PUTRAJAYA: The National Archives of Malaysia (ANM), an agency under the National Unity Ministry, is leading the government’s digital records initiative through its Digital Document Management System (DDMS) 2.0.

National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said DDMS 2.0 is a cutting-edge system that sets a new benchmark for consistency, reliability and transparency in government records management.

“Currently used by 370 government agencies, with plans to expand to 500 agencies by 2025, DDMS 2.0 hosts 12.3 million records, serving nearly 60,000 active users (civil servants),” he said after launching the International Seminar on Digital Records and Legal Admissibility 2024 organised by ANM here today.

He said the implementation of DDMS 2.0 transforms the whole record management process to one where physical records are centrally managed, eliminating the need for excessive copies.

“Moreover, DDMS 2.0 helps improve communication by allowing any digital record to be instantly directed within the organisation together with meeting minutes and directives to the respective recipient,” he said.

Aaron said ANM has been at the forefront of preserving Malaysia’s diverse tapestry of records, both official and private, effectively transitioning into the digital age.

He said archival values are crucial not only in preserving cultural heritage but also in ensuring the legal validity of digital records.

“Approximately 80 per cent of the national archives’ initiatives over the past decade focused on digitisation and electronic record preservation, reflecting our steadfast commitment to staying ahead,” he said.

Aaron said his ministry recognises the critical role of digital records in promoting national unity through transparent and secure documentation.

As such, ANM has been proactive in navigating the complexities of digital records management and supporting the government’s digital transformation through a visionary partnership with the National Digital Department to develop DDMS 2.0.

He said that by establishing such a robust framework, DDMS 2.0 offers a model for other sectors, reinforcing transparency as the bedrock of trust.

In 2012, ANM, through a visionary partnership with the National Digital Department, previously known as the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Planning Unit (MAMPU), developed the DDMS 1.0 and now DDMS 2.0.

DDMS 2.0 was selected as a Top 5 Champion at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2020 in Geneva, obtaining the highest votes under Category C6 - Enabling Environment.

Aaron further said that the responsibility for digital records does not solely rest with ANM and urged technology innovators and legal professionals to play critical roles in shaping the future of digital record keeping.

According to him, technologists must develop robust, secure, and user-friendly platforms capable of preserving digital records indefinitely.

ANM was established in 1957 as an agency that serves as a repository of data, information, and government records. It is responsible for collecting, preserving, and preparing public records in various types and forms as references for researchers and the public.