Make use of RTI, Oppong Nkrumah tells academia and media

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has charged academia as well as media practitioners to utilise the RTI Law, Act 989, to obtain reliable information from state institutions for their work. 

Answering questions in Parliament yesterday, Mr Nkrumah said the law, which imposed an obligation on public institutions to provide information to applicants, was underutilised.

“Mr Speaker, may I take advantage of the opportunity given me to reach out to the whole country, particularly the academic community. A lot of our young people have complained about difficulties in getting access to information when they are preparing their dissertations and so on because a lot of institutions operate as though they were doing you a favour. 

“The RTI Act gives you legal cover to apply for information from public institutions for academic purposes. Also to our colleagues in the media, we want to encourage a lot more use of the Act andless resort to speculations and hearsays. The RTI Act grants you to, by law, access information for purposes of media work,” he added. 

The Minister was providing updates on the progress of the implementation of the law since its inception in 2020 on the floor of Parliament.

The law, he said, allowed both media practitioners and persons in academia to get access to credible information with which they could use in dissertations and media works.

He said since its introduction, the law had made remarkable progress, noting that from the time of its implementation to date, a total of 223 RTI requests had been received so far by public institutions.

He indicated that going by the interim figures collated from the various RTI offices of state institutions in 2021 alone, a total of 129 requests for information were submitted by individuals and institutions and were received by 47 institutions.

Out of this number, 87 were received from individuals while 42 were received from institutions.

In 2022, a total of 10 requests for information were submitted by individuals and institutions and received by seven public institutions as of the end of January, 2022. Out of the 10 applications received, five, representing 50 per cent, were received from individuals while 50 per cent were received from institutions.

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