Designing Records Management Programmes: Key Performance Indicators in South African Universities

Designing Records Management Programmes: Key Performance Indicators in South African Universities

Nkholedzeni Sidney Netshakhuma (University of Mpumalanga, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4431-3.ch010
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This chapter assessed the design of records and archives key performance indicators of universities to achieve a strategic objective. The records and archives key performance indicators are informed by overall university key performance indicators. Establishment of university records and archives management indicators is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks such as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996; National Archives and Records Service Act of 1996; The Public Finance Management Act; Protection of Personal Information Act; and International Organisation Standards.
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Problem Statement

The lack of records management policies, rules and procedures is a challenge for most South African universities. Hence, there is a need for universities to comply with the National Archives and Records Service Act 43 of 1996 on the preservation of public records. The review of the literature shows that records management practices, policies, rules, procedures and standards are not monitored regularly. Hence, monitoring records management programme is necessary to improve teaching, learning and research. In the past, there has been a limited university evaluation system linked to the records management programme. This chapter answer the following research questions:

  • What are the current practices of managing the records?

  • What are the mechanisms, policies, rules, procedures and legislation in place for managing records?

  • Which records management standards are in place for managing records?

Developing records and archive management key performance indicators that integrate business processes might seem idealistic and unattainable to the university, especially as the mandate of the university is teaching, learning and research (Shacketon, 2006). Despite deliberate efforts in ensuring records management programmes, records management was not recognised as part of a university strategy.

Hence, a strategic plan is informed by policy direction, implementation strategies, actions and benchmarks for implementation, monitoring and evaluation and expenditure framework to allow adjustments in areas for development during implementation (Van Wyk and Moeng 2014, p. 138). The university's strategic plan should align with its strategic goal. The review of the literature shows that research was conducted on records and archives management programmes, especially in the corporate world. Less explored, however, is the integration of records management programmes into the organisation's strategy. Furthermore, the records management division frequently contends with intangible value, which is a challenge to define and measure records management function. As a result, records managers emphasize tangible outputs that do not reflect the value presented by this discipline. South African universities were concerned about the performance of the records management system in South Africa.

Challenges related to organisations' records management are as follows:

  • Failure to assume a broad decision-making role

  • Lack of a comprehensive records management programme

  • Fail to address strategic issues

  • Lack of management, business and planning skills

  • Lack of research, or measure outputs rather than outcomes

  • Lack of integration of the function into its larger organisation domain

  • Are reactive, awaiting decisions by the Vice-chancellor rather than being proactive

Key Terms in this Chapter

Records Management: It is the process of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records.

Benchmarking: It is a process of measuring the performance of university services or processes against those of another business considered valuable to be the best in the records management industry.

Key Performance Indicators: It is a measurement value that shows how effectively a university is achieving key business objectives.

Archives Management: It is the area of management concerned with the maintenance and use of archives materials.

Strategic Plan: It is the organisation's process to identify its goals, the strategies necessary to accomplish those goals and the internal performance of an organisation.

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