The Right to Information (RTI) Officers of the Western Region, representing STMA, Shama District, and Takoradi Sub-Metro, recently conducted a public sensitization program in collaboration with KYZZ FM. This event aimed to inform citizens about their rights and responsibilities under the Right to Information Act 989, (2019).
During the session at KYZZ FM, the RTI Officers explained the RTI Law, highlighting that access to information is a fundamental right enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, Article 21(1)(f). They emphasized that anyone can exercise this right through an application according to Section 18 of the Right to Information Act.
The RTI officers also clarified that individuals can request information without providing a reason for their application, as per Section 1(3). However, if urgency is a concern, the applicant should state the reason, as stipulated in Section 1(4).
During the radio education segment, the primary goal of the Right to Information Act was emphasized. It aims to empower individuals to access information from public institutions and relevant private bodies, promoting transparency and accountability in government operations.
Listeners were encouraged to ask questions via phone calls, with two common queries being:
1) Who qualifies to request information?
The RTI Officers explained that, based on Section 1(1), anyone, regardless of nationality, literacy, or financial status, can request information.
2) Who should one contact when requesting information and where can they be found?
They clarified that applications are processed by the RTI officer within the relevant public institution. RTI Officers can typically be found in most Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and some private organizations.
This educational effort by the Western Region RTI Officers demonstrates their commitment to increasing public awareness of the Right to Information Act, empowering citizens to access information, and promoting transparency and accountability in governance.