Home / General News / Defining classified information main challenge to passing RTI Bill – Kufuor

Defining classified information main challenge to passing RTI Bill – Kufuor

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said the Right to Information (RTI) Bill must be passed to help achieve better governance, however, it should not be at the cost of security and stability.

“It is obvious that successive governments not passing the RTI frustrates the fight against corruption, and civil society groups are up in arms for the lack of passage, and they are rightly so,” he said.

“Unfortunately”, he explained: “The real challenge is not government just refusing to pass the Bill, but the text of the bill, the content of the bill, has not been revisited enough to offer guarantees to information that are of security and stability concerns.”

That was why, he noted, successive governments since the inception of the Fourth Republic had struggled with passing the Bill despite the pressure from civil society groups.

Former President Kufuor was addressing the University of Professional Studies, Accra’s (UPSA) Annual Leadership Lectures in Accra, on Wednesday.

The 2018 UPSA Annual Leadership Lecture on the theme: “Leadership in Ghana: Meeting Global Standards” was attended by students, academics, traditional rulers and the public.

The lecture was instituted to strengthen the stature of the University as it strives to improve on scholarship, research and professionalism.

With regard to corruption, former President Kufuor said it was still a major problem for the nation.

“I just recently came across a newspaper headline on social media whereby Prime Minister K. A. Busia was in March 1971, lamenting over bribery and corruption having eaten so deep into the very fabric of the Ghanaian society,” he stated.

“However, successive governments have had varying degrees of success in the fight against this social canker, and there is still much more work to be done.”

He noted that if one wanted to determine whether corruption was still with us, one should just get hold of an annual Auditor-General’s Report.

“I would surmise that robust economic progress, effective policing and judicial mechanisms, access to gainful employment with realistic remuneration, which will not make the individual succumb easily to corrupt practices are some of the avenues to fight corruption,” he said.

He noted that, however, with the creation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor by the current government, there was hope that the fight may now be enjoined and intensified, even within the limited constraints.

He said the work of many civil society organisations in the corruption fight, and also for accountability and transparency in government actions must also be commended and supported.

Source: GNA

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