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General News of Thursday, 30 May 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Close collaboration needed to implement RTI law – Oppong Nkrumah

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has called for a close collaboration of all stakeholders in the implementation of the Right to Information Law.

The Law, which was assented to by President Akufo-Addo in May 2019 provides the framework for the public to have access to information from state institutions.

Speaking at a stakeholder workshop on the implementation roadmap, the Minister said a lot still needs to be done, particularly education of citizens on the law to ensure that the purpose of the introduction of the law is achieved.

“One of the things we need to look very seriously at is how we ensure that the proper and clear understanding of what we are trying to do is set through the entire ecosystem. There is then need for a lot of education. From my end as the ministry and for the commission when it is set up eventually and also from your end as well, I hope we continue to collaborate even on that side. We may have passed the Bill and had it assented, that is the easy part of the job but the difficult point is getting everybody to understand it and having it implemented properly. We need to continue this collaboration.”

The Minister made the comment at a workshop to discuss the roadmap for the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in Accra.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Information, the implementing agency of the RTI law.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from institutions such as UNESCO, RTI Coalition, Media Coalition on RTI and members from the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.

The RTI Law seeks to give effect, to Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”

It also seeks to operationalise the constitutional right to information by the public, and some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent to safeguarding the public interest in a democratic state.