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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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A proactive and holistic information management approach is crucial to e-government development

Proscovia Svärd

Abstract


This article highlights developments that are taking place in the Swedish information management field amidst e-Government development. It also confirms the change in attitude which has led to the involvement of the Swedish National Archives as an important partner in e-Government development. The National Archives was charged with the responsibility to develop two important functions that uphold the open governance structure of Swedish government administrations; namely e-archiving and e-registration. European governments are investing in e-Government development to create more efficient public institutions and to make their information flows available to the citizens. A proactive and holistic information management approach is crucial to the effective management of government information. This requires an information infrastructure that will facilitate the management of the entire information continuum and employees who understand the value of information to promote its effective use. The article draws on the author’s PhD research that identified eight Enterprise Content Management (ECM) factors that are considered by the ECM proponents as crucial to robust information management. These eight factors include; enterprise architecture, business process management, collaboration, system integration, knowledge management, change management, re-purposing of information and the life cycle management of information. Some of these factors are currently being adopted in the Swedish information management environment which further confirms their relevance. Furthermore, Sweden enacted a directive on the repurposing of government information in compliance with the European Public Sector information directive (PSI). The European PSI directive gives different stakeholders in European societies a right to access government information and to develop new electronic services hence boosting innovation. The pluralization of information as per the PSI will require the adoption of the Records Continuum Model (RCM) thinking. This is because the RCM emphasizes the management of information in a way that facilitates its pluralization in different environments. It further combines archives and information management activities which should promote the integration of information resources. This is suitable for the e-Government environment since it would promote the re-purposing of government information. If the e- Government objectives are to be realized, government institutions must adopt best- practice, the ECM factors, and progressive models such as the RCM.




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