Right to Information bill progresses towards passage

Right to information TI Activist bbWork on the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, currently before Parliament is progressing steadily, and the Bill is expected to be passed before the end of the year.

Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Majority Leader in Parliament, on Friday March 4, gave the assurance that the House was committed to working on the legislation.

He said the House had to carefully consider all the technical details and the proposed amendments carefully before proceeding to pass it.

“Statements made to the effect that this honourable House is not committed to passing the bill are false,” Mr Bagbin said on the floor of the House, as he presented the Business Statement for next week ending Friday, March 11, 2016.

Next week’s ending will form the seventh, of the eight-week first meeting of the fourth session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, before the Easter Recess.

Mr Bagbin urged Ministers whose sectors were connected in one way or the other to the Bill, to avail themselves during the consideration stage to make contributions.

He said the Bill had gone through a lot of metamorphosis, yet the volume of work on it was huge and required more time.

According to the Majority Leader, the African Union had passed a resolution that all legislatures of member states had to pass RTI legislations after which the various states had to fine-tune the bill to suit their specific needs.

There were interjections from Mr Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, the Member of Parliament for Tema East, who said he had been questioned on a regular basis, and sometimes accused by his constituents that he, as well as all other members of the House were reluctant to pass the bill.

The Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, in a rejoinder, said it was the responsibility of the member to explain to his constituents that the bill required careful scrutiny and that the volume of work on it was huge.

He said the proposed amendments alone were 52 pages.

Continuing, Mr Bagbin also told the House that the Presidential Transition (Amendment) Bill 2016, would be presented and read for the first time.

Mr Bagbin also announced that the Governor of the Bank of Ghana would in camera brief the House on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 on the operations of savings and loans companies and micro finance companies operating in the country with particular reference to the DKM Diamond Microfinance, Little Drops Financial Services, God is Love Fun Club, Jaster Motors and Investment Company and Care for Humanity Fun Club.

Source: GNA

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