July 1, 2024

Minister for Information Fatimatu Abubakar has presented to Parliament a report outlining the significant progress made in facilitating access to public information, while also addressing the challenges encountered and future plans for enhancing transparency and accountability in Ghana.

Presenting the report to the House on Friday, June 28, the Minister underscored the collaborative efforts of the Access to Information Division (ATI) of the Information Services Department (ISD) and the Right to Information Commission (RTIC).

Architecture for the implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2019, she said, provides for three operational pillars upon which Article 21 (1) (f) right is accessed:

 the Supply Side Pillar,
 the Demand Side Pillar, and
 the Regulatory Side Pillar.

She emphasized that these pillars, facilitated by the Ministry of Information, are crucial for the effective functioning of the RTI Act.

The ATI Division executed several key initiatives in 2023, including capacity-building programs for RTI officers, research on the implementation of the RTI law, and the establishment of the National RTI Forum.

The RTI Commission also achieved significant milestones, including launching a five-year strategic plan and establishing regional offices in the Bono and Ashanti regions.

The Commission’s efforts were bolstered by the support of traditional leaders and partnerships with various stakeholders.

According to her, the Commission conducted a compliance survey, monitored 250 public institutions, and imposed administrative penalties on non-compliant entities.

“The Commission’s strategic plan outlines a clear vision for our activities over the next five years. It includes adopting digital platforms to facilitate access to information, improving gender equity and social inclusion, and strengthening the independence of the Commission,” she indicated.

She urged the RTI Commission to impose administrative penalties against non-compliant institutions and called for increased budgetary allocations to ensure the effective functioning of the RTI architecture.

She stressed the need for increased financial resources and cooperation from public institutions to ensure the effective functioning of the RTI architecture.


Fatimatu Abubakar identified five primary challenges;
 inadequate financial resources,
 logistical constraints,
 attrition among RTI officers,
 limited cooperation from public institutions, and
 bureaucratic practices impeding the timely response to information requests.

According to her, the lack of adequate financial resources to undertake activities that ensure the effective functioning of the supply side of the RTI architecture, including quality assurance has been a major obstacle.

“Logistical constraints, particularly unreliable internet infrastructure, have also hindered the work of Information officers, especially in the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs),” she added.

The Information Minister disclosed that the presentation of a Legislative Instrument for the RTI Act, 2019, to Parliament is also on the agenda for this year.

According to her, final consultations are being arranged with key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Justice and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Legislature.

Ms. Abubakar has outlined several significant challenges faced in 2023 during the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2019.

The Minister also underscored attrition among RTI officers and stressing a notable number of resignations during the year.

“The reasons cited by the exited officers included traveling for further studies and job opportunities. This has reduced the number of RTI officers across various public institutions, making it difficult for the Division to provide back-end support to institutions,” she explained.

The Ministry, she said, also experienced challenges in getting some public institutions to comply with certain aspects of the law.

According to her, some heads of public institutions still sign-off responses to RTI requests contrary to Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2019.

The information minister emphasized the need for financial clearance to complete staffing and compliance measures.

“Financial clearance needs to be provided as a matter of urgency to enable the RTI Commission to complete the recruitment of its full complement of staff to resource its regional offices in Kumasi, Sunyani, and Bolgatanga.

“Similarly, the ATI Division must replace exited officers and populate the outstanding 333 public institutions with information officers to ensure stated.

Ms Abubakar affirmed that the successful implementation of the RTI Act is crucial for promoting transparency and accountability in Ghana and stressed the need to overcome these challenges to ensure every citizen can exercise their right to information.