Exemptions contained in the Right to Information Act are not absolute, Mr. Yaw Sarpong Boateng, the Executive Secretary of the Right to Information Commission said on Wednesday.
Section 40 of the Act 2019 (Act 989), establishes the Right to Information Commission to promote, monitor, protect and enforce the right to information that is granted to a person under paragraph (f) of clause (1) of Article 21 of the 1992 constitution and the Act 989.
Speaking at a public lecture and forum on Act 989 organised by the Commission in Sunyani, Mr. Boateng explained the Act prioritised, and sought the supreme interest of Ghanaians in general.
Attended by students, traditional authorities, security services, Assembly members, and Heads of Department and Agencies in the Bono Region, the lecture sought to expose the participants to, and sensitize them on the Act 989.
Mr. Boateng explained certain provisions in the Act reserved exemptions and exceptional information, but added the Act also allowed the release of any exempted information, which had the interest of the people.
He reminded public officers that they were not entitled to give out information under the Act, and advised them to allow information officers of institutions to do so.
“Let the populace go through the process of the law to get information. The is the oath of secrecy you took as public officers and you must allow the law to work”, Mr. Boateng stated.
Mr. Justice (Rtd) K.A Ofori-Atta, the Board Chairman of the Right to Information Commission, effective enforcement of Act 989 would greatly help reduce corruption in the country.
“This Act is one of the means to fighting corruption as it gears towards enhancing transparency, accountability, independence, and fairness,” he said.
The Act, Mr. Ofori-Atta added sought to empower Ghanaians to access information from particularly public institutions, saying “the way is now open for clarity of information and the country will move forward if citizens would use the Act effectively”.