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Akufo-Addo demonstrates commitment to transparency with release of full KPMG report

The President had commissioned KPMG on December 29, 2023, to conduct an inquiry into the controversial transactions between GRA and SML

In a decision underscoring his dedication to transparency and accountability, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced the release of the full KPMG report on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML) transactions.

This move comes after an initial denial of a Right to Information (RTI) request from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), citing legal exemptions under the RTI Act of 2019.

The President had commissioned KPMG on December 29, 2023, to conduct an inquiry into the controversial transactions between GRA and SML. This inquiry aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding and guide the President in making well-informed decisions. On April 24, 2024, the MFWA submitted a request for the report under Section 18 of the RTI Act.

Initially, the President’s office denied the request, referencing Section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act, which exempts information prepared for the President or Vice President that includes opinions, advice, deliberations, and recommendations. This decision was consistent with judicial precedents affirming the legality of withholding such exempt information.

Despite the valid legal basis for the initial denial, the President emphasised his commitment to transparency and public accountability. Even before the MFWA’s request, a detailed press statement had been issued outlining KPMG’s findings, recommendations, and the directives given to the Ministry of Finance and GRA.

In an extraordinary gesture of openness, the President decided to waive the privilege under Section 5 of the RTI Act and publish the full KPMG report. This decision is a testament to his dedication to transparency and counters any unfounded allegations of concealment.

“The release of this report reflects the President’s steadfast commitment to transparency in governance,” stated a spokesperson from the Office of the President. “It demonstrates his willingness to engage with the public honestly and openly, enriching the discourse around the GRA/SML transactions.”

The KPMG report, now accessible on the Presidency’s website (www.presidency.gov.gh), includes comprehensive findings and recommendations that are integral to understanding the transactions. This release allows the public to review the details firsthand, fostering an informed discussion on the matter.

The President’s action highlights the importance of understanding the RTI Act’s provisions, including the safeguards designed to protect the integrity of high-level decision-making processes. While the RTI Act aims to promote access to information, it also ensures that sensitive information necessary for executive deliberation remains protected.

By waiving the exemption and publishing the report, the President has set a powerful example of balancing transparency with responsible governance. His decision reinforces the principles of openness and accountability, which are crucial to building public trust and confidence in government actions.

The President’s commitment to transparency is clear and unwavering. This move, while exceptional, is a significant step towards ensuring that governance remains open and that the public is adequately informed on matters of national interest.

 

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