Fostering Accountability and Justice: Opportunities for Records Managers in Changing Societies

  • Patrick Ngulube University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Human and Social Studies, Information Studies Programme
Keywords: Records Management, Accountability, Transformation, Good Governance


We are living in constantly changing societies. For instance, the way we handle information has been changed by information and communication technologies. Our business transactions are becoming increasingly affected by globalisation. There is evident transformation in organisational cultures. Over the past ten years, there have been regime changes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and South Africa, to mention a few examples. In recent times, there have been some mergers that have affected companies and universities particularly in South Africa. The examples given in the preceding texts demonstrate that change is coming from a number of fronts. Change brings uncertainty, but records make decision making during uncertainty possible. Changes that are not informed by reliable information are likely to be unsustainable, unjustifiable and lacking transparency. Transformation would be difficult if there are no records or precedents on which to base one’s actions. Records act as evidence of some of the activities of societies. Record keepers are key to ensuring accountable and manageable recordkeeping systems. Records maintained by such systems have a possibility of fostering accountability during times of change. Records that support justifiable transformation should be accurate, adequate, authentic, complete, comprehensive, usable, complaint, reliable and systematic as advocated by the University of Pittsburgh’s Recordkeeping Functional Requirements (1996).

ESARBICA Journal Vol.23 2004: 23-32

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eISSN: 0376-4753