The Right to Access Information Commission (RAIC) and the Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation Project (PFMICP) have presented records management equipment to five pilot Ministries Departments and Agencies MDAs that benefited from the Establishment of Records Management Repositories project.
The ceremony which took place at the RAIC secretariat on 46 Kroo town road in Freetown, saw representatives of Ministries of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Lands, Housing and Country planning, the Public Service Commission, and the Office of the Administrator and Registrar General receiving packages of 5 digital scanners, 5 toners/cartridges for printing, 5 boxes of A4 papers and assorted stationery items, 2 servers for centralized electronic records management system and aluminium shelves.
Welcoming representatives from the beneficiary MDAs, the Executive Secretary of the RAIC, Hon. Mustapha Braima said this one of a bits of projects undertaken by the RAIC with support from PFMIC in 2018, but actually gained momentum in the last quarter of 2019, and from that moment to now, Hon. Braima added, the commission has been in touch with these MDAs and today both parties are delighted to climax the project with such a wonderful presentation.
Chairman and Information Commissioner of RAIC, Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw said he is pleased to inform the MDAs that this present commission inherited the project which started at a slow pace but was fast tracked as soon as the new commission was reconstituted. Dr. Shaw said records management is part of the broad mandate of RAIC as stipulated in sections 27 and 29 of the RAI Act, which is why a project with these 5 pilot MDAs speaks to that fulfilment. The Chairman emphasized that information cannot be accessed if the records are in disarray but the project has helped to address the management, storage and retrieval of information not just physically, but digitally when a demand is made. The Project came with its own challenges, he added, among which is the intervention of the Ministry of Information and Communications MIC, which questioned the consistency of the project with what was already happening at the MIC of which an agreement was later reached, thanking all parties for their corporation.
Measurement and Evaluation (M&E) officer, PFMICP, Sheku Sesay reiterated the main objective of the Project is to ensure the Public Financial Management in MDAs, which can only be met with proper records management. Mr. Sesay added that one of the ways to strengthen Records management is to have easily retrievable records in a good format to promote transparency and accountability, concluding that training is a prerequisite for the effective use of the systems once they are fully installed.
Records Management Specialist at RAIC Fanta Morgan thanked PFMICP for continued support and for been a partner to RAIC. She expressed gratitude to the five MDAs for having come thus far and for participating in a process she believes, will effect change in their MDAs. Mrs. Morgan emphasized that a good and proper record keeping is evidence of a well-governed organization and should be seen as an integral part, rather than an incidental way to any business. She encouraged MDAs to utilize the system for proper records management in their various institutions.
Representing the Five Pilot MDAs, Andrew Aruna from the Public Service Commission, thanked RAIC for selecting their MDAs as part of the pilot phase and assured them that what has been learnt will be replicated to other MDAs