• The Right to Information bill was first drafted in 1999 under President Jerry John Rawlings.
  • Various advocacy groups emerged to press for the immediate passing of the bill into law in 2002, but it was reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
  • An amendment was passed earlier in February 2019, for the Bill to be implemented a year after it is signed into law due to the cost involved which was not budgeted for.

The Research Department of Parliament has estimated that the implementation of the Right to Information in Ghana will cost GHC 750 million over five years.

The report which was compiled in 2017 indicated that the cost will revolve around the setting up of an RTI Commission.

The breakdown of costs included funds for boards, administrative expenses, district administrative expenses, district office facilities, and a head office.

In the report, it was indicated that the administrative staff cost at the head office in the first year was marked at GHC 651,968.22.

For all the districts, the staff cost was estimated to cost GHC 91 million. These figures reduce year to year from 2018 to 2021.

When passed, the RTI Bill is expected to create 323 direct public sector jobs.

However, the figure for the cost for district administration is expected to increase since the number of districts in Ghana has risen from 254 to 260.

The report also noted as a fiscal impact statement, was “to help the government evaluate the affordability and enactment against the plan inscribed in the Bill.”

The report also noted that this fiscal impact statement of the Bill “is needed to support the budget process and provide estimates necessary to execute the proposal.”

The bill has spent nearly two decades before parliament. It was first drafted in 1999 under President Jerry John Rawlings.

Parliament is a step away from passing the Bill.

An amendment was passed earlier in February for the Bill to be implemented a year after it is signed into law due to the cost involved which was not budgeted for.

The Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu spoke about these concerns when talking about the delays in January.

“Parliament has the power to postpone the implementation of any legislation that is looking at the circumstances. This RTI is going to have new financial handling; the 2019 budget did not make any provision for it. The government needs to put its house together. We need to have information offices in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies and public offices. It comes with huge financial implications.”

Various advocacy groups emerged to press for the immediate passing of the bill into law in 2002, but it was reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has reaffirmed his commitment to the Bill during his 2019 State of the Nation address.

“I am happy to state that, as you know, Parliament has virtually completed its deliberations on the Right to Information Bill, and that, any moment from now, the nation will hear the news of its passage. I will, happily, give my assent to it as soon as it is brought to my table,” he said.