What is records management?
Records management is a process of ensuring the proper creation, maintenance, use and disposal of records to achieve efficient, transparent and accountable governance
Sound records management implies that records are managed in terms of an organisational records management programme governed by an organisational records management policy.
Advantages of effective records management
A sound records management programme is advantageous because:
- a well-organised file plan enables an organisation to find information easily. Records that are correctly filed and stored are easily accessible, and this facilitates transparency, accountability and democracy;
- the orderly and efficient flow of information enables the organisation to perform its functions successfully and efficiently;
- authoritative and reliable records are created and maintained in an accessible, intelligent and usable manner to support the business and accountability requirements of the organisation;
- efficiency and economy are ensured by eliminating unnecessary duplication of records;
- a retention and disposal programme ensures that the organisation maintains only those records it really needs for functional purposes; and
- controls are exercised to ensure that only authorized persons have access to the information, thus preventing information and/or the records themselves from being stolen or damaged. This ensures the protection of privacy and confidentiality, and prevents the inappropriate disclosure of information that could harm the organisation or infringe the privacy rights of individuals.
Governmental bodies can only be effective and efficient if the following are honored:-
- Records management is considered a business process designed to support business objectives;
- Records are considered a resource and are utilized fully and cost effectively to realize business objectives;
- Each governmental body creates and maintains a culture which will promote effective and efficient records management to facilitate efficient and timely decision-making.