Original Research

An exploration of the role of records management in corporate governance in South Africa

Mpho Ngoepe, Patrick Ngulube
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 15, No 2 | a575 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.575 | © 2013 Mpho Ngoepe, Patrick Ngulube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2013 | Published: 28 August 2013

About the author(s)

Mpho Ngoepe, Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, South Africa
Patrick Ngulube, School of Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Background: Corporate governance maybe approached through several functions such as auditing, an internal audit committee, information management, compliance, corporate citizenship and risk management. However, most organisations, including governmental bodies, regularly exclude records management from the criteria for a good corporate-governance infrastructure. Proper records management could be the backbone of establishing good corporate governance.

Objectives: Utilising the King report III on corporate governance as a framework, this quantitative study explores the role of records management in corporate governance in governmental bodies of South Africa.

Method: Report data were collected through questionnaires directed to records managers and auditors in governmental bodies, as well as interviews with purposively selected auditors from the Auditor-General of South Africa. Data were analysed using various analytical tools and through written descriptions, numerical summarisations and tables.

Results: The study revealed that records management is not regarded as an essential component for corporate governance. Records management is only discussed as a footnote; as a result it is a forgotten function with no consequences in government administration in South Africa. The study further revealed that most governmental bodies have established internal audit units and audit committees. However, records-management professionals were excluded from such committees.

Conclusion: The study concludes by arguing that if records management is removed as a footnote of the public-sector operations and placed in the centre of operational concern, it will undoubtedly make a meaningful contribution to good corporate governance.


Corporate governance; Records management; King report; South Africa; Internal audit; Audit committee


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