Mr. Yaw Sarpong, the Executive Secretary of the Right to Information Commission, has advised Ghanaians against the abuse of the Right to Information Act.
“We are to use the Act to seek information required for development purposes and check particularly public officers against corruption which remain the bane of socio-economic development”, he said.
Speaking at a public lecture on the Act orgainsed by the Commission at Techiman in the Bono East Region, Mr. Sarpong said the right to information empowered the populace to participate effectively in decision-making processes.
He said the RTI empowered every citizen to easily access relevant information to deepen transparency and accountability and push-forward national development.
Giving an overview of Act 2019 (Act 989), Mr. Sarpong highlighted the role of public officers, saying they were not entitled to release information but rather allowed information officers to do so.
The RTI, which guaranteed public access to information, was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President in May 2019.
“Access to information is a right under Article 21 paragraph (f) of clause (1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana”, he said, saying it was an offence for public officers to deny people the right to information.
“RTI Act helps us to enjoy and protect our fundamental freedoms, makes institutions more transparent and accountable, improves service delivery from government ministries as well as departments and agencies and encourages public participation in decision making,” he added.
Mr. Sarpong urged Ghanaians to take advantage of the Act, seek relevant information and check particularly public officers against abuse of power and corruption.