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ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM FOR NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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MBABANE – The loss of vital information within the government system could be a thing of the past. The Government of Taiwan, through International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), demonstrated an electronic system that is set to allow for the sharing of records for the Eswatini National Archives at the Hilton Garden Hotel yesterday.


Demonstration


Secretary to Cabinet Mbuso Dlamini, spoke on behalf of the Minister of Information Communications and Technology, Princess Sikhanyiso, who was unable to attend the demonstration.  Dlamini expressed sincere gratitude to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their continued support to the Government of Eswatini through their funding of various projects and in particular, the development of the Electronic Documents and Records Management System (EDRMS) by technicians from the two countries.


He spoke of the loss of vital public records and poor file tracking systems which had resulted in poor records and archives management practices, that hindered the effectiveness and efficiency of government. 
He said, “We can never thank the consultants who worked tirelessly in ensuring the successful development and implementation of the system.”


He mentioned that the National Economy Recovery Strategic Road map had identified technology as one of the key pillars in facilitating radical economic development and the new system would eliminate the laissez-faire culture in the civil service and, in turn, promote service excellence.

The Taiwanese

Ambassador, Jeremy Liang, said the project had began in December 2015 with the primary objective of assisting the government develop and implement an electronic documents and records management system, which would include e-memo and e-letter authorisation, online handling and approval, exchange and filing sub-systems.


Liang said the aim was to establish government standard processes and operating procedures associated with the production and use of electronic documents. He also cited that the major challenge of implementing an e-government systems were the mindsets and attitudes of the people.
“Most people are afraid of change. The system in and of itself allows transparency and the tracking of processes,” Liang added.

The demonstration was facilitated by Elizabeth Wu and some of the things she highlighted as the benefits of the system were its efficiency in terms of saving operation time and the ease of tracking and retrieving documents; security in that there was a strict management mechanism and document integrity was maintained; standardization as well as cost saving in that there was less paper and storage space required.

The Principal Secretaries present at the meeting deliberated on the system and some of the concerns they raised included how long it would take for the system to be rolled out into all the government departments as well as the education of the staff to adapt to the new way of things.



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