RTI bill can be passed in four days - Majority Leader

Tue, 18 Dec 2018 Source: The Herald

The Majority Leader in Parliament, who also doubles as the Minister For Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu has expressed optimism about the quick passage of the Right to Information bill, saying greater works on fine-tuning the bill has been done.

Speaking at a media encounter which featured members of the Parliamentary Press Corps, the Minister allayed concerns of further delay.

The Majority Leader, who also represents the people of Suame constituency in the Ashanti region, noted that with the amendments that are left to be done, he is hopeful of the passage of the RTI bill within three to four days of its deliberation.

The Right To Information Bill, which has been in and out of Parliament for over two decades, has in recent times received more attention with various coalitions spearheading its passage under this current seventh Parliament.

According to Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Parliament is required to do a good job on the bill, which to him is the reason the House is scrutinizing the clauses by making the various amendments.

In a related development, he hinted of a possible review of the Standing Orders of Parliament, which will allow for media coverage of committee sittings to give the public more insight into other committees as it is with the Public Accounts Committee.

The media dialogue was under the Theme: ”Interrogating Parliament's Contributions To The Consolidation Of Ghana’s Democracy Thus Far: The Perspective of The Media”. It also brought together some senior journalists who made some contributions on the evening.

The Majority Leader was also of the view that journalists should specialize in an area of reporting, in order to offer the grounds for such journalists to become an authority in that particular area.

For example, he advised journalists to take it upon themselves to dwell on health by following the workings of the Health Committee in Parliament, in order to have access to as much information and knowledge.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who made an intervention, was of the view that journalists, have not given balanced reports of the proceedings in the House and therefore called on the Parliamentary Press Corps in particular to take a look at it.

He was not pleased with what he said was a misrepresentation of contributions of Members of Parliament on the floor.

According to him, headlines do not represent the content of stories and called on journalists to check it as well.

For him, it will do the nation lots of good, if the media make deliberate efforts to be interested in the approval, disbursement and expenditure of the petroleum fund.

Source: The Herald

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