Govt has lost RTI plot – Haruna Iddrisu

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Making the Ministry of Information the supervisory ministry of the implementation of the newly-passed Right To Information (RTI) bill is a mistake on the government’s part, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has said.

According to the Tamale South lawmaker, assigning that role to the Ministry of Information will reduce the implementation of the law to a propaganda venture, a situation he said, will not help the fight against corruption.

Mr Iddrisu noted that the appropriate body to have supervised the implementation of the law is the Attorney General’s Department because it has been entrusted with the mandate, by law, to fight corruption and economic crime in the country.

He told Class91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan in an interview on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 that: “The right to information is in governance and corruption, what we call sunshine legislation. But I believe that the government has already lost it.

“Lost it because the shepherding minister has been reduced to the Ministry of Information. RTI is not about propaganda, it is about the right to access information to aid and expose decisions that the executive, parliament and others will take. So, in my view, to substitute the Attorney General for the Minister of Information, itself, waters down the policy credibility of the RTI.

“The Attorney General because the mandate to combat corruption [and] economic criminality rests on the shoulders of the Attorney General.”

Ghana’s parliament on Tuesday, 26 March 26 passed the Right to Information Bill.

It now awaits presidential assent.

The Bill was passed after its third reading.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his third state of the nation address to parliament on Thursday, 21 February 2019, said he was ready to sign the Bill into law as soon as it was passed by parliament.

“Mr Speaker, I’m happy to state that as you know, Parliament has virtually completed its deliberation on the Right to Information Bill and any moment from now the nation will hear the news of its long-anticipated passing. I will happily assent to it as soon as it’s brought to my table,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The bill was initially drafted in 1999. It got reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was only presented to parliament in 2010. It was brought back to the sixth parliament but could not be passed till the expiration of that parliament on 6 January 2016.

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