Former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Prof Joshua Alabi, has asserted that the Operational Business Suite (OBS) contract awarded by the Trust had a purpose to serve and as such sees nothing wrong with it.
“I see nothing wrong with that particular contract… it was meant for something so nobody has said it was wrong,” he told GhanaWeb Editor, Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng.
Taking his turn on ’21 minutes with KKB,’ a flagship programme of GhanaWeb Prof Alabi noted that the board only approved the budget for the contract which management had already submitted to the right place (Procurement Authority) for approval.
“…so what they repackaged and what was approved by the Procurement Authority, they brought the figure, they kept it in their budget and the board as usual we approve budgets. We’re not technically good enough to argue over what the procurement authority did”.
According to Prof Alabi, the board queried management of the Trust when they found out there was overspending in the acquisition of the infamous software.
“They overspent, and we queried them, and we told them that next time before you go beyond the budget make sure you seek the board’s approval.”
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 $32 million.
The exponential addition was attributed to the procurement of additional equipment including servers and flash drivers and headsets.
After investigations the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) cited Former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Ernest Thompson and three others for causing financial loss to the state in the award of the contract.
The other three are former Head of IT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo; former OBS project manager; John Hagan Mensah and Juliet Hasana Kramah of IT company, Perfect Business Systems.
Five persons were initially picked up by the police including one Thomas Samson Owusu but four have been cautioned and are to face prosecution for willfully causing financial loss to the state, aspects of a report by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), reveal.
The revelation was made at a press conference called by SSNIT to receive the findings of an investigation conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers into the OBS saga.