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SOFTTRIBE Exposes Controller Over Payroll Fraud   
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SOFTTRIBE, A local ICT software development company, says it is inaccurate for the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) to hold that the Akatua HRMIS/payroll management software was fraught with problems.

“CAGD states that Akatua is equally confronted with the same challenges of payroll management as the Oracle systemllPPD2 which is also owned by CAGD. This is not completely accurate,” Tetteh Antonio, CEO of SOFTtribe, said in a statement.

The software development company which says it has over 20 years’ experience in payroll and other ICT platforms, was reacting to the raging debate between policy think-tank IMANI Centre for Policy and Education and the CAGD over the government’s handling of payrolls.

IMANI Investigations
IMANI is holding that the public sector payroll is still bloated, in spite of claims by the CAGD that it had adopted a technology platform called IPPD2 (Oracle) that is used to process a portion of the mechanized payroll.

“IMANI sources in the corridors of CAGD, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) have assured IMANI that this claim is completely false,” IMANI president, Franklyn Cudjoe, had said in the statement, adding that the bloated public sector payroll had been contributing highly to the economic mess of the country.

CAGD’s Reaction
The CAGD also reacted to the claims by IMANI, saying it did not decide which ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) put on their payroll.

“MDAs made their own recruitment; prepared input forms to their personnel processing sections who then captured such inputs into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Database (IPPD) system before CAGD processed the salaries for payment,” James Ntim Amponsah, Deputy Controller and Accountant-General in charge of ICT at the CAGD said in a statement.

Setting Records Straight
In the ensuing debate, SOFTtribe said it was issuing the statement to set the records straight saying, “Over the last week a number of issues have been raised in the national media by IMANI and responded to by CAGD, concerning the Government payroll.

“SOFTtribe has been specifically mentioned in a number of these interviews, and some erroneous information has been reported on our involvement with the government payroll.”

Akatua HRMIS
Outlining its involvement in the government payroll, SOFTtribe said it developed the first versions of Akatua HRMIS/payroll management software over 20 years ago and the CAGD purchased Akatua – known as IPPD3 – in 2008, and currently uses it to process 70% of live government payroll.

“When Akatua was first implemented in 2008, it flagged and rejected the faulty data which had been retrieved from the Oracle system. SOFTtribe would like to state here that Akatua possesses a rigorous set of validations and controls, which is known in the industry.”

Disabling Akatua
According to the CEO, the CAGD instructed SOFTtribe “to temporarily disable the requisite controls from Akatua such that it could accept the faulty data from their Oracle system,” adding, “CAGD informed SOFTtribe that CAGD was responsible for payroll administration and validation whereas SOFTtribe was responsible for the technology.”

The statement said, “SOFTtribe duly complied with their client’s request and successfully processed five years of unprocessed arrears in under six weeks which the Oracle system had been incapable of processing over the years.”

It said, “CAGD was duly satisfied with the quality and speed of the work executed,” adding, “Given that SOFTtribe deemed this situation to be unusual based on SOFTtribe’s industry experience, at handover of Akatua to CAGD, SOFTtribe was compelled to alert CAGD of the dire state of the data they had received.

“Interestingly to date, SOFTtribe is yet to receive CAGD’s response to this letter.”

Oracle Problems
It also said, “After six years of running payroll, the Oracle system was still facing major challenges and on June 12, 2012 therefore, SOFTtribe was copied on a letter from the Minister of Finance instructing the Controller to move the live government payroll in its totality unto the more stable Akatua.

“SOFTtribe duly prepared Akatua for this activity. SOFTtribe successfully implemented Pensions and GES payroll, which constitutes 70% of government payroll.”

The statement added, “Once again, SOFTtribe alerted CAGD of the dire nature of the pensions data that had been retrieved from the Oracle system and again SOFTtribe was instructed to temporarily switch off Akatua’s controls to enable payroll to be processed on incomplete data.”

Migration Onto Akatua
It said in November 2012, the Ministry of Finance instructed CAGD and SOFTtribe to migrate the subvented payrolls onto Akatua and these subvented agencies include institutions such as the universities, polytechnics, national service, Ghana Police Service, forestry commission, among others.

IMANI’s Commentary
“In IMANI’s commentary, IMANI stated that SOFTtribe’s Akatua took three days to process 70% of the payroll. This is inaccurate. It is in fact the case that Akatua processes 70% of payroll which is over 400,000 workers under two hours.

“IMANI further stated that 70% of the GoG payroll had been outsourced to SOFTtribe. This is also inaccurate. The fact is that CAGD has purchased and owns SOFTtribe’s Akatua payroll software platform and currently uses it to run 70% of the government payroll,” the think-thank underscored.

“As a reputable locally grown ICT software development company with over 20 years’ experience in payroll and numerous clients, we are extremely concerned that our international reputation may be tarnished and we wish to set the record straight,” the statement added.
Source: Daily Guide

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