Home Headlines Presidency: RTI Law Barred Release Of KPMG Report On SML/GRA

Presidency: RTI Law Barred Release Of KPMG Report On SML/GRA

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Right to Information (RTI)
Right to Information (RTI)

The Office of the President has declined a request from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to disclose the full KPMG report on the scrutiny of the revenue assurance contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML).

The MFWA, in a letter dated April 24, 2024, invoked the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) to request the complete audit report.

However, in a statement released on Wednesday, the office of the president cited sections of the RTI Act to justify its decision to deny the request.

According to the statement, the request was refused based on section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act, which exempts information prepared for or submitted to the President or Vice President containing opinions, advice, deliberations, recommendations, minutes, or consultations.

The Office of the President explained that the full KPMG Audit Report falls under this category, as it comprises integral components of the President’s deliberative process.

Despite the refusal to disclose the full report, the Presidency emphasized that the President had already made the principal findings and recommendations of the report public in a detailed press statement issued on April 24, 2024.

This, according to the statement, was done to strike a balance between keeping the public informed and respecting the statutory restrictions on the closure of the matter.

The President’s response to the KPMG audit included directives to terminate certain services provided by SML, such as the upstream petroleum audit and minerals audit services, as well as the transaction audit and external price verification services.

The GRA has since complied with these directives, terminating some contracts and suspending others pending further review.

In all, 13 categories of information concerning key executive government actors are listed as exempt in the new law, including information prepared for the president, vice-president or cabinet. Others are information relating to law enforcement and public safety, matters affecting international relations and security of the state and information relating to economic or any other interest.

Economic information of third parties, Information relating to tax, internal working information of public institutions, information relating to parliamentary privilege, fair trial and contempt of court are all granted the exemption status under the new law.

Privileged information, disclosure of personal matter and disclosure for the protection of public interest are also restricted from public consumption.

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