Post-records survey inspections in Zimbabwe. Reflections on compliance and non-compliance with records survey recommendations

Published date19 March 2018
Date19 March 2018
AuthorSamson Mutsagondo
Subject MatterInformation & knowledge management,Information management & governance
Post-records survey inspections in
Reflections on compliance and non-compliance
with records survey recommendations
Samson Mutsagondo
University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Purpose This paper aims to establish public departmentscompliance with National Archives of
Zimbabwe (NAZ)s records surveyrecommendations as well as to nd out reasons for compliance and non-
Design/methodology/approach This quantitative research used a survey research design and
collected data using questionnaires,which were triangulated by document reviews and personalobservation.
A census approach was used where all15 public departments upon which post-records survey inspections
were conductedby Gweru Records Centre in the Midlands Provincein 2016 were involved in the study.
Findings The study revealed that many public departments in Zimbabwe disregarded records survey
recommendations givenby NAZ after records surveys. This was despite the factthat NAZ was armed with
the National Archives of ZimbabweAct (1986) which in principle is supposed to induce complianceby client
departments. As a result,the records management situation in public departmentshas not improved much,
and in some cases, it has becomeworse.
Originality/value A lot has been published about records surveys in Zimbabwe, for example, by
Chaterera(2008,2013), Dewah (2010), Karimanzira and Mutsagondo(2015), Maboreke (2007) and Mutsagondo
(2012). These studies have shown the importance of recordssurveys. However, none of them has evaluated
the effectiveness of records surveys by examining the degree of compliance to records survey
recommendationsby public departments.This study thus scores a rst in this regard. The study will enable
NAZ to make a cost-benet analysis of records surveys as well as to use results of this study to effect
necessaryoperational, tactical and strategic decisionsas regards the exercise.
Keywords Records management, Gweru Records Centre, National Archives of Zimbabwe,
Post-records survey inspections, Records surveys
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
This study seeks to outline what post-records surveys inspections are, identify reasons for
conducting post-records survey inspections, outline public departmentsdegree of
compliance and non-compliance with records survey recommendations and assess reasons
for compliance and non-compliance with National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ) records
survey recommendations. NAZ is mandated to acquire, preserve and provide access to
documentary heritage, in whatever format (NAZ Act, 1986). One way of ensuring that this
goal is achieved is through conductingrecords surveys and post-records survey inspections
within its clients. These are governmentministries and departments, subsidiary bodies and
local authorities,collectively referred to in this study as public departments.
According to Bennick and Sitton (2014), a records survey is an exercise that is
undertaken to determine major records series or categories that end users create, receive,
process or maintain in their day-to-daywork. Chaterera (2013) holds that a records survey is
Received30 January 2017
Revised28 August 2017
Accepted28 August 2017
RecordsManagement Journal
Vol.28 No. 1, 2018
pp. 115-127
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/RMJ-01-2017-0001
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