Archives Director Cries To President

John-Dramani-MahamaThe Acting Director of the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD), Felix Nyarko Ampong has sent a distress call through the Judgment Debt Commission to the President, John Dramani Mahama to intervene to save the Department.

He said the Department lacks modern equipment to keep its records and that in the  event of a fire outbreak, there will be no back up for the retrieval of the nation’s very important documents.

According to him, PRAAD’s budget allocation for the year was only GH¢ One million and as of now, it has no computers, the air conditioners are not functioning and has only four old vehicles for its operations throughout the 10 regions.

Mr. Ampong disclosed these challenges to the Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau at the Judgment Debt Commission’s sitting on Wednesday.

The Commissioner had invited the Acting Director to explain why it is difficult for some state officials to appear before him with relevant documents to defend their actions and also help it (the Commission) with its investigations in relation to judgment debt payments.

He (Director) said that but for the timely intervention of PRAAD by producing documents to back Ghana’s claims for the Jubilee Fields during the oil find, the border impasse between the nation and  La Cote d’lvoire would have still been raging on.

“In this 21st century, our documents not digitized and should a disaster strike, all our archival and other records will be destroyed forever,” he warned.

Mr. Ampong intimated that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have poor records keeping habits, especially the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and urged their officers to strengthen their registries.

“Records are for national development,” he noted, and attributed most of the skirmishes in the Northern part of the country to lack of documented records for the people to back their claims.

The Director said that PRAAD is not under any of the ministries and this makes it difficult to operate in terms of budget allocation since everything of the department is approved by the presidency.

On his part, Mr. Justice Apau said that the commission has been given one- year mandate and it was left with two more months to finish its work, but the difficulty in getting documents from witnesses to facilitate investigations, has been the major setback.

“Before we can develop as a nation, we have to take public records keeping serious,” he stressed. - Castro Zangina- Tong 

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