The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, has indicated that the Right to Information (RTI) Act will be the bedrock upon which transparency, openness, accountability and fairness in the discharge of public service by stewards will be verified.
He said actors within the public service will apply themselves to the Act because the Act is not a reserve for some particular people. He explained that it is an Act for and on behalf of the Republic mandated to help deepen the country’s democratic practices.
The Minister said this during a public lecture on the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989), held at the Ascension Presby Hall, Koforidua, on Wednesday by the Right To Information Commission (RTIC).
The public lecture, which sought to educate the public and give clarification on the RTI Act, saw participants from the media, security services, traditional rulers, and some public servants.
“The Act is crucial and critical for all of us to build up knowledge. Therefore we’ve to appreciate the efforts of President Akufo-Addo who deemed it appropriate and proper to ensure that the RTI bill, which had transcended several administrations under the
Fourth Republic, became an Act under his administration,” Mr Acheampong added.
Addressing the participants, Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary RTIC, stressed that no one, including various political parties, can influence their work as a Commission or Commissioners.
According to him, the RTIC is not working with its own rules and regulations, but by a law passed by an Act of Parliament for the implementation of the right to access information adding that if they are going by the law no one will influence them.
Mr Boateng said Parliament passed the RTI Act to make it easier for the people to enjoy the right to access information as it is provided by the 1992 constitution and to also create an obligation for public institutions and relevant private bodies to provide information when requested.
“Therefore, you need to go through the process. You can either request your information orally or in a written form to an information officer, who is also required under the law to put whatever you’re asking for in writing and then explain to you everything then process the request for you. However between section 5 and 17 of the Act, there are exempt categories of information,” he added.