Monday, 08 March

RTI in action now; divisions created, officers trained, access granted – Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has provided updates on the progress of the Right To Information (RTI) law since it was passed into law in March 2019.

According to him, 455 out of 526 RTI officers have been trained to occupy the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as part of continuous efforts to equip officers to make the implementation of the RTI successful and to ensure efficient compliance of the law by public institutions.

Taking his turn at the Appointments Committee on Thursday, 18 February 2021, the Ofoase Ayirebi legislator emphasised that the training of the RTI officers was meant to educate them on the RTI Act, Act 989, in order to equip them on the legalities of the law and how they are to operate within its frame.

He said: “Specifically on RTI, if I may have some liberty, Mr. Chairman, to speak on it briefly: the law assented to in 2019 took effect in 2020. We have done a number of things – first, we have created the RTI Division at the Information Ministry, we have trained and deployed RTI officers to the ministries, departments and agencies across the country, as well as MMDAs and then independent constitutional bodies”.

“We had a roadmap that recorded 26 different activities to execute for the implementation of the RTI.

“Mr Chairman, I am happy to inform the Committee that currently, about 18 of those activities have been completed, five are ongoing – are not due to be executed yet”.

“In terms of training and work, for example, the ministries, departments and agencies out of 526 officers that we need to train, we have trained 455, who are on the job today responding to RTI requests that are coming in,” he added.

Providing updates on the number of RTI officers trained across all the districts in the country, Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted that 483 out of 552 personnel have been trained so far.

He noted that so far, a number of requests for information have been received, with the majority of them granted access.

“Across the districts, out of 552 that we are supposed train, we have trained 483 and they are working today.

“At the end of 2020, the RTI units across the government have received 56 requests, have responded to all of them, granting access to 44 of them; about two of them were transferred, four of them were referred, one application was withdrawn, one was denied and is now on application for review,” he said.