EC uses ‘technicality’ to deny Ashaiman MP access to procurement records

Electoral Commission boss, Jean Mensa

The access to procurement information request filed by Ashaiman Member of Parliament, Ernest Henry Norgbey, at the Electoral Commission last year has been declined.

Although it says it is ready at all times to furnish the lawmaker with the records requested, the Commission noted it cannot honour it because Parliament has not passed the necessary Regulation to operationalise the right to information law.

Related: ASHAIMAN MP TESTS RTI LAW AS HE REQUESTS PROCUREMENT INFORMATION FROM EC

Mr Norgbey exercised his right to information by writing to the EC through his lawyer Martin Kpebu to request for some procurement records.

Ashaiman MP Ernest Henry Norgbey

He wanted to find out if the Commission had contracted the services of some IT consultants.

The Access to information law passed last year by Ghana’s Parliament and assented to by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo came into operation this year.

Right To Information campaigners lauded the lawmaker for testing the freshly made law.

But in a rather sharp response sighted by UPSANEWSROOM.com dated February 12, lawyers for the Electoral Commission said their client cannot honour the request because Parliament has not set the fees and charges regulating request for information per Section 75(1) of the Right To Information Act, 2019 (Act 989).

The section provides that: “An application seeking access to information under this Act shall pay the fee or charge approved by Parliament in accordance with the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793).”

The absence of the regulation, the Commission noted, represented an impediment to the request made by Mr Norgbey.

“As ready and willing as our client is to provide the information requested by your client, it is not immediately able to do so because the fees and charges applicable are yet to be determined in accordance with [the] law,” the letter continued.

Read the full letter below:

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