Our Projects Are Designed to Support Governance Objectives
We have been working with governments around the world for over two decades to strengthen records and information management.
Our projects are designed to support governance objectives and contribute to national development programmes, enhance local professional capacity and protect the national documentary memory. They involve supporting governments in moving safely from paper records to the electronic working environment.
Collapsed paper records systems can obscure the fact that reliable information is not available and may need to be reconstructed as part of the transition to electronic systems.
In a paper environment, even if systems break down, records can be located. In an electronic environment, the disorder is harder to detect and rectify. IT systems cannot replace missing or unreliable data.
Some of our projects address government-wide requirements; some support sector specific needs.
Some last for only a few weeks, for instance an analysis of records requirements. Others are delivered over a number of years where there is a need to build a sustainable regulatory framework for managing records, including legal, policy, organisational, procedural and institutional structures and staff capacity.
All our projects are informed by our continuous cycle of research, education and training.
See our consultancy projects page for a list of our national and international projects.
Development Issues and Weak Records Systems
Through our consultancy projects, we have identified a number of development issues arising from the loss of control of records. For instance:
- Freedom of Information/ Right to Information and Open Data initiatives are only as good as the quality of the information to which they provide access. The right of access to information is of little use if reliable records are not created or cannot be found when needed.
- Weak records systems can create opportunities for fraud, corrupt procurement, misuse of public funds and money laundering.
- Inadequate personnel records systems hinder efficient public service administration, staff deployment and long-term staff development. They distort payrolls and mask the existence of ghost workers and the retention of staff past statutory retirement age.
- Without up-to-date and easily accessible patient records, health professionals cannot understand medical histories or plan treatment; inappropriate drugs and procedures may be prescribed. Data for medical research and statistical reporting is not available.
- The loss of control of court records causes delays in processing cases, provides scope for corruption and undermines the rule of law.
- Collapsed paper records systems can obscure the fact that reliable information is not available; they may need to be reconstructed as part of the transition to electronic systems. IT systems cannot replace data that is missing or unreliable in paper systems.
- The inability to access reliable land titles creates insecurity and stifles development potential; without secure land tenure, property cannot be used as collateral for loans and development. Poor land records open the way for dubious claims and lead to political instability.