Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, contrary to the expectations of Civil Society and some Anti Corruption Pressure Group who have being advocating for the long awaited passage of the RTI bill to happen at the current sitting of Parliament, says the Bill will rather be passed at the next Parliamentary sitting next year.
Addressing a ceremony to commemorate International Anti Corruption and Human Rights Day under the auspices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said discussions he has had with the first deputy speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, confirms that about half of the proposed amendments to the Bill have so far been considered by Parliament and hopefully at its next sitting, the Bill should get passed after being before the house sine 2013.
“Parliament has also begun consideration to the Right To Information Bill which has been before the house since 2013, the rational for the Bill is to give the right and access to official information been held by public institutions, private entities which preform public functions with public funds” the Vice President observed. He added that “Government has take notice of the persistent effort by several advocacy groups to have the Right To Information (RTI) Bill passed. Government is committed to having the RTI law to boost our fight against corruption. I just asked the Rt. Honourable 1st Deputy Speaker where we are because we keep asking for updates and he tell me their have considered about half of the amendments to the Bill so far, so it looks like all things being equal early in the next session in Parliament, he tells me this Bill that has been sought after for the last 20 years by the Grace of God and with your effort, we should see it passed”, the Vice President said.
European Union Ambassador
Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Her Excellency Ms. Diana Acconcia, noted that her outfit has closely followed the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and wish to commend government for making a substantial effort to resource the office in the 2019 fiscal policy of government.
“Now we all hope that the Special Prosecutor will start operating soon as the expectations set in this office are high, with most Ghanaians still waiting to see the fight against corruption leading to concrete prosecutions and asset recovery, with due process of law” madam Diana Acconcia said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator
Outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock, in what she says is her last official speech before she leaves the shores of the country expressed optimism in Ghana’s ability to win the fight against corruption.
“I am confident that when I have opportunity to visit Ghana in the future, I will hear from human rights groups that this progress is being made. That I will hear that investigations into public corruption have been followed through, with due process under the law and that meaningful consequences have been meted out to those that deserve them, recouping public financial resources, restoring confidence in public administration, and creating substantial disincentives to others from using public office for private gain”, Christine Evans-Klock, emphasized.
Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Joseph A. Whittal, in his welcomed address called for greater collaboration between stakeholders such as Government, Civil Society, Anti Corruption institutions, in the fight against corruption.
As part of the conference, CHRAJ, through the Vice President launched the National Anti Corruption Reporting Dashboard (NACoRD), an online anti Corruption reporting platform which is another tool the CHRAJ hopes to use to strengthen the accountability institutions thereby strengthening law enforcement agencies for a stronger criminal justice chain. The NACoRD would essentially allow stakeholders in the fight against corruption to file complaints of Corruption online for the onward consideration and investigation by the CHRAJ.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is an independent organisation for the safeguarding of Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana. It was established in 1993 by an Act 456 of the Parliament of Ghana as directed by Article 216 of the 1992 Ghana constitution. The CHRAJ is made up of a Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and two Deputy Commissioners. The Commissioner and the two deputies are appointed by the President of Ghana under Article 70 of the Ghanaian constitution. CHRAJ serves as an ombudsman receiving and dealing with complaints about the proper functioning of public institutions and to provide redress. It appears it can do same for private entities due to the way Article 218 (c) is written.