Stakeholders want portions of the Right to Information Bill expunged

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Stakeholders have raised concerns about the Right to Information bill indicating that certain clauses need to be expunged before consideration by parliament.

This came to light at a consultative forum on the Right to Information bill in Accra on Tuesday 8 May 2018.

The bill which has survived several Parliament’s since its introduction many years ago, is supposed to give Ghanaians unhindered access to information.

But a close scrutiny of the bill reveals that information can be withheld by several agencies and offices including the Office of the President, Vice President and Cabinet, among others.

In addition, individuals or entities seeking information will have to pay a fee for administrative purposes to the institution where the information is going to be retrieved.

In the view of some civil society groups, these factors are not in the nation’s best interest.

During the stakeholder’s conference, arguments were advanced to persuade the Committee to limit the exemption clauses spelt out under the bill as well as redefining the fee paying regime in the bill.

Speaking to Class news, the Regional Coordinator of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and member of the Coalition on the Right to Information, Mina Mensah urged the Committee to take a serious look at the issues raised and amend before presenting to the plenary since the bill will go a long way to fight corruption.

On his part, a former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine supported the arguments. For him, the exemption clauses defeat the purpose of giving Ghanaians free access to information.


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