Bernard Degraff accused for ONA fund in private banks and irregular terminations

The government of Haiti's (GOH) latest corruption scandal has erupted over state-worker pensions (ONA) being moved from Central Bank (CB) to individual accounts at National Credit Bank (NCB).

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Testifying before senators, Director Bernard Degraff, who runs the National Office of Pensions (NOP), evaded inquiries on how pension funds ended up being diverted to NCB. The transfer happened without state workers' foreknowledge, and in violation of Haiti's Constitution. It states no pension funds are to be moved from CB to any other financial institution.

Bernard Degraff, President Martelly's appointee to ONA, had been under investigation even before the pension-fund scheme was uncovered. Reports from inside GOH have alleged other instances of mis-management Degraff has been involved in. He is reputed to have fired scores of government administrators for no apparent reason, and given himself a whopping salary increase. GOH investigators have been combing through documents and interviewing NOP agency workers to compile a list of charges they will indict him with.

Pent-up frustrations of state workers boiled over in Senate chambers during Degraff's testimony. He refused to directly answer any questions asked of him about his role in the diversion of pension funds from CB to NCB. An incensed state worker, there with other union members, charged Bernard Degraff and began punching him before being pulled off by security.

Prime Minister Lamothe, a Degraff supporter, decried the attack as an act of disrespect in the House of Parliament. Martelly has kept mute on the controversy surrounding his pick to administer the functions of ONA.

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Read more: Finance, Elderly, ONA, Bernard Degraff, Pension, National Credit Bank, People

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