Over 1,000 RTI requests received so far – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says over 1,000 requests have been placed using the Right to Information (RTI) law in the last three years.

According to him, since 2020 there has been an increase in the number of people who have invoked the law to access information.

The law started came into force in 2020, and according to the Information Minister, “…23 requests came through, the number went up in the second year after the reconciliation, to about 247 requests which is a very huge jump. By the third year, 2022, we received 783 requests across the various information units in the public institutions of our country. Cumulatively, we have crossed over 1,000 RTI requests so far,” he said.

Speaking at a press briefing on the Right to Information law, he explained that over the years more people have had their request for information granted.

“In terms of the numbers that have been approved or granted, initially about 16, then about 159, in the following year, and then 663 by the third year.

“Again, you begin to notice that there are a lot more grants that are going on up there, and there have also been transfers,” he added.

Media must use RTI to seek information than resort to speculations – Oppong Nkrumah

The Information Minister added that the law has made provision for applicants to apply for a review if their request for information is not granted.

Touching on the process, he said “the application must go first to the information officer, if you are not satisfied with the determination of the information officer, you need to first apply for review from the head of the institution. That is why we often discourage the information from going directly to the head of the institution because the head of the institution will respond to an appeal that has been brought to him by the information officer. If you are not satisfied then you make an application for review at the regulator, the RTI Commission.”

He stressed that after an individual has used all the processes and is still not pleased with the outcome, then they can proceed to court.

“So the court is not a forum of first instance, now that this act is in force,” Mr Nkrumah added.

The Right to Information Act, 2019 (ACT 989) was passed by the Parliament of Ghana in 2019, to allow for transparency and accountability by enabling people to access information on central and local governments as well as non-governmental organisations, which are publicly funded.

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