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Parliament Considers Right To Information Bill   
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Parliament Wednesday began consideration of the Right to Information Bill with some members raising concerns over the absence of the relevant sector ministers in the Chamber.

The member for Old Tafo,  Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who first drew the attention of the Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, to the issue, said the absence of the Attorney General or his deputy during the consideration of the bill was a pointer to the disdain they had for Parliament.

The Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, did not state whether he held the same view that their absence showed disdain but agreed that either the minister or his deputy needed to be present.

The member for Manhyia South, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, also suggested that the bill should be reprinted.

He noted that the amendments proposed were so voluminous and members would have to use that, together with the bill itself in the state in which it is, to follow the debate on the floor, adding that if members were to go along that line, it would take about two years to complete the consideration.

There were also disagreements on proposals to amend clause one sub-clause one to read: "A person has the right to information, subject to qualifications and laws that are necessary in a democratic society."

Some members, notably Mr Haruna Iddrisu, expressed the view that the sub-clause should rather read: "A person shall have the right of access to information or part of an information in the custody of any public institution in accord with Article 21(f) of the 1992 Constitution. "

That public institution,  he contended,  should include a ministry, department or agency  as well as a public official.

But Dr Osei was of the view that the 1992 Constitution stipulated that one should have the right to information and added that to seek to pass a law that stated that one should have right to access was a different thing and contrary to the constitutional provisions.
Source: Daily Graphic

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