We need a policy on records and archives

Uganda did not have any law relating directly to records until 2001. Acccording to this law, all records with historical, administrative, legal, fiscal, informative and educational value must be deposited with the national archives. The law also demands the surrender of memorabilia, maps, cartographic drawings and blue prints of national buildings. On November 6, 2013, the Ministry of Public Service launched a National Records Centre Archive, which is to accommodate the entire record holdings of civil servants in the country.

Records are valuable business assets. They are the lifeblood of the organisations and business and, therefore, should be treated with utmost care. One of the key ways organisations are held accountable for their actions is through evidence of business transitions in the form of records management.
Part one of the National Records and Archives Act 2001, spells out clearly the roles of the different agencies. Records and archives provide a platform to access of information – stipulated in Article 41 of the Constitution – by researchers, lawyers, scholars and others who want to know about people, events and places.

Without an organised national records and archives policy framework, there is a deficit in information access, which contributes to inadequate and improper decision-making within organisational and national establishments. Conservation and preservation of information needs to be anchored with effective legislative and policy frameworks. The national records and archives policy will have a direct impact on the ways in which government organisations and individuals carry out their daily affairs as far as information management is concerned.

The policy will also ensure that government uses legislation to ensure its records and archives are appropriately managed and preserved overtime for accountability and historical reasons.
This policy will, therefore, go a long way to ensure a strategic approach to building capacity to capture, store, use, and preserve records of institutional and national heritage for the good of all Ugandans.

Mr Kasumba is an information management consultant. gkasumba@easlis.mak.ac.ug

SOURCE: Daily Monitor