9.2. The responsibilities of the decision makers
Whatever changes and adjustments are made by archival institutions will be nullified if those to whom the services must be provided do not or cannot make use of the services. The decision makers must therefore move from the position of paying mere lip service to the importance of records and archives to a situation in which records and archives are indeed a crucial element of the decision making process. The decision makers must first and foremost identify their requirements for quality decision making. They must have mechanisms for evaluating the decisions made, for assessing the correctness or otherwise of decisions made, for quantifying the shortfalls in certain decisions and for guiding those who have to make decisions. It is obvious that many decisions are being made based only on partial information. It is also clear that the decision making process could be enhanced if the decision makers were able to utilise all the available information resources. The maximum usage of information resources is however a skill that is taught and to this end it is necessary that these skills be imparted to the decision makers. Those who have to make decisions must go through formal training that equips them to make the best possible use of the information resources in order to make the best possible decisions.
The decision makers must also realise that they have the capability to reorganise the information system. This reorganisation should encompass the entire life-cycle of the record from the point of creation to disposal or archiving. The flow and provision of information requires that controls be introduced at all points of the information cycles. The resources necessary to achieve a better organisation of information should be found and should be given priority. It is a priority that will justify itself not only in terms of costs recovered through the application of better records and archives management techniques but also in terms of implications on Government activities, projects and programmes.
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