SSNIT spent $140m on ‘partially functional’ digitization project

In a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), it accused the management and board of SSNIT which oversaw the project of poor monitoring leading to the company losing such huge sums of money.

This is shocking especially after it was earlier reported that $72 million was used in what has become known as the SSNIT software scandal.

“The OBS project faced significant challenges as a result of inadequate project governance and management. Key project management principles of monitoring and evaluation were poorly exercised by the project team. For instance, the project closure reports were signed off as satisfactory even though certain contractual features had not been deployed. In other instances payments were made more than once for the same item. An SLA payment was made in advance when items had not yet been delivered,” the report stated.

215 contract staff recruited instead of 140

In the PwC report, it was also revealed that 140 staff were engaged on contract basis for the execution of the project. The 140 staff were paid $27.

It further added that even though the OBS project team requested for 140 contract staff, the number was increased by 75 additional people rendering them redundant.

“The OBS project team requested for 140 contract staff, however, 215 staff were recruited, an excess of 75 staff. The additional 75 staff who were unsuccessful at the interview for the OBS project, were deployed to various offices of the Trust without being interviewed to determine their capability for the specific roles assigned to them,” the report added.

Although they invested a huge amount into the project, PwC stated that the project still has some core modules not fully functional.

They include the contribution, compliance and prosecution, benefits module, registration module, business intelligence and Enterprise buss module [not implemented].

PwC recommended that further investigation be conducted and called for the prosecution of staff found culpable.

It also recommended that measures should be put in place to retrieve monies expended without the proportionate work done.

“The Trust should further investigate the issues identified in this report and subsequently seek legal advice to pursue the vendor to implement the outstanding solutions/modules or refund monies in respect of unfulfilled contractual obligations. In addition, where the investigations reveal complicity on the part of any staff, appropriate actions should be taken against such individuals.”

The 5 persons, include the former Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson, and 3 others also from SSNIT.

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

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