21 November 2007

Need A Pen To Get A Pen

Today's Dilbert strip reminded me of a story that MeePok once told me about when he was handling a case a few years ago.

It was part of the RunForFunds effort where he was helping some old guy to apply for financial/social assistance from the latter's grassroots agency.

Obviously, the old gentleman was in financial hardship which prompted the application in the first place. I supposed due to his lack of education qualifications as well as age, all he could, at best was to secure the odd job assignment here and there, sporadically.

Now, I can understand the concerns of the assistance agency whereby they have a duty to safeguard against fraudulent applications, which is rather prevalent, especially in some countries where people try to abuse the social security system even when they are economically stable.

So this agency said to the old gentleman that he needed to produce an IR8A (annual Return of Employee's Renumeration) form to verify that his income was indeed below a certain level in order to qualify for assistance.

Here's the problem. Being an odd job labourer, he didn't have the IR8A form as most of his income were most likely paid in cash on a daily basis. Hence no paper trail for verification.

Here's the kick in the nuts. No IR8A form. No financial assistance.

Despite numerous appeals to the agency's common sense, nothing seem to enter the grey matter of these red tape pen pushers.

It was certainly one of those WTF moments.

I didn't get the outcome of this case as it was still ongoing when MeePok related the story to me and we haven't talked about this since. Perhaps MeePok can update us on this case in the comments section?

Image Credit:
- Voxeros

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