Parliament of Ghana has hinted the passage of the much talked about Right To Information Bill(RTI) into law in its first two weeks of the house next meeting in January 2019.
According to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Civil Society, Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the House will try its best within the constraints of considering appropriations to pass the RTI Bill before it rises on Saturday 23rd December or in January if the December deadline fails.
Speaking at a Dialogue between the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Civil Society groups, the Suame legislator said Parliament is still committed to the passage of the RTI bill.
“We shall strive to pass the RTI before we end the session on Saturday the 23rd December, 2018. Failing which I would assure that we shall use the first two weeks of the next meeting to have the bill passed. I’m being very realistic,” he said.
About RTI Bill
The RTI Bill is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.
The Bill, as it has been drafted, is to also give 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 in a democratic society.”
Successive governments have however failed to ensure its passage despite several assurances.
The RTI Media Coalition has emerged to push for the passage of the RTI Bill, and has been expressing concerns that some MPs are frustrating attempts to pass the Bill.
According to the collation, only 30 to 50 MPs are in the chamber anytime the RTI Bill is up for consideration.
They have cause for concern as the Adansi-Asokwa MP, K.T. Hammond has been adamant that he and fellow MPs had no plans to rush the Bill through Parliament.
Civil society organizations that are working with the RTI Media Coalition to push for the passing of the Bill include the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) Africa Office, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), PenPlusBytes, SEND-Ghana, Civil Society Platform on SDGs, Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA) and Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).