The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has presented to Parliament the 2022 report on the performance of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The presentation, in accordance with Section 77(4) of Act 989 shed light on the significant strides made in the previous year, revealing notable initiatives and achievements undertaken in the past year to promote transparency and access to information in the country.
In his address to the House last Thursday, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah underscored the pivotal role of the Access to Information (ATI) Division of the Information Services Department (ISD) and the RTI Commission in driving forward the implementation of the RTI Act.
“We have made significant strides in enhancing the implementation of the RTI Act. The ATI Division of the ISD has embarked on five major tasks in the year gone by. Significant among these tasks are the recruitment and deployment of Information Officers, and the support to information units,” he added.
He highlighted the inclusion of RTI compliance as Key Performance Indicators in the Chief Director’s Performance Agreement, underlining the government’s commitment to ensuring accountability and transparency across public institutions.
RTI Commission’s gains
On the RTI Commission’s achievements, the Minister disclosed that the regulatory body had secured prosecutorial authority from the Attorney General to go after individuals and institutions who flout the RTI Act. He commended the Commission for conducting compliance surveys, determining review applications, and securing additional logistics to enhance its operations.
“Mr. Speaker, in terms of the work that the regulator has done, the RTI Commission has done in the year gone by, the regulator has secured the prosecutorial mandate from the Attorney General of the Republic, has also conducted compliance surveys, determined review applications that have come before it, secured additional logistics for its operations, promoted the Right to Information Act and its infrastructure and issued guidelines for the compilation and publication of information units,” he emphasized.
The Minister provided valuable statistics regarding the number of information requests received by various public institutions in the year under review. Out of an expected 683 institutions, 382 submitted annual reports to the RTI Commission, with 55 per cent compliance. These institutions, he said, had received a total of 783 applications, of which 669 were either approved, rejected, transferred, or deferred in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act.
With regards to the future plans of the RTI Commission, he said the regulator is seeking to establish field offices in Kumasi and Sunyani to bring services closer to the Ghanaian people. He added that the Commission will continue with it public sensitization efforts, whereas it will intensify efforts to populate the outstanding 333 public institutions with Information Officers, subject to available finances.