RTI Bill: We’ve shown great commitment – Mustapha Hamid

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Mon, 26 Mar 2018 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has indicated that the Akufo-Addo-led government has shown great commitment to passing the Right To Information (RTI) Bill.

The RTI Bill, which is expected to make information easily accessible by the media and Ghanaians to boost the fight against corruption, has been in legislation for well over 17 years now, because successive governments have failed to implement it despite several assurances.

It was first drafted 22 years ago under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and was reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010 The NPP government has subsequently been under immense pressure from the media and some civil society organizations to get the bill passed within the shortest possible time since assuming office last year.

But this according to Mustapha Hamid, was challenging as the bill had elapsed with the life of the “Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic” and was therefore mandatory to go through new procedures before being presented to parliament for approval.

“In the past one year, we’ve done the necessary stakeholder consultation and taken it to Cabinet. Cabinet has done the extensive discussions and has approved it. Now it has been laid before Parliament” he stated.

Some Ghanaians doubt it would be passed after the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on Friday, March 23, raised concerns with the fact the Bill has not been gazette, a situation he describes as “a breach of the standing orders of parliament.”

Speaking at the launch of World Press Freedom Day, however, the Information Minister intimated that the RTI Bill will be passed into law before the year ends.

"The Right to Information Bill is going to become law before the close of this year. That makes our promise when we came into office that we were going to pass the bill a reality."

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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