Ministry of Public Service held the 1st ever Records and Archives Cadre Forum at the Civil Service College Uganda, Jinja from 27th – 29th March 2018 under the theme, ‘Enhancing Capacity of the Records and Archives Cadre for the Transformation of the Uganda Public Service’. The forum attracted 305 participants across all Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Local Governments (MDAs & LGs).
The purpose of the forum was to provide a platform for discussion, sharing lessons and harmonization of the roles of Records and Archives Cadre in spearheading the transformation of the Public Service.
Specifically, the Forum was designed to:-
- Enlighten Records Managers of their critical role in the realization of National and Organizational development aspirations;
- Acquaint Records Manager with the Legal and Policy sources that create and affect the performance of the Records Management function in the Uganda Public Service; and
- Equip Records Managers with knowledge and skills for planning and budgeting for the Records Management function in MDAs/LGs.
While opening the event, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa the Minister for Public Service the Records and Archives cadre played a critical role in management of the records and information which is very important to the development and heritage of Uganda. He reminded the participants of their central position in fulfilling the mandate of the Ministry of Public Service in the Transformation of Uganda’s Public Service for better service delivery.
The Minister challenged the Records and Information Management cadre to understand how fundamental records and information is to government processes and said that this forum had provided a ground for them to discuss the current level of service delivery and agree on whether it was satisfactory or not in their respective institutions that they represent.
In her remarks, the Ag. Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Salome Nyamungu said that issues of good governance and Accountability would only be possible if correct and professional records are being managed in all institutions. She observed that when records are in place, trust is built among the clients and generally the citizenry of any one country.
Nyamungu emphasized, that a country’s history is based on how accurate its records are kept, to whom are they accessible to, and more interestingly, the staff engaged in creating an enabling environment to work in by providing a service with a smile as opposed to the ‘pull him/her down syndrome’. She underscored the need for professionalism when managing records and advised on the need to appraise the records and adherence to the records management cycle.
On her part, the Ag. Commissioner for Records and Information Management, Ms. Lillian Ariso challenged the participant to work towards synergizing with all category of workers if they are to realize their dreams. She advised on linking all their efforts to the national goals and vision 2040 of Uganda for relevant performance.
The forum was delivered through a number of interactive approaches among which were lectures, self-evaluation exercises, interactive presentations, experience sharing, case studies, question and answer sessions, group exercises, and plenary discussions. The Ministry invited a number of consultants, records management practitioners and technical personnel in different fields of expertise who made presentations that included:
- Overview of the Government Agenda of the Transformation of Uganda Public Service,
- Conceptualization and Justification for Records and Archives Management,
- Overview of Government – the structure of Central and Local Governments, NARC,
- Conflict management and Resolution in an organization,
- The Records Management procedures and practices ,
- Ethics and Integrity in the Uganda Public Service – Records Perspective,
- Capacity Building and Training for the Records and Archives Cadre,
- Performance planning and management,
- Planning and budgeting for the Records Management function, and
- Enhancing personal effectiveness for Records Managers in MDAs & LGs – key competences, Case scenario.
A number of issues came up during the forum and most of them were Human Resource Management issues that affected the Records and Archives cadre. It was advised that a Circular Standing Instruction would be issued by the Ministry of Public Service to the service to create awareness of the importance of the Records Management in the service.
At the end of the forum it was agreed that:
- The Records and Archives Cadre forum be held annually;
- The length of the forum be extended to five (5) days to enable them cover a wide range of topics;
- The service is sensitized on the role of Records Managers; and
- A joint Forum comprising of Accounting Officers, Heads of Human Resource and Records Managers be organized in future.
The participants commended the Forum and pledged to put to use the knowledge acquired to improve their registry practices, adopt standard records management procedures among others.
The closing of the forum was officiated by the Commissioner for Human Resource Planning and Development, Mr. Thomas Ojok who urged the participants to embrace the spirit of hard work, selfless commitment and team work to improve the quality of Public Service delivery. He advised the participants against indiscipline that could dent the image of the Uganda Public Service. He stated that the Ministry was aware of the challenges faced by the Records and Archives Cadre which included among others the inadequate space in Registries and Records Centers, inadequate staff capacity; poor budgeting and planning for the function, manual operations due to lack of electronic records management systems and lack of equipment and tools to manage records. He was happy to note that the Forum had enabled participants to discuss all these issues and lay strategies to address them. He pledged to continuously build their capacity geared towards professionalization of the cadre through various capacity building programmes. The Commissioner reiterated the Ministry’s appreciation to all Accounting Officers, the Civil Service College Uganda, the Records and Information Management Department and Department of HRP&D for making the forum successful.