The contribution of records management towards the promotion of good governance at ST. Bernadette Catholic church, Gaborone, Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Churches exist to provide support for the spiritual and moral well-being of members of communities. As an organization viewed to be fair and open, good governance is a pillar of its functionality. Records management ensures that information and records pertaining to the church is handled in an orderly manner that can be accessed over long periods of time (posterity). With records management, components such as accountability and transparency (evidential purposes) come into practice thus ensuring that all processes and systems are geared towards supporting the functionality and mandate of the church (good governance). This study examined the elements of records management and those of good governance as well as amplifying the inseparability of records management and good governance within the church set up. The population of the study consisted of 33 participants which were; executive parish council committee (treasurer, secretary and chairperson), the priests and brothers as well as the 13 members of the congregation. Qualitative data for the study was collected through interviews, questionnaires, observations and a review of documentary sources. The key findings of the study indicated that St Bernadette is aware of records keeping; however, the significance of prioritizing records management as a key element is very minimal. The study revealed that the church has weak records management systems that need re-visiting, thorough improvement and even designing new records management systems to enhance good governance. Lastly, the study established that regardless of ineffective and comp rehensive records management program, St Bernadette is aware of good governance in the church set up, and are striving to ensure that their church operations are geared towards the attainment of elements such as accountability, transparency, participation and compliance. The major recommendations arising from the study are: the church leadership ought to acquaint themselves with understanding records management holistically by accessing guiding tools such as BNARS Act, ISO 15489 2016 and IRMT, in order to appreciate holistically and prioritize records management as a pivotal enabler of good governance . The church also need to establish a policy governing how records, documentation and information is to be handled, in relation to governance. This policy will provide comprehensive guidelines, tools and principles in order for the church to develop a records management system. Finally, the study ecommended that the church establish a separate vote that is meant to resource the church records unit in order to improve records management as a whole.