Shortly before the local elections, it was claimed that the Van Metropolitan Municipality would destroy the documents belonging to many units.
It was claimed that the documents belonging to the Van Metropolitan Municipality’s Planning, Road, Financial Services, Technical Works and Machinery and Support Services Department would be destroyed through a company located in the OIZ area. We asked Öner Yiğit, who has been the Transportation Department Head of Van Metropolitan Municipality for a while, about the allegations that some documents belonging to the Financial Services, Technical Affairs and Machinery and Support Services Department of Van Metropolitan Municipality will be destroyed.
Recalling the 9th article of the Regulation on the Sending, Return, Storage and Destruction of Documents to the Court of Accounts, titled “Storage of Documents”, Yiğit said, “All kinds of documents and information regarding the accounts and transactions of public administrations are subject to the control of the relevant administration for public administrations within the scope of general government.” and shall be kept under its supervision for a period of ten years, starting from the end of the budget year, except for cases that interrupt or suspend the statute of limitations.”
Yiğit said, “Does the Van Metropolitan Municipality separate and destroy the materials that are not considered necessary for future use and preservation, that are excluding archival materials, and that have lost their legal value and quality as evidence, and destroy them in accordance with the procedures and principles specified in the regulation? In addition, he said, “Is the municipality destroying documents or archive materials?” and said that this should be shared with the public.
Destruction of documents in accordance with Laws and Regulations
Returning to the regulation again, Yiğit emphasized the destruction of the documents in Article 1 in accordance with the laws and regulations. According to Article 1, “Documents created as a result of the works and transactions of public institutions and organizations; to be regulated, to ensure that they are protected under the necessary conditions, to prevent their loss for any reason, to be evaluated in the service of the State, real and legal persons and science, to identify archival documents held by institutions, organizations and individuals and to identify archival documents that will become archive documents in the future, and to identify documents that do not need to be kept. “To regulate the procedures and principles regarding the sorting, destruction and transfer of archive documents to the Presidency of State Archives.”
Stating that the circumstances in which the work on the destruction of archive documents in municipalities will be carried out are specified in the legislation, Yiğit said, “The fact that the files and documents belonging to the Van Metropolitan Municipality were made before the 2024 Local Government Elections brought about some doubts. According to the allegations, documents that have an actual role in current transactions, have not completed their storage period in accordance with the legislation provisions and retention plans, and are the subject of any lawsuit should not be subjected to sorting and destruction until the stipulated storage period is completed and/or the case is concluded, while the information contained in the sorting “between,” he said.
‘Commissions were not established in accordance with the legislation’
Stating that the Sorting and Destruction Commissions were not established in accordance with the relevant legislation, Yiğit said, “The fact that the municipalities to which trustees were appointed do not have Elected Council Members and Standing Committees is contrary to the principles of the legislation. “While Van İpekyolu Municipality should have established a Sorting and Destruction Commission of five people, including two representatives with knowledge and experience, it is understood that this process has not been fulfilled, even though it is included in the laws and regulations.”
Yiğit said that documents must be digitized in accordance with Article 23 of the relevant law. Yiğit stated that they received information that the documents were not made according to the document record and number-number, and emphasized that the following questions regarding the documents to be destroyed should be answered:
“* Is there a regulation stating the working procedures and principles of the commissions related to this matter, such as the destruction of documents and motives belonging to the Municipality that are no longer necessary to be kept by the Van Metropolitan Municipality and the members of the Metropolitan Municipality Council?
- Have the relationships between digitalized documents and electronic and physical documents been preserved?
- Has the relationship between documents, digital images and the metadata of the images been preserved?
- Has the “Electronic Document and Archive Management System” standard been taken into account in all digital imaging processes? *It is mandatory to apply the “Standard File Plan” in the filing of documents, and has a separate storage plan been prepared for films, photographs, records, audio, images and other documents that are not included in the file plan?
Striking claims about the metropolitan city
Among the information they received, Yiğit also stated that “The documents to be destroyed should be given the file code to which the document will belong or be related, at the time it is created or at the beginning of the relevant activity, and these codes are assigned by the sequential supervisors in the signature route during the creation of the document, and by the document managers after the documents are created.” will be controlled by. “It is among the information received that the approval of all civil servants must be obtained in order to associate the incorrectly given codes with the correct files, but the opinions and signatures of the officers who were managers in the past years and subject to 657 were not taken due to the change of duty, and they were not associated with them,” he said.
Yiğit said that there is also the claim that the main service activity of the documents decided to be destroyed was not based on the codes specific to the municipality’s main services, which are in the range of 100-599.
The Commission has to take into account the time
Yiğit said that the Sorting and Destruction Commissions have to take into consideration the period specified in the legislation and said, “It should not be ignored that if the period specified in the legislation is less than the retention periods determined by the State Archives, the Commission can keep the document until the end of the determined period if it wishes.”
Yiğit stated that the destruction and sorting of documents before the elections to be held on March 31, 2024 would lead to many questions.
Emphasizing that sorting-destruction processes should be carried out in institutional archives and central archives, Yiğit said, “In sorting and destruction processes, priority is given to sorting documents from old years. “The destruction of all kinds of documents that do not need to be kept is made with the final decision of the Sorting and Destruction Commissions,” he emphasized.
Lastly, Yiğit said, “The State Archives Directorate does not have the appropriate opinion for the Van Metropolitan Municipality, and the destruction of many information and documents before their expiration date is not in accordance with the laws and regulations.”
Translator :Akif Coşkun