Namibia: Public Institutions Urged to Adhere to Archive Act

The Oshikoto Regional Council observed poor record keeping practices in most of the public establishments in the region. This came to light when the council conducted an inspection in various government institutions, with the purpose of advising and assisting institutions to implement proper record management procedures.

"Records are important; it is difficult to manage life without records. Keeping records promotes governance and shows accountability in fighting corruption, as corruption is a problem in our country, particularly in the public sector," said Mwenyo, the Oshikoto chief regional officer, during the celebration of the International Archives Day in Omuthiya.

Mwenyo further informed the gathering that most of the records are destroyed immaturely and without authorisation from the archives office, while, in most cases, no registry, retention and disposal schedules were followed.

Moreover, Mwenyo appealed to the public institutions to do proper planning when it comes to registry, further urging them to not only implement the archive act but also to adhere to it for easy accessibility of vital information as classified.

"Our status quo should be different - come next year when we celebrate another week," she said.

In the same vein, the senior archivist in the region, Lahja Nambahu, emphasised the importance of the record management, stating that any information that people create everyday need to be taken care of, as archives retain and preserve long-term values.

Nambahu said archives assist in decision-making, as they provide evidence and explanations for past actions and current decisions.

Nambahu additionally emphasised that archives should not be seen as old documents or information, but people should realise that archives are witnesses to the past. She, thus, encouraged institutions to keep all relevant information that can be shared timeously with the right people.

The International Archives Week is an annual event, celebrated on 8 June worldwide, with the aim to celebrate the great work done by the archivists around the world as well as popularise the archive profession and engage community members on the importance of the archives.

It also outlines the preservation of society memory and promote the importance of good record keeping. This year's celebration took place in Omuthiya under the theme: 'Empowering Archives', and it was attended by a restricted number of head of institutions in Omuthiya.

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