In cases where a Garda pension cheque is made payable to a person other than the pensioner in question, the administrative procedures in place require that a certificate must be submitted to the effect that the pensioner is alive on or after the first day of the relevant month. It is normal practice for my Department to include the relevant blank certificate with each month's pension cheque. This arrangement is normal in such cases and is applied in the case of the wider Civil Service Pension Scheme by the Pay Master General. Indeed, my Department only took over the administration of this matter from the Paymaster General a few years ago.
We have examined our records in this particular case and I am satisfied that there are no delays on the part of the Department in issuing the pension cheque. Our records show that each monthly pension cheque was posted on the date the completed certificate was received.
I am concerned, nevertheless, that in cases of long term illness no necessary bureaucratic burdens should be placed on the people who are involved in caring for members of their immediate family. I have requested that our administrative practices be examined to see if some change could be made, for example, quarterly certification, provided this accords with proper audit and control requirements. I shall communicate further with the Deputy in due course.