Ghana RTI Bill Sent to Committee for Review

15 November 2013

A Cabinet-approved right to information bill in Ghana has been referred to a parliamentary committee for review.

Speaker of the Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, assigned the bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the House on Nov. 12 after the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dominic Ayine, laid the document before the House. The Cabinet approved the bill in June. (See previous report.)

RTI legislation has been under consideration in Ghana since around 2002, often with government backing, but has still died in the Parliament.

Committee Chairman Alban Bagbin was quoted as saying the bill is a priority but needs scrutiny and consultations. He said passage this year can’t be guaranteed.

Northern regional Coordinator of the Right to  Information Coalition,  Zakariah Mahama, was quoted as saying,  “The Coalition is not impressed about the way the whole Bill is being handled for so many years now we have been pushing for its passage and yet it has been a problem.”

He said further: “Now we are hearing government saying it has approved the Bill but what role is government going to play to ensure that the numbers it has in Parliament ensures that the Bill is passed into law; this is what the Coalition is looking at; we are looking at government and the majority in Parliament and its role that will lead to the passage of the Bill into law.” The Coalition has strongly criticized past version of the bill and the indications are that little has changed.

President John Dramani Mahama in his campaign promised to have an RTI bill passed.

The Constitution guarantees: “All persons shall have the right to information, subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.”


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