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Aug 12, 2022

Did S.S.B. do Proper Due Diligence on Pharmacy Express?

The Social Security Board, as an autonomous body, is insulated from government influence.  Despite the Chinese wall that prevents outside interference, the Investment Committee is tasked with doing its own due diligence where background information on private or commercial borrowers is concerned.  In light of the fact that S.S.B. initially approved a loan facility of seven million dollars for Pharmacy Express without reasonable steps being taken in order to satisfy a comprehensive appraisal, the question is whether or not proper due diligence was done by S.S.B. prior to approving the substantial line of credit.

 

Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“There’s almost a firewall between the government and social security.  That was enacted after 2004 to ensure that Social Security has a level of independence.  It does not mean that they can act totally independent of the policies of the day, of the government, but it certainly means that the decision-making process is made by them.  What we have seen yesterday shows, it shows or gives proof that the system is working, that the Social Security Board, they have an Investment Committee within Social Security [Board] and then from that it goes on to the Social Security [Board’s] Investment Committee and based on that it went to the board and then the board decided that they would approve that loan and then the next step now is to make it public to get reaction from the public. You could say it to the team, the investment team has to be more thorough in their investigation of every company that applies for monies from Social Security [Board].  So my response is that this should be a lesson to everyone, especially, in particular the Investment Committee, but even the board.  They have to make sure that they cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s before they approve a loan for any company because at the end of the day this is the people’s money and we need to do everything possible to protect the people’s monies.”


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