Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Mahama Ayariga has justified the inclusion of exemption clauses in the Right to Information Bill.
Fears of possible abuse of the 10 exemption clauses, which include information relating to the Offices of the President, Vice President and Cabinet, led parliament to postpone the debate on the bill Thursday May 19.
According to the Bawku Central lawmaker, there is a need to ensure confidentiality of the advisors at the presidency and the information they give out to avoid victimisation.
“Any document, any information [which] is prepared for the president or vice president, which is in the nature of recommendation, advice etc., third parties cannot, under this act, request for that information. The idea is that the person preparing the information and giving an opinion has to be protected otherwise nobody will give an honest opinion because you are afraid that it will be known that you said it,” he told Class News’ parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Annan.
Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Dr Dominic Ayine is positive the bill will be passed before Parliament adjourns in July.
“This bill was first mooted by the then opposition New Patriotic Party in 2008 and the bill has gone through so many parliaments [and], so, many sessions of parliament and now we are determined as a house to enact the bill. …Hopefully we will pass it before the rise of parliament in July. The speaker made it very clear that he is determined to give us the opportunity to pass this bill and he is the one presiding, he is the leader of the house, and if that is his determination he is whipping all of us into line,” Dr Ayine said.