Participants at the just ended Multi-stakeholder Anti-Corruption Strategic Meeting on the Right to Information (RTI) has renewed its call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure the passage of the Bill.
The group urged the Government to place the RTI Bill on the calendar of the current Parliament before the end of the first quarter of this year. They hinted that if the Government failed to do that, they would resolve to embark on various lawful public actions to mobilise the people of Ghana in support of the passage of the Bill.
This was in a Communiqué issued by the group at the end of their meeting, which brought together coalition of civil societies, policy think-tanks, trade unions and the media in Accra on Monday.
“We have observed with disappointment the continuing failure of Government to submit to Parliament and ensure passage of the Right to Information Bill, despite the President’s repeated assurances of his commitment to fight corruption,” it said.
“We note the fact that mention of the RTI Bill was completely missing from the State of the Nation’s Address delivered by H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday, 8th February 2018,” it said. The Communiqué said after one year in office, the Akufo-Addo Government had given no indication as to the current status of the RTI Bill or as to whether government intended or proposed to place it on the calendar of the Seventh Parliament and have it passed this year.
It reminded the Government of its many promises made since assuming office in January 2017, to ensure speedy passage of the RTI Bill including the assurance given by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the Transparency International Regional meeting in Accra in February 2017 that government would ensure the passage of the RTI Bill by the end of 2017.
The Communiqué said the RTI Bill was necessary to make credible and effective existing anticorruption legislation, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Whistleblower Act.
It said the passage of RTI Bill would help address the public financial management institutional weaknesses noted in the recently concluded Auditor General’s Report on the liabilities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies ending 31st December 2016.