Presidency refuses MFWA’s request for full KPMG audit report on GRA/SML contracts

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The Office of the President has rejected a request by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) for the full report on KPMG’s audit of the revenue assurance contract between Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The MFWA requested the full report after The Presidency issued a statement with snippets of the audit findings, recommendations and President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decisions and instructions on April 24, 2024.

But in a letter dated 7th May 2024 and signed by the Chief Director at the Presidency, H.M. Woode, The Presidency said the audit report is “exempted information” under the Right to Information Act.

“I regret to inform you that your request has been refused,” the letter said. “Information prepared for or submitted to the President or Vice President containing opinions, advice, deliberations, recommendations, minutes or consultations, is exempt from disclosure.”

The disclosure of the report, according to the Presidency, “would compromise the integrity of the deliberative process by revealing the thought process, considerations, and influence on decision-making reserved for the highest offices of the land.”

President Akufo-Addo directed KPMG to audit the GRA/SML deal in January 2024, following The Fourth Estate’s exposé on a contract for revenue assurance in the downstream petroleum sector.

Subsequently, a statement released by the office of the President said that the KPMG audit, among other findings, revealed that the GRA proceeded to sign the contract with SML despite disapproval from the Public Procurement Authority on three occasions contrary to provisions of the Public Financial Management Act.

GRA did not also receive parliamentary approval for contracts signed in 2018, 2019, and 2023 with SML, nor did it receive approval from its board for these contracts, contravening the GRA Act, the statement from The Presidency indicated.

Consequently, President Akufo-Addo directed the GRA and the Ministry of Finance to renegotiate the downstream revenue assurance contract with SML.

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