1.The ex-parte applicant wrote to the 4th respondent asking to be supplied with certain information relating to his previous employment with the said respondent. From the record, the information requested for relates to the following:-a.Copies of employment contracts for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.b.Signed off copies of all Job Descriptions (JDs) from 2015.c.Signed off copies of all end year Balance Score Cards (BSCs) from 2015.
2.The record shows that the ex-parte applicant wrote email reminders to the 4th respondent asking for these documents. The emails are dated April 15, 2021, April 23, 2021 and April 28, 2021. According to the ex-parte applicant, the request did not elicit the response of the 4th respondent.
3.Aggrieved by this development, the ex-parte applicant invoked the provisions of the Access to Information Act, 2016 by writing to the interested party to request for its intervention in the matter. The record shows that the interested party wrote to the 4th respondent through its Human Resource Manager on June 11, 2021 asking the 4th respondent to supply the ex-parte applicant with the information in question.
4.On July 23, 2021, the 4th respondent wrote to the interested party basically intimating that the information requested for was supplied to the ex-parte applicant as and when the various documents were generated and executed between the parties. In effect, it was the 4th Respondent’s position that there was no further information it was obligated to supply to the ex-parte applicant in this respect.
5.On August 11, 2021 the interested party wrote to the 4th respondent reiterating the statutory duty on the 4th respondent to supply the ex-parte applicant with the information under discussion. By the same communication, the interested party asked the ex-parte applicant to react to the position expressed by the 4th respondent in its letter of July 23, 2021. It would appear that the ex-parte applicant never reacted to the Interested Party’s letter of August 11, 2021.
6.On May 5, 2022, the interested party issued its determination on the dispute by directing the 4th respondent to supply the ex-parte applicant with the information under inquiry. From the record it appears that the 4th Respondent did not act on the interested party’s order of May 5, 2022. It is this inaction by the 4th respondent that triggered the filing of this application.
7.The application is filed pursuant to the various provisions of law that are cited on the face of the Chamber Summons. The application is supported by the affidavits that have been filed by the ex-parte applicant. The averments in the affidavits reiterate the facts that I have set out in the background section of this ruling.
8.The interested party has filed an affidavit supporting the ex-parte applicant’s position. It is the interested party’s position that it lawfully issued the order dated May 5, 2022 requiring the 4th Respondent to issue the ex-parte applicant with the information that had been sought. That in view of the failure by the 4th respondent to act on the order, it is proper that this court intervenes under section 23 (5) of the Access to Information Act to have the order implemented.
9.The respondents have filed an affidavit opposing the ex-parte applicant’s request. In their response, the Respondents assert that the Interested Party acted outside its statutory mandate as it purported to instigate investigations into a matter that was already pending before the Ministry of Labour and this court for resolution. To that extent, the order issued by the Interested Party on May 5, 2022 is invalid and incapable of adoption for purposes of enforcement.
11.The upshot is that the following orders are issued:-a.The replying affidavit by the respondents together with their submissions filed in the cause are struck out, the nature of the proceedings being ex-parte by law.b.The interested party’s order of May 5, 2022 having been directed against the 4th respondent, the current application in so far as it is filed against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents is incompetent. Accordingly, the portion of the application bringing on board these three Respondents is struck out.c.The ex-parte applicant’s application dated January 3, 2023 is allowed as against the 4th respondent with the consequence that the order of the interested party contained in the letter dated May 5, 2022 is adopted as the order of this court. Accordingly, the 4th respondent is ordered to supply the ex-parte applicant the documents set out in the interested party’s Order of May 5, 2022 within seven (7) days of this order.d.There shall be no order as to costs.