The Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Oquaye has ordered the removal of the Right to Information bill from the House’s order paper today. The order was necessitated by demands by Civil Society Organisations for some amendments to be effected before the passage of the bill into law.
The RTI Coalition has presented some proposals to be incorporated into the bill before passage. Announcing the directive, the Speaker said parliament is duty bound to listen to other view points on this matter.
The Speaker’s directive comes barely a day after the Majority Leader In parliament and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs disclosed the Bill will be passed into law tomorrow March 22.
Meanwhile second deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin during yesterday’s parliamentary proceedings urged Civil Society Oragnisation’s to lessen their push for their proposals to be ingrained in the bill at all cost. He said the CSOs should be informed that the proposals are evolutionary, not revolutionary.
He noted that although some of the proposals could be legislated upon, but they could be held up when it comes to issues of implementation. The RTI bill was laid before Parliament by the Deputy Attorney General Joseph Kpemka Dindiok in March this year.
It has been 22 years since the first RTI bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill. The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007, but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.