The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, whose outfit is in charge of the implementation of the Right To Information (RTI) law says the most critical aspect of the law is its implementation and has therefore called for the collaboration of all stakeholders in order to succeed in that endeavor.
The Minister made the comment at a workshop in Accra on Thursday, May 30, 2019, on the Roadmap for the implementation of the RTI Law recently passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.
According to the Minister, having gone through a very long tortuous process of almost two decades of passing the law which has now come to give flesh to the RTI provision already captured in Article 21 (1) (f) of the 1992 constitution, it was time to tackle the next phase with much more seriousness and focus.
The RTI implementation Roadmap workshop brought together people from Civil Society Organizations, RTI Coalition, Media Coalition on RTI, UNESCO and some Members of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament to discuss strategies to for the smooth takeoff of the law when it comes into full force at the beginning of the next financial year in January 2020.
Some of the issues that came up for discussion included the need for government to give logistical and financial support to the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) because of the important role it will play in the implementation of the RTI law.
Identifying a sustainable source of funding to cover the cost of implementation to ensure that the Information Commissioner and staff are not compromised by the appointing authorities among others were up for discussion.
Parliament passed the Bill into law in March and the President assented to it in May 2019, but implementation has been stayed till 2020 to allow time for the proper structures to be put in place.
The law is to provide for the implementation of the constitutional right to information held by a public institution, subject to the exemptions that are necessary and consistent with the protection of the public interest in a democratic society.
It is also to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs and to provide for related matters.