Good governance requires good recordkeeping. The reliable creation, maintenance, and disposal of records is needed to protect key rights and entitlements, support accountability and transparency of government, assist with evidence-based decision making, and increase the efficiency of government. Good recordkeeping is also important to ensure the success of Freedom of Information (FOI) regimes which are dependent on efficient and reliable access to government information.
Failures of governance almost always feature failures in recordkeeping. Sometimes these failures are the result of deliberate subversion of systems and processes, but more commonly they are the result of many years of erosion of recordkeeping capability, corporate culture and infrastructure within jurisdictional administrations. There is a critical need for ICA to support the rebuilding of these capabilities, cultures and infrastructures in many governments, which can be facilitated through the access to tools and guidelines that reflect their needs and circumstances in the early 21st Century. Good recordkeeping needs to be re-established as a natural and organic component of the way public administration is conducted in the digital age.
The ICA Programme on Recordkeeping for Good Governance aims to develop and disseminate tools and guidelines to enable archives organisations to assist their government administrations improve the state of recordkeeping. A global approach to recordkeeping best practice would reduce duplication and unnecessary costs across national boundaries by creating guidance once, which can be adapted and used many times depending on specific national, cultural, linguistic circumstances. This is an effective, economical use of human and financial resources.
The Programme Goals
• To provide a set of resources and strengthen institutional capacity so that archives and recordkeeping organisations can assist their government administrations improve the state of recordkeeping.
• To promote ICA as a credible partner for organizations active in development.
The programme is structured with four work streams, under which several projects can be implemented:
Awareness raising tools
This work stream aims to develop a set of model resources which institutions can use to promote the critical need for and value of good recordkeeping as a fundamental pillar of good governance.
The goal of this work stream is to develop a suite of practical recordkeeping guidelines that promote a common best practice approach to recordkeeping across national boundaries. It is based on the work carried out by PARBICA with its “recordkeeping for good governance toolkit”. The guidelines are intended to be model only, and developed so that they can easily be adapted to specific jurisdictional requirements.
This would continue existing work of ICA to ensure that the global archives community has an agreed set of principles and requirements that support best practice recordkeeping.
Training and Support
With this work stream, ICA intends to provide support for in-country implementation of the guidelines and standards. Training and support could take place at various levels, for example with regional branches who are undertaking training at a regional level to branch members, or adapting the model tools to their specific regional requirements; with specific members who are using the guidelines and standards to train government agencies within their own countries or jurisdictions.
Examples of activities and projects already developed in the framework of this programme are available in the “Activities and projects” sections.
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