President Nana Akufo-Addo has released in full the report of the KPMG on the GRA-SML transaction despite the exemption provisions in the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Section 5(1)(a) and (b)(i) of the RTI Act states that “Information is exempt from disclosure where the information is prepared for submission or has been submitted to the President or Vice President for consideration or contains matters the disclosure of which would reveal information concerning opinion, advice, deliberation, recommendation, minutes or consultation made or given to the President or Vice President and is likely to undermine the deliberative process on the part of the President or Vice President.”

But the President said he decided to waive the privilege under Section 5 of the RTI Act in the interest of “full transparency in governance, openness, and honesty with the public.”

Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, in a statement released yesterday said a copy of the KPMG report can be accessed from the website of the Presidency –

According to the statement, on April 24, 2024, President Akufo-Addo received a request from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) under section 18 of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) for a copy of the KPMG report on the contracts and transactions between Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML).

It further stated that, in light of the provisions of the RTI Act, notably sections 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act, the President declined the MFWA’s request because the KPMG report is exempt from disclosure.

Furthermore, there has been judicial pronouncement, in a case involving Media Foundation for West Africa, that a request which falls within the categories of information exempt under RTI Act can be lawfully declined.

The statement noted that the KPMG report comprises opinions, advice, deliberations, and recommendations that are integral to the President’s deliberative process and, therefore, qualifies as exempt information under section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act.

“Thus, the Office of the President was justified in turning down the request from MFWA for a copy of the KPMG report,” the statement added.

“It is important to recount that, even before the request from MFWA, the President had, on April 24, 2024, caused to be published a detailed press statement outlining KPMG’s findings and recommendations, as well as his directives to the Ministry of Finance and GRA,” it said.

It added, “The Office of the President reiterates the necessity for those who file applications and requests under the RTI Act to have a thorough understanding of its provisions.”

The statement emphasised the importance of comprehending that the legal framework for access to information includes safeguards designed to protect the sanctity of decision-making at the highest levels of government, which must not be jeopardised or abused in the quest of information.

On December 29, 2023, the President commissioned KPMG to conduct an investigation to get a thorough understanding of the issues at hand and to provide competent advice in making the necessary decisions.


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