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General News of Sunday, 24 March 2019

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

Passage of RTI delayed again

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye on Friday halted the third reading of the Right To Information (RTI) Bill, 2018 which would have paved the way for the passage of the bill.

The third reading of the RTI Bill had been advertised on the Order Paper for yesterday’s business, but the speaker asked that it should be deferred since there had been further proposals and amendments by some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to certain aspects of the bill, which when passed, will not serve the best interest of the ordinary Ghanaians.

This means that the RTI would have to be taken through second consideration stage for those proposed amendments to be considered.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Ben Abdallah Banda, has stated that parliament should not be blamed for the delay in the passage of the bill.

He revealed that the leadership of parliament has expedited action on the bill because it’s “passionate about it.”

Mr. Banda pointed out that “the Executive has done its part, parliament has also done its part, it’s the coalition to the Right to Information that says they don’t want it to be passed the way we have done it so the public should take it that it is not Ghana Parliament that is trying not to pass the Act now.”

The object of the RTI Bill is to provide for the operationalisation of the constitutional right to information held by public and some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent with the protection of public interest in a democratic society.

It also seeks to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs and provide for related matters.