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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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Accessibility and security of digital records in the Office of the Premier in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Ndakasharwa Muchaonyerwa

Abstract


Digital records management systems should remain accessible and secure. Proper procedures and mechanisms should be in place to ensure security, long-term preservation and accessibility of digital records for effective e-governance.  This paper investigates the accessibility and security of digital records in the Office of the Premier (OTP) in Eastern Cape.  A case study was conducted in the OTP for a period of 6 weeks. Questionnaires, interviews, observations and document analysis were used to collect data.  It was established that the department does not place much emphasis on the security of digital records since there are no existing facilities regarding the storage of digital records. The department does not have a specific policy regarding the accessibility and management of digital records.  There were concerns about manipulating records in digital recordkeeping systems which generated uncertainty about the use and security of digital systems. It was concluded that with the increasing use of ICT in the OTP, and in preparation for the switch to e-government there is a need for a dedicated section/unit with the responsibility for the security and management of digital records. The need for expertise in managing digital records has been identified as a critical success factor for implementing a DRM programme. Staff should be encouraged to get training so as to be knowledgeable in the use of the technologies that generate digital records. 




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