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Ghana

Derecho a la información (GH0025)

Visión General

De un vistazo

Plan de ACCION: Plan de acción de Ghana 2017-2019

Ciclo del plan de acción: 2017

Estado: inactivo

Instituciones

Institución principal: Parlamento y Ministerio de Información

Instituciones de apoyo: Coalición sobre el Proyecto de Ley de Derechos a la Información (CRTI) Centro para el Desarrollo Democrático y la Iniciativa de Derechos Humanos del Commonwealth (CHRI)

Áreas de política

Acceso a la información, Legislación y Regulación, Derecho de información

Revisión de IRM

Informe de IRM: Informe de implementación de Ghana 2017-2019, Informe de diseño de Ghana 2017-2019

Estrellado: No

Resultados tempranos: marginal

Diseño i

Verificable: sí

Relevante para los valores de OGP: acceso a la información

Impacto potencial:

Implementación i

Terminación:

Descripción del producto

¿Cuál es el problema público que abordará el compromiso ?: La Constitución 1992 de Ghana garantiza a todos el derecho a la información, entre muchos otros derechos. Los esfuerzos para aprobar el proyecto de ley de derecho a la información comenzaron hace casi dos décadas; ¿Cuál es el compromiso ?: El compromiso es aprobar la Ley de Derecho a la Información; ¿Cómo contribuirá el compromiso a resolver el problema público ?: El Gobierno se comprometió a promulgar una Ley de Derecho a la Información (RTI) tanto en el primer como en el segundo plan de acción. Sin embargo, el proyecto de ley RTI no ha sido aprobado. Aprobar el proyecto de ley ayudará a abordar los compromisos incumplidos de los dos planes de acción anteriores. El compromiso también está ayudando a desarrollar estrategias para la implementación del proyecto de ley RTI, de modo que cuando se apruebe el proyecto, las instituciones públicas podrán proporcionar la información necesaria al público .; ¿Por qué es este compromiso relevante para los valores de OGP ?: El compromiso está permitiendo el derecho a la información.

Resumen de estado intermedio de IRM

6 Derecho de información

Lenguaje del compromiso tal como aparece en el plan de acción:

‘The Government undertook to enact a Right to Information (RTI) Law both in the first and second action plan. However, the RTI bill has not been passed. Government still recognizes the importance of unfettered access to information in contributing to stability in governance and therefore commits to passing the Right to Information Bill by June 2018.’

Hitos / Actividades:

  • Parliament to pass RTI bill by June 2018; and,
  • Ministry of Information to develop strategies for the implementation of the RTI law by September 2018.

Fecha de inicio: noviembre 2017

Fecha de finalización: septiembre de 2018

El plan de acción está disponible en este enlace

Resumen del compromiso

Verificabilidad

Relevancia de valor de OGP (como está escrito)

Impacto potencial

Terminación

¿Abrió el gobierno?

No lo suficientemente específico como para ser verificable

Suficientemente específico para ser verificable

Acceso a la información

Participación cívica

Responsabilidad pública

Tecnología e innovación para la transparencia y la responsabilidad

- None -

Clasificacion "Minor"

Moderado

Transformador

No empezado

limitados

Sustancial

Completado

Empeorado

No cambio

Marginal

Clasificacion Mayor

Excepcional

6. En general

Evaluado al final del ciclo del plan de acción.

Evaluado al final del ciclo del plan de acción.

Contexto y objetivos

This commitment is pivotal, as it has bearings on all the other commitments in the current action plan. It aims to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill and to create mechanisms to implement it. According to Francis Ametepey, a contributor from Young Reporters for the Environment-Ghana, the absence of implementation of the law implies the lack of mechanisms to require public agencies to publish information. [56] Without the law, citizens are deprived of a means to hold public officials accountable for their actions as civil servants, which may encourage violation of rights and laws. [57] The prolonged lack of a substantive law has stifled citizens’ access to information, allowing corruption to thrive and obstructing popular participation in governance, especially at sub-state/local government levels. It has also contributed to strained relations between the state and civil society.

Ghana began the process of passing an RTI law almost two decades ago in 2002. Successive governments have since acknowledged its importance to governance, yet failed to pass it, ostensibly for several reasons. [58] In separate interviews, Ugonna Ukaigwe, coordinator of the Ghana Civil Society Organizations Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (GCPS) and consultant with the RTI Coalition, and Regina Amanfo-Tetteh, political scientist and program officer with the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana, said that the bill has stalled because public officers are afraid of its implications. [59] In their opinion, this reflects a misunderstanding and low awareness of the right to information.

Ugonna, Regina, and Awal Mohammed, program officer for social accountability with the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana, [60] also highlighted, in separate interviews, the lack of political will as a major obstacle, explaining how several governments have promised to pass it as a form of political horse-trading with an increasingly politically aware citizenry. A third point of contention is disagreements between the state and civil society over some of the bill’s content. For example, the RTI Coalition objects to the special protected status of information from the presidency on grounds that this office is expansive and the protections would block access to critical information. In addition, a 2018 study by the US-based Center for Law and Democracy states that the rules on appeals are contradictory and located in different parts of the bill: section 38 suggests that requesters may appeal directly to the courts in certain cases without going through the Information Commission whereas under section 68(b), requesters must exhaust the right of review before approaching the courts. [61] There is no evidence of whether this contradiction will be solved prior to passing the bill. The NAP 2017–19 thus includes this commitment again in the hope that the bill will finally be passed into law and help address the issues identified above.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information, as it seeks to pass a law allowing for greater access to information in the country. Also, the commitment is verifiable in that completion can be seen by checking whether the law on information was approved.

If implemented as written, this commitment contributes to solving the lack of a legal framework allowing citizens to have access to greater information, although not to a full extent. Therefore, the potential impact for this commitment is graded as “moderate.” As RTI activists argue, several aspects of it would need to be reviewed for it to be truly transformative. These aspects include the fact that requesters would have to pay before they access information and that there are exemptions on information deriving from the presidency. [62] This is significant because these exemptions cover some key ministries, including Monitoring and Evaluation, Business Development, Regional Re-organisation, Zongo, and Inner-City Development. Mrs. Amanfo-Tetteh also expressed concern that the bill does not sufficiently integrate subnational government structures, implying that citizens at regional and district levels would have restricted access to information in those contexts. Public officials like K. T. Hammond, member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, are deeply resistant to having an RTI law and do not understand why citizens require access to public information. [63] Such people may try to frustrate implementation, but Ugonna Ukaigwe suggests that high levels of civic interest could help enforce action and ensure accountability.

The passage of the law after almost 20 years is measurable and plausible and would be a significant achievement because it is the product of uneasy compromises between the state, civil society actors, and other interested parties (it has evolved in response to diverse feedback over the years). Its passage would reinforce the fundamental right to information by creating a legal obligation for government to provide information within set time frames or face clear sanctions. It would also provide legal backing to citizens' demands for information, which are anticipated to be high, owing to the level of interest in and engagement with the advocacy for the passage of the bill.

Próximos pasos

This commitment covers an important policy area for the country. To facilitate successful implementation, this commitment could consider:

  1. Facilitating implementation of this commitment by disaggregating global goals into targeted activities that can be pursued or/and achieved within set time frames. One example, suggested by Ugonna Ukaigwe, would be to set clear targets for how public officials will be prepared to understand how the RTI law would affect them and its broader implications for state-society relations. Although steps like this need not be included in subsequent action plans, they are good practice and can help improve the climate for access to information before the bill is passed. They also signal to civil society that the government is committed to passing the bill.
  2. Ensuring effective implementation of this and all other laws and policies in any country so that citizens can fully exercise their right of access to information. Whether the commitment passes or not, the government could work to transform the culture and climate of information access in the country by sensitizing government officials and the public to the right to information and what their respective rights and responsibilities are. Continued and consistent engagement of citizens by the RTI Coalition will help deepen support for the prospective governance benefits of the bill and may help make its passage more feasible.
  3. Promoting understanding and dialogue between CSOs and government on sensitive topics where there may be disagreement about the law through workshops, trainings, and forums. This may also include raising awareness among policy makers about the benefits of having access to information in order to reduce skepticism about the changes brought by the law and to promote/enforce political will, if possible. Some advocacy work/campaigning could be beneficial.
  4. Mandating government agencies to comply with the RTI and allocating resources to this end.

[56] Francis Ametepey , “Ghana’s Journey To Implement New Right To Infomation Law”, 5 April 2019. We Are Restless, https://wearerestless.org/2019/04/05/ghanas-journey-to-implement-rti-law/
[57] Nwachukwu Egbunike , “Right to Information: With its new law in place, will Ghana go the way of Nigeria?”, Global Voices Advox, 27 May 2019, https://advox.globalvoices.org/2019/05/27/right-to-information-with-its-new-law-in-place-will-ghana-go-the-way-of-nigeria/
[58] Centre for Law and Democracy, 'Ghana: Analysis of the Right to Information Bill, 2018', June 2018, https://www.law-democracy.org/live/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ghana.FOI_.Jun18.pdf (15 de enero de 2019).
[59] IRM researcher interviews with Ugonna Ukaigwe, 15 January 2019 and Regina Amanfo, 29 January 2019.
[60] Interview with IRM researcher, February 2019.
[61] Center for Law and Democracy, op. cit. supra.
[62] STAR Ghana, “Review RTI clause that shields information from Presidency - RTI Coalition”, 1 July 2018, http://www.star-ghana.org/news-2/281-review-rti-clause-that-shields-information-from-presidency-rti-coalition
[63] He has said at various times in July 2015 and November 2018 that Ghana is not ready for RTI, “the bill is dangerous for governance” and that the government will “have no secrets” once it is passed. Efua Idan Osam, 3 July 2015, “Ghana not ready for RTI—K T Hammond”, citifmonline.com, https://citifmonline.com/2015/07/03/ghana-not-ready-for-rti-kt-hammond/; Marian Ansah, 14 November 2018, “I stand by comments on RTI Bill, criticize me if you want” – K.T Hammond, https://citinewsroom.com/2018/11/14/i-stand-by-comments-rti-bill-criticize-me-if-you-want-k-t-hammond/

Resumen de estado de fin de período de IRM

6 Derecho de información

Texto de compromiso: The Government undertook to enact a Right to Information (RTI) Law both in the first and second action plan. However, the RTI bill has not been passed. Government still recognizes the importance of unfettered access to information in contributing to stability in governance and therefore commits to passing the Right to Information Bill by June 2018.

Hitos / Actividades:

  • Parliament to pass RTI bill by June 2018; and,
  • Ministry of Information to develop strategies for the implementation of the RTI law by

2018 septiembre.

Nota editorial: Para consultar el texto completo del Plan de acción de Ghana para 2017-2019, consulte: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/ghana-action-plan-2017-2019/

Evaluación de informe de diseño de IRM

Evaluación del informe de implementación de IRM

Verifiable:

Pertinente:

o Acceso a la información

Impacto potencial: Moderado

Terminación: Sustancial

¿Abrió el gobierno? Marginal

Carried over from successive action plans, this commitment aimed to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill and create mechanisms to implement it. For almost 20 years, the lack of a substantive right-to-information law in Ghana stifled citizens’ access to information, allowing corruption to thrive and obstructing popular participation in governance, especially at subnational and local government levels. [58] It also contributed to strained relations between the state and civil society, with the latter having difficulties in holding public officials to account over their reluctance to provide requested information. [59]

In a major accomplishment, the Ghanaian government finally passed the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989) into law in March 2019. [60] The Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Nkrumah, said that the government was “preparing a roadmap for the implementation of the RTI law” that would require, inter alia, establishing an RTI Commission and Information Units in all public offices, and recruiting and training Information Officers for those units before January 2020. [61] Yet weeks prior to the deadline, a press release by the Media Foundation for West Africa questioned delays in implementing the roadmap and questioned the feasibility of doing so before 2 January 2020. [62] In sum, the RTI law was passed, but not immediately implemented due to delays in creating infrastructure and resistance toward information-sharing by some government actors. [63]

Intense advocacy by the RTI Coalition of Ghanaian civil society organizations was instrumental to the passage of the RTI Bill. [64] The one-year moratorium on implementation may stem from the same reasons that stalled its passage, officials’ fear of the law’s implications and a lack of political will. [65] Principal officers of the RTI Commission, the main implementing body, were also not in place by the end of the reporting period. According to the revised “RTI Implementation Roadmap,” [66] the government will appoint RTI commissioners and top staff between June and September 2020, and will open the Commission in August 2020.

This commitment was coded as relevant to access to information. Early indications are that some government entities are implementing the RTI Law, albeit more slowly than expected, according to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. [67] He attributed this to delays in government funding. [68] As noted in Ghana’s 2017−2019 design report, RTI activists have criticized the requirement for payment before the public can access information, noting that it limits access to those who can afford it. [69] Despite these challenges, this commitment did introduce critical legislative infrastructure and got some public officials thinking and acting in a more transparent manner. For these reasons, “Did It Open Government” is assessed as marginal. This commitment would have had a greater change if the necessary operational infrastructure been established through the RTI Commission, Information Units, and Information Officers. These RTI institutions would have helped translate the new legislation into concrete improvements in citizens’ ability to access information in Ghana.

[58] Titilope Ajayi, Informe de diseño de Ghana 2017-2019 (OGP, 1 Apr. 2021) 33, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/ghana-design-report-2017-2019/.
[59] Titilope Ajayi, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Ghana End-of-Term Report 2016-2017 (OGP, 26 Jun. 2018) 23, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Ghana_End-of-Term_Report_2015-2017.pdf.
[60] Musah Jafaru, “Right to information - RTI bill passed into law” (Daily Graphic, 26 Mar. 2019), https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/ghana-news-rti-bill-passed.html.
[61] Id. A revised RTI Implementation Roadmap shared with the researcher by Jerry Sam (Dep. Dir. of Programs, PenPlusBytes, and an organizational member of the RTI Coalition) indicates that the government will appoint commissioners and top for the RTI Commission between June and September 2020 and aims to open the Commission in August 2020. The IRM researcher was unable to find this document online.
[62] Adizatu Maiga, “Ghana's RTI Implementation - How Prepared Are We?” (All Africa,18 Dec. 2019), https://allafrica.com/stories/201912190839.html.
[63] GhanaWeb, “RTI Commission: Delayed governing board is information denied!” (2 Mar. 2020), https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/RTI-Commission-Delayed-governing-board-is-information-denied-882547.
[64] Id.
[65] Ugonna Ukaigwe (Coordinator of the Ghana Civil Society Organizations Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals and RTI Coalition consultant), interview by IRM researcher, 15 Jan. 2019; Regina Amanfo-Tetteh (political scientist and program officer, Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana), interview by IRM researcher, 29 Jan. 2019; and Awal Mohammed (social accountability program officer, Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana), interview by IRM researcher, 8 Feb. 2019. See also Ghana Design Report 2017-2019.
[66] Jerry Sam, vea norte. 4.
[67] Graphic.com.gh/, “Some institutions implementing RTI slowly — Oppong Nkrumah” (BusinessGhana, 10 Feb. 2020), https://www.businessghana.com/site/news/general/205977/Some-institutions-implementing-RTI-slowly-Oppong-Nkrumah.
[68] Id. To cite one example, the electoral commission’s denial of an RTI request by Honourable Member of Parliament for Ashaiman Constituency, Mr. Ernest Henry Norgbey, corroborates the slow pace of implementation. Ghana RTI Coalition, “Electoral Commission’s Response to Right to Information Request is Unfortunate – RTI Coalition” (2020), http://penplusbytes.org/electoral-commissions-response-to-right-to-information-request-is-unfortunate-rti-coalition/.
[69] Titilope Ajayi, Informe de diseño de Ghana 2017-2019 39.

Compromisos

  1. Contratación abierta y monitoreo de contratos

    GH0020, 2017, Anticorrupción

  2. Transparencia anticorrupción

    GH0021, 2017, Anticorrupción

  3. Beneficiarios reales

    GH0022, 2017, Anticorrupción

  4. Transparencia fiscal y rendición de cuentas

    GH0023, 2017, Apertura fiscal

  5. Transparencia del sector extractivo

    GH0024, 2017, Anticorrupción

  6. Derecho de información

    GH0025, 2017, Acceso a la información

  7. Participación Cívica y Responsabilidad

    GH0026, 2017, Apertura fiscal

  8. Tecnología e Innovación

    GH0027, 2017, Acceso a la información

  9. Compromiso destacado Contratación abierta

    GH0014, 2015, Anticorrupción

  10. RTI

    GH0015, 2015, Acceso a la información

  11. Participación ciudadana

    GH0016, 2015, Participación pública

  12. Apertura fiscal

    GH0017, 2015, Legislación y regulación

  13. Compromiso destacado Gestión de ingresos

    GH0018, 2015, Legislación y regulación

  14. Datos Abiertos

    GH0019, 2015, Acceso a la información

  15. Responsabilidad fiscal

    GH0001, 2013, Apertura fiscal

  16. Transparencia Fiscal

    GH0002, 2013, Desarrollo de capacidades

  17. Derecho de información

    GH0003, 2013, Acceso a la información

  18. Derechos humanos y anticorrupción

    GH0004, 2013, Anticorrupción

  19. Gestión de ingresos del sector extractivo

    GH0005, 2013, Anticorrupción

  20. Supervisión de inversiones

    GH0006, 2013, Anticorrupción

  21. Participacion Ciudadana

    GH0007, 2013, Desarrollo de capacidades

  22. Proyecto de ley de código de conducta

    GH0008, 2013, Anticorrupción

  23. Los informes de auditoría

    GH0009, 2013, Anticorrupción

  24. Radiodifusión nacional

    GH0010, 2013, espacio cívico

  25. e-inmigración

    GH0011, 2013, Acceso a la información

  26. Administración Financiera

    GH0012, 2013, Acceso a la información

  27. Compromiso destacado Portal de políticas

    GH0013, 2013, Acceso a la información

Open Government Partnership