More Than 130,000 Nib Contributions Not Processed


Brensil Rolle, MP for Garden Hills. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


Tribune Chief Reporter


MINSTER of the Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle yesterday revealed the National Insurance Board has not processed 133,130 contributions, suggesting thousands of Bahamians could not access benefits as a result of poor management under the former administration.

Mr Rolle lamented the excessive backlog was the result of the premature launch of the new $14m V3 system, which is riddled with bugs and has slashed productivity at NIB by 43 per cent. The system was launched in 2016.

"The Contributions Department has 133,130 contributions forms to process. Persons coming to NIB and saying 'listen I want to make my payment to the board,'" Mr Rolle said.

"We supposed to put these contributions in a computer system, there are 130,000 that are not in the system, that means there are 133,000 persons who cannot claim a benefit. When I went into NIB, these contributions were locked in a box stashed away because they thought they couldn't handle the situation…same in North Abaco.

"I apologise to the Bahamian public, that is our responsibility. We will address it, and we will deal with it."

Mr Rolle told Parliament the system will likely cost an additional $2.3m to fix, with some officials sceptical of whether issues could be completely resolved.

Short-term benefits were usually processed within three working days, Mr Rolle said, noting the process now took longer than a month and with twice as many human resources.

"This reduction has had severe impact on the customer side," he continued. "There has been no improvement in a turnaround time in the processing long term benefits which takes 90 days.

"From April 2016 to November 2017," Mr Rolle said, "4,660 short term benefits claims are outstanding, claims persons made to the board that have not been addressed, and 1,887 long-term claims."

Following his contribution, Official Opposition Leader Philip Davis asked Mr Rolle to clarify whether the backlog figure represented a number of entries, for which there could be multiple entries relating to an individual, or actual customers. Mr Davis pointed out that NIB's 2016 annual report indicated there were an estimated 143,000 active employees.

"Which means only 10,000 persons are not being impacted," Mr Davis added, "to send a message that 123,000 Bahamians who are working out of a lot of 143,000, doesn't send a good message."

To this, Mr Rolle said: "You would agree that it's multiple entries or single entries, the fact that thousands of entries are not made is unacceptable. It could be multiple entries, they could be singular entries, what I did say was that the possibility is this, that 133,000 persons are impacted, it may mean that one person may be asking for two or three different benefits or it may mean that NIB was supposed to pay on this benefit three years ago and since that time (the customer) entered more benefits that should be paid because he didn't get the first one…the point is the PLP only wanted to say that they did something, rather than waiting until the system was ready and able to do the job, they just wanted to make an announcement that they did something."


Millennial242 4 days, 3 hours ago

A vexing situation. We've had employees go to NIB for claims and initially think our company wasn't making any contributions. Only to find out that we were, but the contributions weren't being processed because of the system issue.


realitycheck242 3 days, 18 hours ago

Their new system has set that organization back by 10 years. Processings of STB;s can take nore than a month as oppose to five days with the old system. Processing of LTB;s can take more than 3 months , The old IBM system was far more efficient.and its cost was about 10 percent of the cost of the new system, NIB today is a shadow if its past self when its IT department had visionary personell.who did noy insist on being called ego inflated names.No wonder processing is down to 47 %., While the new V3 system has many good enhancements, the growiing pains has certainly damage the reputation of what use to be a shining example of how a government corporation should run and on top of all itts IT woes. the organization is reporting annual losses for the first time in history. .


Porcupine 3 days, 17 hours ago

So, what good is a Letter of Good Standing from an organization that has little to no standing of its' own? Is it failing by design? Is it true that NIB is used as the cash cow to keep BoB afloat? What about government expenditures in general? What else does the lack of transparency and accountability at NIB cover up?


Well_mudda_take_sic 3 days, 11 hours ago

There are huge backlogs in just about every government department, agency and corporation because of a bloated civil service choked with obese, illiterate and non-productive hires, including temporary workers, who owe their public paying jobs to corrupt politicians. Each is given a menial task that they take their own sweet time doing while tripping over one another, causing very costly serious delays at just about every point in all of the dysfunctional systems that frustrate taxpaying businesses and individual taxpayers virtually to death. Our average government worker spends two hours a day planning their lunch, another hour and a half eating it, a couple of hours of chit chatter and listening to radio talk shows with fellow workers, and an hour or two doing special favours for their own friends and family members (including friends and family members of politicians) while everyone else waits ever so patiently unless they are prepared to 'grease the system'. A truly pathetic state of affairs that has our country well on its way to bankruptcy!


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