Akoto Ampaw, a private legal practitioner has urged the government to move away from secrecy in governance in a democratic society towards an effective and efficient implementation of the Right to Information Law (RTI).
That, he explained, would ensure those who hold public information are accountable directly to the citizenry, disclose information proactively and upon request by them.
Mr Ampaw made the call at a public forum on the Implementation of the RTI Law yesterday in Accra organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the RTI Coalition on the theme, ‘Implementation of Right to Information Law-How will Ghana be different?’
“Institutions exist and have validity only so far as they are promoting the interest of the public, there are fears of cultural resistance by people who have benefitted from the old ways of managing information and have vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
“I urge stakeholders to pay attention to how the law became a reality at the metropolitan, municipal and district assembles (MMDAs) to ensure people in the districts have access to information and were committed, dedicated and determined for ready disclosure of information.
“The most effective and efficient way ordinary people realise the importance of the RTI law is at the district level when people have access to information created and stored by the district assemblies and have the commitment, dedication and determined to ready disclosure of information in accordance with law.
“I will plead with the government to ensure appointment of the first members of the RTI commission was based on commitment, dedication and determination of long term interest in building a democratic society,” Mr Ampaw stressed.
Selasi Abode Spencer, aTechnical Assistant at the Ministry of Information, disclosed that the Ministry of Finance had committed funds to facilitate the implementation hence, his outfit was working hard to get the funds released to enable them to embark on activities that had much financial burden.
“Regardless, we have already begun to take steps to implement some of the activities within the roadmap that don’t necessarily require much funding,” he added.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH AND KIMBERLY FREMPONG