NATION

Archivist: Fiji’s Independence Order Was Never Missing

Mr Balenaivalu said it was found during a stock take.
07 Aug 2020 11:02
Archivist: Fiji’s Independence Order Was Never Missing
The Original document of Fiji’s Independence. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

The original document of Fiji’s Independence Order was never missing, the Acting Principal Archivist Timoci Balenaivalu said.

Contrary to media reports a decade ago, both locally and overseas, that Fiji had lost the original copy of its’ 1970 independence document, Mr Balenaivalu said it was found during a stock take.

The Independence Order, which was handed over by Prince Charles and which sets out the basis of Fiji’s constitution, was said to have gone missing in the early 2000s.

“At that time I think something was happening and they were looking for the records but it was never missing,” Mr Balenaivalu said.

“At that time the transfer of records was not followed properly and there was no proper inventory which is one big issue that we face now which is to list the inventory that we have, that are transferred from government agencies.”

The Original document of Fiji’s Independence. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

The Original document of Fiji’s Independence. Photo: Lusiana Tuimaisala

He said amidst the transfer of records the Independence Order was misplaced, but it was always in their possession.

“When we did our stock take then we were able to identify the record. We have 6 kilometres worth of records,” he said.

“The amount of records that we have when there are requests it takes us time to look for those records. That’s why we are trying to work together with other agencies to move everything online. To make things accessible.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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