Ribbon is cut for new archive building of the Ministry of Interior
Kabul, June 2012. First there was an assessment, then a plan and now a reality. A ribbon cutting ceremony on 26 June marked the official completion of the new archive building for the Ministry of Interior (MoI).Minister of Interior, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, EUPOL’s Interim HoM Geoffrey Cooper and NTM-A’s General Kelly J. Thomas gathered on 26 June to unveil the three-storey facility which will be now the central place to securely store all MoI’s evidence records, policies and manuals.
In the past, these sensitive documents had been spread throughout different offices in various locations in Kabul – some of them stored in inappropriate conditions without ventilation and in sometimes even in flooded rooms. This dire situation has now been changed for good, said EUPOL’s Interim Head of Mission Geoffrey Cooper: “This professional Afghan police needs a central place to secure these documents. The new MoI Archive is this place, and thus a key ingredient to the professionalisation of the Afghan National Police.”
The ceremony was a culmination of joint efforts of EUPOL Afghanistan, the Nato Training Mission Afghanistan NTM-A. First, however, there was the assessment done by EUPOL’s mentor Patrick Brotons in January 2012: he developed the idea of locating a secure facility for the storage for MoI documents. Shortly, after EUPOL, NTM-A and MoI agreed to build a three-storey building which will be used as an archive.
Then, there was the plan: Nine months later, in September 2010, in a Note of Understanding, it was agreed that NTM-A will finance the construction costs of the building (275,000 Euro), EUPOL will provide furniture, IT equipment (69,000 Euro) and in addition professional training for the archive personnel.
In the past seven months, EUPOL’s expert Marc Meertens, was busy to deliver computer and digital archive training to 37 staff members of the Afghan National Police, among them seven policewomen. Only the very 14 best were cherry-picked at the very end to work in the archive.
Almost 1,5 years after the first assessment, the archive building turned eventually into a reality. With the racks still empty, from now the documents will flow in and the staff can start working. Afghan Interior Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi expressed his gratitude for the support of NTM-A and EUPOL. “I would like to thank both for supporting the Afghan National Police. This is a major contribution.”