Since moving offices at Espace Building, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, has adopted a lead by example management approach. Minister St.Ange is more convinced today than ever before that top level managers within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture need to move out of their offices, meet staff in sections of the Ministry and become more versed in the day to day running of all sections under their responsibility. To walk the talk, Minister St.Ange, was at the Archives Section to take stock of what’s needed to be done to improve staff comfort. This is not the first time that Minister St.Ange has visited the Archives Section, but he wanted this week to get to the restoration section and see for himself the challenges being faced by the three professionals who man that section.
On countless occasions the Minister visited the Archives in the National Cultural Center. He was also the one who has work tirelessly to push the agenda to help solve fungus issues in Archives.
This visit announced at the last Management Meeting of the Ministry, Minister St.Ange wanted to better understand the overheating problem in the National Library Building and assess remedy options. The building’s central section is covered with a glass pyramid.
As the weather gets hotter, heat absorbed by the “Glass Pyramid” is becoming unbearable for staff working in the National Library and the second floor of the Archives Section as well as people using these facilities. The National Cultural Centre building is using individual air conditioning units to cool down the heat, but this has had it’s shortfall.
Minister St.Ange gained an insight from his Management team comprising of Marcel Rosalie, Director General for Culture, Alex Rath, Director General for Administration at the Department of Culture and Alain Lucas, the Director for Archives on possible solutions envisaged to reduce overheating. The Minister was informed that when the building was constructed a central air-conditioning unit was used to help maintain an adequate temperature in every department in the National Cultural Centre Building.
Minister St.Ange then entered the Archives Restoration Unit where he took time to listen to staff concerns. He learnt staff working in this section are working with an erratic supply of good quality material needed to bind archive documents. The Minister met with the staff member who had been on an attachment period to La Reunion and was shown the quality of binding work he had done during his stay in La Reunion.
Minister St.Ange said it is important that these constraints being experienced by Staff should reach Management level where decisions needed to be taken to solve the shortfalls.
The Minister told his Management team that it is not acceptable that highly qualified staff are not given necessary resources to work with.
He emphasised on the importance for head of sections to do regular meetings in their respective departments and bring their staff concerns through the right channel. He advised the Director of Archives to also plan regular meetings with his staff and in so doing manage work related issues.
Leaving the Restoration unit, Minister entered a room where documents are being treated with Calcium Hydroxide, to make it acid free. There again Minister noticed minor works to be done in the section and the shortage of needed material to keep the section operational.
Minister St.Ange said when he left the National Archives that it is easier to solve staff problems and tackle challenges of the respective departments of the Ministry when members of the Management team go out of their offices.