SSNIT OBS Deal Must Be cancelled – Franklin Cudjoe

SSNIT OBS Deal Must Be cancelled – Franklin Cudjoe

President of one Africa’s notable think tanks, IMANI Africa, wants a procurement deal that has been the subject of a corruption scandal at Ghana’s pensions trust to be abrogated.

Franklin Cudjoe said there are better alternatives to the Operational Business System (OBS) that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) have spent at least $70 million on.

The cost of the project that is expected to improve transaction between SSNIT and pensioners has been described as over and above the market price for similar systems.

“I am submitting to SSNIT that they should actually discontinue this process. If the current administration is doing it, they should stop and look out for mobile platforms.

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“After all, why spend more in excess of $100 million pensioners money in order to make them access information about their pensions. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

He made the comments on MultiTV’s current affairs programme, PM Express, on Thursday evening

The immediate past Director-General of the Trust, Mr Ernest Thompson, and the three other top executives have been indicted in an investigative report by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) which cited them for causing financial loss to the state.

The other three are former Head of MIT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo; former OBS project Manager, John Hagan Mensah and Juliet Hasana Kramah of IT company, Perfect Business Systems which executed the contract.

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, has said her office is currently studying the docket of the case brought forward by EOCO before formal charges will be made against the indicted persons.

The problem

Mr Cudjoe said the scandal at SSNIT is evidence of a bigger problem at the Trust, which according to him has become a cash-cow.

“If they take 1 cedi of your money, they spend 40 pesewas on themselves and because they have very bad investment structures, they have so much to spend and play with. Otherwise, this whole project was not needed.

He believes SSNIT could have easily integrated pensioners’ information into the Controller and Accountant General’s systems as has been done for salaries of public servants.

The scandal

SSNIT settled on a tender that quoted $72 million for the software that is supposed to automate all the core processes in the administration of pension,  although it received tenders to undertake the project at much cheaper prices including $9 million.

A tender price of $27,610,792 was initially quoted, but  Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium, the bid winners reviewed to 34, 011,914.21 after the General Services Manager of SSNIT identified arithmetic errors in the tender.

This figure was many times more than what Persol Systems’ – about $4million. Sambus Company Limited presented the second least bid price, $9.8 million.

After the deal between SSNIT and Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium was sealed in 2012, the cost of the project increased by about $32million.

The exponential addition was attributed to the procurement of additional equipment including servers and flash drivers and headsets.

Watch the full video of Thursday’s PM Express below.

 


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