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Sent on Mormon-News: 28Jun01

By Kent Larsen

Ghanian President Mistakenly Gives LDS Church Credit for Jobs

ACCRA, GHANA -- Ghana's President John Kufuor visited the offices of Affiliated Computer Services -- Business Process Solutions' venture in Accra, Ghana last week, and gave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints credit for bringing the company to Ghana, where it employs 1,000 people. But a US-based executive of the firm, who is an LDS Church member, told Mormon News that the Ghanian President was mistaken, and overstated the Church's role.

The venture is an offshore data-keying operation of Affiliated Computer Services' Business Process Solutions division which processes medical claim forms for the giant insurer Aetna. The venture was started in July 2000, and has since grown from about 288 employees as recently as this past February to 1,000 employees now, according to reports in the Accra Mail. Employees enter data into a computer system from scanned copies of claim forms that have been transmitted electronically to Ghana from the US. The data they enter is then transmitted back to the US.

Employees of the venture make about $100 to $200 a month, three times the average local income. News reports in the Accra Mail say that ACS-BPS plans to increase the size of the operation to 4,000 employees in coming years.

President Kufuor was very impressed with the operation and told the Mail that the LDS Church had facilitated its location in Ghana. He added that any church which could bring the kind of employment generating activity like what he saw at ACS/BPS must be taken serious.

But Tom Blodgett of ACS's Business Process Solutions division told Mormon News that the Ghanian President was mistaken. Blodgett says that ACS-BPS did an extensive analysis of countries around the world in which the venture could be placed and said that the LDS Church was not involved in that process.

However, Blodgett, who is an LDS Church member, did say that the venture has hired some employees from a training center set up by LDS Humanitarian Services, along with other schools in the area. He also indicated that some ACS-BPS employees sent to Ghana are also LDS Church members.

But these connections are not surprising given the company's history. Affiliated Computer Services' Business Process Solutions division was founded in Sandy Utah in 1985 as a separate company by Tom Blodgett and his brother Lynn. The company grew rapidly until it was purchased by ACS and made into a division of the company. ACS' Business Process Solutions now employs 5,000 employees and has $100 million in annual revenues.


President At ACS-BPS
Accra Mail 19Jun01 B2


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