Public records at risk

The Director General for the Center for National Documentation, Records and Archives or CNDRA alarms here that public records at various line Ministries and Agencies are at risk, and whereabouts of some other important records are unknown.


C. Neileh Daitouah says the status of some public records at various government ministries and agencies are uncertain, in the absence of proper records management system and training.

Speaking at the close of five days in-house training held at the agency head office in the Monrovia suburb of 12th Street, Sinkor he says the workshop was intended to sharpen skills of 22 staffers on inspection of public records and document management.

The exercise also sought to provide participants basic techniques on general records management and enhance technical capacity of archival employees at the agency.

Director Daitouah reminds employees of the cardinal roles they play in the transformation of the country, saying that their statutory mandate as a record agency of government is the focus.

“Our mandates are to ensure that government documents are preserved, kept and made available when they are required,” he explains.He notes that more needs to be done, starting with employees of the agency.

“When we tour the building, we see the way people treat documents; as such, we have to start with ourselves, beginning with my office,” he stresses.According to him, the agency in the past 12 years could not speak to status of documents at ministries and agencies, but promises to try to address the problem upon completion of the training.

The Center for National Documentation and Archives was created thru an of the National Legislature on November 14, 1977 and subsequently printed into handbill on August 18, 1979, making it a statutory institution in the country, charged with the responsibility to manage and store all national documents.

Director Daitouah challenges archival staff to take the five-day training seriously so that its aim can be achieved noting, “There is lot of work we have to do.”Following the completion of the exercise, trainees will be used to inspect public records that are kept at various Ministries and Agencies across the country.

CNDRA Technical Director Robert Cassel reveals that the purpose of conducting the training was to set the stage for the construction of a multi- purpose center at the 12th Street Compound in Sinkor.

“To construct the center, you have to inspect the records out there, access their conditions before deciding on how to proceed in removing the accessed records to the central location,” he explains.

Facilitators presented topics such as how an archival employee can locate documents in lesser time, how to distinguish between a document and a record, how to develop an index and filling system as well as how to sort and file documents, respectively.

By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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