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ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Policy, Legal and Regulatory Framework for Records Management in the Kenyan Judiciary

Elsebah Maseh, Stephen Mutula

Abstract


Records are valuable assets to the functioning of the state and need to be managed appropriately to enhance effectiveness, accountability and transparency. They are fundamental to the efficient and effective operation of the legal system of any country and are essential to the administration of law in the justice system. Records must therefore be managed within a sound records management regime that is capable of availing authentic, reliable, timely, authoritative and accurate information for decision making. Such a records management regime requires among other things appropriate policies, laws and regulations. This paper presents part of the findings of a study that was undertaken to investigate records management in the Kenyan Judiciary. The study used qualitative which allowed the triangulation of data collection methods for enhanced reliability and validity of the research findings. The data were collected through interviews, questionnaires and document reviews. The population of the study comprised records officers, registry assistants, court registrars, judges and magistrates. The findings of the study revealed that the Kenyan judiciary did not have records management policies but instead depended on laws such as the Kenya Public Archives and Documentation Service Act Cap 19 of 1965; the Records Disposal Act Cap 14 of the Laws of Kenya;  and the Constitution of Kenya 2010 to guide its operations. The findings further revealed that although the Kenya Public Archives and Documentation Service Act empowered the director of the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service to advise on the care, preservation, custody and control of any public records, such advice was limited. It is recommended that some aspects of the Records and Disposal Act should be amended to reflect the realities of current business operations in the Kenyan Judiciary. Moreover, the formulation of records management policies should be undertaken.



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