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Ernest Thompson, 3 others charged with causing financial loss over SSNIT scandal

Former Director General of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson and three others have been indicted and charged with willfully causing financial loss to the State in the company’s scandalous IT saga.

The four were charged by EOCO following investigations into the scandalous procurement of Operations Business Suite by SSNIT said to have cost the company 70 million dollars as against the official contract sum of 34.40 million dollars.

READ: EOCO throws searchlight on SSNIT software contractor

Mr. Thompson, Juliet Korama (owner of the IT company at the centre of the saga) as well as two former management members of SSNIT John Haggan Mensah, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo have been cautioned and referred to the Attorney General.

A total of five persons were initially arrested but one of them, Sampson Owusu, was left free after investigations by the EOCO as only four of them were cautioned on the charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

“After investigations, the office [EOCO] preferred charges of wilfully causing financial loss to the state against these suspects,” a letter from EOCO to SSNIT stated.

READ: SSNIT sacks discredited IT boss

Chairman of SSNIT, Addo Kufuor said Wednesday that the SSNIT board and management have had “deep interaction” and that the suspects were expected to be at the Attorney General’s Department probably Wednesday, April 18.

“This document is from EOCO; we are not pushing anything under the carpet. We are working very seriously so don’t think SNNIT is conniving with anybody,” he assured.

He vowed that his tenure will not superintend over any irregularities, saying “I will make sure that irregularities don’t go on.”

The investigations by EOCO followed a February 24, 2017-complaint from SSNIT which alleged procurement breaches in the award of contract to Perfect Business Systems (PBS).

SSNIT claimed an amount of 70 million dollars was paid to PBS in respect of the controversial Operations Business Suite as against the original contract sum of 64.40 million dollars.

At the time of completion of the project, SSNIT had paid the contractor the sum of 66.8 million dollars and additional GHC36 million.

Independent audit

Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCoopers on Wednesday presented its report on an independent review and baseline study on SSNIT to the company’s management.

The audit covered the Trust’s internal control assessment, HR functions effectiveness and finances.

Michael Asiedu, Team Lead of PricewaterhouseCoopers said “We did identified certain gaps and also identified certain areas that we believe there were strong systems in place”.

He said they had given recommendations in the 340-paged report, which if implemented, would make SSNIT competitive.

Dr. Addo Kufuor who received the report said it will provide the basis for the Board and Management to access the adequacy and effectiveness of existing processes, systems and infrastructure in relation to the vision and strategy of the new leadership team.

“Let me emphasise with all the authority I can muster that the current board and management take our responsibilities very seriously” he assured.

SSNIT, he said has been accused of “improper management practices, imprudent investment, financial irregulaties and other anti social activities which collectively acted as drain on the resources of the Trust”

In the last year, he said, they have worked hard towards reversing all those things that had given SSNIT bad image.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

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