‘Passage of RTI Bill will bolster accountable governance’

Mr Assumeng

Mr Assumeng

The Right to Information Bill, when passed into law will bolster accountable and transparent governance for the benefit of the citizenry, Kwesi Boateng Assumeng, Programmes Officer, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), has noted.

“It is important that Parliament works assiduously in dealing promptly with the requisite clauses in the Bill that need consideration to facilitate its passage in order to further deepen democratic governance,” he said.

Mr Assumeng, who was addressing a day’s sensitisation workshop on the RTI Bill at Bibiani in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai municipality in the Western Region, indicated that the nation was not living in isolation within the scope of the global political landscape.

The workshop was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and facilitated by GACC, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and SEND-Ghana and other civil society organisations (CSOs).

Mr Assumeng stressed on the need to bring democratic governance to standard, in line with contemporary demands, especially in areas bothering on the people’s right to information.

He observed that the programme was designed to increase the participants’ understanding of the RTI Bill, thereby allowing them to brainstorm and make meaningful inputs for its successful passage into law.

Mr Assumeng pointed out that access to information was an inalienable right of the citizenry, for which reason all stakeholders must join the campaign for the realisation to uphold the rule of law.

The right to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 constitution and recognised as a right under international conventions on human rights.

“The bill, when passed, will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the constitution which states all persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.

“It was first drafted in 1999 and had since gone through series of reviews in 2003, 2005 and 2007, before it was sent to Parliament on February 5, 2010.

“Under such circumstances the citizenry are able to keep track of the implementation of development programmes and projects in their respective areas as and when they are rolled out,” Mr Assumeng said.

Nana Kwabena Gyamfi Akwabeng I, Abontendomhene of the Sefwi-Anhwiaso traditional area, took a swipe at successive governments for their refusal to facilitate the processes for the passage of the Bill into law. -GNA


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