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In a proactive move towards transparency and accountability, officers of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) within the Oforikrom Municipal Assembly underwent a comprehensive training session today on the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989).

The training, conducted by the municipality’s Right to Information Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Asare, sought to familiarize the NADMO officers with the details of the RTI Act, empowering them to access information crucial to their disaster management roles.

Mr. Asare commenced the session by providing a historical context for the Right to Information Act, tracing its origins back to 1999 when the Institute of Economic Affairs first drafted the bill. He highlighted a pivotal incident in 1995 when the Bank of Ghana denied access to economic indicators, emphasizing the catalyst for such legislation, the need for transparency in public institutions.

He also explained the procedures and provisions outlined in the RTI Act, aiming to equip the NADMO officers with the necessary knowledge to navigate the information retrieval process seamlessly. He underscored the importance of the Act in promoting transparency and ensuring that government-held information is readily accessible to the public.

A key focal point of the session was Mr. Asare’s detailed explanation of the standard application process for accessing information. He provided step-by-step guidance, demystifying the bureaucratic steps that officers would need to follow when seeking information under the RTI Act.

Addressing concerns regarding fees and charges, Mr. Asare clarified that information prepared by government institutions is a public good and should be freely accessible. However, he acknowledged a nominal fee for the reproduction of requested documents, emphasizing the Act’s core principle that public information should not be monetarily restricted.

The training session was met with active engagement from the NADMO officers, who expressed appreciation for the clarity provided on their rights under the Right to Information Act.