The Lands Commission Has Inducted 16 Right to Information (RTI) Officers to Man All The 16 Regional Offices of The Commission.

The move is to make access to information under the RTI law easier and faster for applicants.

“In the past, getting information from public institutions was challenging. The government has been making attempts to make sure that issue becomes a thing of the past. And so all public institutions including the Lands Commission are poised to ensure that access to information becomes easier” said Evans Mamphey, Head of Human Resources at the Lands Commission.

The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), is an Act of Parliament that provides for the implementation of the constitutional right of persons to access official information held by public institutions and relevant private institutions that receive public resources or perform public functions.

But even with the existence of the law, some persons are denied or have difficulty accessing public sector information.

The Lands Commission however wants access to information from them to be easier for applicants.

“Lands Commission is a repository of information. People come to us for information and by law, we are to give out the information that is within the confines of the law. As a service delivery organization, we have taken the step to make access to information by RTI applicants swift,” Mr. Mamphey stated at a ceremony to induct the 16 RTI officers.

Head of Access to Information (ATI) Division at the Ministry of Information, Dr. Nafisa Mahama commended the Lands Commission for being one of the first institutions to accept RTI officers from the Ministry.

She noted, “government officials sometimes treat information as if it’s their personal property but the RTI law brings clarity to the fact that once you are generating information with public funds, it’s not the property of any individual but that of the institution or organization.”

Executive Secretary of RTI Commission, Yaw Sarpong Boateng stressed: “access to public sector information is seen as an important step towards strengthening democracy, good governance, public service, and long-term development.”

Mr. Boateng indicated information request has seen a significant increase between 2020 and 2021.

“In 2021 there were 247 information requests on public institutions in Ghana which is a 974% increase from 23 requests made in 2020. A clear indication that there has been an increased interest in the use of the RTI law to access information and hold public institutions accountable for their work. We are expecting a huge jump in 2022 from the 2021 record,” he stated.

The newly inducted RTI officers were implored to discharge their work diligently and professionally.

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