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Coalition repeats call for passage of RTI law

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The Coalition on the Right to Information (RTI) has re-echoed its call on government to expedite action towards passage of Ghana’s information Bill bouncing between Parliament and Executive for over two decades. 

The Coalition’s call was made in a six-point resolution adopted at a general meeting held on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday.

The meeting also discussed its activities and reviewed strategies to promote passage of the Bill.

It decried failure by the past administration to pass the Information Bill in 2016 despite several efforts put into the review and amendment processes by the 6th Parliament.

It also expressed concerns over the time, energy and resources that would be committed into fresh processes to enable the passage of the Bill and urged the new government to expedite action to enable passage of the Bill within the first year of its administration.

The Coalition referenced to a promise made by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the Transparency International regional meeting in February this year in Accra where he assured the public that the Bill would be passed in 2017.

“We hope that this will not be a mere repetition of the promises made by the past administrations,” the Coalition said.  

The General Meeting which had in attendance regional focal persons from nine regions also saw the swearing in of new steering committee members to serve for the next two years.

The members resolved to continue to work hard to ensure passage of the RTI Bill and campaign vigorously for Ghana to get an effective access to information regime. 

It expressed satisfaction at the support for sustenance of the campaign for the passage of the Bill but said it was disappointed at the failure by the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic to pass the Bill, despite assurances from the Executive and leadership of the lawmakers.

It also expressed concern about the need for passage of the RTI Bill to enhance democracy, accountability and development.

The Coalition observed that attitude of governments towards passage of the RTI Bill over the years had not been the best and that the tactics used had been that of several promises that never materialised. 

“We also note with cautious optimism, efforts so far initiated by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that a new RTI Bill is placed before Parliament,” it said.

The Coalition called on the President to ensure early submission of the Bill to Parliament for the necessary action.

“The Coalition renews its commitment and readiness, despite its disappointment and associated costs, to engage with and support Parliament for the early passage of the RTI Bill in Ghana,” it said.

Source: GNA

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