Speaker Cautions On Information Bill

Edward Doe Adjaho
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, has underscored the importance of Parliament to tread cautiously to ensure that the Right of Information Bill, when passed into law, will stand the test of the time.

He said this would help avoid the situation where the bill would be brought back to the House for amendments.

The Speaker said this when the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, Pancy Tlakula, paid a courtesy call on him at the Parliament House. She was accompanied by members of the Coalition of the Right to Information led by its Co-chairman Professor Kwame Karikari.

The Speaker said Ghana should learn from the challenges faced by advanced countries that have passed the bill and adopt best practices that would help fashion out a good law.

Explaining the purpose of the visit to Parliament, Madam Tlakula of the Africa Commission on Human Rights said she was in Ghana upon the request of the Ghana Coalition on the Right to Information to meet the leadership of Parliament and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

She emphasised the importance of Ghana’s Right to Information Bill being fashioned in line with the disclosures of information, fees for accessing information and the appeal process.

In his contributory remarks, the 1 st Deputy Speaker, Hon. Barton- Oduro, noted that the recordkeeping would be very critical when the bill is passed, adding that it was important that organisations and public officials attached utmost relevance to the efficient methods of recordkeeping even before the passage of the bill.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Benjamin Kumbour, touched on some areas of the bill relating to disclosure of information and advised that prominence be given to areas where disclosure was mandatory and where non-disclosure was permitted.

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