Thursday December 14, 2017
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The Swaziland National Archives, which is part of the Ministry of ICT, have prepared the Swaziland National Archives and Records Management Bill, 2010 which has been presented to both Houses of Parliament. The Bill partly seeks to establish an Archives Advisory Council to ensure better administration of public records and to repeal the Archives Act No. 5 of 1971. The Advisory Council will be able to declare protected historical records as well as to review appeals made by researchers pertaining to access to the archives.Members of the public will soon be notified on when they can make contributions to the Bill before it is passed into an Act of Parliament.The Bill also directs writers of books that are published in Swaziland to deposit copies to the Swaziland National Library Services, the University of Swaziland and the National Archives. These are deemed to be places of Legal Deposit under this Bill. The Bill stipulates that public records in the National Archives or in any other place of Legal Deposit will be available for public inspection twenty years after their creation, although exceptions can be made at the request of the Minister or other head of public office which created the record. The copyrights belonging to authors who deposit copies of their work at the Swaziland National Archives are protected by the Bill. The Bill also deals with the export of historical records, declaration of protected records as well as offences and penalties that apply when a person defaces an archival record.

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