Haiti – August 18, 2008 – The Parliament of Haiti has set out on an ambitious journey to digitize over two centuries of Haitian legislation. Beyond preserving the country’s legislative history, this initiative will make it possible for citizens, lawyers, judges and historians to find laws in seconds, instead of spending hours digging through dusty files in the filing rooms of the Presses Nationales D’Haiti (PNDH).
According to Eduard Williams, director of the PNDH, this initiative is intended to democratize access to Haitian laws. The PNDH handles all published legislation for the Office of the Minister of Culture, which has a similar function to the U.S. Library of Congress—providing information to both private and public sectors.
With technical support provided by Haitiano-American Information Consulting Inc., the PNDH implemented a Laserfiche software system that allows people to search archived laws by name, text, date, Monitor number or official journal.
“It was interesting to see laws from centuries ago,” said Pierre Smith, the president of Information Consulting. “There was even one from 1805 that stated that you could file for divorce if you disliked the other person’s sense of humor or personality.”
The PNDH announced the project to the public in late July 2008. Legislation from 1804 to 1814 had been digitized to show how easily historic laws could be accessed online with Laserfiche WebLink. In the past, in order to investigate laws, people were required to subscribe to the Monitor (Le Moniteur), the official journal for publishing laws.
The first part of the project focused on digitizing laws from 1901 to 2008. It is anticipated that the entire project, which covers the digitizing of laws from 1804 to 2008, will be completed before November 2008.
Documents will soon be available to the general public through a subscription on www.pressesnationales-dhaiti.com, the PNDH’s official Website, which is powered by Laserfiche WebLink. According to Williams, documents will also be available on CDs, which can be directly installed on PC desktops by PNDH technicians.
The project has been subsidized by the international organization from the Francophonie, Embassy of Canada and the European Union.
Kelly Bastien, president of the Haitian Parliament of Senators, said that Laserfiche is essential to members of Parliament, because it makes it possible for them to work more quickly and effectively. Bastien added that members have embraced Laserfiche and even have laptops now.
Laserfiche (www.laserfiche.com) creates simple and elegant document management solutions that help organizations run smarter. Since 1987, Laserfiche has helped more than 25,000 organizations—including state and local governments, financial services firms and healthcare organizations—streamline processes for managing documents, records and workflow.
About Information Consultants Inc.
With offices in Miramar, FL, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Information Consultants (Information Consulting Inc.) is a Winners Circle reseller of Laserfiche document management products. The consultant firm also provides custom programming to support Laserfiche integrations with current IT solutions.
Francine Marlenee, Laserfiche, 562-988-1688 x211 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierre Smith, Information Consultants Inc., (954) 989-3704/(954)802-0636