It added that the proof of concept aimed to “overcome the limitations of the existing manual process and prevent new risks from happening, which could hamper the flow of entitlements”. The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) is gearing up to test the use of biometrics and other modern technologies to certify pensioners’ benefit entitlement after more than 70 years of a manual, paper-based process.The move to launch a pilot project follows a successful “proof of concept” prototype that used biometrics, blockchain, geo-location, and mobile apps, according to a statement from the $60.8bn (€54.9bn) defined benefit pension fund.The prototype was created and tested in collaboration with the International Computing Centre, an information technology and communications provider within the UN system.According to the UNJSPF, the proof-of-concept experience “confirmed the value of digital identity and blockchain technologies to automate the certificate of entitlement process with secure mechanisms that create traceable, immutable, and independently auditable evidence”. Source: UN Photo/Evan SchneiderEvery year the pension fund has to verify more than 70,000 beneficiaries located in more than 190 countries, confirming they are still alive.For the last 70 years, this confirmation has required every beneficiary to return a signed paper-based form – a certificate of entitlement – which is currently sent by regular post.The pension fund also has to confirm beneficiaries’ residence if they are paid under a “local track” system, which converts the value of US residency-based benefits to a local currency and local cost of living.According to the UNJSPF, the biometrics were used for personal identification and confirming a beneficiary was still alive, while geo-location was used to confirm a beneficiary’s residence.Following the success of the proof-of-concept prototype, the pension fund is taking steps to start a pilot project with a view, if successful, to implement the solution for all new retirees.New pensioners of select UN entities or member organisations will be given the opportunity, on a voluntary basis, to use and test the new approach.In 2018, the UNJSPF had nearly 130,00 active participants and more than 78,000 beneficiaries, who were paid $2.67bn in benefits.
To Robert Thompson, the weather in Syracuse over the past couple of days is appropriate given the situation hanging over the university. ‘The clouds are practically on the ground. I haven’t seen the sun for 48 hours. It’s almost like our meteorology reflects kind of the mood. Not only has this story descended upon the campus, it’s like it’s being reflected by the very weather itself,’ said Thompson, the founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. Former associate head men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine was fired Sunday following the release of a 2002 taped phone conversation between Fine’s wife and Bobby Davis, one of three people accusing Fine of sexual abuse. The allegations against Fine surfaced Nov. 17 and have grabbed national headlines ever since. Many faculty members were shocked to learn of the firing and were disturbed by the scandal. Some didn’t want to be interviewed by The Daily Orange because the situation is so close to home. ‘Syracuse only gets in the national headlines for two things: The fact that it snows here all the time and its basketball team,’ Thompson said. ‘And usually we expect that latter one to be for good reasons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘You never want a story like this to be told about your university, whether you’re an alum or whether you’re a student or whether you’re a faculty,’ he continued. The story from ESPN is being told in strange steps, Thompson said. ESPN first broke allegations about Fine on Nov. 17 and released the phone conversation Sunday, but ESPN has had the tape since 2002. Thompson said he thought ESPN would’ve taken the allegations and the phone conversation to Boeheim and asked what he knew. They waited to release the phone conversation, something Thompson considers one of the mysteries in the case. After the allegations became public Nov. 17, Boeheim issued a statement giving Fine his full support. After the phone conversation became public, Boeheim said he thought the university took the ‘appropriate step’ in firing Fine. David Bennett, a history professor, said he believes the university had to fire Fine, but he doesn’t expect Boeheim to be fired given what is known right now. ‘There’s no reason to believe that coach Boeheim knew what was going on,’ Bennett said. ‘People often times don’t know what goes in the lives of people who are very close friends, as we all know.’ Bennett was involved in a 1990 investigation into alleged recruiting violations against the basketball program. Bennett said forums were held for people to raise any questions they had, and no concerns were raised concerning sexual abuse. ‘We interviewed large numbers of people, many of whom had some things to say about the basketball program, and there was not a word spoken about anything that was remotely connected to the pieces of evidence in the last two days,’ said Bennett, chairman of the Athletic Policy Board and the NCAA Faculty Representative from 1975 to 1995. Bennett said that although the scandal may not be the biggest event to hit the university, it is a national story that will affect people’s view of the university. Douglas Biklen, dean of the School of Education, said he isn’t worried about the ‘taint of this situation over the university.’ ‘I actually think that it’s very, very good that these sorts of cases get talked about a lot because it makes people very aware,’ he said. Biklen said stories like this that get national attention make it clear to people that they should call the authorities if they observe sexual abuse. ‘I think, for any of us, if we have information and we know it and we don’t deal with it, we’re responsible,’ he said. ‘We need to be held responsible, whoever we are — faculty, basketball coach, dean.’ [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on November 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: [email protected]