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Coalition Calls For Public Support For Bill   
 
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08-Aug-2014  
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The Right to Information Coalition, Central Region, has asked Ghanaians to fully rally behind it to pressurize Parliament to make the necessary amendments and pass the Right to Information (RTI) bill into law for easy access to public information.

The Coalition said the passage of the RTI into law would also encourage the citizenry to demand accountability from public officials without fear or reservation and ensure proper record keeping in all sectors of public organizations to help promote transparency in governance.

Mrs. Baaba Fleischer, Central Regional Coordinator of the Coalition who made the call urged the public to be very vigilant and ensure that they demand information from public officials to keep them on their toes for them to carry out their expected duties.

She was educating participants at a public forum organized by the Coalition in Cape Coast on the theme “promoting the passage on an effective right to information law in Ghana” and called on Parliament to effect the proposed amendments soonest.

It was attended by religious bodies, traditional leaders, market women and traders, civil society organizations, Assembly-members, media personnel and the Federation of People Living with Disability.

Mrs. Fleischer said RTI law aided transparency which was very vital in the promotion of good governance; however, certain portions must be amended to bring it in line with international best practices.

Among the nine-point amendments which should be effected in the bill she mentioned were the “appeals process, fee requirements, and timely access and exemptions” saying there were some ambiguities that had been clarified by the Coalition.

Mrs. Fleischer said an RTI law would be mainstreamed into the local government structure for easy access to information by the public when it came into force.

She said it was unfortunate that simple every day practice where citizens could exercise their rights, for example, ask the name of the medical doctor who will treat them, know the kind of drugs being administered to them and even ask for a change if not comfortable with the drugs was not being done.

The Rev Asante-Border, an Assembly member who chaired the function re-echoed calls to the public to ask relevant questions on issues concerning them from their lawyers, bankers and landlords enable them they get the best services.
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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