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Public Records and Archives as Tools for Good Governance: Reflections Within the Recordkeeping Scholarly and Practitioner Communities
The article presents the various points of view regarding the definitions and uses of records and archives amongst the recordkeeping scholarly and practitioner communities. It demonstrates that whereas records and archives are useful tools for facilitating transparency, accountability and good governance in society, they could be used as instruments of repression and human rights abuses. Attempts made by various regimes to destroy evidence documented in records to conceal actions related to misuse of power and human rights abuses are highlighted. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for records and archives personnel to collaborate in order to establish good recordkeeping regimes that facilitate the exploitation and use of records and archives as tools for governance, enhancement of public service delivery and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. It is hoped that the article will stir further debate and encourage more research among recordkeeping scholars, consultants, researchers and practitioners into the use of records and archives as tools for good governance and protection of human rights.