0

Nib Extends Hours Amid Payout Problems

Pictured during a press conference on Monday at the Blue Hill Road head office of the National Insurance Board  are Jason Moxey, Operations Consultant; V. Theresa Burrows, Acting Director, NIB; and Tami Culmer-Francis, Assistant Director, Family Islands Operations. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS

Pictured during a press conference on Monday at the Blue Hill Road head office of the National Insurance Board are Jason Moxey, Operations Consultant; V. Theresa Burrows, Acting Director, NIB; and Tami Culmer-Francis, Assistant Director, Family Islands Operations. Photo: Patrick Hanna/BIS

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE National Insurance Board has extended its operational hours to offset persisting issues with its claims process caused by deficiencies in its newly implemented V3 system, which showed performance issues in tests two months ago.

The revelation was made by NIB’s lead operations consultant, Jayson Moxey, yesterday during a press conference at NIB headquarters.

According to Mr Moxey, NIB is “feverishly” working to overcome faults related to the way its new V3 operations system is analysing and calculating contribution payouts for thousands of Bahamians.

Mr Moxey told The Tribune that NIB was initially satisfied that the new system had the capacity to support the content being compiled, however, upon further inspection, various inaccuracies were discovered with the data being output by the system as a result of how it was interpreting information being uploaded by the staff at NIB.

“Prior to the conversion to the V3 we had user testing that took place to ensure its efficiency,” he said. “Using testing means that each process that is involved, as it relates to registration, contribution posting, cashiering, claims processing, we had members of staff who were familiar with the process to test the system to ensure its efficiency - that it was in fact doing what was expected of the system.”

Moreover, Mr Moxey stated that officials at NIB opted to use a “parallel run” in its registration department to test the new system. Meaning that instead of fully transitioning from its old AS-400 system to its new V3 system, officials opted to run both systems simultaneously to ensure that the new V3 system was indeed working up to par.

However, he revealed that this practice wasn’t carried out in the short-term and long-term benefits departments, with officials in those areas opting to run pilot testing process for two to three months.

Within that period, officials in those departments carried out operations with the new system, attempting to address issues as they came up.

“Based on our users they (said) it was fine,” Mr Moxey said.

“ . . . But at the end of the day we found out that there were some deficiencies. One of the major challenges has to do with the transfer of data from the AS-400 to V3, and if you don’t have clean data in so doing – because you know the processing of claims are depending on contribution records and so if all the records were not transferred or there were deficiencies in the transfer then that would in fact create a bottleneck in the process.”

There have been some signs that data being output by the new V3 system has resulted in payment shortages and in some cases, over-payment in some instances.

Mr Moxey said both departments have implemented a manual check system to ensure that all payout are correct.

That “bottleneck” has in fact been realised in the last few weeks with thousands of Bahamians being subjected to non-payments due to the flaws that now exist in both the short-term and long-term benefit departments.

Mr Moxey told The Tribune that NIB has now been advised by service technicians that it was now “too far into” its new system to revert and run it along side its old AS-400 system.

As a result of this, NIB has opted to start extended hours at its Baillou Hill Road headquarters to offset the delays being experienced in its payment processes.

Employees in the IT, claims, short-term benefits, long-term benefits and payment departments have all been placed on an extended work schedule.

All employees scheduled to work added hours will be compensated.

Over the weekend, Free National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis condemned the government for the month-long delays in NIB’s payments, claiming that the government’s failure to implement a back-up system at NIB has resulted in Bahamians “being cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Officials at NIB have suggested that 400 short-term claimants and 1,300 long-term claimants have been adversely affected.

NIB has also confirmed that 15,000 claimants have been processed and paid between April 1 and June 30, totalling $8.5m in payouts.

Meanwhile, Mr Moxey said he is confident that a resolution to the entire ordeal was near.

“As it relates to short-term benefits we have made tremendous progress over the last two weeks and so we are very optimistic that as it relates to short-term benefits the issues would be resolved by no later than the end of this month.

“As it relates to long-term benefits, we want to ensure that our short-term is functioning efficiently. Simultaneously we are working on long-term benefits but we are optimistic that those issues will too be dealt with.”

NIB has been engaged in the process of transitioning to a new IT platform for the past several years.

Phase one of the transitional process involved the roll out of the new NIB smart card, which was launched in May 2014. The completion of phase two was scheduled for the first week in April of this year.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 2 years, 2 months ago

“Prior to the conversion to the V3 we had user testing that took place to ensure its efficiency,” he said. “Using testing means that each process that is involved, as it relates to registration, contribution posting, cashiering, claims processing, we had members of staff who were familiar with the process to test the system to ensure its efficiency - that it was in fact doing what was expected of the system.”

Testing is an art, not many people like it, it requires additional time from staff, sometimes it requires repetition, it requires staff to leave their regular work which must still be completed when they return to their desks. You have to chose the right people to test, people who are conscientious and actually have an investment in having the new system work.

If you carry out "something" just to say testing was done but don't ensure you've covered all business scenarios, it's possible to end up with crap. They ended up with crap, so don't tell us about testing. You can't have a successful test phase and end up with crap.

Testing must include a test of the data conversion. I'm almost certain this is where they failed. The data is probably unusable and must be corrected manually.

0

TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrades you want to know the true definition of scary? It's when you think it's smart to have to be forced to think to replace the inept political appoints at the National Insurance Board, with equally inept political appoints who decided they needed an judicial urging by Justice Indra, before the Red Shirts Movement's warring factions could reach an amicable resolution concerning the Fort Charlotte Constituency Association’s recent election process? God help all we's grossly damaged Motherland?
Have you Comrades not been following all the news headlines surrounding the troubles the Red Movement are self destructing with?

0

licks2 2 years, 2 months ago

Tal trying to figure those red shirts out is like trying to catch fish with thread. . .Lol!

0

TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Licks2, at least them fish could ends up on Minnis's supper plate?

0

ThisIsOurs 2 years, 2 months ago

It's still a story about a failure at NIB and siphons thing funny about the implementation of this system

0

TalRussell 2 years, 2 months ago

Comrade ThisIsOurs, could you imagine what the official opposition's strength and voter ACCEPTABILITY would have been like heading towards the 2017 General, had only Loretta, Chippie and Montagu's Richard, not missed so many golden political gift-horses while drafting letters to Her Excellency?
Try imagining the what could have been, had only they thrown themselves aggressively into their shadow ministerial posts?
I know, it really red sucks to NOW hear this team calling for red party unity at the July 27-29, 2016's convention?
At minimum rather than do nothing constructive for the red party, shouldn't they have done what most others would have done, go to Minnis and do the honurable and have resigned?

0

ThisIsOurs 2 years, 2 months ago

But this is a story about something wrong at NIB...

0

Sign in to comment