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Title: Freedom of Information and records management : a learning curve for Botswana
Author: Sebina, P. M. I. M.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation is mostly adopted on the presumption that good records management exists. However, it is pertinent that the functionality of records management in the creation, management and making records available for access internally within government and externally to citizens be established as the legislation is being planned for. Through the planning process, the capacities of records management in providing access to information will be known. This study employs a Grounded Theory based methodology on data collected from Botswana, Ireland, Malawi, South Africa and the UK to discern Botswana's preparedness for FOI legislation in line with the country's national aspiration, Vision 2016. It also uses the same data to unearth relationships that exist between records management and FOI legislation. The study has established that constitutional guarantees on access to information are an inadequate measure to enable citizens to gain direct access to official information. As a result, countries which regulate access to information through the guarantees have to adopt FOI legislation so as to effectuate them. The adoption of the legislation should be founded on the democratic ideal of enhancing the capacity of citizens in developing and offering informed consent including improving their participation in their governance. The law should also be predicated on the obligation of government in accounting to citizens as well as empowering them to hold it to account. In addition, the law should be based on an environment which would enable citizens to formulate, develop and demonstrate trust in the governance process. Lastly FOI legislation should be built on a good records management system which will provide an assurance that the governance process is well documented, and its records can be availed for access. Through the diverse case study countries, the study has established that Botswana is prepared for the adoption of FOI legislation. However, as the country works towards adoption of the legislation, it should strive to evaluate the efficacy of public sector records management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available