The Ministry of Information on Friday commissioned the Right to Information (RTI) Secretariat to harmonize the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Secretariat is tasked to coordinate the activities and provide support for RTI officers and their assistants at the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who commissioned the secretariat said it will promote coordination among the various state institutions and agencies as well feed into government’s broader plan to ensure transparency in governance.
“Today what we are doing is opening a secretariat here at the Information Service Department which will be providing the backend support to the RTI Officers and the Assistant Officers at the various Ministries, Department and Agencies. It is to ensure that a number of things happen. One, as I mentioned, give them the support when they are getting request and they are working through to process these request. Because it is a new piece of legislation, though we have trained the persons responsible for it, we believe that it is important to continue with the hand-holding exercise and to support them in processing all of these request that may come in.
“Also to help them build the implementation structures at their various Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The law requires the building of information manuals, some reporting mechanisms, etc. This RTI secretariat which is at the division of the ISD responsible for this will be supporting the various RTI officers and their assistants at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to execute this” he said.
The RTI Act is meant to ensure that Ghanaians have access to information on governance or official information from public offices on request.
The Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs Mamle Andrews who was present at the ceremony disclosed that the secretariat is a very important feature in the implementation of the RTI since it will act as the administrative wing of the various RTI offices across the country. She mentioned that the secretariat is staffed with the needed number of RTI officers who will coordinate the activities of RTI offices across public sector institutions.
In a closing remarks, Mr. Nkrumah admonished officers of the secretariat to maintain a high professionalism level, work in strict accordance with what the law requires them to do and demonstrate a high level of dedication to the task that has been set out for them.