Here are Procedures For Requesting Information Under The Right to Information Act and understanding the Right to Information Act in general. The Right to Information ( RTI ) Act was passed on January 2, 2020. The Right to Information ( RTI ) act makes provisions for any Ghanaian aged 18 and above can apply for information from any public office in accordance with the sections 18-22.
About The Right to Information Act
The Right to Information ( RTI ) took more than two decades to come into being. The Right to Information Bill was passed by the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana on March 26, 2019. It was eventually assented to by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on May 21, 2019 and scheduled for implementation effective January 2020. A parliamentary research estimates that the implementation of the bill will cost GH?150 million annually and GH750 million in 5 years as recruitment for Right-to-Information (RTI) Officers has been underway.
The Right to Information ( RTI ) Act provides the framework for the processes, procedures and structures that are required for the access to information from public institutions.
The Right to Information ( RTI ) Act implements Article 21 (1)(f) of the 1992 Constitution by making it clearer and easier for people to request for and receive information from public institutions in the country.
Journalists and citizens alike therefore source their right to information “subject to such qualifications and laws” from the 1992 Constitution.
The The Right to Information ( RTI ) however exempts 18 categories of information that cannot be accessed for reasons of public safety, state security, and national interest. Citizens and journalists will therefore be restricted from accessing information that falls with these categories.
Procedures For Requesting Information Under The Right to Information Act
- Application for information may be submitted to public institutions effective January 2020
- Applications are to be addressed to the information officer. Standard forms are available @ public institutions to aid the applicant
This implies that applicants are to apply in writing to the institution indicating the information required, the form in which it is required, the applicant’s details including address to receive the information and the capacity of the applicant. Oral requests of illiterates and persons with disabilities are required to be reduced into writing with the help of an information officer at the institution.
The subsection 3 of section 1 of the Right to Information ( RTI ) Act allows applicants to request for information without stating any reasons. However, if the applicant wants the information urgently, they are required under subsection 4 of section 1 to state the reason for the urgency.
- The registry of the public institution shall advise the applicant on when and how to expect a response
- Information to safeguard the life or liberty of a person, will receive response within 48hrs
- All other information will receive response within 14 days
Responding institution shall:
- Convey the decision on the application for information
- Prescribe fee for the reproduction of the information
- Prescribe Manner and form of access to the information
In the event that an applicant is dissatisfied with the decision, an applicant can appeal to the head of institution and subsequently to the RTI commission, when the appeal decision remains unsatisfactory.
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