About 5,500 Permanent Fund Dividends are being recalled.
The PFDs were sent out in error. Approximately 3,600 were deposited directly into bank accounts and 1,900 were sent out as paper checks.
PFD Division Director Deborah Bitney says employees didn’t match correct records in a new software program and dividends were paid to applicants instead of creditors.
The software is called “eGarns” and it’s being used for the first time this year.
“This affects only debts that are basically court ordered, like restitution, judgments for debts that are unpaid, things like that,” Bitney says.
It does not affect garnishments for child support, she says.
The division has requested that direct deposits be reversed and also has issued stop payment orders on the checks. Bitney says the error was discovered late Monday afternoon. While the total amount of the error isn’t available, it’s expected to be nearly $7 million.
Bitney says it’s important to get the word out about the error.
“You know, 99 percent of the dividends that went out are just fine,” she says. “This affects a very small subset of the population. We really are trying to help those people and we would like them to contact us as quickly as possible once they find out they are involved in this.”
Bitney says safeguards have been programmed into “eGarns” to prevent similar errors.
Nearly every Alaskan received $1,174 in this year’s PFD.
- In the last leg of his tour to win support for a coordinated effort against ISIS, French President Francois Hollande on Thursday secured a pledge of cooperation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Studies recommended relocating villages like Newtok, Kivalina and Shishmaref. But more than 10 years later they are still there, with waves getting higher and storms getting stronger.
- New research suggests Pacific halibut may adapt favorably to increased ocean temperatures. Greenland halibut may not be so lucky.
- “So what we’re seeing here is a giant step — a beautiful step — backward in time, where we’re remembering that there is no us versus them. There’s only us, and we are the people, and the people are the police."