We did no more than what the law expects – Minerals Commission speak on $1,000 RTI charge

The Minerals Commission says its charge of $1,000 levied on The Fourth Estate is founded in law

• The Minerals Commission has said its $1,000 levy on The Fourth Estate is founded in law

• The Fourth Estate evoking the Right to Information Law has requested for information on mining from the Minerals Commission

• The Commission citing some regulations guiding its activities has levied a charge of $1,000 on the Fourth Estate for the production of the information

The Minerals Commission of Ghana says its decision to levy a $1,000 charge on management of The Fourth Estate who requested some information from the state agency under the Right to Information Law is backed by law.

The Fourth Estate evoking the Right to Information Law demanded information on companies licensed to undertake mining in Ghana between January 2013 and May 2021.

The entity also requested for information on companies whose licenses have been revoked or suspended within the same period stated.

A recent news item carried by the Fourth Estate said the state mining regulator had demanded what is the highest fee any institution has yet demanded to release information under the RTI Law.

“But quoting the highest fee any institution has yet demanded to release information under the RTI Law, the mining regulator asked for the equivalent of $1,000 for the information.

Such demands per Regulation 4 of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012 (LI 2176), apply to requests that of commercial value including cadastral maps and exploratory data of mining zones.

In the absence of a legislative instrument to guide fees which public institutions should charge RTI applicants, the Minerals Commission said it fell on its internal laws to charge the fees,” the website wrote.

Following the publication by the website, the Minerals Commission in a press release has responded to the various claims made in the publication by the Fourth Estate.

Among other things, the Minerals Commission justified that the charge of $1,000 it levied on the website is the exact fee approved by Parliament and guiding the work of the commission.

The commission referenced regulation 4 of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2176) in its defense.

Read the full statement by the Minerals Commission: