Face Technology caused the $3million (about Shs 6billion) loss to the National Social Security Fund, Kasilo county MP Elijah Okupa told Parliament on Thursday NSSF lost over Shs6 billion in setting up a computerised system, which failed to work.

This was revealed by PKF, an international auditing firm, sanctioned by the Auditor General to audit NSSF's Integrated Management Information system.

Okupa said, "The report quoted by the media did not name the company that caused NSSF the $3billion loss. I want to bring it to the attention of this House that it was Face Technologies."

"If Face Technologies could fail to handle a project of such little money, how can it manage a project of $153 million? I want us to rise up, take a stand and save this country from losing a colossal sum of money," he told a parliamentary session chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga. The procurement of national identity cards is to cost government more than $153 million.

Face Technologies, a South African firm in charge of the computerised driving permits, was also awarded a contract to handle national identity cards beating Supercom and Contec in a controversy-ridden bid deal.

It took the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministry to halt the project following allegations of underhand deals by some government officials. The Inspector General of Government is investigating the allegations.

Mr Francis Mashate, the chairman of the contracts committee of the Ministry of Finance, had declared Face Technology the winner on January 23.

Museveni is reportedly unhappy with a series of scandals that have dogged the project delaying its takeoff. The parliamentary finance committee is yet to produce its report into the allegations that have marred the national identity card tender, which Parliament will debate tomorrow. Okupa said he had a letter from the Zanzibar finance minister detailing how Face Technologies failed to handle the national identity cards there.

"We should be concerned because we shall be losers like Zanzibar," he said.

Rubanda West Member of Parliament Henry Banyenzaki, a member of the finance committee, wondered why Parliament was delaying to discuss the report on Face Technology. when it was "ready a long time ago".

The Monitor