RTI: Parliament admits pressure is mounting on it to pass Bill

There is pressure on parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill (RTI), a Ranking Member on the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament has admitted.

Joe Osei-Owusu indicated that the passing of the RTI Bill has delayed as it has been in parliament since 2013.

When passed, the RTI will give Ghanaians the right to access public information without limitations.

The Bill presented to parliament in 2003 has undergone lots of amendments but had yet to find space on the floor.

A lawyer, Samson Lardy Anyenini petitioned parliament in February to pass the Bill before the end of the current parliament.

But definitions given to some aspects of the Bill in its introductory clause prevented further consideration after it finally found space on the floor, Wednesday.

This forced the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, to refer the Bill back to the legal and constitutional committee of the house.

He stated that the right to information has been provided by the constitution and that how to access that information is the subject matter.

“A person shall have a right of access to information or part of an information in the custody of any public institution in accord with Article 31F of the 1992 Constitution,” the Speaker indicated.

However, Joe Osei-Owusu said if he had his way he would have returned the document to the Attorney General to redraft it, “incorporating all the amendments.”

He said the Bill as was presented would not have generated the new culture of information being freely accessible.

“You know we have operated a regime in which as a country, leadership determines what information you should get and the ones you should not get,” he explained.

Joe Osei-Owusu said by the Right to Information Bill “we are transitioning into a new regime where information is proactively made available and those that are not made, it’s your right to demand and it should be given,” he added.


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