EOCO Disagrees With SSNIT Board?

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Even before the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), could engaged the services of a private auditors pricewaterhouseCoopers to probe software contract procured by the previous administration as announced by the board headed by, Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), has commenced its own investigation into the contract.

The office, subpoenaed at least 15 witnesses as part of ongoing investigations into the award of $72 million software contract by SSNIT.

EOCO’s hasty decisions to jump into investigating ex-government appointees, have been of concerns to many in recent times, as the appointees complain of maltreatment and political witch-hunting.

SSNIT Director-General, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang, has revealed the anti-graft agency is interrogating the employees regarding the circumstances that led to the issuance of the contract in 2012.

He told Joy FM’s yesterday, he has equally been summoned by EOCO, to produce certain documents on the contract.

Ghanaians are incensed after the sum of a software contract awarded by SSNIT was made public.

The contract was awarded to Perfect Business Solutions Limited for the installation of automation processes at the Trust.

It was to provide superior services to SSNIT customers, reduce member enrolment cycle through forms, provide effective reporting solution, achieve real time processing of contribution reports and reduce benefit processing time.

The initial contract sum was, $34 million, but within a four-year period, it shot up to over $72 million.

Information gathered by Joy News, revealed the software supplied was not fit for the purpose.

As a result, an additional $38 million was spent in remodeling the software to suitably deliver to the satisfaction of SSNIT.

Barely a month after the contract was signed and sealed, the Trust, made the demand for the supply and installation of two HP machines at the cost of $28,500.

There was also the order for the supply and installation of mobile biometric unit in June, 2014 at the cost of over $2 million.

Many IT experts, have said the work performed by Perfect Business Solutions Limited, does not correspond to the amount SSNIT paid.

Having inherited the contract from his predecessor, Dr Tenkorang, said he has started engaging some of the vendors to ensure the Trust receives the best for the contract.

“I think we have a business to do,” he said, adding he spends his time looking at gaps in the contract execution rather than complaining about the cost.

He said, the Trust continues to pay for portions of the contract, which ends in 2019.

Meanwhile, former SSNIT Board member, Prof Joshua Alabi, has revealed, the former Director-General of the Trust, Ernest Thompson, spent U$$34m in additional cost on the controversial ICT contract without prior approval of the board.

Former UPSA Rector, who was part of the last board, before a change in government in January 2017, has come out to explain in a statement the circumstances surrounding the contract.

Prof. Alabi, who is said to be nursing ambitions to contest in the NDC presidential primaries, said the then Director-General, Ernest Thompson, was queried by the dissatisfied Board on the fresh cost after management brought the bill to the Board for ratification.

Prof Alabi, said there are minutes to show, the Board warned Ernest Thompson-led Management never to spend without seeking approval from the board.

He also said, the Board, could not cancel the contract without potential judgment debt implications.

The NDC man also explained, following revelations of the cost-implications of the project, the Board ordered a value-for-money-audit into the operations of SSNIT late 2016.

But the Board did not survive the change in government to see the audit start under its watch.

The NPP government which took over, appointed a new Director-General and Board, which has initiated the audit.

Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), has also questioned five SSNIT staff about the ICT project.

Prof. Alabi, also expressed disappointment in some NDC party faithful, who are rejoicing that his name has been linked to the SSNIT saga.

He wondered “why a dog would bite a dog in the same family”.

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