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29 August 2017

Former SSNIT Boss rejects claim ‘expensive’ software not functioning

Immediate past Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson has debunked assertions that the controversial $72 million Operational Business Suite (OBS) system, is not functioning.

According to him, it is only one module of the system, the data module, that is having challenges.

The current Director-General Dr. John Kojo Ofori Tenkorang stated on Joy News’ programme UPFRONT that the entire system is non-functional despite the huge money spent on it.

He said the inability of the system to function fully is due to alterations to some functional changes as well as a change in the legal regime regulating their operations, Act 883, which necessitated the decision to make further changes to the software.

The cost of the contract which originally was $34million when it was awarded 2012 to Perfect Business Systems and Silver Lake Consortium has ballooned to $72million, raising questions about value for money amidst reports that the system has failed to work.

But speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday, August 26, 2017, former Director-General, Ernest Thompson said: “What I am aware of is that there is a challenge with one of the modules which depends on the data”.

“When I was in office we realised that that particular module was not giving us the correct figures that we wanted,” Mr. Thompson further explained while insisting that could not be a major challenge since “the data issue has always been a problem everywhere in the world”.

“If the registration module is not working, there is no way the government would have cleared the over 800,000 [names] that it said it has cleared,” the former D-G maintained.

He said Ghana is the only country south of the Sahara that has automated its pensions. 

According to him: “For the first time sub of the Sahara apart from Egypt, contributions are coming in straight from the banks”.

The Trust which is charged under the National Pensions Act 2008 Act 766 with the administration of Ghana’s Basic National Social Security Pension Scheme, dominated the headlines this week over the ward of IT contract meant to provide customers with convenient service delivery.

The primary responsibility is to replace part of lost income of workers in Ghana due to Old Age, Invalidity and permanent migration of an expatriate contributor from Ghana.

The Trust is also responsible to pay survivors Lump sum to nominated dependants of contributors in the event of death.

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