The 18th of February 2016 was the Global Information Governance Day or GIGD a day which occurs on the third Thursday in February each year. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of information governance. It is unfortunate that in Zimbabwe the day passed without any national event to commemorate the importance of information governance.
Information governance according to Wikipedia is the enforcement of desirable behaviour in the creation, use, archiving, and deletion of corporate information. There has been a debate on the differences between information governance and records management, with some saying it is the same discipline while others contending that they are related subjects with a slight difference. The later say records management deals with the retention and disposition of records while information governance deals with the privacy, confidentiality of corporate information.
Information governance if rightly implemented by organizations dramatically reduce costs of discovery and litigation, improves compliance, reduce risks such as fraud, increases business agility, increase profitability, improves customer service and improves employee productivity just to name a few.
It is lamentable that information governance have been overlooked by both the public and private sector organizations. Douglas Schultz in 2010 have the following to say ‘…Time and resources are not dedicated to maintaining an Information Management program because organizations do not understand or acknowledge the benefits of Information Governance. I think the lack of understanding is due to the notion that implementation of technologies around ECM or Information Management in general is because it is viewed as a project instead of a program. ECM is not viewed in the same way as ERP or HR systems. Organizations see the benefit of governance of managing their financial assets or their human resources, but they don’t see the same value in terms of the information they manage. I think we need to continue to bang the drum about Information Governance benefits and importance.”
For many years in Zimbabwe we did not have an organization which carries out awareness campaigns or advocates for good information governance in organizations like it is in America and other countries. It was only in 2011 when a group of records management professionals and students gathered at Evelyn Girls High in Bulawayo and launched the Records and Archives Management Society of Zimbabwe, an organization dedicated to advocate for the proper care and management of records and information in Zimbabwe organizations through workshops. From 2017 RAMSOZ will join the world in commemorating the Global Information Governance Day in February.
RAMSOZ have been conducting Records and Information Governance Workshops since 2011 and our forth coming workshop will in Victoria Falls .It will be a retreat for all archivists and records professionals focusing on the management of municipalities, academic, legal records, registries and libraries. Participants drawn from Botswana and Zimbabwe will pay only US$150 workshop fees which excludes food and accommodation.
RAMSOZ seeks to take information governance to a new level in Zimbabwe and will continue conducting 100% satisfactory workshops in information governance.