The joint coalition that fought to get the Right to Information (RTI) Bill passed into law has refuted claims that it agreed for the Bill to go through its final stage in parliament without their input.
According to a statement from the Coalition, the claim by the Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Ben Abdallah Banda is “false.”
The joint coalition, made up of The Coalition on the Right to Information (RTI) Ghana, the Media Coalition on RTI and pressure group, OccupyGhana had proposed among others, that the clause relating to the ‘timeframe for putting in place the necessary structure for effective implementation’, be amended. This, was, however, not accepted by the legislators.
“Although we are disappointed…we call on all and sundry to support the smooth implementation of the law,” the Coalition wrote.
The Coalition added that they hope that some of their “concerns will be addressed in the Regulations which will come later to operationalize the law.”
Although the 1992 Constitution of Ghana provides for the Right to Information, the Parliamentary Act to operationalize it has gone back and forth.
The Bill was drafted in 1992 but was not presented to Parliament in 2010. At the dying stages of the 6th Parliament, outgoing President, John Mahama appealed to Parliament to pass the Bill but the then Minority NPP – who had won Majority in the elections – would have none of it.
After a lot of advocacy from various civil society organisations, the 7th parliament passed the Bill into law on Tuesday, March 26 2019, ending a record two decades of advocacy.