Right to Information (RTI)

Overview Of The Right To Information (RTI) ACT, 2019 ACT (989).

Article 21 clause (1)(f) of the Constitution of Ghana (1992) grants persons the right to information, subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in the democratic society. In view of the above, it became necessary for Parliament to pass the Right to Information (RTI) bill. On 26th March 2019, the RTI bill established in the Constitution of Ghana (1992) was passed by Parliament. The RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989) was then assented to by His Excellency, the President of Ghana, on 21st May 2019, and was operationalized on 2nd January 2022. The Ministry of Information to ensure the successful implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) delegated trained Staff from the Ministry to various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDA’s) to execute the said task and perform other rights to information related activities. The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) seeks to provide systematic procedures and processes and grants persons the opportunity to exercise their right to access information held by public institutions subject to the exemptions stipulated in the Act.

RTI Unit of The National Identification Authority

Section 3 (3)(b) of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) provides for the establishment of an Information Unit within every public institution. The Unit shall be headed by an Information Officer who shall facilitate access to information. The National Identification Authority (NIA) in adhering to the provision under this section of the Act (989) has established an Information Unit headed by a designated trained Information Officer from the Ministry of Information. The Unit is responsible for facilitating access to information by various applicants and providing responses in line with the Act. Given this, the RTI Unit of the National Identification Authority is prepared to receive and process applications from applicants. Currently, the Unit is under the NIA’s Corporate Affairs Directorate and equipped with the requisite resources to perform effectively and efficiently.

Application for Information

Section 1(1) of the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989) gives a person the Right to Information, subject to the provisions of section 18 of the Act. Application to the National Identification Authority to access information held by the Authority shall:

a) be made in writing;
b) contain sufficient description or particulars to enable the information to be identified;
c) indicate the form and manner of access required;
d) state the capacity of the applicant to the satisfaction of the information officer to whom the application is made, if the application is made on behalf of another person;
e) state the name of the applicant, an address to whom a communication or notice can be sent,
f) provide identification of the applicant; and
g) be signed by the applicant.
(2) Where an applicant is unable to make the application in writing due to illiteracy or a disability, the applicant may make the request orally.
(3) Where a request is made orally under sub-section (2), the request shall be reduced into writing by the information officer to whom the applicant is made and shall give a copy of the written request as recorded and as duly authenticated to the applicant.

Exempt Information

From sections five to seventeen (5-17) under the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) the following are exempted from disclosure.

1. Information for the President or the Vice-President
2. Information relating to Cabinet
3. Information relating to law enforcement and public safety
4. Information affecting international relations
5. Information that affects the security of the state
6. Economic and any other interest
7. Economic information of third parties
8. Information relating to Tax
9. Internal working information of public institutions
10. Parliamentary privilege, fair trial, contempt of court
11. Privileged information
12. Disclosure of personal matters
13. Disclosure for the protection of public interest

Right To Information
RTI Manual

Under section 3 of the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989), it is mandatory for every public institution to compile, publish and make available up-to-date information in the form of a manual within every twelve months. In line with this, the National Identification Authority shall publish an information manual yearly and make it accessible to the public. The manual shall strictly adhere to the provisions made under Section 3(2) of the Act.

Fees and Charges

The RTI Unit of the National Identification Authority shall respond to applicants seeking information from the Authority subject to the provision of the RTI Act, 2018 (Act 989), and would request such applicants to pay for the approved fee by Parliament following the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 (Act 793).

Contact NIA’s RTI Unit

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