RTI bill will be passed in February 2019 - Ocquaye

Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, has reiterated that government will pass the 'controversial' Right to Information Bill (RTI) in February.

Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye

He said the bill will be one of the main focus of Parliament when they resume in 2019.

Speaking before Parliament goes on a Christmas break, Prof. Ocquaye said: "The bill has seen several years and several parliaments and it is tricky in many ways. The budget and other important matters also came our way. We have done 80% of the work already and we will finish the bill fully I believe and professionally on or before the end of February 2019.”

The Speaker also cautioned civil society groups to be circumspect in their demands fro the bill.

“While Parliament is still working hard to pass the RTI bill, certain persons and institutions are acting as if we are drooling off on the bill. This is fallacious and I will be glad if the media will seriously correct this misimpression….No Civil Society Organization should at this belated hour jump on our backs and pretend as if they are the people interested in passing this bill", he said.

Recently the Media Foundation of West Africa (MFWA) condemned parliament and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over how they have dealt with the Right to Information (RTI) Bill describing their conduct as extremely disappointing and deeply embarrassing.

The Right to Information Bill was first drafted in 1999 under former president, Jerry John Rawlings.

The right to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.

The Bill as has been drafted is to give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society.”

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