It has emerged that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) spent over $140 million [U$147,970,114.54] on its digitization project, dubbed “Operational Business Suite (OBS)”, and not $72 million as had been reported in the initial stages of what has become known as the SSNIT software scandal.

This was revealed in a report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), and sighted by

Despite injecting such amount, the report by PwC stated that the project in its current state has some core modules not fully functional.

Four persons, including the former Director-General of the SSNIT, Ernest Thompson, according to the SSNIT Board, have been charged for allegedly causing financial loss to the state following the Economic and Organised Crimes Office’s (EOCO) investigations into the OBS scandal.

SSNIT under Mr. Thompson allegedly embarked on a digitization drive which has been described as unreasonably expensive.

Original contract sum was $38 million

The initial contract sum was $38 million [$38,618,588.00], and was awarded to Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium,but some modifications supposedly bloated the amount astronomically.

The PwC report accused the management of SSNIT under which the project was undertaken as well as the board for poor monitoring leading to the company losing such huge sums of money.

“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 for OBS project

PwC in its report also revealed that about $27 million was paid some 140 staff who were engaged on contract basis for the execution of the OBS project.

Credit: Citinewsroom