Welcome to my Weblog. This site is dedicated to my thoughts, views and understanding on anything that touches upon records management, archives management as well as information management in Malaysia. I believe in becoming a 'functional and meaningful' information professional, the term I refer to as person who can function in many ways possible for the betterment of this discipline. Interested parties, may reproduce or quote materials published with the condition that they are credited to Comments must be accompanied by names or pseudonyms. Anonymous postings and those containing profanities and obscenities will be rejected.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Dear all....

How and when can we start records management program in our organization? Where to start with? What to start with? When is the best time?

First of all, answer WHY do you need records management program in your organization? It is just for mere having it just because others are doing the same? or your boss ask you to do so? or it is just because out of nowhere, records management is another management 'hey day' for new development? or is it the brainchild of the new management? fact for whatever reason you have, one must understand the ultimate objectives of records management. What it brings, what benefits, directions of records management program in your organization. Having said so, one must embark on the preliminary investigation of it....other wise, one would only going into the wrong direction of records management program in his/her organization. The current state of affairs of organizational operations, functionality of each and every department must be fully and clearly understood.

One must understand what are required in the implementation of records management program. What skills and techniques must be acquired, what preparation must be made available before embarking records management. How it is going to be implemented. What about the management 'buy in' into it? What type of change management program, awareness and retraining of staffs need to be made before and even after the implementation of records management program.

to be continued......

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paperwork just doesn't work today!

Dear all....

What an interesting article by The Star:

Among the statement from the article:

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said on Saturday that these requirements needed to be done away with as they did not portray correctly the modern image of the civil service.

Technology has linked up the various agencies to allow cross-checking to be done in an efficient manner. For example, the officer at the Public Services Department scholarship division can easily assess the results of the candidates through the Malaysian Examinations Council database.

A certified copy of the results becomes only an extra piece of paper to be filed away and disappear into the deep recesses of Putrajaya.

and I like it very much towards the end of the article....the statement says:

In this well-connected world, let us not be handicapped by old systems where we have personnel dealing with paperwork that can be handled electronically.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Love records!

Dear all..

It comes across in my late discussion with my colleague with regard to the current trend and issues of records management Malaysia with Mr. Irwan Abd Kadir that a good record officer or archivist, in whatever level they are; managerial, operational, executive level, must have some sense of or love for history as this would really help them in their thinking and thought which would shape their perception and opinion on the value of records they are holding or managing in their organization.

A good historical background or love for history at whatever level commands a good sense of judging the value of records, keeping interest alive on the records and value of records to organization. It also helps in the culmination of job satisfaction at high level towards records related jobs. Otherwise, one feels demotivated in dealing with records after sometimes. This is one of the factor that ties up oneself with his current job in records related scope.

Similarly, the same goes to teaching, if one teaches just for the sake of getting a job or securing a job, getting monthly the long run one would not last longer as compared to one who loves teaching and coaching others in the dissemination of knowledge. One who have 'flair' of teaching would have an added advantage in which he or she would be able to deliver the subject matter efficiently and effectively to his/her students....the same case also can be referred to the records related jobs. If there is no interest, no deep interest in the heart and love for records, one surely would not last longer in the job! Employer must be able to seek and identify such talents in their prospective employees before employing their candidates to records related jobs.

Best of luck records professionals! Love what your are doing would surely be better later!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Records Managers typical work

Typical work activities of Records Managers/Officers

Tasks typically involve:
§  storing, arranging, indexing and classifying records;
§  facilitating the development of filing systems, and maintaining these to meet administrative, legal, and financial requirements;
§  devising and ensuring the implementation of retention and disposal schedules;
§  overseeing the management of electronic and/or paper-based information;
§  setting up, maintaining, reviewing, and documenting records systems;
§  identifying the most appropriate records management resources;
§  advising on and implementing new records management policies and classification systems;
§  providing a policy framework to guide staff in the management of their records and use of the employer's records system;
§  ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and regulations;
§  standardising information sources throughout an organisation or group of organisations;
§  managing the changeover from paper to electronic records management systems;
§  preserving corporate memory and heritage;
§  resolving problems with information management by effective use of software and other information management resources;
§  enabling appropriate access to information;
§  responding to internal and/or external information enquiries;
§  advising on highly complex legal and regulatory issues, often involving difficult judgments in controversial areas such as the Freedom of Information Act, and other national or regional legislation;
§  managing and monitoring budgets and resources;
§  training and supervising records staff;
§  advising staff in other departments on the management of their records and information.

The records management practices in capturing organizational memory

The records management practices in capturing organizational memory

By : Alwi Mohd Yunus

Faculty of Information Management
Universiti Teknologi MARA
Shah Alam
Selangor, Malaysia

Records management is an integral part of the organization work processes. Without records, organization faces the consequences of loosing their transactional evidences, proof of conducts, facing probable litigation, and historical memory of its conduct. Nit only limited to that, organization faces losing valuable information in the form of knowledge, best practices and lesson learnt from its daily conduct (explicit knowledge) and its human capital (tacit knowledge). Hence, it is important for organization to strive in managing its records and play critical role in identifying and capturing its knowledge into records and maintaining them accordingly, and by doing so safeguarding the organization’s intellectual assets, moving human capital into structural capital. Nonaka emphasizes that knowledge especially tacit knowledge is a main source for creating new knowledge and continuous innovation. The need for, and ability of, organizations to capture tacit knowledge remains a disputed academic issue. Considering Nonaka’s hierarchy of data, information and knowledge, the need for an effort to capture knowledge seems to be a fair and logical conclusion. Making the case for capturing tacit knowledge, this paper goes on to discuss some of the implications for records management and records managers. There are no easy solutions on offer for the successful capture and re-use of knowledge but questions are raised about the role of records managers. Developing relevant skills and taking responsibility for helping organizations with this strategic goal, thereby contributing to some core aspirations of employers, should be an exciting prospect and worthwhile activity. Since information and knowledge management is encompassing to every aspects of data, information and knowledge in organization, one has to look at the practices of records management and its relation to knowledge management holistically as a continuous efforts and processes of capturing critical knowledge be it tacit or explicit knowledge possessed or owned by organization. Within this context, the practices of records management and knowledge management varies from achieving better organizational administration to producing innovative products and better services. It is tantamount to say that records management play a critical role in the operation of administrative work of an organization. Records bring evidence in organizational transactions. And not only limited to that, records is the source of organizational information and knowledge. It is where the documented lesson learnt, best practices, expert documentation and past mistakes are referred to in learning organization. Whereby, within the context of knowledge management, records is prime resource for organizational improvements in operations, development of innovative products and services thus adding value to organizational knowledge asset. However, the practices of records management initiatives in organizational context, knowledge management initiatives and knowledge capturing specifically is yet to be determined. This is due to the fact that records management by itself is an ignored aspect in organization, and not focused on dollar and cents rather on intangible benefits to organization. Therefore, it requires in depth study with regard to the practices of records management in relation to knowledge capturing. The relationship between the practices of records management in the process of knowledge capturing in organizational context is due to be explored. This study looks into deeper understanding of the function of records management practices in knowledge capturing activity. It seeks to explore the neglected but critical functions played by records management in identifying explicit knowledge and turning tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge by way of documenting it and keeping it as corporate memory of an organization.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why Records Management is not properly in place?

Dear all...

There are a lot of questions to be answered? There are a lot of issues to be addressed when discussing why records management is not properly in place in Malaysian organizations be it government agencies or private institutions.

Please think one of the reason why? Think about your organization! Think about your office! Why records management aka proper record keeping practices are not well placed??

More benefits of having DATA ARCHIVE

Dear all....please read through!

The benefits to users of having access to The Data Archive are fairly obvious. They obtain expensive resources cheaply - often these are data which they could not have collected themselves such as census material or data which are by-products of administrative processes. High quality research is promoted as a result of this access. The re-analysis of data from a different perspective is encouraged. The access to data in electronic form permits a level and depth of analysis which cannot be undertaken with published material.
It is critical that data producers should be aware of the benefits to them of sharing data if we are to continue to persuade them to make their data available. These are discussed below.

There are strong reasons for depositing data so that secondary analysts have access to them. In this way the data producers can contribute to the development of knowledge by ensuring their data are exploited to their full potential. Secondary research facilitates multiple perspectives upon data which have often been collected to address a narrower range of questions. Similarly comparative research can be encouraged by the preservation of multiple data sets for access.

A further reason for providing access to data is that it assists in the training of empirical social researchers. Often data archives can be actively involved in teaching or in setting up teaching opportunities. For instance, a large number of the social science data archives run summer schools on empirical social research. The building and sharing of teaching materials can be carried out by data archives taking advantage of their links into many academic networks. The recent establishment of EU funded large scale facilities in the social sciences at the Central Archive (ZA) in Germany and the UK Data Archive will also help to promote the use of data in teaching.

The Data Archive assists in the promotion of data through catalogues often held electronically, links with other archives and data suppliers, by submitting material to relevant newsletters, and e-mail lists, and running data workshops and giving presentations at conferences. Assistance by user services staff helps to ensure that informed use is made of the data whilst data providers are cushioned from the demands of users who have queries on the data and how to use them. In this way The Data Archive acts as a buffer between users and producers of data. This is an especially useful role because many queries and problems are unrelated to the data. Many potential users of data have little experience of computing or statistical analysis and often have limited assistance at their own institutions. Supporting users is time consuming and requires an understanding of their needs. The Data Archive can draw on resources for funding support which may not be available to producers.

Data producers are increasingly interested in forging links with users, in order to take advantage of users' expertise and to create a community of knowledgeable data users. The Data Archive assists with the establishment of this relationship which can be very useful to data providers. They might consult this 'expert group', get feedback on use especially relating to policy relevant research and have access to a community of supporters who will fight with them when their resources and therefore their data are under threat.
The supply of data for secondary analysis reduces the need to collect data afresh and thus reduces respondent burden. Compliance costs are a concern particularly when data are required from small populations such as surveys of businesses or elites.

The Data Archive improves the accessibility of data by employing demand led distribution systems and by integrating different datasets. Value is added to data directly by The Data Archive staff or by requiring users of the data to redeposit data to which they have added value. This might be by adding contextual information, improving or advising on documentation, reformatting data for delivery, extracting subsets of data and documentation, providing systems to permit data to be visualised, browsed and extracts selected. An important attraction of giving access to data for secondary analysis is that credit will accrue to the depositor. We try to ensure that this happens by specifying that acknowledgement must take place and advising on the wording of citations. The Data Archive periodically writes to journal editors to alert them to the requirement to cite data sources.

In order to persuade data providers to deposit data it is vital that we ensure that their conditions of access are carried out. In some situations this can involve implementing controls over use and occasionally charges for data must be collected. It is also important that we are sensitive to confidentiality issues.

Data Archive must build reputation on the fact that it can preserve the electronic information in a way which permits both data and documentation to be accessible over time. The data management and preservation system must ensure :
  • physical reliability of digital information
  • security of data and documentation from unauthorised use
  • on-going usability of data & documentation
  • integration of the data into information and delivery systems.
Management of data with very variable access regimes requires expertise, equipment and operational systems as well as trust and credibility. Since very few data providers have built the expertise and facilities needed to preserve data so that they can be read over time despite changes to hardware and software environments a major advantage is achieved by giving depositors priority access to their own data. 

Stumbling block for Records Management

Dear all,

Organizational culture and individual perceptions on records management are two main stumbling blocks for the spur of records management in Malaysia. If organization does not recognize records as key performance driver for the success of organizational operations and service delivery, an organization will always have problem in delivering utmost customer satisfaction while determining the root cause for such lackluster performance of their staffs are of constraint. No documentation are taken care off properly while slow response to attend to customer's complaints are among the main indicator. While customers expect their loyalty to the service offered by an organization is given due recognition, this is not prevail in today's most organization when their service records are no where in the organization due to failure of record keeping and filing system.

Individual perceptions add more injury to the acceptance of records management as a key driver for performance. This occur from top level management to low level management personnel. The accountability is mostly by the top management. Records management is considered secondary and this perception exists in most organization. Some data on this would be provided later!

Think about it!

It is a hope that records management graduates from the Faculty of Information Management would be able to promote proper record keeping in their organization they work for. In as much, the Faculty of Information Management of UiTM has produced many batches of graduates in records management, and many of them currently work for variety of organizations and government agencies in Malaysia. It is highly hope that, it is them who would be able to penetrate, giving awareness and explaining records management to others. They are the ambassador of records management in Malaysia!

Please respond to the call! O! Records management graduates!