The Access to Information (ATI) Division, in collaboration with the Right to Information Commission (RTIC), has trained staff of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989).
The European Union Technical Assistance Team supported the organisation of the training.
Mr Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary to the Right to Information Commission,outlined the mandate of the Commission and stressed the need for a strong collaboration with other institutions to educate the public on the RTI Act.
“This mandate that covers the whole nation is in indeed a huge one that requires all public institutions to cooperate to achieve sustenance of awareness of the right to information law,” Mr Boateng said.
Mr Boateng also entreated the Ministry to adhere to Sections (3) and (77) of the Act requiring public institutions to populate information manuals and submit an annual report to the Right to Information Commission.
“Every public institution as a matter of law must have an information manual [and] are required under the law to submit annual reports on their activities under the Right to Information Law to the Right to Information Commission 60 days after the 31st December each year.”
The Head of the Access to Information Division, Dr Winnifred Nafisa Mahama, admonished the staff to keep good records and archive information to enhance access to information.
Dr Mahama emphasised that the RTI Commission has the power to sanction institutions that fail to comply with the RTI Act and the need for public institutions to get ready.
“…failure or non-compliance with the provisions and obligations authorised by Act 989 constitute gross misconduct and attract imposition of an administrative penalty. This is why the ATI Division collaborates with the Right to Information Commission to conduct sensitisation campaigns to ensure that public institutions are adequately prepared and ready to deliver satisfactorily on their obligations under the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989).”
Mrs Emma Ofori Agyeman, the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) of the Ministry, acknowledged the support from the European Union Technical Assistance Team in putting together the sensitisation programme.
“We have a collaboration with the EU Technical Assistance Team on different programmes and hope to strengthen our collaboration with the team,” Mrs Agyeman said.
“I must say that we are indeed excited at your efforts to train personnel of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on the RTI Act.”