Designated RTI Officers undergo training for implementation of law

About 120 designated Right To Information law (RTI) officers from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been trained as part of the continuous efforts to equip them to implement the RTI law successfully.

The training also meant to educate them on the RTI Act 989 in order to be rightly informed on the legalities of the law and avoid any infringement, liabilities and sanctions.

Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, Member of Parliament for Offinso South and Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Committee of Parliament, took the participants through the basic understanding and interpretation of the RTI Act.

He entreated participants to avoid using their discretionary powers in handling applications and ensure that all their activities were strictly within the confines of the law.

“Persons who deliberately infringe on the Right To Information law by denying access to information would be penalised”.
He urged RTI designated officers to adhere strictly to rules with respect to the RTI law to avoid being sanctioned.

Mr Bandah indicated that Section three of the Act 989, which underpinned the declaration of human rights, authorised state institutions to publish some categories of information on their websites without necessarily being requested by the public or individuals before making them available.

He advised the designated officers to always act within the laws when handling applications and make sure they always give responses to requests within the stipulated time.

It is expected that after the training, RTI Secretariat would know how to handle applicants and their applications so they do not fall foul of the law.

Also, officers would know which requests are classified as exempt under the law and the number of days officers are required to work to respond promptly to applicants’ request.

Source: GNA

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