RTI Law: Minister wants sanctions against non-complying institutions

The Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, has urged the Right To Information (RTI) Commission to impose administrative penalties on some 361 institutions that have failed to submit their 2023 annual reports.

In all, 683 institutions were expected to submit their annual reports on the implementation of the RTI to the Commission, but only 322 had done so as at the time the Minister was speaking.

The obviously unhappy Minister for Information told the Speaker of Parliament that the development was “totally unacceptable.”

“The Ministry of Information strongly urges the RTI Commission to impose administrative penalties against public institutions that failed, according to Section 71 (2)(6) of the RTI Act, 2019,” she said.

Minister for Information who is also a Lawyer on Friday, June 28, 2024, performed a legal mandate by briefing Parliament on the implementation of the RTI.

The RTI Act, 2019 mandates the Minister for Information to submit a report to Parliament on the implementation by June 30 each year.

Last Friday also marked the maiden presentation of the minister to Parliament. Prior to that, she had only appeared before a Parliamentary Committee for vetting or other engagement, but not to address the plenary.


According to the Minister, of the complying 322 institutions, 173 received applications for information, totaling 1,749 requests.

She said that out of the 1749 requests received by the various public institutions, 1225 were approved, representing 70%.

The total number of applications rejected for varied reasons was 281, representing 16%, and were declined because the information requested was exempt under the Act or was not in the custody of the institution.

The minister informed the House that 194 of the 281 requests rejected were reviewed internally upon request, and 110 were eventually granted while 84 were dismissed.


The Minister for Information has reported to Parliament that the RTI Commission in 2023 imposed administrative penalties in the sum of GH¢1,000,000.00 on 23 non-complaint public institutions.As of 2023, the Commission had recovered GH¢2,043,571.44 from the administrative penalties imposed in 2022 and 2021.


The Minister outlined some challenges facing the implementation of the RTI Act, 2019, including a lack of adequate financial resources to undertake activities as part of the implementation.

She also mentioned logistical constraints, including reliable internet infrastructure in some MMDAs.

The minister also observed limited cooperation from some public institutions to comply with some aspects of the law and also cited bureaucratic practices in public institutions as impediments to the smooth implementation of the law.

Minister for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, and her Deputy, Slvester Tetteh arriving in the Chamber in a joyful mood


However, the Minister said the RTI Commission looks forward to hosting the 2024 Global Conference of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) in Accra from October 1–2, 2024.

Another outlook is the operationalisation of an online records management system to enable applicants to apply for information online, aid information officers in keeping accurate records, and increase efficiency.

The Ministry of Information will also present a legislative Instrument for the RTI Act, 2019, to Parliament this year. She said that though the draft had been prepared by the RTI Commission, final consultations were being arranged with the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Legislature.

The Minister for Information concluded by applauding, “the contribution of key stakeholders for their support.”


Some Members of Parliament took turns commenting on the report presented by the Minister for Information and commended the Minister for her hard work.

The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, particularly commended the Minister for Information for respecting the law and presenting the report within time.

“Mr. Speaker, I note that the Hon. Minister is very much within the stipulated time,” Okudzeto said.

He added that when “ministers act commendably, we have to praise them. We have to laud them for being compliant with the laws that this House passed so that we are encouraged to follow that example.”

The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompre, focused on the achievements of the Act, but did not gloss over the challenges.

“One of the fundamental things that has been achieved, which for me is huge, is the non-incubation of the follow-up of information. You can criticise and talk about the challenges, but that is a good beginning. Hon. Minister, I want to commend you and your team,” he said.


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