Records management and service delivery: the case of Department of Corporate Services in the Ministry of Health in Botswana
This article explores the role of records management in the delivery of public service in Botswana with specific reference to the Corporate Services Division at the Ministry of Health headquarters. This study used the case study approach and was complemented by triangulation of both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. Data was obtained through questionnaires, interviews, observations and documentary review. The population for this study was 83; however only 59 (71.1%) were able to participate in it. Data collected through a questionnaire was analysed to obtain some descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed using content analysis to derive particular themes pertinent to the study. The two sets of results were compared and contrasted to produce a single interpretation and then conclusions drawn. The study findings established that the records management practices in the Corporate Service Division were not well entrenched thus undermining service delivery. This was evidenced by lack of awareness and existence of the records management policy, procedures manual based on RMU service standards from the Botswana National Archives; lack of security and preservation measures with rampant cases of missing files, folios and torn folders; delays in access and use of records; lack of a elaborate electronic records management programme and low levels of skill and training opportunities in records management. In order to enhance service delivery, the study recommended that a regulatory framework for records management should be developed and implemented. It is also recommended that management together with the Records Manager should identify training needs for records users and records management personnel.
Keywords: records; records management; public sector reforms; public service delivery; Bot-swana.