The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) spent $66 million on the acquisition of a faulty software, nearly two times the price it had earlier on budgeted for.
Documents intercepted by Joy News revealed SSNIT had budgeted $34,011,914.21 in 2012 for the procurement of Operational Business Suite, a technology that would automate its processes.
The contract awarded to Perfect Business Solutions Limited included the provision of Pension Administration Solution, Mobile Registration Workstations, Desktop Registration Workstations, Biometric Solutions and Card Printers among others.
The deal was endorsed by two key officers of the Trust, the Director-General, Dr Frank Odoom and Acting Corporate Law Manager, Jaezi Orleans-Lindsay.
But four years after the deal was sealed and delivered, the cost shot up by $32 million.
Dr Odoom’s successor, Ernest Thompson has justified the $66 million expended on the OBS, saying it has brought relief to contributors and pensioners.
“Seriously speaking, it is not a very simple software,” he told Joy News Wednesday.
The software was officially launched in December, 2016 with an unveiling of a brand new biometric terminal at the Pension House in Accra.
The OBS was expected to cut down waiting time by fast-tracking registration of contributors at its offices.
Experts lauded the project but four years after the completion, the contract sum had shot up and the OBS has failed to meet expectation.
The document in possession of Joy News has indicated prices for some of the contracts components were changed during period of execution.
Though General Manager in charge of Finance at SSNIT, Michael Addo has admitted the Trust spent “quite a little bit of money” in the procurement of the software, he cautioned citizens against making judgment.
“There are few areas we are working to tighten it up, [but for] the cost it is best to wait for the outcome of the PWC (Price Water House Coopers),” he said.
IT expert, Maximus Ametorgoh told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday, the cost of the OBS is “too expensive.”
“Every Ghanaian is worried about how much a simple software to manage SSNIT and not the whole country will cost $66 million,” he lamented, saying he is facing challenges accessing his pension contributions.