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Court orders EC to furnish Ashaiman MP with procurement information

Court orders EC to furnish Ashaiman MP with procurement information

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The High Court (Human Rights Division) has ordered the Electoral Commission to furnish the Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey, with information the legislator requested on the Commission’s procurement of consultancy services.

The Electoral Commission has 30 days from Tuesday, July 21, 2020, within which to submit the requested information at the Court’s Registry.

Mr. Norgbey, in turn, is to pay a Court stipulated fee of GHS1,500 to the national treasury through the Judicial Service account for the processing of the information.

The Ashaiman lawmaker went to the Court in March 2020 for a judicial review when the Electoral Commission declined to provide him information on the Commission’s procurement of the services of IT Consultant Dr. Ofori Adjei and a Procurement Consultant, Mr. A. Akrofi on the Commission’s procurement of a new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).

The Commission had said it was unable to provide the information requested due to the unavailability of a fee system determined by Parliament.

Mr. Norgbey, however, said his fundamental right to information as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution and the Right to Information Act had been violated by the Commission’s refusal to provide him with the information.

The Court, presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, was of the view that Mr. Norgbey’s right to information had indeed been violated.

She said the rights of citizens cannot be held in abeyance because of the inaction of Parliament.

She added that, the court under the circumstance had the power to prescribe a processing fee to enable Mr. Norgbey to enjoy his right to information.

By this decision, therefore, the Electoral Commission is to provide information on whether it actually procured the services of Dr. Ofori Adjei and Mr. A. Akrofi; and whether the procurement was in consonance with Part IV of the Procurement Act.

The EC is also mandated to furnish the legislator with a record of procurement proceedings for services of the said consultants.

Mr. Ernest Norgbey’s prayers to the Court to order the Commission’s release of information on details of its contracts with Thales DIS was however denied by the Court.

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