Records management plays a vital role in organisations’ day-to-day business conducts. Large volume of information is produced, collected, disseminated and used on a daily basis in both public and private sectors to render service to the general public and hold the government accountable of what has transpired.
This highlights the importance of proper records management in ensuring government accountability in a democratic society. It is, however, concerning that many organisations in Namibia do not have proper structures for records management, despite
effort of the University of Namibia to curtail shortage of records management experts by producing graduates of records management every year.
Most organisations have a culture of undermining records management responsibilities to mere paper filing work. This tendency has resorted to organisations hiring individuals on temporary basis to do only document filing and boxing, which are the basic activities of records management.
It is no doubt that some organisations do not have records and archives as business units at all in their organisational structure. This situation will only change if organisations start taking records management as critical business area of ensuring good governance and accountability.
Prioritise records as vital assets
As of any other assets essential to the efficient operation of day-to-day business activities in public and private sectors, records are as well critical sources of information and knowledge. They are imperative in helping the government to make timely, relevant and informed decisions and as a result contributing to sustainable socio-economic and political development.
It is on this basis that proper records management is needed to ensure service delivery, which is critical to the national well-being and stimulation of economic development.Proper records management is critical in the survival and efficient operation of day-to- day business activities, which is the reason organisations should maintain a system for record keeping to ensure effective and efficient service delivery in Namibia.
I, therefore, suggest that record keeping should be considered a fundamental activity of both public and private administration in support of service delivery. People need information to carry out their work, and records represent a particular and crucial source of information.
Records provide a reliable, legally verifiable source of evidence of
decisions and actions.
The essential role of records management is to ensure organisations achieve their mandate as they provide evidences of transactions. An organisation that practices good records management always provides good service delivery.
It is on this basis that both the public and private sector organisations need to understand and acknowledge the importance of records management to enhance organisational performance and decision-making.
*Fanuel Haindongo is a records administrator at City of Windhoek