Govt commissions Shs54b national records centre

Friday September 30 2016

Left-Right: State minister for Public Service

Left-Right: State minister for Public Service David Karubanga, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, archivist Eva Kirabo and the Ministry of Public Service permanent secretary, Ms Catherine Betarakwata, at the commissioning of the National Archives and Records Centre building yesterday. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA 

By BLANSHE MUSINGUZI

Government has commissioned the National Records Centre and Archive Building which will cost about Shs54 billion when completed.

The first phase commissioned by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda yesterday cost Shs28.3 billion and the second phase is expected to cost Shs28.6 billion while Shs5 billion is needed to operationalise the facility. The building is located in Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb.

Ministry of Public Service permanent secretary Catherine Musingwiire said the facility is being constructed in phases because of insufficient funds.

The construction of the first phase started in 2013 after receiving the credit from International Development Agency (IDA) through Work Bank.

The IDA credit was meant for Uganda public service enhancement project but the the ministry allocated Shs20.3 billion of this credit towards construction of the national records centre.
The project comprises seven levels of records and archives block, five levels of administration and two levels of the kitchen and cafeteria block.

The first phase commissioned the Prime Minister comprises one level of administration/exhibition block and four levels of the records and archives block and external works. Phase II will cover three levels of the records and archives, four levels of administration block and two levels of kitchen and cafeteria block.
“The Public Service ministry conceptualised the project way back in 2000. The designs and tender documents were prepared in 2002. However, the facility could not be constructed due to lack of funds,” Ms Bitarakwate said.

She added: “Currently, the ministry lacks funds for phase II works and we hope government and development partners will support us to realise this dream.”

Dr Rrugunda said the facility will enable Uganda to preserve its records, adding that records enhance accountability, transparency and good governance. He applauded World Bank for funding the facility.

According to a statement issued by the Public Service ministry on Wednesday, Uganda has been the only country in East Africa and the common wealth lacking a standard records centre, making it difficult for the country to effectively preserve and manage national heritage for research and historical values.

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