Information Minister has disclosed that his office is yet to receive the requisite funding ahead of the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Law.
Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah explained that despite the delay in the receipt of all the necessary resources, his outfit is poised to see concerns of Ghanaians as measures are put in place to address all concerns.
“We have not received the full complement of the funding required. However, we have achieved more than two-thirds of the items on the roadmap that are required to be put in place.
“And it is our expectation that from January 2, 2020, citizens or persons can still apply even as we complete the final outstanding items and learn the lessons from there,” the Ofoase Ayeribi MP told Joy News, Monday.
The law which takes effect from January 2, 2020, is expected to ease citizens’ access to information from public offices and officials.
Parliament in March this year passed the bill guaranteeing the right to information. The RTI bill was finally assented to by President Akufo-Addo in May 21 after 17 years of relentless campaigns by the media, local rights groups and civil society organisations.
Government in October this year, was expected to constitute an RTI Commissioner Board as part of the roadmap towards facilitating the implementation of the new law, a move which is yet to see the light of day.
But Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah says the “Commission is not a prerequisite to people’s applying from January 2, 2020. The law says every person can apply to a public institution through the information officer requesting for their information and they will go through the process within the timelines that the law has outlined.”
Acknowledging the inevitability of challenges, the Information Minister was, however, confident that his ministry will do its best to applications filed by citizens and go through the process as expected.
The RTI law will as well give meaning to Article 21/1 (f) of the 1992 Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information, subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society . ”