Officials of the Right To Information (RTI) Commission have sensitised staff of the Ghana News Agency on the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989) and its relevance.
The sensitisation forms part of the Commission’s mandate to educate individuals and institutions on their rights and obligations under the Act to play their roles effectively in a well-informed society.
Mr Andrew Adu Boahene, an official from the Enforcement, Investigation and Compliance Department of the Commission, took participants through the process of requesting information, and the timeliness for replying and supplying information.
He said the mandate of the Commission was to protect, monitor, enforce and promote the right to information granted under the provisions of the Act and the Constitution.
The application process, he explained, was to identify the public institution, draft and submit a request to, which an approval or rejection should be given within 14 days.
“A person has the right to information, subject to the provisions of the ACT.
The right may be exercised through an application made in accordance with ACT.
“A person may apply for information without giving reason for the application but shall give reason for urgency where application is to be treated urgent.,” he added.
Mr Boahene outlined the functions of the Commission, including issuing written orders requesting reproduction of information, and to examine, reproduce or take extracts from or hold information for unlimited period.
Also, to hold hearings in public, take appropriate action to resolve complaints, publish its findings, recommendations, orders, decisions and directives, and conduct matters with as little technicality and as expeditiously as possible.
He said there were exceptions to some information that could not be accessed in the Act, including classified information meant for the President, Vice President, cabinet, national security, and public safety.
The Right to Information Act was passed by Parliament of Ghana in 2019 and assented to by the President same year to give constitutional right to access information held by public institutions.
The Act seeks to promote transparency and accountability by empowering citizens to access information on central and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations, which are publicly funded.