The Right to Information Coalition has resolved to embark on various lawful public actions to mobilize the people of Ghana behind and in support of its call for the passage of an effective and robust right to information legislation in Ghana before the end of the third quarter of 2018.
The group says it is unable to find any reasonable justification for continued inaction on the RTI Bill and therefore calls on H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that a RTI Bill, in substantially the form it was before the expiry of the term of the last Parliament, is placed on the calendar of the current Parliament before the end of the first quarter of this year.
It said, “We note the fact that mention of the RTI Bill was completely missing from the State of the Nation’s Address delivered by H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday 8th February 2018.
“We note further that, after one year in office, the Akufo-Addo government has given no indication as to the current status of the RTI Bill or as to whether Government intends or proposes to place the RTI on the calendar of the 7th Parliament and have it passed this year.”
These were contained in a Communiqué issued at the end of a multi-stakeholder anti-corruption strategic meeting on the Right to Information (RTI) bill held in Accra recently.
According to the Coalition, it has observed with disappointment the continuing failure of Government to submit to Parliament and ensure passage of the Right to Information (“RTI”) Bill, despite the President’s repeated assurances of his commitment to fight corruption.
“We would like to remind H.E. the President of the many promises made by his government since assuming office in January 2017,to ensure speedy passage of the RTI Bill, including the assurance given by H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the Transparency International Regional meeting in Accra in February 2017 that Government will ensure passage of the RTI Bill by the end of 2017.
“We are united in our belief that passage of the RTI Bill is necessary to make credible and effective existing anti-corruption legislation, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Whistleblower Act. Similarly, we are confident the passage of RTI Bill will help address the public financial management institutional weaknesses noted in the recently concluded Auditor General report on the liabilities of Ministries, Department and Agencies ending 31st December 2016,”it noted.
By: Mohammed Suleman