The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to furnish the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman with documents regarding the Biometric Management Information System within 30 days from today.
The court presided over by Justice Gifty Agyei Addo also asked the MP Ernest Henry Norgbey to pay an amount of GHc1,500 as the fee for such documents to the court before the documents are released to him.
It would be recalled that the EC per a request from the Ashaiman MP declined to furnish him with documents regarding the BVMS consultancy services on grounds that parliament was yet to determine a fee to the release of such documents.
The MP however proceeded to court to compel the EC to furnish him with such information.
His reliefs for the court to “Confirm whether the respondent has procured the services of Dr Ofori Adjei, it consultant and Mr A Akrofi procurement consultant,” was granted.
“If the answer to A above was affirmative, further confirm whether the procurement was in accordance with part 6 of the public procurement act 2003, act 663 as amended,” these reliefs were granted by the court.
Mr Norgbey’s relief for “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,” was refused.
The court explained further that, certain documents are security-sensitive and that one’s it has security implications on the state, it would be the subject matter for the Supreme Court to deal with.
The MP for Ashaiman, Mr Ernest Henry Norgbey in March 2020, filed a suit in court to compel the EC to furnish him with some procurement information on the new Biometric Verification Management System (BVMS).
The plaintiff in his suit comes after the EC had refused to furnish him with the information stating that “an applicant seeking to access information under this Act [Right to Information] shall pay the fee or charge approved by Parliament in accordance with the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793).”
It was the case of the Commission, fees and charges applicable for the said information are yet to be determined in accordance with the law hence the reason such information cannot be given out.
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 lawmaker also wants to know the processes the EC adopted prior to contracting the services of Dr Ofori-Adjei, IT Consultant and Mr A. Akrofi, Procurement Consultant; and whether the said procurements were done in accordance with Part 6 of the Public Procurement Act among others.
Mr Norgbey is 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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