Parliament is committed to RTI bill – Bagbin

All those waiting impatiently to experience transparency, accountability, and fairness in governance in Ghana will be happy to learn that parliament is ready to pass the Right to Information (RTI) law. MR Francis Ameyibor who reports for the Ghana News Agency dropped this good news from the Parliament of Ghana and circulated widely to all members of the coalition on RTI.

According the report, Work on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, currently before Parliament is progressing steadily, and is expected to be passed before the end of the year. Mr. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Majority Leader in Parliament, on Friday gave the assurance that the House was committed to working on the legislation.

He said the House had to carefully consider all the technical details and the proposed amendments carefully before proceeding to pass it.

“Statements made to the effect that this honorable House is not committed to passing the bill are false,” Mr. Bagbin said, on the floor of the House, as he presented the Business Statement for next week ending Friday, March 11, 2016.

Next week’s ending, will form the seventh, of the eight week first meeting of the fourth session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, before the Easter Recess.

Mr. Bagbin urged Ministers whose sectors were connected in one way or the other to the Bill to show up during the consideration stage of the bill to make their contributions in it.

He said” the Bill has gone through a lot of metamorphosis, yet the volume of work on it is huge and requires more time”.

According to the Majority Leader, the African Union had passed a resolution that all legislatures of member states had to pass the RTI legislations after which the various states would fine-tune the bill to suit their specific needs.

There were interjections from Mr. Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, the Member of Parliament for Tema East, who said he had been questioned on a regular basis, and sometimes accused by his constituents that he, as well as all other members of the House were not prepared to pass the bill.

Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho, in response, said it was the responsibility of the member to explain to his constituents that the bill required careful scrutiny and that the volume of work on it was huge adding that the proposed amendments alone were 52 pages. The information on the intention of parliament to pass the RTI bill into law is refreshing. It would only help the people access information , it would also get government officials to sit up to do the right things, keep record of all transaction for the benefit of the government and people at all times.

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