President Akufo-Addo will today give his assent to the Right to Information (RTI) Act which was passed by Parliament in March 2019.
The Act, is meant to allow citizens more access to information in order to hold government accountable.
The Right to Information is supposed to be a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution and recognised as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.
The passage of the Bill gives substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”
Background of RTI Bill
The RTI Bill was first drafted in 1999 under former President, Jerry John Rawlings.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in its 2008 and 2012 election manifestos promised to ensure the Bill was passed.
In 2010, it was presented to Parliament for consideration.
In 2011, the government signed unto the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative with a commitment to pass the law.
In November 2013, the Bill was formally laid before Parliament.
Former Attorney General, Deputy Dominic Ayine in 2015, moved the Bill for second reading in Parliament. In October 2016, the Bill was withdrawn and replaced with a new one which was immediately laid.
Following the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic and the swearing-in of new Parliament in January 2017, the Bill had to be re-laid by the new government before work commences on it.
Parliament finally passed RTI Bill into law on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after several policy changes and amendments.
It will however take a one year period to be operationalised.