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“NO ONE SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND” is the stated position of the United Nations as member states implement their respective programs as part of the post millennium goals. Consistent with this theme, The Bahamas hosted the Inter-American Conference on Social Security’s (CISS) American Commission on Organization and Administrative Systems (CAOSA) conference. This conference on social security systems is intended to improve the lives of persons in the entire region through continued dialogue.

Bahamas Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie officially opened the CISS-CAOSA Meeting on Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Grand Ballroom, Atlantis on Paradise Island.

“There can be no doubt that one of the most enduring legacies that a Government can provide to its people is the creation of safety nets that offer a measure of protection during those times when persons are unable, through some form of employment interruption, to earn an income” said Mr. Christie as he underscored the critical import of social security to a nation’s development.

Under the theme “Risk and Resiliency,” the conference promoted the continued dialogue between heads of Social Security within this hemisphere on key issues such as Unemployment Disability Security, Management of Risk for Innovation and Change, Protection of Pension Security Systems in the Economic Recession, and Efforts to Educate Students on Social Security Programmes.

Meeting these new sustainable development goals of the United Nations requires a paradigm shift by governments in the delivery of basic human services, ensuring the dignity of the citizenry and consistently meeting their reasonable expectations.

“This requires Governments, more now than ever, to alter past governance practices in ways designed to guarantee each citizen basic attributes of human dignity in the way he goes about his everyday life, and in a way that meets his reasonable expectations,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Christie pointed out that The Bahamas has successfully implemented several initiatives that seek to guard against certain life challenges. These initiatives include the introduction of National Health Insurance to address inequities in accessing affordable healthcare.

The 100 regional delegates also discussed investments, universal healthcare topics, occupational health and safety issues.

Among the delegates in attendance are the Hon. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service; Omar de la Torre, Secretary General, Inter-American Conference on Social Security; Vance Teal, President of the American Commission on Organization and Administration Systems; Renae McKay, Chairman, NIB and other board members; and Rowena Bethel, Director/NIB.

The subsequent conference, the 27th Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Social Security (CAOSA) will be held April 27-29, 2016, in the Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island. The Hon. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service, will bring remarks.


“Caribbean nations must find their own unique method to adopt the innovative strategies in management and administration that help to improve communications with stakeholders and citizen engagement, expand benefits, improve compliance levels, and strengthen their governance structures; all while ensuring the sustainability of their national insurance funds.”

This challenge was issued by Bahamas Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service, the Hon. Shane Gibson as he addressed some 100 delegates at the 27th Meeting of the CARICOM Heads Social Security held at Atlantis on Wednesday of this week.

Sharing some of the innovative strategies adopted here in The Bahamas, Gibson identified the current upgrades to the information and communications infrastructure at the Bahamas’ social security administration, the National Insurance Board, a public institution with more than $1.8 billion in reserves.

“The Board recently completed the implementation of a state of the art Insurance Administration System software, which will modernize its services to make doing business with NIB easier for the public. The improvements that this new system will usher in will positively impact the submission of claims, registration, paying contributions, requesting and receiving letters of good standing as well as, generally accessing NIB information” said Mr. Gibson.

Other initiatives shared by the Minister include the launch of the encrypted Blue Smart Card in January of this year that will support NHI; an employer self-service portal scheduled for a June launch (to eliminate the manual C-10 form); a CARICOM Reciprocal Agreement on Social Security to facilitate CARICOM expats working in The Bahamas; launch of the “foot patrol” registration drive last September and the launch of the “highly successful” Installment Agreement Initiative in February of this year. READ MORE…