by: michael eli dokosi /www.blakkpepper.com/ghana
The Right to Information Bill which had been campaigned for by various stakeholders and aimed at giving legal backing to sensitive state document demands was supposed to be passed into law by now but the reverse is the case.
At forum to discuss the role of access to information in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), President Mahama bemoaned the delay with the passage noting “…has been at the Committee level, the Committee decided to go round and consult with some saying it is too liberal. Others too are saying it is too tight and so parliament is still working on it”.
He added “we have put in legislation aside from the constitution to guarantee access to freedom of information. I must say, unfortunately, it will go down in history as the legislation that has taken the longest in parliament. Cabinet approved it, we submitted it to parliament. … I do not know where it is,” he told dignitaries at a conference in Paris organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 26.
The Right to Information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognised as a right under International Conventions on Human rights. The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states: “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.”