PUBLIC RECORDS IN LIBERIA AT RISK, AS ARCHIVE CENTER BEGINS CAPACITY BUILDING

The whereabouts and status of some public records at various Government ministries and agencies are not certain, in the absence of proper records management system, the Center for National Documents Records Agency (CNDRA) or National Archives Director General C. Neileh Daitouah has said.

CNDRA has begun a five-day in house training workshop intended to sharpen the skills of 22 staffers on the inspection of public records and document management.

The training also seeks to provide participants basic techniques in general records management and enhance the skills technical capacity of archival employees at the agency.

Addressing the start of the training workshop, Mr. Daitouah challenged archival staff to take the in-house training serious; reminding employees of their statutory mandate as a records agency of government.

CNDRA boss acknowledged that more needs to be done at the National Archives, on ground that the status of documents at Government ministries and agencies for the last 12 years cannot be accounted for.

He expressed optimism that the trainees will use the skill acquired during the training to inspect public records kept at Government ministries and agencies across the country.

CNDRA Technical Director, Robert Cassel disclosed that the purpose for the training is to set the stage for the construction of a multi- purpose center at the Agency’s 12th Street Compound.

Among others, techniques being taught includes, how an archival employee can locate documents in lesser time, be able to distinguish the difference between a document and a record, to develop an index and filling system, as well as to able to sort and file document.

Meanwhile, the Center for National Documents and Records Agency/ National Archives (CNDRA) has on a pro-bono basis appointed Veteran Liberian Historian Rev. J. Emmanuel Bowier as advisor on historical affairs.

In his communication to Mr. Bowier, dated Monday, June 25 CNDRA Director General C. Neileh Daitouah said “It pleases me to appoint you as Advisor to the Director General on Historical Affairs and said appointment takes immediate effect.

Director Daitouah hoped that the appointment of Mr. Bowier, who is also a Reverend (minister of the gospel) will contribute significantly to the discovery of unknown historical events of the country, as well as strengthen the archive holdings and make it more valuable to the government and people of Liberia.

Reverend Bowier has held several public offices, including Minister of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism, under slimed Liberian President Samuel Doe.

The experienced reverend is also the producer and presenter of insightful historical programs on radio and television stations in the country.

Liberia’s former Information Minister has accepted the appointment and expressed willingness to provide his expertise to the National Archives.

He said these words in his acceptance note to the Director General Daitouah ‘’ Dear Director General, Thanks for the confidence reposed in me by appointment as your Advisor on historical affairs.

Terms and condition specified are considered ‘’for such a time as this’’ he concluded.

The Agency was created an act passed by the legislature on November 14, 1977 and printed into handbill on August 18, 1979 making it a statutory institution in the country.

It has the responsibility to manage and store all national documents.

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