Court orders AG to release documents on bus branding deal

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An Accra High Court has upheld an application by the pressure group, Citizen Ghana Movement and directed the Ministry of Transport to make full disclosure of the contract for the branding of the 116 buses procured for the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Limited.

The defendant, the Attorney-General had argued that the applicants had erred in bringing the case to the High Court instead of the Supreme Court.

But the court ruled that the case was within the reaches of its jurisdiction as long as public funds were used in the transaction and that the public had the right to access every information in that regard.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Yeboah, however, added a caveat, that information that bordered on national security could not be accessed and that if the information to be accessed involved cost, it had to be borne by the person seeking such information.

Per the ruling of the court, a big window of opportunity has been opened for members of the public to gain access to the details of acts and transactions carried out in the name of the public and with public funds.

The ruling also seems to have placed a moot effect on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill which has been awaiting passage for some time now.

Source: graphiconline.com

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