Friday, 25 September 2009

TNA changes - Federation of Family History Societies response

The following is a comment from the English based Federation of Family History Societies on the confirmed changes by the National Archives at Kew, as announced yesterday (see Changes at The National Archives formally confirmed)

It will come as no surprise that the changes were not well received by those who have been in the forefront of the criticism aimed at the proposals. However, it was noticeable that some of the critics seemed to be guilty of the sort of misrepresentation they claimed had been used by TNA. Either that or they are unable to interpret documents as well as might be expected.

It is to be hoped that lessons will be learnt from this exercise so that future consultation is much more effective. In the present situation it was much more like paying lip service to consultation after the decisions had been reached. Natalie Ceeney, chief executive, said that employment law made it difficult to have open discussion in the light of the impact on staff caused by the loss of jobs. Ideally, stakeholders should be given the opportunity to provide input at the earliest stages of thinking, when there is a realistic possibility of influencing the decision-making process. Also, the reasoning behind some of the decisions was not well communicated at first. This caused conflict which could have been avoided if more thought had been given to this.

We understand that there will be an opportunity to demonstrate how well these lessons have been understood in the not-too-distant future.

Roger Lewry
FFHS Archives Liaison

This last comment is interesting - there's nothing like a cliffhanger to end on...! :)

Professional genealogical problem solving and research

No comments: