Published on: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: The State Welfare Services Department requires the recipients of government aid to "report in" to the department before receiving the money.
Its Director Etong Terang said payment would be suspended if recipients failed to report on time. This was to avoid cases of recipients who have already died continuing to receive the aid as mentioned in the 2012 Auditor General Report. Sabah was among states with such cases.
He said the department was aware about the situation and had responded to the audit findings during the exit conference on Oct. 31, 2012.
He said since January 2010, payment was done through the bank and the officers no longer meet face to face with the recipients unlike before.
At the same time, the department had also required the recipients to report in every three months to the department. However, the number of "no show-ups" was quite high.
It took the department's staff quite some time to visit all the cases, he said, adding that failure or delay by the next of kin to report the death of the recipient also resulted in the aid being continued to be paid.
The department would only know that the recipients have died after paying a visit or getting information from the National Registration Department, he said.
The Auditor General had audited the department's offices in Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Sandakan and Semporna.