n Mousaion - National archives and the effective management of public sector records in Kenya

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



The article presents the findings of a study which examined the role of Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS) in the management of records in 18 government ministry headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Data was collected (in 2005) through questionnaires sent out to 157 registry staff, and through interviews conducted with 10 senior government officers and six archive personnel from Nairobi Records Centre and KNADS headquarters. The research findings revealed that, even though KNADS provided records management advice to government departments, the record creating agencies did not adequately implement this advice.

The study established that KNADS faced various challenges in providing records management advice to government departments and that this may compromise public service delivery and the effective management of government information. The challenges that were identified included : inadequate human and financial resources, lack of support from senior government officers, low priority accorded to records management in government departments, lack of regular follow-ups on recordkeeping practices in departments, and inadequacies in existing records and archives legislation. The study concluded that KNADS had not effectively helped record-creating agencies to properly manage their records (largely owing to the constraints it faced). Among the key recommendations of the study is that, given the limited resources available, there is need to review existing records and archives legislation in order to divide responsibilities for recordkeeping between KNADS and government departments.

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