General News of Thursday, 22 March 2018
The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has told journalists Thursday that Cabinet was yet to approve the Right to Information (RTI) bill.
This contradicts claims by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, that the bill had already received cabinet clearance and was subsequently forwarded to parliament for consideration.
It has been 22 years since the first Right to Information RTI Bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA.
Also, it is 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI Bill. The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.
Government is under massive pressure to get the bill laid before parliament rises on Friday March 23 following fears that the government was deliberately delaying the process.
“Cabinet has given approval to the Right to Information Bill to be laid in parliament for debate and approval because it is very very critical that we pass the Right to Information Bill and it is our hope that it will add additional feather in our fight against corruption,” said Dr. Bawumia on Monday March 19 during his address at the Norway-Ghana Business and Investment Forum and official launch of the Norfund’s West Africa Office in Ghana.
But speaking to journalists on the matter, Mr. Mensah-Bonsu said: “The cabinet is meeting today [Thursday, March 22, 2018] on that.”
According to him, a cabinet sub-committee has already looked at the bill and that it would likely receive the approval at Thursday’s cabinet meeting.