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General News of Saturday, 21 April 2018


Software Saga: Lawyer opposes SSNIT

A Barrister-at-Law, Charles Nii Koi has taken a swipe at attempts by the current management of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to persecute the former Director General of Trust Ernest Thompson in the media even though no court has pronounced him guilty in causing financial loss to the state in the award of a $72million Operating Business Suite (OBS) contract.

Some four officials of SSNIT including the former Director General, have been charged with willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Their indictment is as a result of an investigation by EOCO on the procurement of an ICT Software costing $72 million.

The Company Secretary of SSNIT speaking during a press conference Wednesday revealed that Juliet Hasana Korama who sold the software to SSNIT is also part of the indicted persons.

EOCO started investigating SSNIT in August 2017 after it emerged that the Trust had injected $72 million on the procurement and installation of a software and other hardware systems known as the Operational Business Suite (OBS) to digitize SSNIT’s operations.

The Trust had been widely lambasted over the project which is reportedly not fully functional.

The project included the installation of a software to ensure that its headquarters receives data directly from all of its offices.

The Board Chairman of SSNIT, Kwame Addo Kufuor, in an interview in August last year confirmed that about 15 people appeared before EOCO as witnesses in the matter.

SSNIT also contracted PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an audit into the contract.

In a 4-point statement released in 2017, “SSNIT said it expects the names of the people associated with the I.T (OBS) contracts to be released in the near future.”

Reacting to the development, Charles Nii Koi expressed surprise at the deliberate refusal of SSNIT to draw Mr. Thompson and the four others attention to the findings and recommendations made by PwC about the implementation of the SSNIT OBS also known as SSNIT software which they alleged cause a financial loss to the state.

This act, Charles Nii Koi said strengthens the position or suspicion that the whole attempt was a persecution and not an investigation.

He indicated that every good auditor will always draw attention to their findings and recommendations of the ones being investigated, asking “did this simple auditing principle apply?”

“Strangely, PwC receiving the US$500,000 from SSNIT for the audit of the OBS rather at the end of their investigations asked SSNIT to conduct an investigation over the issues being raised and seek legal advice on how to deal with the vendors- Perfect Business Systems and Silver Lake Consortium,” he bemoaned.