HISTORICAL BACKGROUND/LEGAL MANDATE
The Records and Archives Management Division was established in 1999 through the Government Notice Number 289 of 1999. Through this notice, the Government transferred the National Archives of Tanzania from the Ministry of Education and Culture to the President’s Office, Public Service Management.
However, the initiatives to effectively manage the records and archives started in 1963 when the President issued Circular No.7 which emphasized on the proper care and disposal of public records. The newly independent Tanzania saw the importance of proper records and archives management in order to implement effectively the new roles. For that reason, the government established the National Archives of Tanzania in 1964, and subsequently enacted the National Archives Act No. 33 of 1965. This Institution was mandated to safeguard the archives of the United Republic of Tanzania.
In 2002, the Government decided to repeal the National Archives Act No. 33 of 1965 by enacting a new Act known as the Records and Archives Management Act. No.3 of 2002. The decision to repeal the Act was based on the fact that it covered only the management of non-current records and the current records were left without a legal backing. This Act therefore, established the Records and Archives Management Independent Department with the purpose of providing proper Administration and better management of public records and archives throughout their life cycles.
Since 1999 it has been operated as a department under the President’s Office, Public Service Management until February, 2015 when new structure was approved by His Excellency; President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Under this new structure, RAMD has its own Vote (Vote 04) with four (4) Divisions and eight (8) Units.
The mandates of the Department have been stipulated clearly in the Records and Archives Management Act No.3 of 2002 as follows:
(i) Contributing to the efficiency, effectiveness and economy of the Government of the United Republic by:-
a) Ensuring that public offices follow good record keeping practices;
b) Establishing and implementing procedures for the timely disposal of public- records of no continuing value;
c) Advising on best practices and established standards in record keeping in the public service; and
d) Establishing and implementing procedures for the transfer of public records of enduring value for preservation in the National Archives or such other archival repository as may have been established under the Records and Archives Management Act.
(ii) Preserve and make available for consultation public records selected for preservation in the National Archives or any other archival repository under the control of the Director;
(iii) To occupy and utilise the record centre/centres for the proper keeping of semi- current records; and
(iv) The department is entitled to receive one copy of every publication produced by the Parliament, government and higher courts of the United Republic and of every publication and dissertation produced on the basis of archival research carried out in the United Republic, without making payment in respect of such publications and dissertations.
ROLES AND FUNCTIONS
(i) Formulation of records management policies, laws and procedures;
(ii) Co-ordination of record keeping in public offices and parastatal organization;
(iii) Custodian and management of semi-current records scheduled for further retention;
(iv) Preservation and management of all public records of enduring value; and
(v) Preservation and management of objects and documentary materials of the Founders of the Nation.