The Information Ministry has commissioned, under its Information Services Division, the Right to Information Secretariat as part of structures for the full operationalization of the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
The Secretariat was commissioned on Friday, July 17, 2020, in Accra. As part of its functions, the Secretariat will support the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to effectively process and respond to RTI requests.
A Divisional Head is expected to be appointed soon to manage the daily administrative activities of the Secretariat.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who cut the tape to officially open the Secretariat in Accra, implored the ISD staff who would be working at the office to be professional in their dealings to ensure timely release of information to applicants.
“You’re to provide the information as it is required and not hide it, and should be dedicated to the tenets of the law to ensure that the rights given to citizens by the Constitution are upheld”, Mr Oppong Nkrumah stressed.
The Minister said the first batch of Assistant RTI officers had been recruited to support the designated RTI officers at the various MDAs to process requests made by individuals and organizations.
The RTI Bill was passed on March 26, 2019, by Parliament and the President subsequently assented to it on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
The Act provides for the implementation of the constitutional right to information held by any public institution and to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs.
The law is a critical tool in the fight against corruption in the country.
Mrs. Mamle Andrews, the Chief Director at the Ministry of Information, in her welcome address, said the Secretariat would help in monitoring and coordinating the implementation of the activities of the RTI law across the public sector.
The effective rollout of the law, she said, would help the government in policy formulation and decision-making.
The Information Ministry was tasked by the government to assist in putting up the requisite infrastructure towards the full operationalization of the Act within a year of the passage of the law.
Information Minister Oppong Nkrumah, his Deputy Pius Enam Hadzide and members of the RTI Implementation Committee toured the facility.
The fully air-conditioned secretariat has furniture, computers, a server and a piece of free conference equipment for organizing virtual meetings.