MFWA petitions RTI Commission over Presidency’s refusal to release full audit report on SML/GRA contracts

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The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has petitioned the Right to Information Commission (RTI) to review the Office of the President’s refusal to release the full KPMG audit report on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML) contracts.

The MFWA filed an RTI request to the Presidency demanding the full report of KPMG’s audit into the SML contracts after the latter issued a statement with snippets of the audit findings, recommendations and President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decisions and directives.

But on May 7, 2024, the Chief Director of the Presidency, H.M. Woode, replied in a letter to the MFWA that the audit report is “exempt information” under the RTI Act.

The Presidency argues that sharing the audit report “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.”

However, the MFWA disagrees with this stance by the Presidency to not release the full report.

In a petition to the RTI Commission, signed by the Executive Director of the MFWA, Sulemana Briamah, the MFWA argues that “information is not exempt from disclosure if the disclosure of the information is of public interest and the benefits of the disclosure outweigh any harm or danger that the disclosure will cause.”

The MFWA further argues that the requested information is not something the President has yet to deliberate upon as the President has already communicated his decision on the report to the public in his issued statement.

“The President indicated in the said publication on the report that he had accepted the findings of the KPMG, told the public about some of the findings and indicated his directive to the parties involved in the contract,” the MFWA said in the petition.

“It is, therefore, untenable for the impression to be created as though the said requested full KPMG audit report is exempt information because it is information that was yet to be considered and deliberated upon by the President,” the MFWA stressed.

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