As Jamaica recognises Records and Information Management (RIM) Month activities in April, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Robert Morgan, has applauded RIM practitioners who have given of their time and service towards nation-building over the years.
RIM practitioners are responsible to ensure that systems are in place to maintain the integrity of the records in your custody from creation to disposition, irrespective of their media (paper, electronic or audio-visual), which will ultimately form part of Jamaica’s documentary heritage, that are unique and irreplaceable records of Government and society.
“Let us celebrate our RIM practitioners across the public service and join in highlighting the importance of RIM for the effective functioning of Government,” Mr. Morgan said, at the virtual launch of RIM Month on Wednesday (April 14).
“From this point to April 30, 2021, we will celebrate the RIM practitioners, the contribution made by Jamaica Archives and Records Department (JARD) and its partner institutions, for their contribution to nation-building by ensuring the preservation of national documents for posterity and access. By so doing, we recognise those RIM practitioners who provide quality leadership, those in the trenches who organise, secure and make relevant information accessible during these times. I also acknowledge the middle managers who supervise and oversee various RIM processes, people and products for sound decision-making,” he added.
He said as they reflect on the theme ‘Managing Records and Information for Posterity: Transparent, Accountable and Inclusive’, they also celebrate superheroes of JARD, such as Clinton Black, Elizabeth Williams, John Aarons, middle managers and team members who function within challenging circumstances.
“We must appreciate the role played by Mr. Black, who in the formative years contributed to the genesis of the RIM in the newly independent Jamaica. He oversaw the construction of the first custom-built archival structure that was created in the Caribbean at 27 King Street in Spanish Town, in 1962,” he noted.
“We must applaud those professionals such as Elizabeth Williams who provided leadership and who as one of Black’s mentees, jointly marshalled the drafting and promulgation of the Archive Act in 1982, and the Archives (Official Regulations) Act in 1988. She was also instrumental in facilitating the establishment of the Government Records Centre to provide temporary low-cost storage of inactive official records. We must also recognise Mr. John Aarons who guided Jamaica in taking major steps to establish international standards as early as 2005, when consultations were taken at the national level to adopt usage of the ISO 15489 standard, which is the Jamaican Standard Specification for information and documentation, Records Management Part 1,” Mr. Morgan said.
The State Minister also recognised individuals and Committees who have been working to implement the Government of Jamaica’s RIM Policy, “so that we can have a more efficient and effective system of managing our records and information”.
“I want to extend special thanks to the Office of the Cabinet which continues to support the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, mainly the Information Division and JARD, to oversee the Government of Jamaica’s RIM programme implementation across the Public Sector,” he added.