THE Headquarters office complex of the Right To Information Commission (RTIC) has been inaugurated, at Dzorwulu, in Accra, yesterday.
The facility is to serve as the nerve centre for the effective operationalisation and implementation of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2019, Act 989.
Being the national office, the commission envisages to open regional and district offices to make the RTI useful to the citizenry.
Inaugurating the office complex, Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, charged the RTIC to work to protect its integrity by ensuring that every institution is subject to the RTI.
“Do not to hesitate to call out any institution or person who would fall foul of the Act,” he entreated.
In the view of Mr Nkrumah, the purpose of the Act, passed in 2019, having been on the shelve since 1999, is to fulfil Article 21(1)f of the 1992 Constitution, which guarantees every Ghanaian the right to information.
For this, attempt by anybody or organisation to deny the citizen information subject to the Act must not be entertained, Mr Nkrumah, who is also MP, Ofoase-Ayirebi, said.
He asked the commission to step up its public education on the Act, adding that effective regulatory and oversight responsibility would ensure the citizenry was abreast with information on things being done by their elected or appointed officers on their behalf.
The Chairman of the RTIC Board, K.A. Ofori Atta, a retired High Court Judge, said the office would be open to all Ghanaians, especially media personnel, who would have difficulty having access to information from institutions, to ensure their rights to information was respected in accordance with law.
Institutional bureaucracies, he noted, may delay the release of information and asked the citizenry to be patient and steadfast in their request for information.
“There may be hindrances but persist because one investigation [thoroughly done] may save the whole country a lot of millions so let us work together to make this law work, ” the retired judge said.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Yaw Sarpong Boateng, said that his outfit’s would ensure the implementation of the Act to entrench the principle of open and accountable governance.
The RTIC is clothed with powers to resolve complaints through negotiation, conciliation, mediation or arbitration and to make any determination as it considers just and equitable, including issuing recommendations or penalties in matters before it.
The RTI Act, 2019, was passed on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, by the Seventh Parliament, after unsuccessful attempts by previous Parliaments to pass the then Bill introduced by the late Jerry Rawlings administration in 1999.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI