“The Right to Information Bill must be passed now, Right to Information Bill to be passed soon, Parliament urged to pass Right To Information Bill.”
These are all major headlines by different media houses over the years advocating for one thing – The passage of the Right To Information Bill (RTI).
But what is holding parliament from passing the bill which according to reports has been in parliament for decades?
The RTI Bill when passed will give the public access to information held by public institutions and private organisations that relies on state funds pointing to two facts; Transparency and anti-corruption fight.
As the public anxiously wait for the government’s timeline of May 2018 for the bill to be passed, President Akufo-Addo makes yet another strong case for the bill in his independence speech yesterday.
In his 61st Independence day speech, president Akufo-Addo noted that RTI, another anti-corruption framework apart from the Special Prosecutor, when put in place would increase transparency and add another critical weapon to the armoury in the fight against corruption.
“After many years of hesitation, we intend to bring a Bill again to Parliament and work to get it passed into law before Parliament rises,” he said.
“The protection of the national purse is a social common good, and it depends on all of us,” he added.
It will form the basis for every citizen to go to any government agency to demand information that should be public but may have been unpublished.
The bill was presented to legislators for passage in 2013 but never saw the light of day several years after.
The Right to Information Coalition that has been pushing for the passage of the bill into law believes the law will deepen transparency and firm up Ghana’s democracy, a Joy News report pointed out.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng