The Right to Information Commission has launched ‘Right to Information Week’ (RTI Week) to create awareness on how the public can genuinely exercise their right in regard to the Right to Information Act, 2019 (989).
The Act was passed by Parliament and assented by the president on 21st May 2019, and became fully operational on 2nd January 2020.
The Commission has therefore outlined a week-long programme that is set to mark the RTI Week and also celebrate this year’s International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), instituted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) which declared 28th September of every year as IDUAI.
The celebration is set to begin on 26th and end 30th September, themed ‘The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989); A tool to ensure transparency, good governance and sustainable development in leveraging international cooperation’.
Among the series of programmes lined up for the Week is a Public Forum, which will be held on the 28th September 2021 to climax the celebration, where invited guests, stakeholders and the general public will converge.
The forum will provide opportunity for participants to interact with stakeholders and foreign partners on how to strengthen the right of access to information, especially in countries which have operationalised access to information laws.
The Executive Secretary of the Right to Information Commission, Yaw Sarpong Boateng, addressing the media said the Commission’s mandate will always be on course by attending to both existing and yet to arrive cases which come to their doorstep.
“We have so far dealt with about 20 cases. Some of these cases are persons seeking information and have been refused who come back to complain that it shouldn’t be information that ought to be refused. Others came to ask for information and were directed to other agencies, but they viewed it as a refusal. So, when they bring them here we look at the issues, then we help,” he said in an interview with the media at the RTI Week launch in Accra.
According to him, the Commission has gone a step further to solve problems that existed prior to its set up – a move that he said has saved cost for complainants as there is no need to channel through the courts anymore.
Mr. Boateng further added that the Commission is hopeful that the week-long celebration will create the necessary awareness of its services and mandate.
He assured of government’s commitment to support the Commission succeed, as it has already provided an office complex for members to work in.