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Journal of the South African Society of Archivists

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Managing public records in Zimbabwe: the road to good governance, accountability, transparency and effective service delivery

Forget Chaterera

Abstract


The ability by government departments to attain effective service delivery, accountability and good governance is largely determined by their records management practices. Delays and failure to access services due to missing or misplaced records from public institutions is a common challenge in Zimbabwe. In organisations where records are not properly managed, business operations are crippled and the rights of citizens will be compromised. As such, this paper examines the status quo in Zimbabwe’s government ministries regarding the basic requirements in records management. The basic concepts covered in this paper pertain to the issues of retention and disposal schedules, registry procedures manuals, disaster preparedness, records management training, electronic records management and records inspections by the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ). The underlying principle for this paper is that public records management units require effective records management practices for the attainment of improved public service delivery, good governance, accountability and transparency. A qualitative approach that used interviews, content analysis and questionnaires was used to gather data for the study. The overall results showed that public service delivery is at risk due to inadequate records management practices in the public sector. To that effect, an improved working relationship between NAZ and public departments is encouraged.



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