General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
You cannot talk about democratic governance without the right to information (RTI) Kojo Asante, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Center for Democratic Development has said.
According to him, RTI is the core of how any democratic accountability processes is supposed to work.
“You elect people to go and work for you, you assign them to do things that you as a private citizen are not able to do, how are you going to know that they are doing the things they are supposed to do, that the resources you’ve entrusted to them they are using it well” he quizzed.
Mr. Asante stressed, it is when you have a system of getting information that allows you to access that the work is been done well.
“In other places people can sit in their office to access an official statement” adding that “It is perverse to have a democracy where you don’t have a system where citizens can access information so they can hold their duty bearers accountable”,
He said, even with the medical drones and its accompanying controversy, how is the media going to get access to information to understand the contract and explain it to the citizenry.
“Is it going to be that, you need to have somebody in a higher office to sneak out information or the media can easily access information” he quizzed Kojo Asante was addressing the media on Thursday, on the Right to Information Bill
/b>About the RTI Bill
The Right to Information Bill is meant to ensure citizens of this country have access to official information from Public Offices on request and without request.
The RTI is implicit in the notion that the Ghanaian taxpayers need to have access to the Information concerning what Government does with their money and what government plans to do on their behalf.
The Bill is meant to put in effect Article 21(1) (f) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states that “All persons shall have the right to Information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.
The bill was first drafted in 1999 and reviewed in 2003. It also spells out the establishment of the right to information commission to ensure independence of the review process.