A meeting of the Board of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice was held on April 1, 2021
A meeting of the Board of the Department for Archives and Records Management of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus was held on April 1, 2021 to discuss the following issues:
1. On draft law of the Republic of Belarus on correcting Law No. 323-З of the Republic of Belarus of November 25, 2011 “On archives and records management in the Republic of Belarus”.
2. On archival storage of electronic documents.
On the first issue, the Board noted that in the period from October 2020 to March 2021, the preparation of the draft Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Amendments to the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Archival Affairs and Records Management in the Republic of Belarus” (hereinafter the draft Law) was carried out as part of the revision of its individual provisions. Since the beginning of 2021, this work has been carried out in accordance with paragraph 5 of the Plan for the preparation of draft laws for 2021, approved by Presidential Decree No. 2 of January 4, 2021, as well as paragraph 4 of the Plan for the preparation of draft laws by national government bodies in 2021, approved by Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 106 of February 24, 2021.
The Board drew attention to the fact that as a result of the change in the definition of the term “Document of the National Archival Fonds” it became necessary to clarify the list of entities providing information on archival documents into the State Archival Catalogue. These entities include territorial (city or district) archives that store documents of reorganized and liquidated organizations, individual entrepreneurs and representative offices of foreign organizations that ceased to operate.
The draft Law has been supplemented with a list of criteria on the basis of which archival documents will be classified as documents containing information relating to the personal secrets of citizens. This amendment is caused by the practical need to eliminate or significantly minimize the degree of subjectivity in defining groups of documents, access to which is restricted.
The Board notes the expediency to introduce into the legislation the norm that extends the period of temporary storage for civil status records to 100 years. The reason for this is the extension of the time period during which civil status records from the post-war period remain relevant.
On the second issue, the Board noted that the Belarusian Research Center for Electronic Records (BelNITsED) is constantly working to ensure archival storage of electronic documents of the National Archival Fonds. Since 1999, BelNITsED has accepted for permanent preservation the documents of state bodies, other organizations and individuals, as well as materials of the 2009 Population Census of the Republic of Belarus, comprising 13 archival fonds with total volume of 2.6 terabytes, 53.4 million files. In 2021, it is planned to receive documents from the 2019 Population Census of the Republic of Belarus.
To ensure the work with electronic records, from 1999 to 2019 BelNITsED developed 13 regulatory and methodological documents. In order to organize the acceptance of documents signed with an electronic digital signature for permanent preservation, in 2017–2019 as part of the State Program for the Development of the Digital Economy and the Information Society for 2016–2020 BelNITsED developed and put into commercial operation the Information System for the Archive of Electronic Records of the National Archival Fonds of the Republic of Belarus (IS AED).
In order to prepare archival institutions for work with IS AED, the employees of BelNITsED conduct training seminars: in 2020, 7 seminars were organized with the participation of more than 70 employees from 23 state archival institutions. Also, 3 national seminars were held, which were attended by 250 representatives of 54 government agencies, 6 seminars on the work with electronic records, etc. The issues of work with electronic records are regularly covered by BelNITsED in the branch journal “Archives and Records Management”.
The Board noted that in order to organize archival storage of electronic records, the Plan of Measures to Ensure Archival Storage of Electronic Records in the Republic of Belarus, approved by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus No. 37 / 226-274 / 334 on October 17, 2018, has been implemented since 2018. To date, almost all of the Plan’s activities have been completed.