Information management in the age of E-government - the case of South Africa

Sihlezana, Nothando Daphne (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


The purpose of the research study was to explore how information is managed, in selected South African government departments, since the South African government is moving into the age of e-government and electronic service delivery. This study has tested and found that the degree to which information and knowledge are captured and used to support good governance depends on whether a strong underlying information management infrastructure is in place. A descriptive literature study was conducted to obtain information and views from available related literature that also served as the theoretical basis for the subsequent argument that the success of e-government depends on good information management, not just establishing an on-line presence. The primary data collection for this study was conducted from government employees, junior, middle and senior management level, employed by various Departments, in the National Offices. The findings indicate that a carefully considered plan and strategy for information management infrastructure development are required that include generating a shared vision for information management, a strong action and wide awareness and support by the key stakeholders. Various conclusions have been reached through this study i.e.: • The creation, use and preservation of electronic records pose special challenges requiring new techniques and tools but based on traditional information management principles and goals. • A learning culture and strong infrastructure of laws, policies, standards, practices, systems and people are required to support information management for both traditional and e-governance needs. • Good recordkeeping is a core component of good governance, especially in an increasingly information and technology-intensive environment. A number of recommendations are made, including suggestions that the South African Government should develop the information management structures within the Departments and identify the barriers to information sharing, and also barriers related to culture and structure.

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