GRA/SML deal: Akufo-Addo waived his right under the RTI Act to publish KPMG report – Eugene Arhin

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has commended President Akufo-Addo for releasing the KPMG audit report into the controversial contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilization Limited (SML).

Arhin said that under Section 5 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, President Akufo-Addo had the privilege of not disclosing the report, but he decided to waive this right.

In a press release announcing the launch, Arhin emphasized that the president’s decision was driven by a commitment to complete transparency, openness and honesty with the public.

“However, the President, in the interest of complete transparency in governance, openness and honesty with the public, has decided to waive the privilege under section 5 of the RTI Act and has ordered the full publication of the KPMG report “said an excerpt from the statement.

The release of the KPMG audit report comes amid calls from Ghanaians and civil society organisations, who demanded that the findings be made public due to numerous reported breaches in the contract.

President Akufo-Addo had commissioned KPMG to audit the GRA-SML contract on January 2, 2024.

The initial deadline for the audit was set for January 16, 2024, but was later extended to February 23, 2024.

According to the audit results, SML received a total of GH¢1,061,054,778.00 from 2018 to date, only partially fulfilling its obligations.

However, the report also acknowledged that SML’s efforts had contributed to increased revenues in the downstream oil sector.

Despite the audit’s findings, SML has disputed the declared amount, arguing that KPMG cited the figure “without reference to investments made or taxes paid” during the period under review.

Initially, on May 8, the Presidency had rejected a Right to Information (RTI) request from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) seeking KPMG’s full audit report.

However, in a significant change, the Presidency has made the report public.

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