30, GNA - Civil Society Organisations
have called on government to quickly work on the regulations that would govern
the implementation of the Right to Information law
believe will ensure smooth take-off in January 2020.
They have also
called for a brief, but effective summary of the law not only in English, but
also in major Ghanaian languages to enhance the understanding of the citizenry.
The CSOs made
the call at an engagement session organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary
Affairs to solicit views on how to ensure the smooth implementation of the law
to enhance good democratic governance.
objectives, the engagement with Civil Society Organisations on the
implementation of the RTI Law seeks to examine the Institutional mechanisms for
the implementation of the RTI law, discuss the challenges and prospects of the
implementation of the RTI law, provide recommendations to support the
establishment of RTI Commission and build a Coalition to support the
implementation of the RTI law.
Speaking at the
forum, Mr Akoto Ampaw, a legal practitioner, emphasised the need for an
information storage and retrieval architecture, which he said was key to the
implementation of the law.
information must be easily stored and be made accessible at any time to people
who required them.
direction, he said, it was important that the state provided enough funding to
the Public Records and Archives Administration Department to be in position to
perform the duty creditably.
Mr Ampaw said it
was necessary to get funding to begin preparatory work, saying that the
programme of implementation must be done in stages instead of waiting for
selection of members for the Information Commission, he advised that people who
had the requisite expertise, and committed to rights, open and transparent be
made to occupy the positions.
Manteaw said to ensure effective implementation of the RTI law, the regulations
must be ready before the January 2020 start date to avoid past situations,
where good laws were passed, but the regulations were unduly delayed.
There was also
the need for awareness creation to enable the citizens to understand the law
and to fully participate in its implementation to enhance transparency and curb
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, said Parliament
played its role in delivering the RTI law, but there was the need for effective
and efficient implementation of the Law.
hurdle was surmounted, but what remains is more herculean. In my opinion,
passing the law is easier, the harder part is the actualization,” he said,
adding that citizens must be realistic in their expectations.
“If the Bill
took over two decades to be passed into Law, then we must be realistic in our
expectations while still keeping our eyes on the purpose of the Law,” he added.
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the RTI Law was not applicable only to the Public
Sector, but also the Private Sector, adding that the Minister of Information
was yet to come with a Legislative Instrument to operationalise that aspect of
“We know from
experience that information from Private Sector is also of keen interest
especially to the lnvestigative Journalists. The appropriate benchmarking shall
have to be provided in the ensuing Regulations,” he said.
The Minister is working assiduously to put
together an initial framework with a supporting budget to be considered and
accommodated in the Mid-Year Budget Review.
allocation will relate to the recruitment and training of qualified staff to man
the information offices in all public offices, including all MDAs and MMDAs,
Parliament, the Judiciary, the Independent Government Institutions, among
He said the
collective will and effort should ensure a smooth take-off of the
implementation of the law in January 2020.
Aggrey-Darkoh, the Chief Director, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, said the
collaboration with Civil Society Organisations also fitted into government’s
already expressed willingness, to work with the RTI Coalition on the road map
for full implementation of the RTI Bill, to enhance good democratic governance.
were drawn from the Leadership of Parliament, Democratic Enhancing Civil
Society Organisations, members of the Advisory Board of the Ministry, Stakeholders,
Management and Staff of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.