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General News of Tuesday, 29 August 2017


SSNIT $72m scandal: Ban curlpits from public service – Bright Simons

Persons found culpable in the $72 SSNIT OBS software scandal must be, at least, barred from ever serving in public office, Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, has said.

According to him, it was high time Ghana started the raising the bar for persons who serve in public office.

“Public officials have accountability based on a very high bar so it is not just that I am not a criminal so I am fine. Your performance must be above bar. That is the standard we must hold them to,” he said on Eyewitness News.

“So if we have a particular official has been shown to be completely inconsiderate about the aspirations and the well-being of Ghanaians, we must begin to start banning some people from public office entirely.”

Mr. Simons suggested that an ethics committee be set up to probe such cases outside a context of conventional prosecutorial grounds.

“We need to start looking at an ethics committee within a public services commission, not on minimal prosecutorial grounds… the ethics committee, within the public service commission, should say; your conduct simply fell short of the very high standards we expect of Ghanaian officials and we don’t want you holding public office in Ghana anymore.”

About five people are currently being investigated by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for their involvement in the acquisition of the OBS software.

The Board Chairman of SSNIT, Kwame Addo Kufuor in an interview with Citi News said about 15 people have already appeared before EOCO as witnesses.

It was initially thought the software was inflated to $66 million but the Director-General of the SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori Tenkorang explained that the cost increased because it intermittently experienced challenges that required technicians to rectify.

Dr. Tenkorang said the $72 million included the cost of the original tender, subsequent modifications, and yearly support fees.

He further indicated that the $72 million cost will continue to appreciate until the system is fully deployed and works effectively.