Parliament on Thursday during the house’s sitting had to postpone motion and consideration of the long standing Right To Information Bill yet again.
Speaker of the Legislative House, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye called for the removal of the Bill from the motion paper after the reading of the Bill.
His action was necessitated by the Civil Society Organisation’s decision to make additional proposals to be inserted into the bill.
The action brings to naught attempts and efforts by Members of Parliament to pass the Bill resulting in the further adjournment of the timeline set for its passage.
Commenting on the development however, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament and deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, stressed that Parliament should not be blamed for the delay in the passage of the bill as vigorous efforts had been put to finalizing it.
The Member of Parliament for Banda noted: “The executive have done their part, parliament has also done out part, it is the coalition to the Right to Information, they are saying they don’t want it to be passed the way we have done it…so the public should take that it is not Ghana parliament that is trying not to pass the RTI but it is the public that is bringing new amendment to the work we've done so far."
He explained that the leadership was passionate about the bill but submissions from public coalitions were to be blamed for the delays but added that the House would get it passed by Friday.
22 years since the first Right to Information 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, it was finally laid before Parliament early this month to be considered for passage.
The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010. Government came under massive pressure to get the bill laid following fears that government was deliberately delaying the process.
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