Politics of Sat, 21 Apr 201813
SSNIT OBS saga: Silver Lake, PBS rip PwC audit report
Malaysian information technology firm, Silverlake Group and its Ghanaian partners, Perfect Business Systems (PBS) have mounted a strong defence over issues emanating from the controversial Operational Business System (OBS) that the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) awarded them.
The two firms in a joint statement, criticised auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for failing to seek the side of the auditee, PBS, before going public with its report.
The audit report submitted to SSNIT Wednesday noted several irregularities in the award and execution of the OBS suite project.
Three other former SSNIT management staff including immediate past Director-General, Ernest Thompson, Head of IT Department, Caleb Kwaku Afaglo and former OBS project manager John Hagan Mensah, are facing similar charges.
But in a 25-page document detailing the execution of the controversial $72 million contract, Silverlake and PBS debunk the PwC based on which PBS CEO, Juliet Hasana Kramah, has been recommended for prosecution by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) for causing financial loss to the state.
Details of the document are published below:
Comments on the PWC Audit Report on the SSNIT OBS Project
Contribution partially operating as intended/requirements in contract partially met. Payment advice printed multiple times on the same day does not display the same penalty amount; and 1. This issue was detected by the users in June 2017 in the normal system usage.
2. A log was made to the vendors’ service desk for resolution by SSNIT.
3. The program MB20020 was fixed and deployed to the SSNIT UAT (test) environment on August 7, 2017, for SSNIT to test and provide feedback to the vendors.
4. It is unfortunate to state that since the program MB20020 was deployed to the SSNIT UAT environment on August 7, 2017, the program has not been tested by SSNIT let alone providing feedback to the vendors for deployment in the production environment.
5. As the corrected program MB20020 has not been deployed in the production environment, users will continue to experience the challenge.
6. Therefore, PWC should get SSNIT to test the program MB20020 and provide feedback to the vendors for deployment.
7. The answer should be sought from SSNIT as to why SSNIT has not tested the program nine (9) months since it was deployed to the UAT (test) environment and turned around complaining.
In some cases, penalty amounts on Contribution Payment Advice issued to Employers differ from the penalty amount on the Payment Receipting Screen used by the Casher in receiving payments. 1. This issue was detected by the users in the normal system usage in May 2017.
2. A log was made to the vendors’ service desk for resolution by SSNIT.
3. The program MB26028 was fixed and deployed to the SSNIT UAT environment on July, 25, 2017 for testing by SSNIT and provide feedback to the vendors for deployment. 4. It is sad to state that since the program MB26028 was deployed to the SSNIT UAT environment on 25th July 25, 2017 the program has not been tested by SSNIT let alone providing feedback to the vendors for deployment in the production environment.
5. As the corrected program MB26028 has not been deployed in the production environment, users will continue to experience the challenge.
6. Therefore, PWC should get SSNIT to test the program MB26028 and provide feedback to the vendors for deployment.
7. The answer should be sought from SSNIT as to why SSNIT has not tested the program ten (10) months since it was deployed to the UAT (test) environment and turned around complaining.
Compliance and Prosecution System
Information displayed in the ‘Certificate of Acceptance” (COA) report sometimes does not reflect the information displayed in the Contribution module and other areas within the Compliance module such as the ‘Establishment Penalty Computation’ report of selected employers. 1. In the MANTIS0000940 (this is a tool for logging issues) of the Compliance System, SSNIT indicated that the system should exclude an adjusted member from all processing such as Contribution Summary, Certificate of Acceptance and others.
2. However, SSNIT again changed its mind for the exclusions to be included on February 7, 2017.
3. The program was fixed, tested by SSNIT and was subsequently promoted to the production environment on May 12, 2017.
4. No complaint has been received from SSNIT since the amended program was fixed and deployed to production.
5. It is therefore strange that an issue that has been fixed and deployed to production environment since May 12, 2017 could be reported as an issue.
Errors in penalty charges on Payment Advices to Employers SSNIT has currently suspended inclusion of penalty charges on Payment Advices to Employers due to these errors.
1. The promotion of the program MB20020 to the production environment will resolve this challenge.
2. Therefore, PWC should get SSNIT to test the program MB20020 and provide feedback to the vendors for deployment.
3. The answer should be sought from SSNIT as to why SSNIT has not tested the program nine months since it was deployed to the UAT (test) environment and turned around complaining.
Application approvals is permitted even when the number of months is less than the minimum required;
1. Upon lodgment and computation of benefits application, the pensioner was eligible for pension entitlement, however, the contribution histories were adjusted and fall short just before the approval action.
2. This is exceptional scenario only brought to our attention in January 2018 when SSNIT engaged the Perfect Business Systems and Silverlake Team.
3. SSNIT was requested to raise the issue on the vendor service desk as per the procedure and provide the supporting information for further investigation and resolution if required.
4. We are still waiting for SSNIT to raise the issue at the vendor service desk with the supporting documentation.
5. Until this is done investigation cannot proceed.
6. PWC should, therefore, get SSNIT to log the issue at the vendor service desk as per the procedure.
Medical board assessments are nullified when invalidity pension applications are rolled back to the branch. Officers are required to reschedule the medical board appointment again OBS; 1. This issue was logged and discussed in Mantis log #1182 & #1199 in July 2017 during UAT testing for Emigration Benefits with reference to the special handling for rollback and re-promote scenarios that rarely happen.
2. The Emigration Benefits is still in the SSNIT UAT as since July 2017 as testing has not been completed by SSNIT.
3. Once testing is completed and the Emigration Benefits module migrated to production the issue will be resolved.
4. Therefore, PWC should engage SSNIT to speed up the testing Emigration Benefits module.
Unclaimed benefits (i.e. Pensions returned to SSNIT by the banks) cannot be captured in OBS. These unclaimed benefits are therefore not included in the computation of survivor’s lump sum benefit
1. This situation came about because SSNIT could not provide the format for electronically loading the payments return transactions on the system during the system implementation stage.
2. The issue was subsequently raised (Mantis Log 987) of which the system integration testing (SIT) is ongoing.
3. Once the SIT has been completed the functionality shall be delivered for UAT testing by SSNIT and subsequently to the production environment.
Applications which are not duplicates are tagged erroneously as ‘’ suspected duplicates’’
1. The statement is inaccurate.
2. In the registration and re-enrolment modules, the application goes for one-to-many identification (1: N) in order to identify suspected duplicates and eliminate duplicate transactions.
3. In order to achieve that, there is a deduplication threshold set in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
4. In the process of matching of the application and the master record, there could be a hit on the threshold or matching score and this will go into Suspect Duplicate which is a standard AFIS process.
5. There is an adjudication functionality on the system for overriding the process. This is therefore not an error but a standard AFIS process which was agreed with SSNIT during the project implementation.
6. Therefore, this could not be said to be error and as such the statement by PWC is inaccurate.
Business Intelligence Not operating as intended due to complex data structures, incomplete and inaccurate underlying data
1.0 Complex data structures a. In the MSSQL server Data Warehouse designed and developed, it is clearly constructed for each of the following functional modules:
a. Registration, biometrics, document scan, contribution, benefits, compliance, RCM and Prosecution
b. The complex data structure has been considered and successfully structured in star-schemas for multi-dimensional analysis. This is in the form of SSAS OLAP cubes, which is part of MS SQL Server.
c. ETL’s (Extract, Transform and Load) with SSIS has been implemented for the Data Warehouse in such a manner that the complex data structure from the original data sources, is being mapped into simple dimensional modelling for the end-user to interact.
d. The SSAS cubes can be accessed using the Performa BI Tool for multi-dimensional analysis. In additional, Dashboards were developed to further enhance the user in an analysis of the various functional areas such as - registration and contribution modules, contribution and benefits modules, etc.
2. The accuracy of data been affected has been isolated to the following: a. It was observed that in a few cases, the server was restarted manually. We do not know by which party. However, upon restarting the server, the proper procedure was not followed.
b. E.g. The services were properly set to run after the Restart. If any services, i.e. The MSSQL server, SSAS services are not running, it will affect and fail the ETL schedule. This need to maintain and verify once the server is being restarted.
c. The ETL process is daily run, starting at midnight every day. However, if there is a maintenance work for source database (IBM I and Oracle source servers), starting from Friday night to Sunday. This means that the daily ETL will be compromised, as there is no ETL for Friday midnight and Saturday midnight.
d. The challenges with the SSNIT legacy data.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
a. This statement is completely false.
b. In the PBS-Silverlake solution as captured in the tender response, the solution for the enterprise service bus is the Delivery Service Protocol.
c. The architecture below provides the technical architecture of the solution deployed at SSNIT. It could be inferred from the architecture that the enterprise service bus was implemented using the Delivery Service Protocol (DSP) solution.
d. It is erroneous and inaccurate for anyone including PWC to indicate that it was not implemented.
e. The OBS integrate a number of other solution into one complete solution as depicted in the diagram below. It is impossible for the system to function and the various solutions talking to each other if the enterprise service bus was not implemented.
f. The DSP consists of an individual component that provides an application-to-application communication that intricately ties networking, messaging and applications.
g. The DSP has the ability to scale and add new Distribution Channels in short timescales and to make critical information available to each of these channels.
h. The DSP supports standard external protocols to enable rapid, simple and consistent links to internal (Silverlake specific) and external parties. The system is also simplified and enriched the application program interfaces (APIs) to facilitate linking of applications and processes.
i. The DSP consists of the following agents: • Communication Agent. This facilitates communication between different network connections and protocol. Supported protocols include TCP/IP, LU0, etc
• Presentation Agent. This facilitates presentation or translation of messages. Supported standards include ISO8583, etc.
• Routing Agent/Transaction Manager. This facilitates routing of messages between systems.
• Recovery Agent. This facilitates recovery of transactions that involve multiple systems.
• System Manager Agent. This facilitates management and automation of system jobs.
• Reconciliation Agent. This facilitates reconciliation with source systems
• Security Agent. This facilitates encryption of messages to ensure security.
k. This could have easily been verified if the PWC Audit team had interacted with the right and competent technical staff from SSNIT.
l. It is a known fact that all the SSNIT technical personnel on the project who had been transferred were not contacted by the PWC team.
m. Therefore, no competent technical person worth his or her salt will arrive at such conclusion. It is only an ignorant person that will arrive at such conclusion.
The development of the Functional Change Document (which sets out the gap between the vendor’s base software and the requirement of SSNIT) was done mainly based on interactions with users without recourse to the requirement in the signed contract documents. This resulted in differences between the FCD and the contract requirements. As a result, some retirements listed in the contract were e not captured in the in the deployed OBS application. This is a significant contributory factor for the gaps in the deployed applications. 1. The requirements that were stated in the contract were high level which needed to detail through the development of user (functional and non-functional) specification document.
2. In the industry, software good software can only be developed using the detailed requirements of the user, design documentation and other related documents such as systems analysis document among others.
3. The SSNIT tender required that the vendor implements the OBS from a base system through customization meaning the system should exist. Therefore, it was necessary to undertake a system walkthrough in order to develop the detailed user requirements using the base system of the vendors.
4. The product of the walkthrough was functional specification documents also referred to as functional change documents for the various modules of the OBS.
5. The development of the functional specification document was undertaken with a cross section of the SSNIT stakeholders including technical (IT), finance, Legal, operations, benefits, investment among auditors among others.
6. The team leaders included the technical IT staff who drafted the OBS contract and were part of the contract negotiations. The same individual signed off the two of the key modules (Benefits and Contributions).
7. During the development of the functional specification documents, users kept on referring to the contract documents. It is therefore erroneous for PWC to state that the functional specification documents were developed without recourse to the OBS contract.
Under OBS change Order 7, 70% of SLA for IBM equipment costing US$450,688.29 was paid in advance even before the equipment was delivered to SSNIT. Standard practice requires that service level agreement should only become active subsequent to the installation and hand over of equipment
It is not unusual in the industry to pay for the cost of SLA before products are delivered. In fact manufacturers of high-end systems such as those deployed under Change Order 7 requires vendors to pay for SLAs in advance. It is important for PWC to check those known industry facts with manufacturers before making conclusions that are not based on facts.
OBS change order 4 to 6 were implemented before approval was sought from the Central Tender Review Board (CTRB) by the then DG. Example – request for payment letter dated November 24, 2015 and Goods Received Note dated November 21, 2014 indicated that the Change Order equipment/Services had been supplied one year before approval was sought from the CTRB. Details of the Change Orders and the dates on which the equipment were received by SSNIT is shown below:
1. The delivery note of 0003778 was dated March 19, 2014, and the award letter was issued on January 27, 2014. The change order 4 was within the threshold of the Director General and therefore approved.
2. This statement is completely false.
3. Change order 5 included the supply of 1.3million cards and the award letter was dated June 10, 2014. The approval from Central Tender Review Board (CTRB) had been sought in May/June 2014.
4. The cards were delivered in phases and the said good delivery notes (0002663, 0002651 and 0002019) were part of the 1.3million cards of which approval had earlier been received from CTRB and award letter issued on June 10, 2014.
5. The statement is therefore completely false.
There is no evidence that a contract award letter was issued to PBS on the OBS Change request amounting to US$9,536,652.00 1. The OBS change request was for the provision of additional functionalities as requested by the users through their General Managers.
2. The respective General Managers or their authorized representative signed for those change requests.
3. These were part of the OBS contract requesting for additional functionalities.
4. The change requests were further approved by the Board of Trustees and since the functionalities were part of an ongoing contract, no further award letter was necessary.
Payment to PBS for OBS change Requests included an amount of US$686,800.0o for 808 man days in respect of Contingency. It is unusual for payment to include events that have not occurred. We are unable to confirm if the services have been obtained for the contingency payment. 1. It is important to note from the comment from PWC that they were unable to confirm if those services had been obtained.
2. This, therefore, implies that if the PWC team had engaged the project team including the former DG and the vendors the needed information would have been provided.
Project Implementation Items/ features catalogued in OBS Contract but not deployed
Messaging and Collaboration The OBS contract under section 126.96.36.199 requested the vendor to integrate SSNIT’s Microsoft Lync 2010 (messaging and collaboration solution) with the portal. However, the messaging and collaboration solution has not been integrated with the intranet portal. 1. The OBS solution was implemented based on the detailed functional specification documents developed for the various modules and signed off by SSNIT officials.
2. In addition, in an OBS Steering Committee meeting with the vendors in May 2013, SSNIT indicated that the OBS will be implemented and confirmed based on the functional specification documents for the various modules.
3. The minutes of meeting is available for confirmation. All the functionalities as contained in the functional specification documents were provided.
4. Therefore, the statement from PWC is inaccurate.
ESB (Integration and Interoperability Included in the OBS contract is an amount of US$1,000,000.00 for the ESB solution. This feature was to facilitate the seamless integration of application and aid the exchange of information between SSNIT’s applications as well as with external partners. Even though this amount has been paid to the vendor, the solution has not been implemented leading to internal applications such as Oracle FMS not seamlessly integrated with OBS. (A manual download – Upload method is currently being used for the exchange of information between these systems) 1. The statement is completely false. This has been provided and refer to the write up on the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) above. 2. In the implementation of the OBS SSNIT was using SUN System as the financial system. The OBS was to be integrated with the SUN system based on SSNIT requirements. This was implemented as per the stated requirements.
3. Later SSNIT implemented the Oracle Financial Management system and defined new integration requirements.
4. The implementation of then new requirements will require work at the Oracle Financial Management System by SSNIT which is yet to be done.
Integration with External Partners The contract required an integration with external partners, such as Government of Ghana, Student Loans Trust and National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA). This has not been implemented, however, an additional US$119,000.00 was charged as a change request for the integration of Student Loans Trust Fund and paid on 9 December 2016. 1. The statement is completely false.
2. In the contract, SSNIT provided examples of state agencies which should be integrated with the OBS.
3. The National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) among other agencies were not ready for integration and SSNIT is fully aware of this.
4. On the part of the integration with the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), SSNIT provided the requirement for the integration which was provided and deployed in the UAT.
5. In subsequent meetings with SSNIT and SLTF additional requirements were provided by SSNIT requesting for more functionalities other than had been agreed.
6. These new requirements are chargeable as per industry practice and PWC should be aware of this. The mount US$119,000 is not an amount that had already been paid for.
7. PWC could have educated itself by requesting for the original integration document and the changes by SSNIT and SLTF.
8. The statement, therefore, is completely false.
The OBS contract requested the vendor to implement a solution to enable management of SSNIT access information such as reports and notification on smartphones for timely decision making. This solution was also to synchronize emails, calendar and other functions on mobile devices. The solution was not implemented. 1. The statement is completely false.
2. Every requirement as captured in the functional specification document as signed off was implemented. PWC should refer to the functional specification document for the Portal.
A two-way mobile portal was to be developed as per the contract to enable customers interact with SSNIT. The mobile portal from our inspection has not been developed. We visited the external web portal www.info.ssnit.org.gh and noted that the website was built for desktop resolution and has not been mobile friendly. 1. The statement is completely false. 2. Every requirement as captured in the functional specification document as signed off was implemented. 3. PWC should refer to the functional specification document for the Portal.
Items / features catalogued in OBS contract but Paid again as Change Request
The following change requests were paid for even though these items had already been included in the contract. The contract required a functionality for receiving payment via approved electronic payment cards (eg. Ezwich, Via, Europay, MasterCard) either at the branch or portal. Currently, payment via electronic cards cannot be received via the OBs application. This requirement was subsequently submitted as a change request costing US$ 323,000.0o0.
1. This statement is completely false.
2. The requirement in the change order is in relation to mobile money platform and integration with the OBS.
3. The mobile money platform is required to integrate with electronic payment platforms such as Ezwich, Visa, Europay, or Mastercard.
4. This functionality was not part of the OBS contract and therefore chargeable. The statement from PWC is completely false. Per the contract, one of the functional requirement for the Benefits Administration & pension payment was for a capability to add new ‘benefit types’ by an authorized user. Currently, users are unable to define new Benefit types. A change request for the definition of ‘Emigration’ benefit was submitted by SSNIT and subsequently paid for at a cost of US$ 2,006,000.
1. This statement is completely false.
2. In January 2018, during an engagement meeting with SSNIT with the vendors (both local and foreign partners) for a period of 1 week in Accra, at the instance of SSNIT, this issue was thoroughly explained to SSNIT.
3. The issue is further explained as follows:
a. New benefits types can be defined in the OBS system and if they can ride on the existing benefits workflow and computation processes, some settings can be done at the system to enable the use of the new benefits types without customization or with minimal customizations to the system.
b. In the case of Emigration benefits, there are differences in requirements with the normal benefits types. Some of which are listed below:
i. New application form with new fields to be entered into the system.
ii. New database and parameter files and fields to cater for the new fields.
iii. New screens to cater for the additional fields related to emigration details.
iv. New benefits type for Emigration for Pensioner on Pension Payroll which does not have the matching benefits type in the normal set of benefits.
v. New benefits type for Emigration lumpsum to cater for emigrant who is less than the retirement age and/or did not made the minimum contribution months.
vi. Different computation formula for a pension which is to be computed as lump sum payment.
vii. Hence, a new set of emigration pension computation programs are required to be developed.
viii. Different set of outgoing payment interface file to ACH.
ix. Additional handling for system to deactivate active pension payroll during the computation of emigration for a pensioner on pension payroll.
x. Different format of payment advice for emigration benefits.
xi. Different handling of local address and abroad address.
xii. Different format of exportable Excel spreadsheet for computation details.
This statement could only be made because of the lack of appreciation of the OBS system by the PWC team.
Items/features catalogued in OBS contract but Paid again as Change Order The items below were included as part of the contract, however, change order were raised and paid for the same items. Supply and installation of 2 HP DL385P Gen 8servers (Avaya) 28,500.00 1. This statement is completely false.
2. The original contract included the supply of 2 HP ProLiant DL 360 GL Servers.
3. The servers per contract were supplied on March 5, 2013 with serial numbers as follows: a. CZ32461PFJ b. CZ33036E2D Also included were the accessories of the servers.
4. It must also be stated that the primary document that gave rise to the tender and the subsequent contract was the tender documents and the addendum issued by SSNIT.
5. Therefore, the OBS contract can be appreciated if the tender documents that set out the SSNIT requirements are read first.
6. In the SSNIT tender, at page 85 of the main tender documents and page 61 of the addendum under the heading “Hardware & Operating System Environment” of the addendum to the tender documents, it was stated that SSNIT was building a data centre with some IT infrastructure.
7. SSNIT indicated that the OBS solution will be deployed on those servers.
8. The specifications of the PBS-Silverlake solution were outlined in the tender response.
9. It must be stated that SSNIT did not indicate the number of servers to be deployed at the data centre.
10. In the implementation of the contact centre, the vendors requested two additional servers from SSNIT is an addition to those that had been supplied per contract for the implementation.
11. The servers had lower specifications that what was required for the implementation.
12. Therefore, SSNIT felt that the fastest way to procure servers meeting the specifications was without impacting on the project timelines was through changer order 1 issued on September 24, 2013, for two additional servers.
13. These two servers were supplied on November 22, 2013 with the following serial numbers a. CZ233808LT b. CZ233808LP
14. It is therefore completely false that those servers were part of the contract.
15. A little verification of the goods delivery note by the PWC team would have provided the basic facts.
Supply and Installation of specified hardware and upgrade of servers - 2,292,048.23
1. This statement is completely false.
2. It must also be stated that the primary document that gave rise to the tender and the subsequent contract was the tender documents and the addendum issued by SSNIT.
3. Therefore, the OBS contract can be appreciated if the tender documents that set out the SSNIT requirements are read first.
4. In the SSNIT tender, on page 87 of the main tender documents and page 61 of the addendum under the heading “Hardware & Operating System Environment” of the addendum to the tender documents, it was stated that SSNIT was building a data centre with some IT infrastructure.
5. SSNIT indicated that the OBS solution will be deployed on those servers.
6. The specifications of the PBS-Silverlake solution were outlined in the tender response.
7. It must be stated that SSNIT did not indicate the number of servers to be deployed at the data centre.
8. The servers that had been already deployed at the SSNIT data centre prior to the implementation of the OBS solution was thirty-one in total and they were HS22 IBM servers.
9. The architecture of the vendor OBS solution was included in the tender.
10. Per contract the cost of the vendors included only one (1) server which is the IBM P720 for the OBS backend solution and was duly supplied.
11. During the implementation the technical teams of the vendors and SSNIT discussed the technical architecture.
12. It was observed that the servers at the Data centre were not adequate in both specification and quantity.
13. In order for the OBS solution to be implemented smoothly SSNIT needed to procure 36 additional servers (HS23) and Upgrade existing 24 server to the required specification.
14. This was brought to the attention of SSNIT.
15. A memo was submitted through the then General Manager MIS to the then Director General in August 2013.
16. The DG requested the issue to be discussed at the OBS steering committee before his consideration.
17. At the OBS steering committee on 2nd October, 2013 (minutes are available) the issue was referred to the SSNIT MIS Managers as it was a technical subject.
18. The MIS Managers (all departmental managers within the MIS Division) met on issue and agreed that the request was in order as the items were not part of the scope of the OBS in a meeting held on 3rd October, 2013 (minutes available).
19. Thereafter, the then Head of MIS submitted the outcome of the meeting and resubmitted the memo on the specified hardware on 7th October, 2013 to the then DG for approval and subsequent approval of the Central Tender Review Board. Contract award letter was subsequently, issued to the vendor on October 17, 2013.
20. It is obvious that the PWC team was not aware of the facts or simply ignored the fact and came up with such baseless conclusion.
21. The statement from the PWC team is therefore completely false.
Supply of Avaya headsets - 12,469.80 1. The supply of the Avaya headsets were not part of the scope and therefore had to be provided at a cost.
Data Centre Infrastructure SSNIT currently uses a demo license instead of a permanent license for the ‘high availability’’ failover for the storage infrastructure, resulting in the inability to switch from the primary data center to the Disaster recovery site.
1. The procurement of the services and solution did not include the license to implement the high availability solution on the IBM E870.
2. This was brought to the attention of the current Director General in 2017 of which invoices were submitted to that effect.
3. The demo license will be changed to permanent license after SSNIT had purchased the required license.
Reporting The vendor response in section 2 of the OBS Contract includes the provision of all reporting requirements. However, most of the deployed OBSS modules do not have reporting functionalities. SSNIT therefor resorted to the use of the BI solution to generate the needed reports. This resulted in an additional cost of US$612,500 for 350 additional user license for the BI modules.
1. On page 111 under the reporting solution of the contract documents, SSNIT indicated that it was going to implement the standard and operational reports through the reporting solution which is the Business Intelligence module of the OBS.
2. Notwithstanding this most of the modules have standard and operational reports with the exception of compliance module.
3. The reports of the Compliance module in addition to rest of the modules were implemented in the Business Intelligence (BI) solution.
4. Later SSNIT requested for additional license for 350 users for the BI because more users wanted to access the BI module and this was provided at a cost.
5. Therefore, the point being made by the PWC Audit team cannot be comprehended or appreciated.
User Acceptance Test (UAT) The following issues were identified from the UAT a. Critical issues detected from the UAT were not all closed before the application was promoted to the live environment; and
1. The OBS phase 2 was cutover to production on 27th July, 2015.
2. The UAT members who had earlier been trained by the vendors through a train-the-trainer concept trained all the SSNIT users prior to the cutover.
3. During the implementation a tool known as Mantis was implemented where all issues were logged. The cutover to production was upon the advice of the UAT.
4. If issues were not closed by the UAT did not mean they were not addressed or resolved.
5. Therefore, the point being made by the PWC Audit team cannot be comprehended or appreciated.
b. There was no testing to confirm the accuracy and completeness of data migrated from the legacy system to the new software before the go-live date.
1. It is a known fact that SSNIT has issues with data integrity issues resulting from its past practices.
2. During the project implementation, we have conducted nine (9) trial run for data conversion and migration.
3. In many implementation experiences and the standard project practise for other customers, the data quality is good and ready for conversion and migration after three (3) trial run.
4. However, in the case of SSNIT, there were many rounds of the trial runs.
5. Many exception reports were provided for SSNIT further actions and resolution
6. This affected the whole project schedule.
7. The PWC Audit team should have requested for the conversion documents from SSNIT.
8. SSNIT was to work on the exceptions reports of the migrated data in order to ensure that they are of the required quality.
9. It is important for PWC to answer the question whether that activity had been carried out by SSNIT.
Project Close-out Even Though the project closure document indicated satisfactory completion of the project, the following indicates that the contract had not been fully executed at the time the project closure document was signed off as satisfactory: • Some contracted features had not been deployed;
1. This is false as all the requirements were provided as per the functional specification document as explained earlier.
• Some key deployed features were not operating satisfactorily 1. In the audit report, only eight items out of the many functionalities in the system had been identified as issues.
2. The most functionalities of having issues have been resolved and deployed in production or UAT. Those in the UAT have not been tested by SSNIT since deployment for the past ten (10) months.
• There were open UAT items categorized as critical;
1. The open issues at the UAT are awaiting testing and feedback from SSNIT.
• There is no evidence that the technical and user documentation such as the OBS technical architecture documentation have been submitted to SSNIT.
1. This is completely false as all the documentation were duly submitted.
2. In addition, the documents had been submitted again to the current General Manager MIS two times
3. Furthermore the documents have been loaded on the SSNIT FTP servers.
9. Post Implementation i. Warranty Section 26 of the General Conditions of the contract between SSNIT and perfect business Systems/ Silverlake Structure Services sd. Bhd imposes and obligation on the vendor to ensure that within the warranty period, software and equipment operate in accordance with the requirement of the tender. SSNIT also had a responsibility to ensure that all defects were promptly reported to the vendor within the warranty agreement. We noted that an amount of US$7,503,800.00 had been paid for change request within the warranty period.
1. All payment for SLA were supported by detailed documentation of work done.
2. The document is available at SSNIT and the PWC team should have requested for it.
3. In addition, if the vendors were consulted copies could have been made available to them.
ii. Current status of core business systems modules Expected benefit of investments in business applications such as seamless integration and automation of processes has not fully achieved due to the fact that many of the system functionalities in the business applications do not operate as expected.
1. This is not the fault of the vendors.
2. As had been explained earlier, integration is a two way affair.
3. If the agency to be integrated with such as the National Identification Authority, National Pension Regulatory Authority are not ready integration cannot be achieved.
4. Integration with SLTF had been deployed already at the SSNIT UAT awaiting testing and feedback from SSNIT.
5. SSNIT has a duty to test the systems deployed at the UAT and it is sad to note that since September 2017, not test had been conducted by SSNIT on modules deployed at the UAT.
6. It is also important to state that for a period of over four months the VPN connection between the vendors and SSNIT was unilaterally cut by the new General Manager of SSNIT (there are email correspondences as evidence to prove this).
7. This affected the vendor access to the development and UAT servers.
8. Access to VPN was only restored after an engagement meeting between SSNIT and the vendors in January 2018.
9. Even with this, solutions, modules and functionalities deployed at the SSNIT UAT environment have not been tested by SSNIT.
10. Vendors cannot force SSNIT to carry out their work.
11. The vendors had brought this to the attention of SSNIT on countless occasion.
12. It is also surprising that SSNIT through the new General Manager MIS will put impediments in the way of the vendors and turn round to complain.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The project team did not ensure that all the requirement of the OBS project had been met in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract. The basis of this conclusion are:
• The project team signed off on certain key milestones even though the corresponding contractual requirements had not been deployed;
1. This statement is completely false and explanations have already been explained in this report.
2. All the required functionalities based on the functional specification documents were duly deployed to production.
• Payments were approved for change orders which were already included in the contract; 1. This is completely false and concocted as the evidences do not support the statement.
2. The statement is just a conjecture and fabricated.
3. The PWC Audit team was expected to have been professional.
• Payment were made for contract requirements which had not been fully deployed ;
1. The statement is inaccurate.
2. All requirements were deployed as per the functional specification documents duly signed off by SSNIT officials.
3. The PWC audit team should be aware that in the industry solutions are based on detailed functional requirements and other documentation such as system design document and not on high level list.
• Even though there were significant challenges with the OBS software within the warranty period, management failed to assert it’s within the warranty provision to ensure that the issues were resolved by the vendor
1. This statement is inaccurate.
2. The evidence adduced by PWC does not support the claim.
3. In addition, SSNIT and the vendors met on January 2018 of which certain issues were agreed as way forward.
4. The PWC audit team which dealt with the same SSNIT team should have captured these agreements in the Audit report.
Recommendation i. The Trust should further investigate the issues identified in this report and subsequently seek legal advice to pursue the vendor to implement the outstanding solutions/modules or refund monies in respect of unfulfilled contractual obligations. In addition, where the investigations reveal complicity on the part of any staff, appropriate action should be taken against such individuals.
1. The PWC report on the OBS is full of inaccuracies and false statements to impugn the credibility of individuals and the vendors.
2. As professional audit firm of international repute basic audit standard of capturing the side of the auditees were completely ignored. The report on the OBS reflects only what SSNIT wants to public to hear and this is unfortunate.
ii SSNIT may consider replacing the Pension Administration Solution together with the relevant matching hardware due to the fact the potentially, significant costs may be incurred without the commensurate benefits. Any decision with regards to replacement of the Pension Administration solution should however be based on a detailed cost benefit analysis. 1. In the industry, economic feasibility including considering economic indicators including return on investments and net present value.
2. A statement had been made emphatic that SSNIT should consider replacing the Pension Administration Solution together with the relevant matching hardware without any economic indicator.
3. Is it not a contradiction that PWC is indicating that the decision for replacing the Pension Administration Solution together with the relevant matching hardware but that it should be preceded by a detailed cost benefits analysis
4. However the same recommendation is for SSNIT to consider replacing the Pension Administration Solution together with the relevant matching hardware.
5. It is difficult to understand the economic framework for such recommendation.
6. Therefore, on what basis is PWC making such recommendation?