Managing Electronic Records in Higher Education Institutions

Managing Electronic Records in Higher Education Institutions

Vusi W. Tsabedze (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1875-5.ch003

Abstract

This chapter presents findings on the management of e-records in a higher education institution (HEI) with a view to developing a best-practice framework for the management of e-records. The study has utilised interviews, observation document review, and questionnaire to generate data. The study revealed that there are weak institution policies and procedures to guide the management of e-records and the lack of knowledge and skills in the management of e-records. The study recommends, among other things, improvement of the e-records management policy framework and creation of awareness about management of e-records and regular training for records officers. Lastly, the chapter proposed a framework for managing e-records in HEIs.
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Statement Of The Problem

As mentioned above, effective management of all the information resources, including the electronic records of an institution is vital for timely and accurate decision making. However, successful electronic information management depends on the electronic readiness of the institution. This calls for a clear policy framework, tools and standard procedures to guide the process of information management. With the increasing use of computers and other information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and the ongoing IDM automation, many electronic records are generated. This implies that at IDM, volumes of electronic records are created daily. The greatest challenge, however, lies in the management and preservation of such records as evidence of business transactions. Electronic records at IDM are not being managed effectively. This is bound to result in an informational gap between electronic records and paper-based records, leading to incomplete public records/documentary heritage.

Furthermore, the few IDM departments that have computerised do not seem to have a framework for managing their e-records. Considering the absence of an e-records management policy and programmes within the institution, there is an eminent danger that electronic records generated may not be retained and preserved as e-archives. Just like in paper-based records that are preserved at the institute’s archives for public consumption, e-records should equally be awarded the same status and attention.

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