Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Oquaye has ordered the removal of the Right to Information bill from the House’s order paper Thursday.

The order was necessitated by demands by Civil Society Organisations for some amendments to be effected before the passage of the bill into law.

The RTI Coalition has presented some proposals to be incorporated into the bill before passage.

Announcing the directive, the Speaker said “We are duty bound to listen to other view points on this matter.”

The Speaker’s directive comes barely 24hours after the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs disclosed the Bill will be passed into law on Friday March 22.

“Mr Speaker, as I said, the matter of policy has been sorted out. What is left now is that new proposals have come from civil society for us to factor them into the bill. Other than that, nothing prevents us from bringing matters to a closure.

“That’s why I’m saying it is even possible to bring matters to a closure this week, Friday,” Mr Mensah-Bonsu stated.

Second deputy speaker Alban Bagbin during Wednesday’s parliamentary proceedings urged CSOs to lessen their push for their proposals to be ingrained in the bill at all cost.

He said: “Civil societies should be informed that these things are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They are evolutionary and so some of the proposals could be legislated upon but they could be held up when it comes to issues of implementation.”

The RTI

The RTI bill was laid before Parliament by the Deputy Attorney General Joseph Kpemka Dindiok in March this year.

It has been 22 years since the first RTI bill was drafted under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA and 16 years since the Executive arm of government in 2002 drafted the first RTI bill.

The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.

Source: Starrfmonline

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