BVI News

Gov’t to take action to recuperate grants acquired fraudulently


Minister for Social Development Marlon Penn said the government will be looking to take action to recuperate any funds issued to people under the House of Assembly Assistance Grant Programme once investigations indicate they were not qualified for those grants.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Penn said the government will be transitioning to a new system of public assistance grants with the Social Development Department holding sole responsibility for distributing grants.

The minister said there will be a three-month transitional period where each grant recipient will be assessed to determine if they are eligible for enrolment into the Public Assistance Programme.

“For persons who do not qualify for Public Assistance, benefit payments will stop at the end of September. However, if any fraud or deception is discovered during the assessment process, grant payments will cease immediately, and steps are taken to recover any fraudulent payments,” Penn said.

The Social Development Minister said he did not want to prejudice any investigations taking place, but he noted people will be held responsible based on the result of the assessment done by the Social Development Department.

“The Social Development Department goes through a rigorous process when they are assessing persons who are receiving assistance grants. We intend that the list that comes over, persons have legitimate needs. But checks might reveal that some people might not be truthful and forthcoming with the information that was brought forward so the Social Development Department has the responsibility to ensure we are doing things properly because at the end of the day it is public funds, and we must account for public funds,” Penn explained.

Meanwhile, Chief Social Development Officer Annie Frett-Malone noted that during the transitional period which is June/July to September, persons who require assistance are encouraged to visit the department and apply normally. She added that these persons will be treated in a special way until the department can finalise its assessments.

In offering a further explanation, Penn noted that Cabinet made it clear that people should not be disenfranchised during this transitional period

“They (Cabinet) have given the requisite support financially and through technical support to ensure that persons who are legitimately in need of assistance get the opportunity to get assistance. So, we want to ensure that the resources are in place to assist the vulnerable persons in place in our society,” the minister said.


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  1. Only the truth says:

    Hope they start with them self all the money to the side thing

    Like 22
    Dislike 2
  2. barry say says:

    “yo will hear”

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  3. 1st district original says:

    Mr minister, while your at that also reinstate we the people’s money for the greedy bill and exquisite insurance to legislators back in our treasury. You people have NO morals because you have No conscious!PERIODT!

    Like 27
    Dislike 1
  4. Carrot Bay says:

    I hope them collect from the foo foo female farmer. This person farming from her deceased brother garden on occupy land till you dead( brother) property. Had the gaul to collect from our SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS $13,500, nothing to show before nor after that. Make them pay it back. It HAVE ONE CREDABLE FARMER IN THE VILLAGE,THE REST…..!

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
    • Please Andy... says:

      All they have to do is start and end with the previous Primer’s assistance grants. You will get the whole story right there. Set ah th!^#$

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
  5. Public funds says:

    is money collected from the public so the public must be informed of the names of the 362 recipients of these current assistance grants and the 2020 grants by the HOA to the alleged farmers and fisherfolk. When will these 2 lists of names be released to the public?

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  6. West End says:

    Look jail wuk!!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  7. THE Citizen says:

    He give his side thing who use to work for the catering company lots of funds so he need to hush

    You wait until the next elections

  8. Way to go says:

    Too much dishonestly!! Then you turn around and blame the UK . Was the UK who granted the ok for the grant or our own local people ?

    Like 17
  9. so says:

    Fix Social Security. If Social Security paid those who paid in to it, an amount of money that is necessary to live on per month in the BVI, then this problem would be mostly solved. Social Security is where people expected to get money every month to live on. Who has decided to starve the seniors? We deserve to know. Social Security in the BVI, is an embarrassment, the BVI’s Dirty Little Secret.

    Like 14
    • hm says:

      Exactly In my case I was injured and found myself without the help of Social security whom I PAID diligently and social development turn me away over the phone without doing any in person check what so ever. Shameful.

      Like 4
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      • 1st District says:

        Why an in person check? I am sure after entering your information into the data base, you automatically was not qualified.

  10. really says:

    Marlon Penn said the government will be looking to take action to recuperate any funds issued to people under the House of Assembly Assistance Grant Programme

    Penn said the government will be transitioning to a new system of public assistance grants with the Social Development Department

    minister said there will be a three-month transitional period where each grant recipient will be assessed to determine i

    WILL BE, Will Be, Will Be la la la. Meanwhile people starve. Red tape rules the BVI.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  11. hm says:

    Waste of time department.

    Look if you are male, & young stay home. You could also be crippled & they might well tell you go rob or some sh*t basically you need to be pregnant or past retirement age to get any help.

    Pay social security for years off back breaking labor and you can not get anything in a rough spot while on your last dollar.

    A lot of those old people dont need it meanwhile the young people are tempted to sit on the blocks to get a little hand up.

    All this talk about paying back from the same pelicans -cant be politicians- who have been giving out money steadily to which ever elder & family they favor.


    Like 1
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    • ?? says:

      @ hm

      social security is not a workers compensation scheme.

      It is only for the following:
      invalidity pensions,
      survivors pensions,
      funeral grant pensions
      retirement pensions; and I think the other one is sickness benefit where you get an income during the time of illness. Of course you need to prove the illness and make the claim quickly.

  12. Mrs Tubman says:

    R E C u P E R A T E????funds…no such thing exists.

    Is this a trick statement since there is no intent to

    R E C O U P said funds.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  13. Hmm says:

    What about this new assistance that are now being implemented lot of names but non or sick people. What about people suffering from deadly diseases and who (if can work at all) only do light work. Why was it not in the list?

    • LIST says:

      What list

      all ah we the list..!!!

      • Well says:

        There was a list on fb from a department I forget which government department. It had the various category of persons who can get assistance but there is non for the sickly who are not yet pensioner.

  14. rejected says:

    So are you going to pay the applications that should have been approved? As well.

  15. €€€ says:

    Smurf is the biggest joke in East end

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  16. denied says:

    Are you going to pay those who were denied for unknown reasons? Small businesses that fit the criteria in good standing? Those who never got assistance and was never given a reason? Those who wrote, tried to make appointments, tried to find out why not? While watching people get checks upon checks who didn’t qualify? Or see others receive assistance that did deserve and we got NONE? We still need financial assistance. Don’t forget to look at the applications that never got any payments!

  17. The list says:

    While you’re at it, please release the list of recipients for those who received from the HOA Stimulus.

    Some persons got from three and four HOA members, bragged about it and were fully employed during this time.


  18. Rattie says:

    He out there bad talking slow wande

  19. Friends & cousins says:

    Just good intention talking. When they find out the names and titles of whom being robbing the treasury. They back off. Maybe attack a few vulnerable ones.

  20. Crumbling says:

    Bvi is crumbling before our eyes !! Who is destroying it ? Local politicians and locals ?? Are t they all the Permanent secretaries, heads of departments , Financial secretary, CEO, count how many Dept are expatriates? Oh by the way where if the Former premier from the island ???

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  21. he saying dah now says:

    Until he see his close family names

  22. Optimist says:

    Why we still complaining over spilt milk? fix the ongoing issues before it’s to late…starting by doing real investigations,invest some time talking to the small business facing daily struggles.
    Start a new path ,focus on repairing the people’s trust in our government entities ,social security, NHI, labor,immigration, GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES and I could go on and on. I really don’t care for spilt milk conversations.

    • See and tell says:

      Greed runs deep for many years now. Most recent in my memory is post Irma/Maria distribution of building materials for affected homes. Most seriously affected could not get a nail , while some well “positioned” individuals stockpiled building materials in their yards while their houses had very little damage if any. Two years after the hurricanes, materials were still rotting in their yards, and some folks still didn’t repair their homes. That’s the true BVI love.

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