On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, the world will mark the International Day of Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) under the theme: The Right to Know – Building Back Better with Access to Information. This year’s theme highlights the role of access to information laws and their implementation to build back strong institutions for the public good and sustainable development, as well as to strengthen the right to information and international cooperation in the field of implementing this human right.
Ahead of this year’s celebration, our Media and Governance team in this report looks at the implementation of Ghana’s Right to Information Law (Act 989) at the local governance level.
Specifically, the report, titled, Gauging Local Authorities’ Responsiveness to Right to Information requests – Experiences from three Districts in Ghana, highlights some challenges and critical emerging issues on how local government authorities in the three districts are responding to information requests under the RTI law. It also highlights experiences of some citizens who have requested information from their local assembly officials under the RTI law and how their experiences conform to or contrast with the Act.
In essence, the report notes that the Absence of Information officers or RTI Officers at post; Limited knowledge among public officials of their obligations under the RTI law as well as Local Authorities’ asking Applicants to provide reasons for requests made are the major setbacks derailing the effective implementation of the RTI law in Ghana.