PARBICA Toolkit training in Tonga
Between 24 and 27 May, PARBICA Treasurer Helen Walker, Emma Buckley (Assistant to the PARBICA Treasurer), and Anna Gulbransen (Assistant to the PARBICA Secretary-General) met with representatives of the Government of Tonga to deliver messages on the benefits of good recordkeeping. This included a 2½ day training workshop based on guidelines from PARBICA's Pacific Recordkeeping for Good Governance Toolkit (both existing guidelines, and new guidelines from the most recent phase of the Toolkit, which focuses on managing digital records).
The workshop sessions, which looked at key elements of creating and managing records, included:
- Introduction to recordkeeping
- Recordkeeping capacity
- Writing a recordkeeping policy
- Managing email
- Undertaking digitization projects
- Digital readiness
- Choosing the best strategy
This was the first time PARBICA had delivered recordkeeping training in Tonga, and we were overwhelmed by the level of interest. Almost 120 participants registered for the workshop and attendance for each day was very high. The sessions on managing email and undertaking digitisation projects were particularly well-received, with a number of ministries already investigating the possibility of digitisation for storage and disaster recovery purposes.
At the end of the workshop, Helen gave a presentation to CEOs of Government Ministries. The fourth day was spent visiting Ministries and providing comment on existing records management arrangements and practices.
Highlights of the visit include dinner with Lord Vaea, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Fisheries and long-time supporter of PARBICA; a visit to the Palace Archives and quick peek into a wing of the Palace; and a meeting with Mishka Tu'ifua, Chairperson of the Tonga Public Service Commission who was very supportive of the recommendations and has agreed to present a submission to Parliament recommending the establishment of a national archive for Tonga, supported by legislation. We were also fortunate to have a wonderful host in Salote Vuki of the Tonga Public Service Commission, who escorted us to a night of traditional Tongan food and music on our last evening.
The new Toolkit products will be launched at PARBICA 14 in Samoa in August.