Not all gov’t info can be made public – RTI C’ssion boss

The Commissioner of the Right To Information Commission, Dr Edith Dankwa, has emphasised that not all information requested by the public can be put out in its domain.

She said the Right To Information Act 2019, Act 989, lists information that have been classified as “exempt”.

“You will agree with me that it is not every information you can put out there,” she told New Day host Berla Mundi on Wednesday, November 24.

“Because there are information that is security-related, information that may be going to Cabinet, the president hasn’t seen it and you are asking for that information, information that is related to, maybe, research that we shouldn’t be privy to because it may have security or there is an economic value attached to it.

“It is not every information that [we can put out there], so there are exempt information.”

She, however, stressed that every information, so far as it is within the remit of Act 989, is paid for by the Ghanaian taxpayer and must be accessed for free.

One only has to pay for the reproduction of that information, she stated.

Her remarks come a day after a Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior, Bryan Acheampong, who is also Member of Parliament for Abetifi Constituency, told the House that he had advised the National Security Minister not to make public the cost of the President’s foreign travels.

“It is not every information that can be divulged to the public,” he indicated, referring to a question filed in May by North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

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“Hitherto, it was information that can be shared but it is no longer information that can be played in the political arena,” the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP said.

Dr Edith Dankwa, who was recently crowned CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year, apparently agreed with the Minister of State but said a petition can be filed with the Commission if anyone feels denied of any public information within the remit of the Act.

“If you refer to the Act and it is in that you can go for information about the cost of [the President’s] travels, so be it. You can! If you are not given that information, you can petition the Commission.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana