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Government pushes Parliament to pass RTI Bill

Government has impressed upon Parliament to expedite the passage of the Right to Information, (RTI Bill), 2016.

The RTI Bill, is intended to ensure transparency and accountability in governance process.

The Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine said this as the Bill was read a second time in Parliament.

The crust of the Bill is to bring life to Article 21 of the Constitution which gives all persons the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.

A report by Parliamentary correspondents’ Dominic Hlordzi and Augustus Acquaye, say the bill will also empower citizens to hold public institutions accountable for their actions and inactions to ensure that their interest are protected.

In recognition of international conventions and treaties on human rights as well as operationalising the Constitutional provision, an RTI bill was drafted by the government in 1999.

Many have thus seen the RTI bill as a long awaited one.

Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine however, says government can wait no longer.

He says the bill has overtime become well formulated to meet best practice

According to a report by the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the revised bill, the scope of access to information was not limited to only public institutions.

The bill grants access to information in the custody of private entities, particularly if the disclosure is in the public interest.

Thus, private entities that perform public functions with public funds are obliged to disclose information unless that information is exempt.

GBC

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