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Information law not meaningful without repeal of Achieves Act

…SKM-SL director charges

By Mohamed Massaquoi

Bangura

Bangura unhappy with government’s lack of interest in records keeping

Director of Society for Knowledge Management Sierra Leone (SKM-SL) has disclosed that the country still lacks a proper records keeping strategy, a development he considered as a potential impediment to the full implementation of the Access to Information Law recently enacted by parliament.

Records keeping, Umaru Bangura emphasized, is more than just information dissemination.

He was speaking at a press conference held at his organization’s headquarters in Freetown yesterday. He voiced his frustration that Sierra Leone is still governed by an outdated Archives Act of 1965 which, according to him, does not in any way provide a guide on the management of records, especially those dealing with the current trend of government policies and activities.

Bangura noted that effective records system should be trustworthy, reliable and authentic so that it could serve as evidence to support transparency and accountability in the country.

“The current Public Archives Act of 1965 has so many defects that cannot adequately provide the required guidance for records to be trusted,” highlighted the Society for Knowledge Management director. “For instance, there is no records keeping policy in Sierra Leone and the public Archives Act does not provide any guide on the management of current records. The landing of the fiber optic and its imminent availability to the public is a challenge, more so as there is no policy on electronic and manual records keeping.”

Bangura stressed the need for government to repeal the Archives Act of 1965 so that the country can boast of a modern records keeping mechanism.

“The only archive and records keeping center in Sierra Leone cannot boast of two computers. Repealing the 1965 Archives Act, therefore, is very important to us as a country because it deals with the country’s records management. Even with the decentralization process, this has not improved over the years,” he said, adding that the Audit Report of 2012 established that there was a huge cash losses to the public purse of Le82,146,575,696 as a result of chronic records management.