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Mar 26

Social Protection Bill, 2018

No.      of 2018                           Social Protection Bill, 2018                    Saint Christopher

and Nevis

 

 

 

 

 

SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

No.         of 2018

 

 

PART 1………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

PRELIMINARY…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

  1. Short title…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
  2. Interpretation…………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
  3. Purpose…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

PART 2………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

INTER-AGENCY COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION………………………………… 4

  1. Establishment…………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
  2. Membership……………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
  3. Chairperson and Vice Chairperson……………………………………………………………. 5
  4. Alternate Members…………………………………………………………………………………… 5
  5. Vacancy…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
  6. Office………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
  7. Meetings…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
  8. Absence of Chairperson…………………………………………………………………………… 6
  9. Illness of absence of members…………………………………………………………………. 6
  10. Signature………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7
  11. Remuneration…………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
  12. Committees…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
  13. Delegation………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
  14. Commission not affected by vacancy or irregularities……………………………… 7
  15. Civil liability…………………………………………………………………………………………… 8
  16. Function…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
  17. Duties…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
  18. Powers……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
  19. Relationship with Minister……………………………………………………………………… 9
  20. Appointment of officers and employees…………………………………………………… 9
  21. Duties of Director…………………………………………………………………………………… 9
  22. Temporary and casual employees…………………………………………………………. 10

PART 3……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

SOCIAL PROTECTION……………………………………………………………………………………… 10

  1. Social Protection guarantees………………………………………………………………… 10
  2. Social Protection system of programmes………………………………………………. 10
  3. Eligibility criteria…………………………………………………………………………………. 11
  4. Public access to information…………………………………………………………………. 11

PART 4……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11

MONITORING AND EVALUATION……………………………………………………………………. 11

  1. Electronic Registry and Management Information System…………………….. 12
  2. Periodic Review of programmes……………………………………………………………. 12
  3. Financial audit of social protection programmes…………………………………… 12

PART 5……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13

FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND REPORTING………………………………………………………….. 13

  1. General Obligation………………………………………………………………………………… 13
  2. Social Protection Fund………………………………………………………………………….. 13
  3. Accounts and Audit……………………………………………………………………………….. 13
  4. Reporting……………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
  5. Expenditure limit………………………………………………………………………………….. 14

PART 6……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS…………………………………………………………………………… 14

  1. Complaint…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
  2. Form and content of complaint……………………………………………………………… 14
  3. Further information……………………………………………………………………………… 14
  4. Notice of complaint……………………………………………………………………………….. 14
  5. Determination of complaint by Director……………………………………………….. 15
  6. Appeals to Appeal Tribunal…………………………………………………………………… 15
  7. Appeal Tribunal……………………………………………………………………………………. 15
  8. Procedure…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
  9. Review of Decisions of Director and Appeal Tribunal……………………………. 15
  10. Expenses of witnesses…………………………………………………………………………… 16

PART 7……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16

MISCELLANEOUS…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16

  1. Public participation………………………………………………………………………………. 16
  2. Best interest of Children……………………………………………………………………….. 16
  3. Confidentiality……………………………………………………………………………………… 16
  4. Access to personal information…………………………………………………………….. 17
  5. Regulations…………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
  6. Repeal…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 18

SCHEDULE 1……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19

SCHEDULE 2……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20

 

 


No.   of 2018                           Social Protection Bill, 2018                    Saint Christopher

and Nevis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

No.         of 2018

 

A BILL to secure for persons in St. Kitts and Nevis social protection aimed at alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion and for related matters.

 

 

 

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the National Assembly of Saint Christopher and Nevis and by the authority of the same as follows:

 

 

PART 1

PRELIMINARY

 

  1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Social Protection Act, 2018.

 

In this Act:

“active age” means a person 16 or over who has not reached the age of retirement as defined in regulations made under this Act;

“Commission” means the Inter-Agency Commission for Social Protection established under section 4;

“court” means any court in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“disabled” means a person who is deemed by regulations made under this Act to be incapable, whether to a limited degree or fully, of engaging in gainful occupation;

“Fund” means the Social Protection Fund established under section 34;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for social development;

“social protection floor” means the first level of social protection in the social protection system established under this Act, and comprises the social protection programmes established under section 27(1)(a) to fulfill the social protection guarantees;

“social protection guarantees” means the guarantees accorded in section 26.

“social protection delivery agency” means an agency responsible for the delivery of a social protection programme;

“social protection programmes” means programmes established by regulations under this Act or designated by any Act as a social protection programme;

 

The purpose of this Act is to:

  • enable good governance for social protection, by establishing an appropriate institutional framework and administrative mechanisms, in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, and enhance accountability and control; and
  • grant essential social rights, subject to the economic constraints, fiscal space, and social policy needs, objectives and priorities of the State, through:
    • a social protection floor comprising guaranteed benefits so that at a minimum, over the life span, all in need have access to essential health care and basic income security which together secure access to necessary goods and services and
    • implementation of the social protection floor within a framework that progressively ensures extended coverage in terms of the types of measures, levels of coverage and quality of service, to as many people as possible as soon as possible.

 

 

PART 2

INTER-AGENCY COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION

 

Division 1 – Establishment and General Provisions

(1)        There is hereby established a body known as the Inter-Agency Commission for Social Protection.

(2)        The Commission is a body corporate with perpetual succession, and may acquire, hold and dispose of property and is capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name.

(3)        The Commission shall have a common seal and all courts, judges and persons acting judicially shall take judicial notice of the seal of the Commission affixed to any document or notice and shall presume that it was duly affixed.

 

(1) The Commission comprises 13 members appointed by the Minister, in accordance with the following

  • seven from the following departments, on the recommendation of the Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis responsible for each of the following portfolios:
    • social development,
    • housing,
    • sustainable development,
    • finance,
    • education,
    • health, and
    • labour;
  • four from the following departments, on the recommendation of the Minister of Nevis Island Administration responsible for that Department:
    • social services;
    • finance;
    • education;
    • health; and
  • two persons who are members of the Social Security Board, on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Board.

(2)        The names of the initial members, their title, if any, and every change in membership, shall be published in the Gazette.

 

  1. Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.

(1) The member appointed under section 5(a)(i) is the Chairperson of the Commission.

(2) The Commission may choose a Vice Chairperson from the members appointed under section 5(c).

 

  1. Alternate Members.

The Minister may, on the recommendation of the authority that appointed the member, appoint a person to be an alternate for that member. The alternate member may act temporarily in the place of that member if that member is absent, incapacitated or ineligible to perform the duties of a member.

 

(1)        If a vacancy occurs in the membership, the Minister shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy in a manner that respects the requirements in section 5(1) for the composition of the Commission.

(2)        A member appointed to fill a vacancy holds office only for the unexpired portion of the term of the former member.

(3)        The Commission may act despite a vacancy in the membership.

 

The Commission shall have a head office in St. Kitts, an office in Nevis and other offices within the State as it considers desirable.

 

(1)        The Commission shall meet as often as is necessary to carry out its duties, but not less frequently than once every quarter, at the place that the Commission determines.

(2)        The chairperson, or in his or her absence, the deputy chairperson, shall summon a special meeting of the Board within 7 days of a requisition for that purpose addressed to him or her in writing by any 3 directors.

(3)        Six the members of the Commission constitute a quorum and may include a member attending by teleconference or videoconference.

(4)        The chairperson has the right to vote at meetings of the Commission, and, in the case of an equal division, has also a casting vote.

(5)        Any question arising at any meeting of the Commission shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present, including members present by teleconference or videoconference.

(6)        The Chairperson has, in addition to a deliberative vote, a second or casting vote if there is an equality of votes.

 

  1. Absence of Chairperson.

(1)        In the case of the absence of the Chairperson, in person and the alternate, whether through illness or otherwise, the Deputy Chairperson, if present, shall act as Chairperson.

(2)        In the case of the absence of both the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson, and their alternates, whether through illness or otherwise, the members present may appoint one of their number to act as Chairperson but the Minister may, if he or she thinks fit, appoint a person to act as Chairperson for such period as the Minister specifies.

 

  1. Illness of absence of members.

In the case of the absence, whether through illness or otherwise, of any other member, the Minister may, if he or she thinks fit, appoint a person to perform the functions of that member during his absence in the same manner as that member was appointed.

 

All documents made by, and all decisions of, the Commission shall be signed by the Chairperson, Vice-chairperson or Secretary.

 

(1) The members shall be paid from the Fund travel allowances for attendance at meetings prescribed by Order of the Minister.

(2) The Minister may prescribed a higher allowance for travel within an island of the Federation, and for travel from one island to another.

 

(1)        The Commission may appoint a committee to assist the Commission with, or examine and report to it on, any matter relating to any matter relating to its functions as the Commission thinks fit.

(2)        A committee shall include not less than 2 members of the Commission, and may include persons who are not members.

(3)        The Commission shall determine the membership, duties, functions and operations of a committee.

(4)        A member of a committee is to be paid, in respect of attendance at meetings of the committee or while engaged with the approval of the Commission on business of the Commission, such fees, expenses and allowances as may be prescribed.

 

The Commission may delegate, in writing, to a committee or to a member, the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty vested in it by this Act, except the power to delegate under this section.

 

  1. Commission not affected by vacancy or irregularities.

The powers of the Commission is not affected by—

  • any vacancy in its membership;
  • the fact that it is afterwards discovered that there was some defect in the appointment or qualification of a person purporting to be a member;
  • the fact that there was any minor irregularity in the convening of any of its meeting.

 

  1. Civil liability.

Except in respect of a breach of section 50, no civil liability shall attach to any member of the Commission in respect of anything done, or omitted, in good faith under the provisions of this Act.

 

Division 2 – Functions, Duties and Powers

 

  1. Function

The function of the Commission is to progressively develop [for residents]—in keeping with national policy, regional commitments and international human rights conventions on social rights—a universal, sustainable and comprehensive social protection system against the risks, shocks and vulnerabilities leading to chronic deprivation, in which those that can afford it access social protection based on contributions and those that cannot, have access to state support whilst they develop their capacity to be self-sufficient over time.

 

  1. Duties

The principal duties of the Commission are to, in a manner consistent with the provisions of this Act, advise the Minister regarding:

  • a social protection floor, based on the economic constraints, fiscal space and social policy needs, objectives and priorities of the State, that ensures enjoyment of at least the social protection guarantees;
  • extended social protection that progressively ensures extended coverage in terms of the types of measures, levels of coverage and quality of service to as many people as possible as soon as possible;
  • eligibility and certification criteria for social protection programmes that are non-discriminatory, transparent and fair that targets beneficiaries based on both means and vulnerabilities and facilitates compliance with section 26;
  • the goods and services that constitute essential health care;
  • the minimum income that is likely to enable:
    • access to nutrition, education, care and other necessary goods and services for a child,
    • income security for persons in active age who are unable to earn sufficient income in cases of sickness, maternity, disability and unemployment, and
    • income security for an adult over retirement age or disabled person of whatever age.

 

For the purpose of its function and principal duties, the Commission has all the powers that are reasonably necessary and may;

  • [subject to any law relating to statistics,] collect, analyse, interpret, publish and distribute relevant social protection data, statistics and indicators, disaggretated, in particular by gender; and for this purpose;
  • contract with other entities for carrying out of audits and surveys;
  • lead and strengthen collaboration among social protection delivery entities, and enter into agreements with such entities, with a view to coordinating efforts and achieving efficiency and effectiveness in social protection delivery;
  • promote and advocate for social protection issues within the State and in regional and international fora; and
  • facilitate continuous staff training and development for persons in social protection administration and delivery.

 

  1. Relationship with Minister.

The Minister may give to the Commission general policy directions with regard to its functions under this Act that the Minister considers necessary in the public interest, and the Commission shall give effect to these directions.

 

Division 3 – Officers and employees

 

  1. Appointment of officers and employees.

(1)        The Commission shall appoint a Director and other officers and employees that it thinks necessary for carrying out its function under this Act.

(2)        The terms and conditions of employment of persons appointed or engaged under this section, including conditions with respect to punishment for breaches of discipline are as determined by the Commission.

(3)        The rate of salary payable to the Director is subject to the approval of the Minister.

(4)        If an officer or employee appointed or engaged under this section was, immediately before his or her appointment, an officer in the public service of the State, his or her service as an officer or employee of the Commission shall, for the purpose of determining his or her existing and accruing rights, be taken into account as if it were service in the public service with the Government and any public officer so appointed or engaged shall in relation to pension, gratuity or other allowances and in relation to other rights as a public officer be treated as continuing in the service of the Government.

 

  1. Duties of Director.

(1) The Director is Secretary to the Commission and, either in person or through a representative, shall attend meetings of the Commission, but has no vote.

(2) The Director is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission responsible for the supervision and management of its work.

 

(3) The Director has the following social protection delivery duties:

  • receiving and determining applications for assistance;
  • verifying [and keeping under review] circumstances of beneficiaries;
  • make payments of monetary social assistance; and
  • any other duties assigned under this Act or Regulations made under this Act.

 

  1. Temporary and casual employees.

The Commission may appoint temporary or casual employees on such terms and conditions as the Commission determines.

 

PART 3

SOCIAL PROTECTION

 

  1. Social Protection guarantees

(1)        A resident in St. Kitts and Nevis is entitled, at a minimum, to access to the prescribed set of goods and services that constitutes essential health care.

(2)        A child residing in St. Kitts and Nevis is entitled to the prescribed minimum income that enables the child to have access to nutrition, education, care and any other necessary goods and services;

(3)        A person of active age who is unable to earn sufficient income in case of sickness, unemployment, maternity or disability is entitled to the prescribed minimum income that enables such a person to access necessary goods and services.

(4)        A person of retirement age or a disabled person is entitled to the prescribed minimum income that enables such a person to access necessary goods and services.

 

  1. Social Protection system of programmes

(1)        The Minister, after consultation with the Commission, shall by regulations:

  • establish, in accordance with this Part, a system of social protection programmes for the purpose of fulfilling the social protection guarantees; and
  • extend the system of programmes that constitute the social protection floor to progressively ensure extended coverage in terms of the types of measures, levels of coverage and quality of service, to as many people is possible as soon as possible, having regard to the cost of the extension and the fiscal space of the State;

(2)        Regulations may differentiate between residents of different geographical locations, on the basis of particular risks, shocks or vulnerabilities or resources [excluding financial resources] existing in, or in respect of, a location as compared to others.

(3)        In designing the social protection system of programmes, the Minister shall

  • comply as far as possible with the standards set out in Schedule 1.
  • co-ordinate social protection policies with other public policies.

(4)        For the purpose of carrying out its duties under this section, the Minister shall, as far as practicable, and in consultation with the Commission, set objectives reflecting national priorities, specifying financial requirements and resources as well as the time frame and sequencing for the progressive achievement of the objectives.

 

  1. Eligibility criteria.

(1)        The Minister shall, after consultation with the Commission, prescribe the eligibility criteria for each programme.

(2)        The criteria:

  • shall be based on means and vulnerabilities;
  • may facilitate targeting of prescribed priority groups;

(3)        The Minister shall ensure that the use of targeting mechanisms:

  • avoids unfair discrimination;
  • achieves formal and substantive equality for persons who suffer from structural discrimination including women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, minorities and older persons;
  • addresses the special situation of asylum seekers, refugees, migrant workers and the families of these groups, who are within the State or subject to its jurisdiction.

 

  1. Public access to information

(1)        For the purpose of making public aware of their rights and entitlements under the social protection system, the Commission shall provide the public with access to information concerning the social protection system including information concerning:

  • the social protection programmes available;
  • persons eligible to receive benefits under the programmes;
  • the procedure for applying for available programmes, the decision making process and the operation of the scheme, including the responsible authorities;
  • the available administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial remedies to address complaints.

(2)        To ensure communication to all sectors, the Commission shall include proactive approaches in its communications strategy.

 

PART 4

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

 

 

  1. Electronic Registry and Management Information System.

(1)        For the purpose of social policy planning, accountability and control, the Commission shall establish and maintain:

  • a central beneficiary registry containing relevant information about beneficiaries of social protection programmes.
  • an electronic management information system for the management of information relevant to the social protection system.

(2)        In carrying out this duty, the Commission shall comply with the applicable rules protecting a person’s right to informational privacy contained in or under this Act or any other Act.

 

  1. Periodic Review of programmes

(1)        The Commission shall monitor regularly and evaluate periodically:

  • the organisational structure, operations, processes of social protection institutional and administrative framework;
  • the social protection floor and extended protection identify gaps in, and barriers to, protection against the risks shocks and vulnerabilities that may lead to chronic deprivation and seek to close the gaps through appropriate and effectively co-ordinated schemes, whether contributory or non-contributory, or both;
  • social protection programme implementation by the various social protection delivery entities progress in implementing social protection floors and achieving other objectives of national social security extension strategies; including their impact
  • arrange periodic and independent external evaluations of social protection programmes to assess programme performance and annual financial audits of social protection programmes;

(2)        For the purpose of carrying out its duties under this section, the Commission shall

  • preparing plans, complete with financial plan, for:
    • the regular monitoring and periodic evaluation of the implementation of each programme;
    • ensure that the conduct of regular poverty monitoring and labour force surveys are conducted so that data is available;
  • establish a system of feedback and assessments by beneficiaries to enable their participation in monitoring and evaluation of social protection programmes.

 

  1. Financial audit of social protection programmes

Every social delivery agency shall submit to the Commission annual financial audits of social protection programmes for the delivery of which it is responsible.

 

PART 5

FINANCE, ACCOUNTS AND REPORTING

 

  1. General Obligation

In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned under this or any other Act, the Commission shall practice transparent, accountable and sound financial management and administration.

 

  1. Social Protection Fund.

(1)        There is hereby established under the control and management of the Commission a fund to be called the “Social Protection Fund”.

(2)        The revenues of the Fund consist of the following:

  • revenues voted by Parliament from the Consolidated Fund;
  • revenues received by the Fund from any other source.

(3)        The following are to be paid out of the Fund:

  • expenses of the Commission including its officers and staff;
  • expenses respecting the work of the Appeal Tribunal including:
    • remuneration and travel and other allowances of its members;
    • travel and other allowances of persons required to attend for the purpose of a hearing under Part 6; and
  • any other prescribed sums.

 

  1. Accounts and Audit.

(1)        The Director shall keep accounts and other records in relation to the activities of the Commission, including activities carried out by the Director and staff any social protection delivery duties, and shall prepare annually a statement of accounts in a form prescribed by the Minister, being a form which conforms to the best commercial and accounting standards.

(2)        The accounts of the Fund shall be audited annually by an auditor appointed in each year by the Commission with the approval of the Minister.

 

(1)        The Commission shall give to the Minister any information that the Minister may require regarding its operations.

(2)        The Commission shall submit to the Minister for approval, its estimates of revenue and expenditure for a 12-month period in the form and by the date prescribed by the Minister.

(3)        After the end of each financial year, the Commission shall submit to the Minister before the 30th day of June, for tabling in the National Assembly, a report of its activities for the financial year.

(4)        The Commission shall submit to the Minister every account certified by the external auditor appointed under section 35(2), together with the report of the auditor, within one month of such certification.

(5)        The Minister shall cause a copy of every account or report submitted to him or her under this section to be laid before the National Assembly at its next sitting.

 

  1. Expenditure limit.

Except with the approval of the Minister, the Commission shall not expend any sums in excess of that provided in the estimates relating to the financial year.

 

PART 6

COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS

  1. Complaint

A person may lodge a complaint with the Director concerning any matter arising under or in connection with this Act.

 

  1. Form and content of complaint

(1)        Subject to subsection (2), the complaint shall:

  • be in writing in the prescribed form;
  • contain the prescribed particulars;
  • be submitted in the prescribed manner.

(2)        The Director may accept a complaint in a form other than the prescribed form and cause it to be drawn up in the prescribed form and signed by the applicant, or, may dispense with the requirements of this section if he or she thinks it proper so to do.

 

  1. Further information

The Applicant shall supply any further information that the Director may require.

 

  1. Notice of complaint

The Director shall take steps to bring the complaint, and any particulars and further information furnished in respect of the complaint, to the notice of any other person appearing to it to be interested in it and may require them to furnish particulars within the time and in the form that the Director considers reasonable for the proper determination of the question.

 

  1. Determination of complaint by Director

(1)        On receipt of a complaint, if the Director:

  • is satisfied that the question ought to be determined wholly in favour of the claimant, he or she may decide the question accordingly;
  • is not so satisfied, he or she may either:
    • refer the question (so far as is practicable within fourteen days from the date on which it was submitted to him or her) to an appeal tribunal for its decision; or
    • himself or herself decide the question in whole or in part adversely to the claimant.

(2)        If the Director refers a question to an appeal tribunal he or she shall give notice in writing of such reference to the claimant and any other person to whom notice was given under section 41.

 

  1. Appeals to Appeal Tribunal.

(1)        If the Director decides a question in whole or in part adversely to a claimant the Director shall notify the claimant accordingly in writing, stating in such notice the reasons for his or her decision and informing the claimant of his or her right of appeal.

(2)        Subject to this section, a claimant has the right to appeal against an adverse decision to an appeal tribunal.

(3)        An appeal against a decision of the Director shall be brought by giving notice to the Appeal within twenty-one days after the date of the decision or within such further time, not exceeding four months, as the chairperson of the appeal tribunal may allow.

(4)        A notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of the grounds upon which the appeal is made.

 

  1. Appeal Tribunal.

(1)        There is hereby established an Appeal Tribunal for the purposes of this Part.

(2)        The provisions of Schedule 2 apply in respect of the Appeal Tribunal.

(3)        A claimant has the right to appeal against an adverse decision of the Appeal Tribunal to the High Court.

 

The procedure for the determination of a complaint by the Director or an appeal tribunal shall be such as the Director or the appeal tribunal, as the case may be, may determine.

 

  1. Review of Decisions of Director and Appeal Tribunal.

(1)        A decision of the Director may be reviewed at any time by the Director, or, on a reference from the Director, by the appeal tribunal, if:

  • he or she is satisfied that the decision was given in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to, some material fact; or
  • there has been any relevant change of circumstances since that decision was made.

(2)               The appeal tribunal may review its decision at any time if:

  • it is satisfied, on the presentation of fresh evidence, that the decision was given in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to, some material fact; or
  • there has been any relevant change of circumstances since that decision was made.

(3)               An application that a decision of the Director or of an appeal tribunal be reviewed shall be sent to the Director in writing and shall state the grounds upon which the application is based.

(4)               The Director shall send a copy of the application for review to any other person notified of the original complaint.

(5)        A refusal to review, and a decision given on a review under this section is subject to appeal in like manner as an original decision.

 

  1. Expenses of witnesses.

(1)        The Commission shall pay to persons required to attend for the purpose of a hearing under this Part the travel and other allowances that the Commission determines by resolution.

(2)        The other allowances may include compensation for loss of remuneration.

 

PART 7

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Public participation.

Before advising the Minister under this Act, the Commission must facilitate the participation of beneficiaries and the public through consultation or feedback mechanisms on the social protection system, including its design, implementation or monitoring and evaluation.

 

  1. Best interest of Children.

Any authority performing a duty, exercising a power or making a decision under this Act that may affect children shall acknowledge children’s rights and the best interest of the child.

 

(1)        Information and documents obtained under this Act are privileged.

(2)        Information and documents are not privileged to the extent that they are required to be disclosed or communicated for the purposes of an emergency involving public safety.

(3)        No person in possession of privileged information or documents shall knowingly, without the written consent of the person from whom they were obtained, communicate them or allow them to be communicated to any person, or allow any person to have access to them, except, subject to any law or regulations made under this Act, for the purpose of this Act, including:

  • to any person or body for the administration or implementation of the programme for which it was obtained or prepared;
  • for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

(4)        Despite any other Act or law, a person shall not be required, in connection with any legal proceedings, to produce any statement or other record containing privileged information or documents, or to give evidence relating to them, unless the proceedings relate to the enforcement of this Act.

 

  1. Access to personal information

Subject to any exemptions or exclusions provided by any law or prescribed under this Act, personal information may be made available to an individual or their representative, on the request of the individual or representative in writing to the Commission.

 

  1. Regulations

(1)        The Minister may, after consultation with the Commission, make regulations prescribing anything required to be prescribed by this Act, and generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act including regulations:

  • to set for the social protection floor:
  • the goods and services that constitute essential health care;
  • the minimum income that is likely to enable access to the nutrition, education, care and other necessary goods and services for a child;
  • the minimum income that is likely to enable access to the necessary goods and services for persons of active age in cases of sickness, unemployment, maternity and disability;
  • the minimum income that is likely to enable access to the necessary goods and services for persons of retirement age and disabled persons of any age;
  • to set non-discriminatory, transparent and fair eligibility and certification criteria for social protection programmes that targets beneficiaries based on both means and vulnerabilities;
  • to provide for monitoring and evaluation of … including establish a monitoring and evaluation schedule; and
  • to establish the data that delivery entities must compile.
  • to provide for forms, procedures and processes for complaints and appeals under Part ??;
  • to provide for the financing, accounting and budgeting standards including the financial year;
  • to set fees for any service provided by the Commission;

(2)        Regulations under (a)(i) may differentiate between residents of different geographical locations, on the basis of particular risks, shocks or vulnerabilities or resources [excluding financial resources] existing in, or in respect of, a location as compared to others.

(3)        Regulations under (a)(ii) to (a)(iv) may differentiate between residents of different geographical locations, on the basis of the differing costs of the necessary goods and services in one location as compared to others.

 

The Social Development Assistance Act, Chap.20.38 is repealed.


SCHEDULE 1

 

 

Standards for Designing Social Protection System of Programmes

 

 

 

(Section 27)

The Social protection system of programmes must:

 

(a) have a combination of programme approaches including:

 

  • preventive, promotional and active measures, benefits and social services; and
  • programmes that promote productive economic activity and formal employment through considering policies that include public procurement, government credit provisions, labour inspection, labour market policies and tax incentives, and that promote education, vocational training, productive skills and employability, income generation, literacy, reducing precariousness, and promote secure work, entrepreneurship and sustainable enterprises within a decent work framework;

 

(b) Have an efficient and effective range of social benefits and schemes in cash or in kind, in the context of St. Kitts and Nevis together and individually, for example:

 

  • child and family benefits;
  • sickness and health-care benefits,;
  • maternity benefits
  • disability benefits
  • old-age benefits
  • survivors’ benefits
  • unemployment benefits and employment guarantees.

 

(c) Seek to ensure that the levels of benefits are adequate so that—

  • persons in need of health care do not face hardship and an increased risk of poverty due to the financial consequences of accessing essential health care. Free prenatal and postnatal medical care for the most vulnerable should be provided if within the economic and fiscal capabilities of St. Kitts and Nevis;
  • income security at the prescribed minimum level should allow life in dignity and may correspond to the monetary value of a set of necessary goods and services, national poverty lines, income thresholds for social assistance or other comparable thresholds, and may take into account differences between the island of St. Kitts and the island of Nevis;

 

(d) Ensure financial, fiscal and economic sustainability of social protection floor, using a variety of methods to mobilise the necessary resources (including, individually or in combination, methods of effective enforcement of tax and contribution obligations, reprioritizing expenditure, or a broader and sufficiently progressive revenue base) taking into account the contributory capacities of different population groups and the need to implement measures to prevent fraud, tax evasion and non-payment of contributions.

 

(e) Finance the social protection floors from national resources, except to the extent that external resources are procured for that purpose through international cooperation and support.

 

(f) Allow social dialogue and social participation to inform design;

 

(g) Ensure that extended social protection strategies—

  • provide support for disadvantaged groups and people with special needs and target priority groups
  • apply to persons both in the formal and informal economy and support growth of formal employment and the reduction of informality, and
  • are consistent with, and conducive to, the implementation of national and OECS social, economic and environmental development plans;
  • are within the economic and fiscal capacities of St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

 

SCHEDULE 2

Appeal Tribunal

 

  1. Composition of tribunal.

An appeal tribunal shall consist of:

(a)     one person drawn, in accordance with paragraph 3, from a panel of persons nominated by the Commission to represent vulnerable persons;

(b)     one person drawn, in accordance with paragraph 3, from a panel of persons nominated by the Commission to represent the general public; and

(c)     a chairperson who, subject to the provisions of this Schedule, shall be appointed by the Minister.

  1. Qualifications of Chairperson of tribunal.

(1)          The Chairperson of an Appeal Tribunal shall be a barrister of at least five years standing and the Minister may appoint more than one person to perform the functions of chairman.

(2)          A Chairman shall hold office for a period not exceeding two years that the Minister may determine and shall be eligible for reappointment.

  1. Nominations of persons to panels.

(1)          Before nominating persons to be members of the panel in paragraph (1)(a), the Commission shall take into consideration any recommendation from organisations, if any, concerned with the interests of vulnerable persons.

(2)          Members appointed to a panel shall hold office for such term and on such conditions as may be determined by the Commission and shall be eligible for reappointment.

  1. Revocation of appointment of Chairperson etc.

The Minister may, if he or she considers it expedient so to do, at any time revoke the appointment of the chairperson and the Commission may, if it considers it expedient so to do, at any time, revoke the appointment of any member of a panel.

  1. Non-eligibility of Social Protection Departments for appointment to tribunal.

A member of staff of a Department of Government represented of the Commission is not eligible for appointment as a chairperson or member of an appeal tribunal.

  1. Summoning of members of panels.

As far as practicable the members of each panel shall be summoned by the Commission to serve in turn on an appeal tribunal, but

(a)     no person shall sit on a tribunal during the consideration of a case:

(i)   in which he or she appears as the representative of the claimant; or

(ii)   by which he or she is or may be directly affected; or

(iii)   in which he or she is involved as an employer or as an employed person or as a witness;

(b)     where the claimant is a woman, at least one of the members of the tribunal shall, if practicable, be a woman.

  1. Proceeding with cases.

The appeal tribunal may, with the consent of the claimant, but not otherwise, proceed with any case in the absence of any member other than the chairperson, and in any such case the chairperson shall, if the number of the members of the tribunal is an even number, have a second or casting vote.

  1. Remuneration.

The members of the Appeal Tribunal shall be paid the remuneration and travelling and other expenses that the Commission determines.

 

  1. Time and Place of Hearing of Appeals.

(1)          The Chairperson of the Appeal Tribunal shall give reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing before an appeal tribunal to the claimant and to any other person who may appear to the chairperson of the tribunal to be interested in the appeal.

(2)          If a claimant or the other person fails either to appear in person or by representative at the hearing, and has not given a reasonable explanation for his or her absence, the Appeal Tribunal may proceed to determine the appeal as they think proper.

  1. Hearings before Appeal Tribunal.

(1)          Every hearing before an appeal tribunal shall be in public unless the chairperson of the tribunal otherwise directs if he or she is of the opinion that intimate personal or financial circumstances may have to be disclosed or that considerations of public security are involved.

(2)          The claimant, the other person (if any) and the Director shall be entitled to appear and be heard at the hearing of any appeal to an Appeal Tribunal.

(3)          Any person who, by virtue of this section, has the right to be heard by an appeal tribunal may be represented at the hearing by some other person whether having professional qualifications or not and, for the purpose of the hearing, any such representative shall have all the rights to which the person whom he or she represents is entitled under this Part.

(4)          Any person who exercises the right conferred by this section to be heard at the hearing may call witnesses and shall be given an opportunity of putting questions directly to any witness called at the hearing.

(5)          For the purpose of arriving at their decision, or discussing any question of procedure, an appeal tribunal may, notwithstanding anything contained in this regulation, order all persons not being members of the tribunal or an officer of the Commission acting as clerk to the tribunal, to withdraw from the sitting of the tribunal.

  1. Decisions of Appeal Tribunal.

(1)          An appeal tribunal shall

(a)     record in writing every decision (whether on an appeal or on a reference from the Director); and

(b)     include in the record of every decision (which shall be signed by all the members of the tribunal) a statement of the reasons for its decision, including its findings on all questions of fact material thereto.

(2)          Where an appeal tribunal is unable to reach a unanimous decision on any case, the decision of the majority of the members thereof shall be the decision of the tribunal.

(3)          As soon as may be practicable, a copy of the record of its decision made in accordance with this regulation shall be sent to the claimant, to the Director and to the other person (if any).

 

 

 

……………………………………

  1. MICHAEL PERKINS

                                                                                                            Speaker

 

 

 

Passed by the National Assembly this         day of                                         , 2018.

 

 

 

 

      ………………………………………….

SONIA BODDIE-THOMPSON

                                                                                    Deputy Clerk of the National                                                                                                 Assembly

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