On February 29th 2016, the Coalition on the Right to Information (RTI) Ghana organized a technical meeting for selected Members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss the RTI Bill which has been awaiting consideration since July 2015. The Bill has been on Parliament’s agenda for consideration since October 2015 but is yet to be considered.
The Coalition would like to thank the following MPs for participating in the meeting:
1. Hon. Magnus Kofi Amoatey
2. Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu
3. Hon. George Kofi Arthur
4. Hon. Laadi Ayii Ayamba
5. Hon. Ama Pomaa Andoh
6. Hon. Kwasi Amoako - Attah
7. Hon. David Oppon-Kusi
8. Hon. Dominic Azumah
9. Hon. Fritz Baffour
10. Hon. Samson Abu
Members of Parliament in attendance acknowledged that:
1. The RTI Bill has not been given priority in Parliament.
2. The Bill has gone through various degrees of acceptance by MPs but currently
MPs have built consensus on the importance of the law.
3. The proposed amendments have brought the Bill in line with international standards on access to information.
4. The delay in the passage of the Bill has been due to the number of amendments that
need to be made.
5. Parliament needs to find time to consider the proposed amendments.
6. With commitment on the part of Parliament, the Bill could be passed by October 2016.
MPs present hereby commit:
To be champions of the RTI Bill in Parliament.
To be present and participate during the consideration of the Bill.
MPs present hereby recommend the following:
Ø Given that the 6th Parliament barely has six months before its tenure ends, Committee members should engage their colleagues and encourage them to request for the Bill to be considered.
Ø MPs to consider using other platforms that they are on, to attract the interest of their
colleagues on the Bill because of the nature of the amendments which are many.
Ø Participants from the majority side should speak to the majority caucus and vice versa to get the Bill to be considered.
Subsequently, the Coalition is aware that Parliament has finally started the consideration process on the Bill. We are using this opportunity to urge the August House under the leadership of Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho to accord the Bill the needed attention it deserves regardless of the numerous amendments.
Ghanaians need this law and Ghanaians want this law, in the Speaker’s own words during the opening of the consideration process on March 9, 2016 ‘…I keep on receiving communication from various citizens of this country on this Bill…’, it is therefore our hope that Parliament will give Ghanaians what they deserve.
Issued by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Africa Office
On behalf of the RTI Coalition, Ghana
March 10, 2016
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