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RTI Commission calls on Citi FM and CitiTV

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Executives of the Right to Information (RTI) Commission have called on the management of Citi FM and Citi TV.

The delegation, led by Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary of the RTI Commission, interacted with the station’s management on importance of the Right to Information Law to the work of the media in particular, and access to information generally by all Ghanaians.

Speaking after the meeting, he assured that the RTI Law would not “become one of the dormant laws that this country will have.”

Mr. Boateng also said the Commission hopes to work with the media to ensure the effective implementation of the law.

Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary of the RTI Commission
Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary of the RTI Commission

“We also call on you the media to make sure you become one of the prime users of this law. That way, we all ensure that it doesn’t become one of the laws that just remains on our books.”

The Right to Information (RTI) Bill, was first drafted in 1999, and eventually passed into law in 2019 after consistent civil society pressure on the executive and the legislature.

The Right to Information Act establishes the Right to Information Commission which put together an administrative and operational framework for the smooth implementation of the law.

The Chairman said the Commission exists to facilitate easy access to information by all applicants.

He urged the media to acquaint themselves with the operations of the Commission and in turn educate the Ghanaian public on its importance to transparency, accountability and development.

He said the Commission was fully independent and cannot be subjected to any governmental control.

In terms of payment for access to Information, he explained that the charges are not meant for profit, and that they would be fairly calculated as spelt out by the law to ensure that people are not deterred from accessing information.

He said the amount to be paid will not be for the processes and time an institution goes through to make the documents available to an applicant, but rather for the cost of merely printing the material.

According to him, applicants who feel dissatisfied with the charges and the general processes in their quest to access information can officially file a complaint to the Commission and receive a fair hearing.

The General Manager of Citi FM and Citi TV, and Host of the Citi Breakfast Show, Bernard Avle, thanked the Commission for considering the media House as a relevant stakeholder in the implementation of the law, and pledge the media house’s support in pushing the agenda.

He also acknowledged the importance of the law and the RTI Commission to the work of the media, and said the organisation will take advantage of the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the law and the operations of the Commission, and make good use of it in its work.

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