Private legal practitioner Lawyer Akoto Ampaw has described as merely a scarecrow an amount of ¢750 million being quoted by Parliament as the cost of implementation of the Right to Information Law, which was passed on Tuesday, March 26.
A research conducted by Parliament found out that the Right to Information (RTI) Law will cost the government some ¢750 million over the next five years.
The cost as captured in the research will most likely arise from establishing and operating an office for the RTI Commission as well as its administrative costs.
“These costs are the costs incurred in paying salaries to all personnel and the cost involved in acquiring logistics, maintaining assets and rent as well as the cost of employing the Executive Secretary to efficiently manage and operate the office,” Parliament’s research said.
“The total cost for the next five years in present-day value is estimated at ¢750,746,327.48,” the research added.
But Mr. Ampaw, contributing to a discussion on the Saturday edition of TV3’s morning show, The Key Points, challenged the figured.
According to the astute lawyer, the figure could not be accurate.
“It gives an indication of the thinking of people in power and their resistance to this act,” he said.
“We are not aware Parliament has what it takes to do the analysis to know exactly how much it will cost…this is the first time we’re hearing such observations from Parliament, we do not think that is accurate.
“So I think that this is a red-herring, it’s a scarecrow that Parliament is throwing at the people of this country,” he added.
He however maintained that even if it will cost that much or even more to have the RTI implemented, it is worth it.
“Even if it’s accurate it is more than its worth and value for money because with the Right to Information Bill a lot of leakages in society will be blocked,” he observed.
Leader of the Media Coalition on the Right to Information Elvis Darko also shared the opinion of Mr. Ampaw, questioning the cost involved in implementing the law.
“What they [Parliament] have done, there is no basis for the figure,” he said
“With the calculations, we have our own issues with it but even if it is, it is worth it,” he emphasized.
He explained that the benefits that will inure to the nation as a result of enforcing the RTI far outweigh that of the amount involved for which reason the figure should not be a problem.
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