The Fourth Estate's request was denied, so the RTI Commission wrote to the Council of State about it.

Kutl Ahmedia

The Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Estate, Manasseh Azure Awuni, was denied access to material, and the Right to Information (RTI) Commission wrote to the Council of State to ask why.

The Council was given 14 days to respond in the letter dated September 7, 2022, and written to Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the Omanhene of Asante Juaben.

The three-page letter from the RTI Commission's Executive Secretary, Yaw Sarpong Boateng, wrote, "Be advised, respectfully, that the Commission shall continue to resolve the appeal before it based on information available to it, where you fail to respond.

Mr. Awuni sought information on the meetings and activities of the council between 2017 and 2020 on June 10, 2022, but the Council of State didn't respond.

In accordance with section 31 of the RTI Act 989, which states: "Except as otherwise provided in this Act, a person aggrieved by a decision of the information officer of a public institution may submit an application for internal review of that decision to the head of the public institution," the chairman of the council did not respond to an appeal made to him on July 5, 2022.

According to Section 35 of the RTI Act, "where the head of a public institution fails to give a decision on a request for internal review within 15 days, the head of that public institution is deemed to have affirmed the initial decision of the information officer," his silence, which was interpreted as a refusal, was the reason for his silence.

As required by the RTI statute, the Fourth Estate took the Council of State before the RTI panel.

In a letter to the Council of State, the RTI Commission argued that it had the authority to make the request because of sections 43 and 70 of the RTI Act, which require public institutions to help the commission with an investigation when an appeal is presented to it.

The host of the Good Evening Ghana program on Metro TV, Paul Adom Otchere, received a response to a comparable request from the Council of State within 24 hours of his request before The Fourth Estate.

The data was already sent to him for his program on June 7 before he wrote to the council on June 8, 2022, requesting the attendance statistics from 2017 to 2020.

The Council of State declined to provide Dr. Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, a special adviser to TogbeAfede XIV, access to the same attendance list and instead advised him to contact Metropolitan Television (where Paul Adom-Otchere works) for the data.

Dr. Apetorgbor had submitted two requests, one requesting "information on travel allowances paid to members of the Council of State" over the same time period and the second asking for the attendance list of Council of State members from 2017 to 2020.


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