Namibia
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Collaboration is Essential to Advance Records Management

Recards Management is a field which has been evolving, especially given the speedy advance of technology.

Globally, institutions involved in records management have embraced new technologies in ensuring effective records management.

One example is the transition from manual records management to digital preservation.

Advanced countries have been busy with digital preservation for some time.

In developing and underdeveloped countries, digital preservation is more recent, but improving rapidly.

In Namibia, several institutions – both in the public and private sector – have, over the years, acknowledged and introduced digital preservation, particularly the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

The OPM has introduced the Electronic Documents and Records Management System (EDRMS), with the main aim of ensuring risk-free records and an archival system for Namibia’s public service.

However, it might seem that the implementation and rollout of the EDRMS has been relatively slow and not as effective yet as anticipated.

This is just an example of how sluggish the advancement of records management is within the public service in general.

This situation can be attributed to different factors but it can also be improved in a variety of ways.

COLLABORATION

Collaboration could be one effective way to improve the advancement and effectiveness of records management, especially electronic records management in the public sector.

Electronic records management is too complex to successfully and effectively pull off as a single organisation without collaborating with stakeholders or other entities in the same line of business.

It requires a considerable array of resources, technologies and expertise to achieve and run an effective electronic records management programme.

The OPM, as the representative of the public service, should therefore have a collaboration framework that enables it to work with peer institutions – not only for the purpose of sharing resources, but also sharing information on the latest technologies.

It would also enable it to be up to date with the best systems, as well as best practices.

The OPM should start by identifying institutions they can collaborate with.

In my opinion, the most ideal institutions to collaborate with are those in the private sector, because, evidently, it has been doing better on this front compared to the public sector.

POTENTIAL

Numerous institutions in the private sector are advanced in terms of records management infrastructure and expertise.

The collaboration framework should not merely be about technical expertise and infrastructure; it should also see organisations reaching out to each other to identify and eventually meet the requirements of records management.

The public sector generally faces many challenges.

Therefore it is very difficult for records management, especially electronic records management, to flourish.

However, there is considerable potential in terms of growth and advancement.

As long as special attention is paid to relevant and crucial areas of records management, it will only be a matter of time before everything starts to fall into place.