A former Board Chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Professor Joshua Alabi has revealed his board commissioned an audit into the controversial Operational Business Suite (OBS) contract after it noticed there was overpricing.
Some four officials of SSNIT including the Director-General Ernest Thompson are facing charges of wilfully causing financial loss to the state in the procurement of the OBS at $72million to digitize the Trust’s operations—but the software reportedly was not fully functional.
It was discovered last year following the change of government that the Trust settled for the procurement of the OBS software at $72million although it received tenders to undertake the project at much cheaper prices including $9 million.
A document on the deal indicates that the eventual winner of the contract bid produced a tender price of $27,610,792 but that was reviewed to 34, 011,914.21 after the General Services Manager of SSNIT identified arithmetic errors in the tender of the eventual winner, Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium.
Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium was chosen out of the total of 10 companies and joint venture responded to the tender by the October 19, 2011 deadline.
Perfect Business System’s $34million was almost nine times the amount presented by Persol Systems, about $4million.
Sambus Company Limited presented the second least bid price of $9.8 million.
After the deal between SSNIT and Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Consortium was sealed in 2012, the cost of the project increased by about $32million.
The increase was attributed to the procurement of additional equipment including servers and flash drivers and headsets.
Speaking on Morning Starr Monday, Professor Alabi said the audit was necessary because the board felt the state was being short-changed as the contract figure approved by the National Procurement Authority and captured in the Trust’s budget was not what was presented to the board.
“What happened and what came to our (Board) attention was that management went beyond that figure and they came for what we call the ratification and the board pulled it down,” he told Francis Abban host of Morning Starr.
“When we detected it (overpricing), what we told them was that we want to commission an audit into the whole project.
“We were not happy that the pricing went overboard,” he added.