Records management is a process of ensuring the proper creation, maintenance, use

and disposal of records throughout their life cycle to achieve efficient, transparent and accountable “information governance”.

Records are the output of the business and administrative processes of an organisation. Records serve as essential proof of the business that was conducted and should remain unaltered over time for as long as they are needed. As evidence of

official business records have on-going use as a means of management, accountability,operational continuity, legal evidence and disaster recovery. An organisation’s ability to function efficiently and give account of its actions could be negatively affected if sound records management principles are not applied.

The need for effective management of records is enhanced by the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, the Protection of Personal Information Act 4, of 2013 and the Electronic Communications andTransactions Act, 2000.  

Organisations have an obligation to manage their records properly, to provide reasons for administrative decisions and to ensure the authenticity of records.

In order to have an efficient records management programmeorganisations should:

ü  Appoint a Records Manager;

ü  Design a corporate filing system;

ü  Develop a Records Management policy and procedure;

ü  Ensure proper Records Management Training;

ü  Implement a retention and disposal schedule;

ü  Create a disaster management plan for both paper-based and electronic records.

Lack of Records Management Knowledge

Uninformed organisations have been driven to destroy vast amounts of paper rather than to systematically control, manage, and use information and knowledge of the organisation to their advantage.  Many organisations have to a large extent - turned to technology in the hope of achieving a “paperless” office.  However, this has led to “information overload” which is not being managed to the benefit of the organisation.  Many records including emails are being ignored and/or indiscriminately deleted.  In other words using electronic technology without the knowledge of proper records management can be disastrous for any organisation. Electronic applications have been typically implemented without regard for managing the information or for ensuring the creation and preservation of records.


An organization should establish an ongoing training programme for its staff to provide them with adequate knowledge and skills on records management requirements and practices, particularly on implementing the filing system, policy and procedures of the organisations records management programme.

Is your organisation compliant?

 Is records management training provided to new staff as part of their induction programme?

Are refresher courses on records management provided to serving staff regularly?

Is your organisation’s records management staff at different levels equipped with the necessary records management concepts, principles and practices?

For further information feel free to contact The Document Warehouse Specialists in Records Management Consulting and Training.

Virginia Hendricks  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.