Lack of record management leads to officials failing to account

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was investigating corruption allegations in state institutions. File Picture

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was investigating corruption allegations in state institutions. File Picture

Published Feb 5, 2024


By Nkhensani Maswanganyi

The thrust of the Zondo Commission’s findings is the improper and unethical conduct of the parties involved by not following the set procedure and overstepping of segregation of duties.

Many institutions undermine the effectiveness of record management. Record management assists organisations in staying ethical, transparent, and accountable as every business process should follow certain processes and be documented correctly. Proper record management protects the employer and the employee.

Lack of proper record management opens the door for the system and power to be abused. Poor record management gives the implicated parties the power to ‘feel’ they could get away with it as there is no paper trail.

Some tenderpreneurs have continued winning tenders even though there are questions regarding their previous business conduct and how they benefited but didn’t deliver.

Millions if not billions of rands of taxpayers’ money have been wasted. Supply Chain Management has to conduct oversight on the quality of work to be done and if it doesn’t meet the standards the service provider is to be flagged in all government departments and be penalised.

Records, quality management, and risk assessment should be part of every process. Service providers should not be paid in full until the quality assessment has been done, and all necessary documentation stipulated in the contract is submitted, and to have accountability, transparency, and continuity.

Record management is a tool to hold officials and service providers accountable for their decisions and actions.

A poor record management system can make it difficult to locate important documents, especially when the organisation doesn’t have a file plan to centralise and structure records across the organisation following the same format. In some instances, the documents get lost in the sea of record filing cabinets, and offices or have a risk of being stolen or destroyed intentionally by employees.

Poor record management in an organisation affects business operations and continuity. Employees take time looking for records and time is wasted. Decisions are not informed by previous data but by opinions and not facts. Previous information informs and guides in making proper decisions.

Record management allows organisations to track resource allocation, identify areas of improvement, and optimise service delivery. This ensures that resources are utilised effectively to meet the community’s needs.

Historical records enable institutions to analyse trends, identify patterns, and make informed decisions to enhance service delivery. Understanding past performance helps in designing and implementing better policies and program,me.

Efficient record management in an organisation contributes to overall governance by promoting transparency, preventing corruption, facilitating fair disciplinary actions, and improving service delivery through informed decision-making. organisational need to invest in robust record management systems and practices to reap these benefits and ensure local government entities’ responsible and effective functioning.

Record management should be used as a strategic tool by the organisation and filter from the board to operations. And becomes organizational culture.

*Maswanganyi is from Zaria Records and Information Management

**The views expressed dp not necessarily reflect the views of Independent Media or IOL