Starting today, Academia Historica is to begin enforcing access restrictions to its collections and records to prohibit access by Chinese, Academia Historica director and historian Wu Mi-cha (吳密察) said.
Wu said that access would be granted after application in accordance with the law, which requires that the applicant is a Republic of China national — a restriction stipulated by the Freedom of Government Information Act (政府資訊公開法).
Wu said that some of the documents are confidential and that is why access is restricted.
A number of laws and policies govern access to the records, such as the Freedom of Government Information Act, the Archives Act (檔案法), the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法), the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法) and the Presidential and Vice Presidential Records and Artifacts Act (總統副總統文物管理條例), Wu said.
Wu said that people used to be granted immediate access to documents on arrival, allowing them to read and copy documents on the spot, adding that on appointment to his position he realized that the unimpeded access was illegal.
“Given that the documents stored at Academia Historica potentially contain national secrets as well as personal information, it is necessary to evaluate a document before it is made public. We will implement a 15-day approval period, in accordance with National Archives Administration policy. We will be practical in our approach and in some instances access decisions might be made in one day,” he said.
Wu said that some changes in the policy would be beneficial, such as plans to scrap half-document limits on printing, limits to the number of documents that can be printed in one year and the introduction of a service to have documents printed and mailed.
Wu said that while access to Chinese would not be granted, he hoped that there could eventually be a “reciprocal records access agreement” with the Second Historical Archives of China in Nanjing.
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