Redeem your pledge – RTI Action Campaign Group to Government

General News of Thursday, 22 March 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2018-03-22

play videoSampson Lardy Anyenini, Member, RTI Action Campaign Group

The Right to Information (RTI) Action Campaign Group has charged President Nana Akufo-Addo to redeem his March 6 pledge of laying the RTI bill in parliament before parliamentarians go on recess on March 23, 2018.

In a statement copied to GhanaWeb, the group states that while they accept that the Bill cannot be passed immediately they expect the bill to be laid in parliament before it goes on recess.

President Nana Akufo-Addo gave the strongest assurance that his government will take the necessary steps that will lead to the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) bill.

Addressing the 61st Independence Day parade in Accra on Tuesday, March 6, the president hinted that in addition to the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s office, his government will champion the passage of the Right to Information bill.

“There is, however, one piece of the anti-corruption framework that is yet to be put in place; The Right to Information Act. It would increase transparency and add another critical weapon to the armoury in the fight against corruption,” he stated.

“After many years of hesitation, we intend to bring a Bill again to Parliament and work to get it passed into law before Parliament rises,” he added.

“Fellow Ghanaians, corruption, or, more specifically, the stealing of public funds, continues to hold back the development of our nation. Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse”, he noted.

This the RTI Action Campaign Group believe “that passage of the RTI Bill is necessary to make credible and effective existing anticorruption legislation, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Whistleblower Act.

Similarly, we are confident the passage of the RTI Bill will help address the public financial management and institutional weaknesses noted in the recently concluded Auditor General report on the liabilities of Ministries, Department and Agencies ending 31st December 2016.”

Read full statement below

THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION (RTI) ACTION CAMPAIGN GROUP

Today is DAY 9 of the 10-day Countdown that was initiated as part of the coordinated Campaign for the speedy passage of the RTI Bill into law in 2018.

By this statement, the RTI Coalition and the RTI Action Campaign Group is reminding H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of his 6th March pledge to have the near two decades old RTI Bill laid and passed before Parliament rises. Parliament goes on recess tomorrow March 23, 2018. While we accept that the Bill cannot be passed immediately, at the minimum we expect the bill to be laid in Parliament before it goes on recess, tomorrow.

We are united in our belief that passage of the RTI Bill is necessary to make credible and effective existing anticorruption legislation, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Whistleblower Act.

Similarly, we are confident the passage of the RTI Bill will help address the public financial management and institutional weaknesses noted in the recently concluded Auditor General report on the liabilities of Ministries, Department and Agencies ending 31st December 2016.

It is in the interest of the citizens of Ghana and for the urgent need to give meaning to the article 21 “Right to Information” and the article 41 citizens duty “to protect and preserve public property and expose and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property”, for him to keep this promise.

We are unable to find any reasonable justification for the continued inaction on the RTI Bill and hereby call on H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government, to ensure that the RTI Bill, is laid in Parliament tomorrow. The time for talking is over. If we mean business, then we must act.

The RTI Coalition and the RTI Action Campaign Group calls on the media fraternity to continue with their support of this campaign and on citizens to join the campaign for the passage of the RTI Bill.

God Bless Ghana!

Thank you.

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