By:Lamin B. Darboe
Ministry of Public Service
At least forty (40) Heads of Record officers from various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and thirty (30) Stakeholders of the National Records Service (NRS) under the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery on Monday and Tuesday reviewed the National Records Service Act 1993.
The synergy was held at Metzy Residence Hotel, Kotu thus organised by the National Records Service (NRS) and funded by the EU-Technical Assistance through Public Finance Management (PFM) Directorate of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
Opening the workshop, the Director of the National Records Service (NRS), Mr. Bartholomew Marong informed participants that the NRS was established by an Act of Parliament in 1993.
“The Act mandated the NRS to manage all forms of public records from their creation to ultimate disposal or permanent preservation as archives,” the NRS boss informed participants.
According to Mr. Marong, before the coming of the Act, The Gambia inherited record Keeping systems that were designed to serve small bureaucracies from Britain.
These systems which had remained in place for many years he added outlived their usefulness and needed to be replaced to reflect the growth of modern government functions.
He equally stated that the validation of the Revised National Records Service Act 1993 follows a robust set of discussions, and consultations, reviewed by a Records Management Expert (Mr. Andrew Griffins)over 5 years ago.
“Computers were used in the early 1990s, Government records were mainly in paper form and were filed in manual systems maintained by Registries (since renamed Records Offices),” NRS boss stated.
Today, he continued, manual systems continue to be used for policy and administrative files but official business is now also carried out using computers and electronic mail, and much of the information critical to Government operations is held in data files.
According to Mr. Marong, the NRS is currently implementing an Electronic Records Management System (ERMS) to address the need for systems, policies, and standards to manage electronic and digital records.
he appreciated the funding from the EU-Technical Assistance through the Public Finance Management (PFM) Directorate of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs while congratulating and late and acknowledging the significant effort that has gone into the development of the document.