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CSOs: Effective implementation of RTI regulations needed

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have suggested to the government to quickly work on the regulations that will govern the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) law to ensure smooth take-off in January 2020.

They have also urged brief, but effective and efficient summary of the law not only in English but also in major Ghanaian languages to enhance the understanding of the citizenry.

The CSOs made the call at an engagement session organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to solicit views on how to ensure smooth implementation of the law to enhance good democratic governance and rule of law.

Among other objectives, the engagement with CSOs on the implementation of RTI law sought to examine institutional mechanisms for implementation, discuss challenges and prospects of implementation, provide recommendations to support establishment of RTI Commission and build a Coalition to support implementation.

Speaking at the forum,  Akoto Ampaw, a legal practitioner, reiterated the need for an information storage and retrieval architecture, which was key to implementation of the law, adding that ” information must be easily stored and be made accessible at any time to citizens who required them.

“It is important the state provide enough funding to the Public Records and Archives Administration Department to perform the duty creditably, get funding to commence preparatory work and programme of implementation must be done in stages instead of waiting for January 2020,” he noted.

On the selection of members for the Information Commission, Mr Akoto Ampaw advised that people who had the requisite expertise, and committed to rights, open and transparent be made to occupy the positions.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, observed that Parliament played its role in delivering RTI law, but there was the need for effective and efficient implementation of the law, actualisation and citizens must be realistic in their expectations.

Dr Steve Manteaw, Policy Analyst, Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), said to ensure effective and efficient implementation of RTI law, regulations must be ready before January 2020 to avoid past situations, where good laws were passed, but regulations were unduly delayed.

Dr Evans Aggrey-Darkoh, the Chief Director, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, indicated that collaboration with CSOs also fitted into the government’s willingness to work with RTI Coalition on road map for full implementation of RTI law to enhance good democratic governance. –GNA

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