Parliament has commenced moves that look for to extend the scope of right to information(RTI) Bill in Ghana to cover private bodies that perform public functions with state money.
Report of the Committee based on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, on the Right to Information(RTI) Bill, 2013 discusses that the bill in its recent form is too restrictive and hence, has proposed that coverage be widened to cover private agencies.
The Committee has noticed that the Bill is relevant to only information held by government entities. The Committee sees it to be too restrictive and hence the coverage should be extended to cover private agencies that perform public functions with public means.
The point of view of Committee is that public must be able to have right of access to information in the responsibility of private agencies or bodies, especially, if the declaration is in the public concern. It’s a fact that in modern governance, the non-government actors influence the futures of million of people and therefore the necessity to widen the coverage to private agencies.
The Committee has proposed to ensure the fairness that the term ‘government body’ running through the Bill be replaced with the words ‘public institution’ as done in other authority.
Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin the Chairman of the Committee, argued in his report that was lately submitted to the unrestricted for consideration and adoption, it’s applicable to South Africa & Liberia. In both jurisdictions, to right of access to information applies to private bodies that get public resources and benefits or busy in public functions , in respect of information relating to the public benefits, resources or services.
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