Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has commended campaigners, activists and all who ensured that the Righ
Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has commended campaigners, activists and all who ensured that the Right Information (RTI) Bill is passed into law.
Parliament yesterday, March 26, 2019 passed the bill into law after almost two decades since it was laid before the House.
There have been numerous calls and protests from civil society organizations and the Coalition on the Right to Information (RTI) Ghana, the Media Coalition on RTI over the delay in the passage.
The Media Coalition on the RTI Bill has raised concerns with some clauses in the Bill, particularly clause 13 which provides protection to state-owned institutions.
This and other clauses, according to the RTI Coalition, are barriers to accessing information.
Before the approval of the law, the Coalition has suggested the review of these clauses but was rejected by Parliament.
But the North Tongu legislator in a Facebook post said, “The RTI passage marks an historic moment for Ghana’s Parliament”.
He is convinced that the Law will ensure transparency and accountability in governance as citizens can now have access to information.
“The inspirational resilience of campaigners and all activists who refused to give up over the last two decades must come up for high praise. Ghana’s democracy is the richer for your sacrifices,” he commends.
Mr. Ablakwa further called on government and all citizens to be committed “to a sincere RTI implementation without bottlenecks and any further delays even as we remain open to the idea of perfecting the law as time progresses.”
“As many clauses in our Constitution remind us; Sovereignty resides in the people who have a fundamental right to information,” he stressed.
About the RTI
The RTI Bill was first drafted in 1999, reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was only presented to Parliament in 2010.
Its passage into law provides for the operationalisation of the constitutional right to information held by public and some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent with the protection of public interest in a democratic society.
It also seeks to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs and to provide for related matters.
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.
By: Kekeli Kuatsenu/awakenewsonline.com