Coalition: Implementation of RTI Act should not stifle initiatives

Akoto Ampaw, a member of the Coalition on the Right to Information Law (CRIL), has observed that the government has commenced preparations towards the implementation of the Right to Information Act (ACT 989).

However, he noted that the government’s plans and programmes are ambitious and faced possible threats because public institutions have a way of stifling genuine initiatives.

Speaking at a Civil Society Stakeholders Forum on the RTI Act 2019 (ACT 989) organised by the Coalition with support from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiatives (CHRI) and OSIWA in Accra, Mr Ampaw asked stakeholders to pay attention to the legislation that would be drafted by the government as part of the implementation of the RTI Act in 2020.

“There is the need to ensure that the legislation that will be introduced do not hamper smooth access to information in the country and there Is also the need to keep an eye on the implementation of the Act to ensure that the right things are done by authorities in charge of its implementation.

“We need to ensure that the people with the right competencies are recruited to manage the information and also release the information because people who are recruited should not be people who will serve the political interest of their parties, the current Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has been engaging the coalition and other stakeholders on plans to implement the law in 2020.

“Regarding Mr Nkrumah’s commitment, determination and dedication to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the law, he has been ensuring that by 2020 we are ready, we are ready to go, some people will wait till 2020 before starting preparations with the implementation but he has bought into the idea that we start preparations now.

“The programmes and plans he has set out for the implementation are quite ambitious but let us see how it goes because public institutions have a way of stifling genuine initiatives,” Mr Akoto Ampaw cautioned.

In March 2019, the legislature passed the Right to Information (RTI) Bill into law after several policy changes, amendments and months of rigorous debates on the floor of the House which has been in Parliament for close to two decades despite calls from the media and civil society groups for its passage.

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