Corruption inflated cost of SSNIT’s $66m software – Franklin Cudjoe

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The Social Security and National Insurance Trust’s (SSNIT) $66 million dollar software may have cost as much because of the corruption in public sector procurement.

According to the President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe the software which could have cost less if local IT professionals had built it.

The Board of Trustees of SSNIT has begun investigations into how the former management acquired a BOS software System for $66 million.

The system was installed to network all branches of SSNIT nationwide to enhance efficiency but the current administration questioned the cost and have contractedPrice Water house to audit the transaction.

The Director General, Finance and Administration of software SSNIT, Mr. Michael Addo explained that investigations would throw more light into the purchase of the software.

Procurement shenanigans
Before the findings of the investigation come out, Mr. Cudjoe is quite confident procurement infractions will rear their head.

“This is one of those clear cases of procurement shenanigans. The whole procurement system that operates in the public sector is up for grabs by politicians and their acolytes in the public service.”

He said it would come as no surprise to him if it emerged that the software was procured under sole sourcing “or some other brutal tactics used to eliminated people who would have provided probably a lower cost service.”

This is another example of the waste in the public system when it comes to public procurement the IMANI Africa President stressed.

“In order not to conduct a cosmetic show, we should do a public cleansing of the entire ministry, department, and agencies of government to say that whenever they are procuring a service, we must be mindful that the law we have put in place could easily be abused.”

Mr. Cudjoe also urged the government to stand by its drive for local content and patronize local entrepreneurs to avoid such high costs as this service procured by SSNIT “could definitely have been done at a cheaper cost.”

“We shouldn’t be paying more than a million dollars for something like this every year. I think this year, we are going to fork out $10 million for something ordinary private IT companies in Ghana can bid for and then companies that will procure the services will pay so the government doesn’t have to bleed an extra 10 million for technology from an outsider.”

“We will be doing ourselves a great disservice if we do not give local IT entrepreneurs the opportunity to do these things for a fraction of the fee. There is a lot of talent in this town,” he stated.

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana