Electronic archiving and registration
Though transparency and accountability are quite central to e-Government development, the issue of electronic archiving and registration is not discussed by e-Government scholars. It is a fact that effective information management and use cannot take place without these two functions. The open governance structure of government institutions hinges on the fact that the processes they undertake are well documented. Therefore, electronic archiving and registration is key to the delivery of quality services, the traceability of the citizens’ cases, and the transparency of decision making processes. In Sweden, e.g., the Swedish e-Government Delegation charged the Swedish National Archives with the responsibility to develop these two important areas. The project was based on the premise that without effective information management regimes it would be difficult to uphold the right to access government information both for internal and external use (Riksarkivet, n.d.). The project’s objectives were to develop common specifications for government agencies that would:
- • facilitate the transfer of digital records between records management systems and an electronic archive;
- • to test and quality assure the specifications; and
- • to propose an organization that will manage them.
This is an effort to enhance information retrieval, reuse, and transfer of information held by public authorities. Sweden promotes readily access to public records and there is no demarcation between current and archival records. The rules governing public access to government records date back to the first Freedom of the Press Act of 1776 (Granstrom, Lundquist, & Fredriksson, 2000). Access to public infor- mation/records can only be achieved by undertaking archiving and registration. All Swedish government administrations are required to manage their information according to the Archival Law (Bohlin, 2010). The registration of public records is a requirement by law (Granstrom et al., 2000). It is an important part of the open governance structure of Swedish public administrations. It facilitates the traceability of records and hence promotes information access.