General News of Thursday, 2 November 2017
The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has proposed a new timeline for the passage of the much talked about Right to Information Bill.
According to him, Parliament would finish work on the bill by the second meeting of the next session of the house which translates to about July 2018.
The Right to Information Bill, which seeks to grant citizens greater access to public information has been in parliament for over ten years, with the last parliament in 2016 failing to pass it after extensive work was done on it.
Speaking at a training programme for journalists in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic will work hard to pass the Bill.
“I want to believe that if we cross this meeting into the meeting of next year, I should think by the close of the second meeting, we should be in the position to have dealt with the RTI Bill.”
This marks the latest assurance dished out with respect to the passage of this Bill, which was drafted in 1999 and reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007, but was not presented to Parliament.
The first attempt at enacting the law on the right to information was made when the Bill was presented to Parliament on February 5, 2010.
The bill has been in Parliament since 2013, after formerly being laid for the first time, but its passage has evaded Ghanaians amid promises from corridors of governance.
Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the Middle Belt and Coastal Development Authority Bills.
If assented to by the President, the two acts would provide the framework for the accelerated economic and social development of the Coastal and Middle Belt Development zones and related matters.
The two authorities would also administer government’s flagship Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme, also known as one constituency one million dollars policy of the Akufo Addo administration.