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RTI bill passage urgent - Dominic Ayine

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 Source: Class FM

It is urgent for parliament to pass the Right to Information Bill (RTI), Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine has said,

“The Attorney General has impressed upon parliament that it is urgent that we pass the bill. You will remember that the president assured the nation that before the end of his first term in office, he was going to ensure that we passed the bill and that is how come the AG has taken the bill very seriously. Yes parliament knows and has accepted that fact there is an urgency to the bill but technically, we have not requested for a certificate of urgency,” the MP for Bolga East told Class News’ parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan in an interview on Wednesday, 26, October after the repackaged RTI bill was re-laid before parliament for deliberations aimed at its passage before the house rises.

The objective of the bill is to enhance transparency in governance by empowering citizens to hold public institutions accountable for their actions and inactions.

Concerns have been raised by some civil society groups over what they describe as undue delay by the legislators to pass the bill despite several assurances by both the Speaker and leadership of the House.

On Wednesday, the repackaged bill was taken through a second reading and the legislators shared their thoughts and opinions on its contents.

Dr Ayine said the bill incorporates all the concerns of stakeholders which will make its passage very smooth.

“The strategy that the Attorney General adopted was to withdraw the bill and incorporate the various amendments that had been agreed upon by the house by consensus and re-laid,” he explained.

He said 32 amendments had been undertaken and legislators are at liberty to make other recommendations. However, he hopes that very few changes will be made so that it could be passed into law as soon as possible.

Dr Ayine said the bill has been crafted to conform with certain international treaties and conventions regarding citizens’ right to information “such as the African Union Module Law on the right to information, so, we will be passing a law that will be accepted internationally”.

Various civil society organisations such as the Coalition of the Right to Information made contributions to the current bill before parliament.

Source: Class FM

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