Ernest Thompson, others to face prosecution

Ernest Thompson

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has indicted four persons, including Mr Ernest Thompson, the former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for causing financial loss to the state in the Operating Business Suite (OBS) contract.

The other three are former Head of IT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo; former OBS project manager; John Hagan Mensah and Mrs Juliet Hasana Kramah of IT company, Perfect Business Systems were charged in the $72 million OBS contract.

Initially, five persons were arrested by the police including one Thomas Samson Owusu but four have been cautioned and are to face prosecution for wilfully causing financial loss to the State.

Dr Addo Kuffour, the Board Chairman of SSNIT, speaking at a press conference to receive the outcome of a baseline audit report of the Trust conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, commended the team for a good work done in submitting the report on time.

The independent review and baseline assessment was commissioned by SSNIT following the assumption of office the new Board and Director-General in the first quarter of 2017.

The object of the review is to assess the financial status of the Trust as well as its existing system as and it is anchored on four area namely: IT Review, Internal Control Assessment, Human Resource Function Effectiveness Review and Independent Financial Review.

He said the Board would take their responsibility seriously and it was with that, they engaged the PricewaterhouseCoopers to create greater credibility at the Trust.

“We will continue to collaborate with all security agencies to correct some of the wrong at the Trust,” he added.

He said Board and Management had come out with a policy to work closely with organised labour in the best interest of pensioners and contributors in general.

The 340 plus page report presented to the Board and Management of SSNIT had five sessions of the areas to review and it has findings, conclusions and recommendations.

On the IT Review, it was concluded that the project team did not ensure that all the requirement of the OBS project has been met in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract.

The report explained that the project team signed off on certain key milestones even though the corresponding contractual requirement had not been deployed, payments were approved for change orders, which were already included in the contracts.

It recommended that the Trust should further investigate the issues identified in the report and subsequent seek legal advice to pursue the vendor to implement the outstanding solutions and modules or refund monies in respect of unfulfilled contractual obligations.

It also said SSNIT may consider replacing the Pension Administration Solution together with the relevant matching hardware due to the fact that the potentially significant costs may be incurred without the commensurate benefits.

In the area of Human Resource Function Effectiveness Review, the report said the Trust needed to enhance career management and succession planning to ensure that for each functional area and key positions, there were experienced staffs in line for succession.

The report also recommended that the Trust should consider redesigning the HR structure to provide a balanced attention to talent management, HR operations and HR development.

Dr John Kojo Ofori Tenkorang, the Director-General of SSNIT, said the Trust had been able to make a major saving on the payroll of pensioners and urged the public that management would continue to tighten the system to block the leakages.

Source: GNA

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