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Court orders EC to release information to Ashaiman MP

An Accra High Court has charged the Electoral Commission to release information on the acquisition of the Commission’s Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS) to the NDC member of parliament for Ashaiman, Mr Ernest Norgbey,

In a judgement Tuesday [July 21], the court has consequently ordered the EC to release the information to the court’s registry within 30 days for the benefit of Mr Norgbey.

Per the decision of the court, the MP can apply for the information from the court’s registry after paying a fee of Ghc1,500.

Background

Mr. Norgbey had gone to court in March this year to compel the EC to provide him with some information on the procurement of the new Biometric Management System (BVMS).

The MP’s action come after the EC had declined to furnish him with the information stating that “an applicant seeking to access information under the Right to Information Act shall pay the fee or charge approved by Parliament in accordance with the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793).”

The Commission’s case has been that, fees and charges applicable for the said information were yet to be determined in accordance with the law hence the reason why it could not provide that information to the MP.

Mr. Norgbey in the suit is seeking a declaration that the “refusal, failure, or neglect” of the EC to furnish him with the information on the BVMS, violates his rights under Article 21 of the 1992 Constitution which guarantees the right to information.

The Plaintiff wanted to ascertain the processes the EC adopted prior to contracting the services of two Procurement Consultants; and whether the said procurements were done in accordance with Part six of the Public Procurement Act among others.

Mr. Norgbey was also demanding “a copy of the award letter from the EC to Thales DIS in respect of the contract for the acquisition of hardware component of the new voter management system.”

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