The leadership of parliament has absolved itself of any blame regarding further delays in the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill.
It noted that civil society organisations (CSOs) had asked for some changes to be made to the bill before it is passed, thus further delays, though it had been in parliament for close to two decades but is yet to be passed despite calls from the media and civil society organisations.
The passage of the bill had also delayed in recent times due to contentions over the period of operationalisation due to the House and advocates torn over whether to operationalise it within 12 months or as soon as it is passed into law.
The Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed and Member of Parliament (MP) for Banda and Ben Abdalla, the Chairman of the Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, both pointed out that the House had done its best to pass the bill which was just a step away from its final reading on the floor of parliament.
However, they asked other stakeholders to blame the country’s civil society organisations for the recent delays in the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill into law saying, “The Coalition of Right to Information are saying they do not want it to be passed the way we have done it, they are bringing other things.
“The public should understand it is not parliament that is not interested to pass it, but it is the public that is bringing new amendments to the work we have done so far, left with us alone, we have done what we should do,” they noted.
Three advocacy groups bent on seeing the Right to Information Bill (RTI) is passed into law had earlier demanded new changes to align with the 1992 Constitution.
The Right to Information (RTI) Ghana, the Media Coalition on RTI, and OccupyGhana explained that the technical committee of the coalition reviewed the amendments effected so far by parliament and recommended two main issues that deserved further review.
Mr Abdalla charged the citizenry to hold CSOs responsible for the House’s inability to get the bill passed into law adding that “the executive has done its part, we have also done our part, but it’s the Coalition to the Right to Information, they don’t want it to be passed the way we have done it”.