We, participants at the Multi-stakeholder Anti-Corruption Strategic Meeting on the Right to Information (RTI) organised in Accra by the Right to Information (RTI) Coalition and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) Consortium, have observed with disappointment the continuing failure of Government to submit to Parliament and ensure passage of the Right to Information (“RTI”) Bill, despite the President’s repeated assurances of his commitment to fight corruption.
We note the fact that mention of the RTI Bill was completely missing from the State of the Nation’s Address delivered by H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday 8th February 2018.
We note further that, after one year in office, the Akufo-Addo government has given no indication as to the current status of the RTI Bill or as to whether Government intends or proposes to place the RTI on the calendar of the 7th Parliament and have it passed this year.
We would like to remind H.E. the President of the many promises made by his government since assuming office in January 2017, to ensure speedy passage of the RTI Bill, including the assurance given by H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the Transparency International Regional meeting in Accra in February 2017 that Government will ensure passage of the RTI Bill by the end of 2017.
We are united in our belief that passage of the RTI Bill is necessary to make credible and effective existing anticorruption legislation, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and the Whistleblower Act. Similarly, we are confident the passage of RTI Bill will help address the public financial management institutional weaknesses noted in the recently concluded Auditor General report on the liabilities of Ministries, Department and Agencies ending 31st December 2016.
We are unable to find any reasonable justification for continued inaction on the RTI Bill and hereby call on H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that a RTI Bill, in substantially the form it was before the expiry of the term of the last Parliament, is placed on the calendar of the current Parliament before the end of the first quarter of this year.
We hereby resolve to embark on various lawful public actions, beginning from today, February 12, 2018, to mobilize the people of Ghana behind and in support of our call for passage of an effective and robust right to information legislation in Ghana before the end of the third quarter of this year 2018.
This communiqué was endorsed on Thursday 8th February 2018 by the following:
H. Kwasi Prempeh - Ghana Centre for Democratic Development
Ace Ankomah - Occupy Ghana
Kofi Bentil - Imani-Ghana
Linda Ofori-Kwafo - Ghana Integrity Initiative
Mina Mensah - Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Seth Abloso - RTI Coalition
Kojo Asante - Ghana Centre for Democratic Development
Bernard Avle - Citi FM
Kojo Yankson - Joy FM
Afia Pokua - Adom FM
Shamima Muslim - Alliance for Women in Media
Manasseh Azure Awuni - Joy FM
Frederick Asiamah - Business Day
Daphne Lariba Nabila - Legal Resource Centre
Abigail Larbi - Media Foundation for West Africa
Gabriel Bennarku - Ghana Coalition for NGO’s in Health
Ugonna Ukaigwe - CSO Platform on SDG’s
Gloria Hiadzi - GIBA
Alex Tetteh - Centre of Employment for Persons with Disability
Jonathan Osei Owusu - POS Foundation
Naa S. Sekyere - TUC
Bright Sowu - Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition