The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) has failed to release its contract with Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited for the testing of COVID-19 at the airport, despite a fine imposed by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission.
The Commission fined the company GH¢200,000 for its failure to adhere to instructions regarding the release of information.
This comes after JoyNews requested access to the contract between GACL and Frontiers Healthcare Services, the entity responsible for COVID-19 testing at the airport.
GACL declined to disclose this information, citing Section 10 of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), which allows for exemptions under specific conditions.
GACL’s argument rested on the claim that the contract contained exempted information, such as trade secrets and financial data with potential monetary value. They contended that disclosing this data could harm the state’s financial interests, disrupt business and trade, and potentially provide a competitive advantage or disadvantage to specific individuals by offering advanced knowledge of future economic measures.
Furthermore, GACL stated that some contract-related information and revenue details from testing were not within their possession.
JoyNews challenged this stance, asserting that the requested information did not fall within the broad exemptions outlined in Section 10 of the RTI law.
The Right to Information Commission intervened and, following a comprehensive review, conveyed its decision to GACL through a letter dated February 3, 2023.
The Commission’s findings contradicted GACL’s position, emphasizing that the contract had already been executed and did not hold any monetary or potential monetary value for the state.
Additionally, the Commission determined that disclosing the requested information would not compromise the financial interests of the state.
As a result, the Commission issued a directive to GACL, mandating the release of not only the Frontiers contract but also a summary of procurement details related to the transaction between GACL and Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd, excluding tax information and evaluative processes.
But according to Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the GACL remains unwilling to provide the needed information.
“Not even a directive and a GHS200,000.00 fine imposed by the RTI Commission following a Joy News petition has been helpful in compelling Akufo-Addo’s appointees at the Ghana Airport Company Limited and the larger Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration to disclose the requested information on the Frontiers contract in the interest of transparency and accountability,” he wrote in a Facebook post on November 1.
JoyNews has made no report on receiving the information requested from the GACL.
Mr Ablakwa made this known when he provided an exposé to shed light on what he deems a bombshell offer letter from the Ghana Airport Company Limited to Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited for the testing of COVID-19 at the airport.
According to the MP, the information “shall ensure that this grand Frontiers create, loot and share; together with all those who fronted for Frontiers are duly exposed and sanctioned for God and Country.”