An investigation into the records management profession in the public service of Namibia

Published date09 July 2018
Date09 July 2018
AuthorAnnastasia Ipinge,Cathrine Tambudzai Nengomasha
An investigation into the records
management profession in the
public service of Namibia
Annastasia Ipinge
Department of Administration, Ministry of International Relations and
Cooperation in Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, and
Cathrine Tambudzai Nengomasha
Department of Information and Communication Studies,
University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Purpose The purposeof this paper is to investigatethe recognition of recordmanagement professionin the
Namibian Public Service. The objectives of the study are to determine appreciation of the importance of
recordsrecord management; establishpolicies that support recordsmanagement; nd out the promotionof the
records managementfunction in the public service; establish training and job opportunities availablefor the
record managementprofessionals; and come up with recommendations on how the recognition of therecord
managementprofession could be enhancedin the public service ofNamibia.
Design/methodology/approach This case study used qualitative data collection methods, namely,
focus group discussions and interviews.The two ministries and records keeping staff who took part in the
focus group discussions were conveniently selected, whereas the two government ofces where one key
informanteach was interviewed were purposively selected.
Findings This study revealed that the records management profession was not well recognised in the
public service of Namibia. The hiring of staff withlow educational qualications and the hiring of records
keeping staff with some Diplomaqualications into the same positions as those withoutqualications were
all evidence of this. In addition to these was the failure to re-grade the records keeping staff through the
establishmentof a records management cadre.
Practical implications The study recommends the creation of record managementunits in all ofces,
ministries and agencies headed by qualied record managers supported by qualied records management
staff, nalisation and implementation of the records managementpolicy, as well as the creation of a records
Originality/value The ndings of the study on which this paper is based could inform policy for
decision makers, and for the records managementkeeping staff, a strategy for advocating for recognition of
their professionwas planned.
Keywords Education, Training, Public service, Namibia, Professional association,
Records management profession
Paper type Research paper
McLeod and Hare (2010, p. 22) outlinehow records management developed into a profession.
They argue that it is:
This paper forms part of a special section Contemporary issues in information management: an
African context, guest edited by Cathrine Nengomasha.
Records in
public service
Received29 November 2017
Revised16 May 2018
Accepted30 May 2018
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.119 No. 7/8, 2018
pp. 377-388
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/ILS-11-2017-0123
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