CDD-GHANA has expressed dismay about the very short notice Parliament is giving to the public to submit inputs into a new legislation – Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunication Messages Bill, 2016.
“It has come to our notice that the Parliament of Ghana is considering the passage of a new legislation – Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunication Messages Bill, 2016. Parliament put out a notice on Monday, February 15, ostensibly to solicit public input into the draft legislation, with Friday, February 19, as the deadline for submission of such inputs,” it said in a statement released yesterday, signed by Mina Okuru, Communications Officer at CDD-Ghana
“We also protest the fact that a copy of the said draft legislation was not published along with the public notice on Monday or made available to the public via the official website of Parliament.
Considering the implications and likely impact of such a bill on the rights of the citizens of Ghana, Parliament should have taken steps to widely publicize the bill so as to solicit input, allow for more time to enable organizations and persons to send memoranda and for public debate on the merits of such legislation.
“We are by this protest calling on Parliament to demonstrate credible commitment to the principles of “open government” in the discharge of its duties as a body of representatives of the people. As a taxpayer funded democratic governance institution, the Parliament of Ghana must eschew all inclinations towards tokenism.
“We demand that Parliament, in accordance with the principles of transparency and democratic governance, withholds a consideration of the bill until it is widely publicized and the public given adequate time to study and submit memoranda to the appropriate Parliamentary Select Committee.”
It also called on all civil society to protest against the injustice and subterfuge that was about to be perpetrated on the blindside of the citizens of Ghana.
By Samuel Boadi