In order to facilitate the implementation of the recently passed Right To Information (RTI) Law in Ghana, the RTI Coalition has proposed the establishment of an implementation coalition made up of both state and non-state actors.
According to the CSOs, the implementation of the RTI Act cannot be left only to state actors. It is of the view that it should be driven jointly with some non-state actors such as Civil Society Organizations.
The Right To Information Law is seeking to give flesh to Article 21 (1) of the 1992 constitution which guarantees the citizens’ rights to access public information in order to enhance democratic governance in the country subject to exemptions necessary to protect the national interest.
Speaking at the CSO dialogue programme organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to solicit the contribution of Civil Society Organization in the implementation of the RTI Act, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw who is a member of the RTI Coalition said, “the membership of the coalition should include NCCE, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Information, CSOs and the media.”
The renowned lawyer who spoke on behalf of the CSOs also suggested that the implementation coalition should be given the task to start working on a brief summary of the law into major Ghanaian languages.
Prior to its passage into Law on March 26, 2019, the RTI Bill had been one of the most delayed draft legislations in the history of the Fourth Republican Parliament of Ghana, being debated at the corridors of the three different parliaments since its first introduction in the year 2010.
It was first introduced in the Fifth Parliament in 2010 but very little work was done on it until the term of that Parliament expired in 2012.
It was then reintroduced into the Sixth Parliament where it nearly got passed but never did until it term also expired in 2016. It has been finally passed in this Seventh Parliament.
Even after its passage in March 2019, Parliament deferred the implementation of the Act till the beginning of the 2020 financial year in January next year, in order to make room in the budget to fund its activities for effective operationalisation of the law.