen the cases of incorrect or invalid submissions.

“Sometimes a pensioner does something because they do not understand. We have found that our information forums have broken the stubborn back of lack of information flow. Now the pensioners are more aware. Because of the information forums, they are now doing what they should have done,” she said.

Several platforms are also being utilised by the AGD to reach out to pensioners.

These include a WhatsApp group formed during the summer of 2016; online chat with a customer service representative via AGD’s website, www.treasury.gov.jm, Facebook, text messaging and email.

Pensioners are being encouraged to include all their contact details on the life certificates to ensure that they receive regular updates from the AGD.

“Our efforts to reach out and share information with our pensioners are paying off,” said Mrs. Murdoch.

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