Transforming public administrations and challenges of information management
enterprise content managementThis article describes the transformation that is taking place in two public municipalities and the information management challenges they are faced with as they engage in e-government developments. In order to enhance transparency, accountability and effective service delivery, the municipalities have invested in citizen-centric websites and hence made information accessible to the wider community. Municipal-level public administrations are slowly transforming from rigid organisations to organisations that are embracing change in order to cope with the increasing demand for high-quality service from citizens. They are also moving away from the 'silo way' of doing things and promoting collaboration among the municipal units and beyond. Information and its management have become crucial to e-government developments since it is looked upon as a national resource. However, transforming public administrations is complex and threatens to disregard recordkeeping principles because of the way information systems meant to support new services are being conceptualised. The municipalities have invested in information systems to facilitate the capture and use of information, the automation of work processes and to improve efficiency. The ongoing e-service developments will require strong recordkeeping regimes that will sustain the open structures of governance, promote information access, protect citizenry rights and enable the municipalities to achieve their ultimate goal of effective service delivery. In the public sector, records management continues to play an indispensable role regarding the management of authentic, reliable and trustworthy records. However, enterprise content management (ECM) is also being promoted as a panacea to the management of the proliferating information resources. The findings and analysis in this article will be of interest to information management leaders and practitioners in local or municipal governments who are investigating new business processes and platforms for managing the growth of e-services.