The Coalition for Integrity and Accountability(AMAN) held a workshop on Monday, corresponding to 23/12/2013, at its headquarters in Ramallah to discuss the report they have prepared on “Management of Records and the Right to Access it”. TheHead of theGeneral Personnel Council Dr. Musa Abu Zaid attended the workshop on behalf of the Council of Ministers, in addition to representatives of ministerial and non-ministerial public organizations, and also representatives of the security organization.
Meanwhile, Dr. AzmiShuaibi, AMAN’s Commissioner for Combating Corruption, emphasized that the purpose of the report is to identify the concept of public archives, the gaps, and challenges relevant to its management. It also aims at concluding recommendations designated for the concerned organizations, which can enhance the effectiveness of public archives management process, and also ensure the citizens’ right to access it; in addition to the positive participation in public affairs management and preserving the Palestinian memory of the state’s institutions.
Dr. Musa Abu Zaid, on behalf of the council of ministers, has appreciated the efforts exerted by AMAN Coalition, for the purpose of organizing the state’s data management and making it available for the citizens, confirming the government’s readiness to seriously consider the results and recommendations of the report prepared by AMAN.
The report concluded a set of practical recommendations to organize the management process of public archives. The most important recommendations are: endorsing a legislative framework that shall govern the public archives management and enables the citizens to access the information of interest to them easily and comfortably; building the institutional capacities of the National Archives Center, and qualifying its cadres to efficiently exercise their tasks and powers; developing a general policy for the Palestinian Authority that adopts the concept of the citizen’s right to access information and obligate all public institutions to compile and classify information in a way that makes it easily accessible.
Representative of the National Archive has indicated, from his part, that passing the Palestinian National Archive Law represents the real starting point for assisting the public organizations in the management of its public archives, he also demanded more attention to be paid to the requirements of the National Archive establishment such as facilities, equipment and special budget.
Representatives of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have emphasized the significant role played by the Ministry in Electronic Archives management process, and also they confirmed the readiness of the Electronic Archives Department at the aforementioned ministry to collaborate with the National Archive Center to create electronic archiving systems and programs that can help public institutions develop an electronic data base and organize its public archives and data management.
The report also included a proposed action plan that covered a number of legal, institutional, and political procedures to be applied in order to institutionalize the process of managing public records. AMAN will submit the proposal to the Council of Ministers and follow up on the implementation process.
Representatives of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Land Authority, Ministries of Women Affairs, Tourism and Interior,the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency, the Civil Defense, and the Higher Judicial Council have allconfirmed the importance of having a legislative framework that regulates the process. They also asserted that the Palestinian National Archive shall be responsible of supervising the process and managing the computer in the Ministry of telecommunication to follow up the outcomes and recommendations of the report.
All participants in the workshop agreed that the management of public records shall be institutionalized while an official commission consisting stakeholders must be formed to follow-up the implementation of the proposed action plan by AMAN.