Record accountability has been said to be important in the development of the economy as it preserves the past thus providing access to the future through valuable information.
Speaking at the Information and Record Management Symposium, the Dean of Humanities at University of Botswana, Professor Andy Chabanne said filing is important as it saves information that could be used in making economic development.
“Botswana as a country has done well by building the National Archives where they preserve vital government information and records used for the development of the country,” stated Chabanne.
He further challenged the participants to practise good record-keeping habits and urged them to take advantage of the modern day technology to improve record-keeping.
“I hope that this symposium will come up with resolutions that will be submitted to take record systems to the next level. I hope in future we should find ways of how to contribute to the long-term of record management,” said Chabanne.
Another University of Botswana Professor, Saul Zulu said information management and record-keeping play a critical role. He added that when well managed, it can significantly improve the performance of an organisation. Zulu added that record management exists to protect vital information of an organisation.
“Records contain links to all other organisations and creates awareness, informs and reduces uncertainty. Information is power and when it is lost, that power is lost as well,” he said.
According to Zulu, records management ensures good corporate governance in the execution of its mandate as it ensures an accessible audit of its activities.
He also said they enable an organisation to conduct its business in an orderly, effective and accurate manner.
“Through record-keeping, an organisation can deliver services in a consistent and equitable manner, support and document policy formulation and managerial decision making,” he said.
He added that good record management ensures that an organisation is protected against risk. It ensures that delivery of services is provided in a consistent and equitable manner.
“If it was not for the National Archive Centre that we have, who would know about the history of our country? People can easily access records that have been securely saved at the archives. Records are constant like air,” said Zulu.
However, Zulu noted that lack of effective record-keeping and information may lead to poor decision-making, curtailment of rights and entitlements, and allegations of corrupt, fraud and theft.