ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Records management in the government of Swaziland

Vusi Tsabedze, Stephen M Mutula, Daisy Jacobs


The purpose of this study is to present the results of an empirical study to assess records management practices within government in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The study investigated types of records generated and how they are used; records organization and retrieval; suitability of records storage facilities; records disposal, preservation and maintenance; and training needs of records/registry staff. Methodological triangulation was used to carry out the study. Data was collected through survey questionnaire and observations. Responses to the open-ended questions were scanned to determine words and phrases used by the respondents and analyse them thematically. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12.0 for Windows was used to analyse quantitative data. Swaziland government does not have in place a records management programme. As a result the provisions of Swaziland National Archives Act No. 5 of 1971, and ISO 15489 standards for records management are hardly complied with. Across all government ministries, there is no uniform classification and filing system. Besides, a system of records appraisal and disposal does not exist. Records are vulnerable to loss because of lack of adequate measures for their care and safe custody. The study was limited to Mbabane the capital, and seat of government operations. Future research endeavours could extent to cover regional records management departments as well as the private sector from which best practices could be obtained to inform sound records management in government. Without sound records management, the government of Swaziland cannot be accountable and service delivery to citizens is hampered. This article is based on an empirical study that was carried out in 2011 to assess records management in the Kingdom of Swaziland government. The authors recommend the enactment of records management programme to enhance accountability, transparency and integrity in government.

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