Certificate of Good Standing
In today’s broadcast we want to first of all take the opportunity to wish all a productive year as we accept all of the challenges that may come our way and build on any successes that we may have had in 2005. Secondly, we would like to pay some attention to an important mechanism that is in place to assist Social Security in ensuring compliance by employers in terms of payment of contributions.
I refer to something that we call a Certificate of Good Standing. What is this Certificate of Good Standing, and how does it work?
The Social Security Board has obtained the co-operation and commitment of the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to the effect that whenever a service provider to government is being contracted to do work for the government, they will be asked to furnish (to the government) a certificate from Social Security which says in effect that that employer is in good standing with Social Security. In other words, that employer is not in arrears with Social Security or has made suitable arrangements for settling any obligations to Social Security.
This provision is very often implemented in cases involving large construction projects; but is also applicable to other service providers as well. Employers in the construction sector and others are encouraged to keep their Social Security Contributions up to date. Hence when they have an opportunity to benefit from an award of a government contract, they will have no difficulty getting a Certificate of Good Standing from Social Security.
In addition to mainstream government contracts, this mechanism may also be applied in the case of government statutory bodies. That is, if a statutory body is engaging a contractor or service provider to do work, they will be expected to require the contractor or service provider to present a Certificate of good standing from Social Security.
Social Security is also receiving support from some private sector businesses in this regard. The larger corporations are beginning to insist that persons who seek to perform contract work for them should be straight with Social Security. Yes, they too are beginning to insist that contractors of different types get a Certificate of Good Standing from Social Security.
Whenever someone is required to furnish that certificate of good standing, that person will need to contact the Compliance Department of Social Security. The Compliance Department will check the records to determine the compliance status of the person and once it is clean, or once satisfactory arrangements can be made to ensure payment of outstanding amounts and the making of future payments when they become due, the certificate will be issued to the person.
To sum up quickly: between the Social Security Board and government departments and statutory bodies, there is a co-operation mechanism whereby persons who seek to engage in work for such government entities will need to satisfy them that they are in good standing with Social Security. We are pleased to note also that some large corporations in the private sector are also co-operating with Social Security in asking that service providers obtain a certificate of good standing before contracts are awarded to them. This is a measure designed to ensure that persons who are in arrears with Social Security make arrangements to clear any arrears or to make suitable arrangements for settling any arrears before benefiting from governmental contracts and also contracts with some private sector companies.
If you are in doubt about your particular situation, please contact your nearest Social Security Office without delay.
Again to one and all, a very productive New Year.
“We keep looking up for your benefits.”