The alternate member of the Riigikogu Tõnu Juul took the oath of office.
The Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning illegal termination of the activities of the Archives Board (No 33), submitted by Member of the Riigikogu Aadu Must on 13 December. The interpellator found that since the State Secretary had not performed the duty arising from law to convene the Archives Board for several years, then that could be regarded as illegal termination of the activities of the Archives Board. The interpellator inquired about the Government’s action plan for further development of archiving and document management.
Ansip said that the activities of the Archives Board had not been terminated. When preparing the Archives Act in 1998, formation of the Archives Board with advisory function, directed by the State Secretary, was proposed. In the first year of activity, the Archives Board met not infrequently to discuss the statutes of the National Archives, the awarding of the qualification of archivist, and other matters. Later, during the term of office of the previous as well as the current State Secretary, meetings of the Board were organised only for deliberation of the development trends of the domain and in connection with the election of the State Archivist. “Therefore, it is obviously an exaggeration to regard the change in frequency of the meetings as illegal termination of the activities of the Archives Board,” the Prime Minister explained. In case the State Secretary as the Chairman of the Archives Board overlooks a material issue, the members of the Archives Board also have the right to request that the Board be convened, pursuant to the Archives Act.
During the whole period of its activity, the Archives Board has discussed the activities of the National Archives, the development plan of administration and archiving, the digital archiving strategies of the National Archives, as well as the main focuses of document management. In recent years, the shift to electronic document management has been the priority in document management and archiving. “The Government’s action programme proposes transfer to paper free administration in the public sector by 2011. Much work has been done to this end in recent years and, with this in view, the Government decided on 4 October last year that all governmental authorities will implement electronic document exchange during 2008,” Ansip noted. To date, this has been done in more than half of the ministries, in nearly half of county governments and in one-fourth of agencies and inspectorates. Also, over one-third of local governments have succeeded in it. “We are seeing a dynamic development in this sphere,” the Prime Minister confirmed.
Ansip said that the Government had approved the structural change of the National Archives by which the Digital Archives Bureau had been established last year because transfer to paper free administration necessitated the setting up of digital archiving. By the end of the year, the National Archives set out the requirements for archiving of digital documents, which are to be observed to ensure preservation of digital documents in state authorities. In addition, the National Archives purchased powerful servers whereby the technical conditions necessary for preservation of digital materials were created. “With that, the National Archives is ready to receive and store digital documents. In my opinion, the Archives Board has been very successful in its role as the strategic leader,” the Prime Minister noted.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at: https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno
The Riigikogu Press Service
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