Thursday 11th Aug 2022
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Information Commissioner's Office

President's Office to Appeal ICOM Order for Disclosure New York Trip Receipts

The President's Office has decided to not comply with the Information Commissioner's (ICOM) order for the receipts from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's September 2021 visit to New York be disclosed within 5 days; they have decided to appeal the order at the High Court.
Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, had requested the President's Office to disclose the costs incurred from the presidential visit to New York made between 18-26 September 2021. The President's Office had responded that the visit had cost MVR 5,354,709.08.
However, due to evidence that contradicted the President's Office's official statement, Dhiyares had requested for the receipts from the New York visit. The President's Office had denied the request.
Dhiyares appealed the case to ICOM, as per the Right To Information Act. On 27 February, ICOM ordered the President's Office to disclose the requested receipts after redacting whatever information that could pose a security threat or a breach of privacy.
The President's Office had, however, announced that they were not satisfied with the ICOM's decision and would appeal the order at the High Court.
The President's Office had claimed that disclosing the receipts could result in a threat to security and in the breach of privacy of a third party. At the last hearing of the case, Information Commissioner Ahid Rasheed had stated that the receipts should be disclosed after whatever information that could pose a threat or a breach of privacy was redacted.