The President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has taken a major step towards fulfilling yet another key manifesto promise, with the approval of the Right to Information Bill by the Cabinet.
The Cabinet gave the approval at its last sitting, following a report submitted by its subcommittee that studied the draft memorandum. With the approval, the Bill is set to be submitted to Parliament for consideration. The Minister of Information, Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the “presentation of the Bill to Parliament less than a year after coming into office is the fulfillment of the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC’s) campaign pledge to pass the Bill into law to facilitate access to official information”.
She said the move by the government was also an ample testimony of “our commitment to full disclosure”. The bill, when passed, will give journalists and the public the right to obtain information from government officials and public institutions that otherwise would have been difficult to access. One of the strongest benefits of the bill is that it would help journalists to refrain from propaganda and hearsay to rely on empirical evidence and give citizens more factual and detailed understanding of issues.
Mrs. Okaikoi said the Mills Administration recognized the importance of the bill to the fight against corruption, adding that it would also enhance a transparent, accountable and responsive government. She appealed to Parliament to treat the consideration of the bill with utmost urgency. The minister also reminded journalists of the need for them to continue to be fair, objective and responsible in their reportage in order to promote greater national cohesion and contribute to the sustainable development of the country.
She further urged journalists in particular to update themselves on the provisions in the bill in order to keep abreast of the procedures and processes for accessing information under the law, after passage.
Source: Daily Graphic
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