Requests for information from RTI increase in 2021

Statistics available at the Right To Information (RTI) Commission indicates that 247 information were requested by citizens/individuals on public institutions in 2021.

This, according to the Executive Sec­retary of the Commission,Yaw Sarpong Boateng, ” is 974 per cent increase from 23 requests made in 2020″, adding that statistics for 2022 could even be higher.

He said, “this is a clear indication that there has been an increased interest in the use of RTI law to access information and hold public institutions accountable for their work”.

Mr Boateng has, therefore, charged pub­lic institutions with the right to information law to facilitate access to information to avoid being taken on legally, saying “the RTI law allows citizens to hold duty bearers accountable to provide information”.

He was addressing the opening ceremo­ny of a two-day induction and orientation of RTI officers of the Lands Commis­sion selected from the 16 regions of the country.

The implementation of the RTI law, he said, was an important milestone in the quest for building an enlightened and a prosperous society.

“RTI has become a tool to advance our democracy to improve participatory development…you should, therefore, be proactive to disclose information and be aware that giving out false information can land you into trouble”.

He told them that they were not neces­sarily the information holders and that they should be smart to know where to find the information that an individual would be requiring and also be transparent.

“You should be transparent to make information available as access to public information is seen as an important step towards strengthening democracy, good governance, public service and long-term development”.

Mr Evans Mamphey, Head of Human Resource of Lands Commission, told the staff that they were, by law, supposed to give out information within the confines of the law to the public.

He urged them to be abreast of the RTI law to be able to discharge their duties accordingly.

Dr Nafisa Mahama, Head of Access To Information (ATI) Division of Ministry of Information, observed that some govern­ment officials kept information as their personal property.

According to her, once they are generat­ing information with public funds, “it is not a bonafide property of anyone, but a prop­erty of the institutions or organisations.

She cautioned them to be careful because “failure or non compliance with the provi­sions or obligations authorised by the Act constitutes gross misconduct and attract imposition of administrative penalty from the RTI Commission”.

In view of that, she said the Information Ministry had collaborated with the RTI Commission to embark on sensitisation of public institutions to be adequately pre­pared and test to deliver satisfactorily.


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