Ghana – A Case for FOI & Archives

This past August, Ghana’s ongoing push to pass an information bill has again been delayed.  Efforts to implement such a bill have encountered road blocks as there has been a lot of bandying about which government body is structured well enough to execute the functions of the bill.

In principle, the information bill would allow the public domain to access information on finances, business relationships, and individual citizens. According to an article in Daily Guide Ghana, “Democracy advocates uphold right to information laws as necessary ingredients for the promotion of good governance, transparency, and accountability.”  This is especially true for a country that is establishing democracy and shows signs of a fast growing economy as Ghana has started oil production last year.  The vote passing of the bill would represent another step towards a solid democracy and anti-corruption efforts.

At the heart of any access to information or freedom of information act or law is effective record-keeping within public bodies and private agencies.  At the same time, exemption clauses have been drafted primarily to protect the interests of government.  Exemptions to the bill, as with any FOI legislation, define the breadth and depth of how much information is actually disclosed.  The exemptions in this case have been described by critics are far too wide.  This has been another source of contention and delay…

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Related articles on record keeping  issues and good governance in Ghana


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