Management of authentic digital accounting records in an enterprise resource planning system in the public sector of Botswana
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are often implemented in the public sector value chains for purposes of improving business processes. In 2004, the government of Botswana implemented the Government Accounting and Budgeting System (GABS), an ERP to facilitate improved management of financial records. The custodian of the system is the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED). This descriptive study adopted a qualitative approach and collected data through interviews and documentary analysis. The study sample was selected purposively from six (6) departments with the mandate of each as a determining factor in relation to answering the research questions. The collected data were analysed thematically in accordance with research objectives. The main purpose of this study was to investigate records management practices related to the management of authentic digital accounting records generated and stored in GABS to support the audit process in Botswana’s public sector. The study revealed that although there is a national legislative and policy framework in place, it has not been operationalised through guidelines and procedures to guide the management of digital records generated by the system. Furthermore, records retention and disposal through the system have not been catered for, resulting in the system being clogged by old records since it was commissioned in 2004. Amongst others, this study recommends the development and implementation of guidelines and procedures to guide the management of records produced by the system.