23 public institutions fined GHS1m for violating RTI law

Twenty-three public institutions that failed to comply with the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) have been fined a total of GHS1,000,000.00 by the Right to Information (RTI) Commission.

The fines were imposed during the 2023 reporting year as administrative penalties for non-compliance with the RTI law.

In the same year, the RTI Commission made recoveries of administrative penalties amounting to GHS2,043,571.44, including penalties imposed in 2022 and 2021.

According to a report presented to Parliament by the Minister of Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, ESQ, on June 28, 2024, the successful implementation of the RTI law in Ghana depends on the demand for access to information by individuals, institutions, or groups.

However, public institutions may exempt certain information from access under the RTI law, as outlined in Sections 5-17 of Act 989.

Out of 683 public institutions, 322 submitted annual reports to the RTI Commission, while 361 failed to comply with the provisions of the RTI law.

The Minister urged the RTI Commission to impose administrative penalties against non-compliant institutions.

Of the complying institutions, 173 received applications for information, totaling 1,749. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) processed the highest number of requests, at 115.

Information officers approved 1,225 requests (70% of the total), while 281 requests were rejected due to exempt information, lack of custody, or transfer, referral, or deferral.

The Minister emphasized the need for public institutions to comply with the RTI law, and the RTI Commission to impose penalties on those that fail to do so.

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