The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has been ordered by the Right to Information Commission to release its contract with Frontiers Health Services to Joy News.
GACL is to comply with this order within seven days upon receipt of a letter from the Commission communicating the decision.
This decision is the Commission’s position on a review filed by the Joy News team after the company had refused to release the said contract as well as provided other information on how much it had made from the Covid-19 testing at the airport.
The Managing Director of GACL Mrs Pamela Djamson-Tettey had in a September 19, 2022 letter to Joy News indicated her inability to release the information arguing the agreement contains information exempt under Section 10 of the RTI law.
Section 10 of the law states;
“Information is exempt from disclosure prior to official publication where a) the information contains trade secrets or financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that belongs to the State or public institution and the information has monetary or a potential monetary value;
(b) the disclosure of the information can reasonably be expected to affect the integrity or stability of the financial system or, damage the financial interests of the State or public institution or the ability of the State to manage the national economy;
(c) the disclosure of the information can reasonably be expected to cause a disruption of business or trade in the country;
(d) the disclosure of the information can unduly benefit or be injurious to a person because it provides prior information about future economic or financial measures to be introduced by the Government or public institution;
(e) the information contains criterion, procedure, position or instruction that relates to negotiations being carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the State or public institution, the disclosure of which shall be injurious to national security and economic development; or
(f) the information contains questions or methodology to be used in an examination, recruitment or selection process and the release is likely to jeopardise the integrity of that examination, recruitment or selection process”
She also said the information relating to the processes leading to the award of the contract and how much had been derived from the testing is not in the possession of the GACL.
Joynews believed this position is contrary to the RTI law. Head of Research Raymond Acquah in the review application argued that the said information cannot be said to be broadly exempt under Section 10.
The Commission has in a February 3,2023 letter communicated its decision to GACL. It noted that a review of the documents submitted leaves it with no choice but to conclude that the information does not fall within the category of exempt information envisaged under sections 10(a) and (b).
“The contract referred to has already been executed and has neither monetary nor potential monetary value to the State. The Commission further finds that the information requested will no way damage the financial interests of the State.”, the letter written by Executive Yaw Sarpong stated.
The company is also to provide the following in addition to the contract;
“A summary of the procurement information on the GAL and Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd transaction exclusive of tax information and evaluative processes.
The total amount of money generated from the COVID-19 testing at the airport from the inception of this agreement with frontiers to date.
The total amount of money that has been made by frontiers health services from the covid-19 testing at the airport from the inception of the contract with frontiers to date.
The total amount of money that has been made by the government from the Covid-19 testing at the airport from the inception of the contract with frontiers till date.”
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