President Akufo-Addo has charged the newly constituted seven (7) member board of the Right To Information (RTI) Commission, to do all within it power to ensure the proper functioning of the Commission in accordance with the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 970).
Addressing members of the Commission after swearing them in at a ceremony at the Jubilee House today the 19th of October 2020, President Akufo-Addo said the members of the board have been carefully chosen as they have proofed that they are persons of integrity. The President therefore charged the board to bring their rich experience to bear on the work of the Commission to make same a success.
"The law also requires you as board members to ensure the proper functing of the Commission. The diversity of the composition of this board must come to bear on the decisions that the Commission in resolving complaints and other matters that may come to it" President Akufo-Addo said.
*Commitment of Government*
President Akufo-Addo further noted that the steps his administration has taken towards the realization of the Right to Information law demonstrates once again, the determination of his administration to adhere to the principles of accountable governance, entrenched democracy and vigorously fight corruption.
"I assure the Commission that Government is committed to providing it with the requisite resources needed for its full operation" President Akufo-Addo added.
*Response of Chairperson*
Justice K. A. Ofori-Atta (Rtd), Chairperson of the Commission in a response on behalf of his colleague board members thanked the President for the honour than them with their appointment. He pledged on behalf of the board that they will discharge their duties in line with the law that established the Commission.
*Composition of the Board*
The board of the Right To Information Commission is chaired by Justice K. A. Ofori-Atta (Rtd). Mrs. Elizabeth Asare is the deputy Chairperson of the Commission. The other members are Yaw Sarpong Boateng (Executive Secretary of the Commission), Victoria Susuawu (member), Dr. Edith Dankwa, (member), Nana Kwame Duah, (member) and David Oppon-Kusi (member).
The Right To Information (RTI) Act, (Act 970), become law in Ghana after the Act received Presidential assent on Tuesday the 21st of May 2019. Parliament passed the Right to Information (RTI) Bill on the 26th of March 2019. The implementation of the RTI Act came into effect January 2020. The RTI law will provide for the operationalization of the constitutional right to information held by the public as well as some private institutions, subject to exemptions that are necessary and consistent with the protection of public interest in a democratic society.
The Act also seeks to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public affairs and to provide for related matters. The RTI Act was first drafted in 1999, reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was only presented to Parliament in 2010. But it could not be passed due to the many recommendations of amendment. It was brought back to the Sixth Parliament but could not be passed till the expiration of that Parliament on January 6, 2016.
Moves to get the bill passed received increased momentum in 2017 following the formation of the Media Coalition on RTI. The Coalition with support from other civil society organisations in the past 11 months, piled pressure on Parliament to get the Bill passed.