Story: Peace Awuku
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has disclosed that the Right to Information (RTI) Secretariat has so far received a total of 1,053 information requests out of which 838 have been granted.
He said the Secretariat is trying its best to serve the public despite the myriad of challenges it is confronted with in its discharge of duties.
Making the disclosure, Mr. Nkrumah said, “we have received 1,053 information requests, and we have granted 838 of them, that is about 80 percent of all the requests that have come through. The other 20 percent are in other categories. Some have been rejected based on the law. There are those that have been deferred or transferred to other institutions based on what the law says.”
Mr. Nkrumah further indicated that the Secretariat so far has “478 information units properly so-called” across the country in order to better serve the public’s right to information.
He however stressed that the challenge was the demand side of the law that is creating some issues, but the Secretariat will “continue to engage in public education to help the demand side because once people know how the law works, then they are better able to apply the law in their search for information and I think that gives a fair sense of how we are doing in implementing this law.”
He also disclosed that many of the requests had come from journalists and civil society groups.
“The majority of the requests have come from journalists, followed by civil society groups and then a bit of academia, and then individuals also coming through [with requests].”
The RTI Bill was first drafted in 1999, and reviewed in 2003, 2005, and 2007 but was only presented to Parliament in 2010.
It was brought back to the Sixth Parliament but could not be passed till the expiration of that Parliament on January 6, 2016, and was eventually passed in May 2019.