Having procedures doesn't mean error-free execution

As the nominated beneficiary of my late father's Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, I made numerous requests to the CPF Board to obtain his account balance and statement of transactions.

After more than two weeks of futile attempts, the CPF Board, in its final correspondence, released only a summary of the transactions while refusing to furnish the detailed statement, citing confidentiality reasons.

Three weeks later, after I wrote to The Straits Times Forum (Unable to access CPF statement; June 1), I received a call from the CPF Board to say that my request for the detailed statement was approved.

The policy of disbursing CPF savings to the nominated beneficiary without providing the latest account balance and statement of transactions is flawed (Transparency, accountability needed when handling CPF money, by Ms Margaret Lee; Forum Online, June 6).

Having procedures in place does not mean error-free execution.

Recently, Prudential customers experienced erroneous Giro deductions, resulting in them paying many times more for their premiums (Prudential's Giro deductions botched by omitted decimal point; May 26).

Can the CPF Board guarantee that there would not be any such errors in its disbursements? How would it address the inconvenience caused by incorrect disbursements?

The CPF Board also seems to be taking its confidentiality responsibilities too far and ignoring common sense.

In my case, there was no violation of my father's privacy, since he is dead. There was also no question of mischief, as I am the beneficiary and legal executor of his estate.

Hence, I do not understand why confidentiality was a reason for withholding my father's statement.

I hope the CPF Board can review its policies and exercise sensitivity and flexibility when handling such requests.

It should be mindful that while the funds belong to the CPF member when he is alive, they become the private assets of the beneficiary when the member dies, and full transparency should be given.

Neo Lin Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Having procedures doesn't mean error-free execution'. Print Edition | Subscribe