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Implementing the policies introduced by the new government known as Policy For Prosperity - The Department of Pensions marked a one step forward today (20.01.2020) under the increasement of the use of information technology to make public service more efficient and accurate.

Under the aforementioned programme, implementation of pensioner life certificate issuance through finger prints using the modern technology was launched as as a pilot project under the patronage of Hon. Minister to the Public Administration, Home Affairs Provincial Councils  and Local Government, Janaka Bandara Thennakoon and State Minister to the same ministry, Lasantha Alagiyawanne.

The life certificate of a retired officer was verified using technology, symbolizing the opportunity to issue a life certificate through fingerprints. Subsequently, the Hon. Minister delivered supplementary equipments to five divisional secretariats, symbolizing the provision of technical equipment to the divisional secretariats.

Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Lasantha Alagiyawanna expressed his gratitude and pleasure to the Department of Pensions and the IT Department in particular. Also, he further appreciated the programs implemented by the Department of Pensions to make Policy for Prosperity a success. Especially he appreciated the methodology developed to offer the services without any delay, for pensioners who visit to the department and further pointed out the importance of measuring customer satisfaction.

Also, expressing the views, the secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Local Government Siri Hettiarachchi mentioned that His Excellency the President summoned all government agencies last week and highlighted the importance of using IT to make public service an efficient and thereof the procedure performed by the   Department of Pensions was also appreciated. Further expressing the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs cited that the seven state establishments under his ministry have a vital role to play to uplift the public service; therefore working with dedication is required.

One of the most important segments of regulating pension payments is obtaining pensioner life certificate. The main purpose of this process is to minimize excess payments made due to not informing the decease of pensioner to the Department of Pension after the decease of the particular pensioner and to verify the information of the pensioner.

The duration begins form January 01 st to March 31st of each year is named as the duration of pensioner life certificate obtainment. Accordingly 641,000 pension recipients, across the island are ready to give life certificate through Grama Nildhari in respect of the year 2020.  Life certificate application shall be posted to all the pensioners by post and completed and certified applications should be forwarded by the Grama Niladhari to the Divisional Secretariat. The information collected under the old method was updated in the pension management system by the divisional secretariat. It consumed lot of time and money.

Under the new system, pensioners are privileged to produce their life certificates using only their fingerprints without filling any applications. Accordingly, this scheme will be implemented from 2020 for those retired after the 01-01-2016 under the initial stage. Pensioner get the opportunity to obtain this facility from any divisional secretariat where this facility is available and additionally, pensioner get opportunity to obtain the life certificate through the finger prints from the authorised public and private bank branches except the said divisional secretariats.

Accordingly, this program will save the government a huge amount of annual expenses and will reduce the frauds caused by the further correction made to the pension payment process. Further, the software required for this has been produced by the Information Technology Division of the Department of Pensions, with the collaboration of commercial banks and private sector institutions. The specialty of this was arranging this without giving any expenses to the government.

At the end of the ceremony Hon. State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna inspected the IT Division of the Department of Pensions and greeted for all officers of Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Sri Lanka Information Technology Service, and members of IT division for providing leadership to overcome the challenges utilising the modern information technology.