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Right to Information: ministry commissions RTI Secretariat

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah commissions RTI Secretariat

The Right to Information (RTI) Secretariat has been commissioned by the Ministry of Information (MoI) to provide support to the designated RTI officers and assistant RTI officers assigned to the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the public sector to make the Right to Information Act fully operational. The commissioning was done on Friday 17 July 2020.

The RTI Secretariat is a division of the Information Services Department (ISD) which will help the MDAs to process information requested by citizens.

A divisional head is expected to be appointed soon to manage the daily administrative activities of the Secretariat.

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who cut the tape to open the Secretariat in Accra officially, implored the ISD staff who will be working at the office to be professional in their dealings to ensure the timely release of information to applicants.

“You’re to provide the information as it is required and not hide it, and should be dedicated to the tenets of the law to ensure that the rights given to citizens by the constitution are upheld,” Oppong Nkrumah stressed.

The minister said the first batch of assistant RTI officers had been recruited to support the designated RTI officers with the various MDAs to process requests made by individuals and organisations.

Parliament passed the RTI Bill on 26 March 2019 and President Akufo-Addo assented the bill into law on 21 May 2019.

The legislation provides for the implementation of the constitutional right to information held by any public institution and is intended to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs.

The law is a critical tool in the fight against corruption in Ghana.

In a welcome address, Mamle Andrews, chief director at the Ministry of Information, said the Secretariat will help to monitor and co-ordinate implementation of the activities of the RTI law across the public sector.

The effective rollout of the law, she said, will help the government to effect policy formulation and decision-making.

The government tasked the Ministry of Information to assist by putting in place the requisite infrastructure towards full operationalisation of the RTI Act within a year of the passage of the law.

Information Minister Oppong Nkrumah, his deputy Pius Enam Hadzide and members of the RTI Implementation Committee toured the facility.

The fully air-conditioned Secretariat has furniture, computers, a server and Free Conference equipment for organising virtual meetings.

Wilberforce Asare

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