Records Management Deserves Greater Attention

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Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, addressing the symposium. (G. Brewster/BGIS)

The Barbados Association of Records and Information Management (BARIM) may not be a well known organisation but its purpose is one that cannot be over-emphasised.

This was pointed out by Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, as he delivered opening remarks at BARIM’s Annual Business Symposium and Exposition today, at the Savannah Hotel.

Focusing on the event’s theme – Records and Information Management -What Can It Do For You? – Senator Benn explained that records management served as an important contributor to various sectors.

"The benefits of good records management are vast and cannot be overstated.?? Effective records and information management systems allow businesses to reduce their operating costs; [and] retrieve records faster…However, notwithstanding these

obvious benefits, there is a general lack of awareness in Barbados about the importance and value of record and information management," Senator Benn noted.??

He continued: "It should be emphasised that accurate financial records are required to access many of the incentives provided by Government.?? However, many businesses, particularly small enterprises, are often unable to provide basic financial information due to a lack of poor record keeping". Senator Benn also stressed that agropreneurs needed to see themselves as business people and to treat their endeavours as such.??

The Commerce Minister said that in the present era of greater quantities of information being produced and consumed, it was essential for Government to have relevant measures put into place to safeguard information flows.

"The Ministry [of Commerce] is currently working on Data Protection legislation which will seek to safeguard privacy in relation to personal data and as such, we have developed the National Information and Communications Technology Strategic Plan: 2010-2015.??

The strategy provides the necessary mechanisms and framework to transform Barbados into a major international information and communications technology hub," Senator Benn explained. He also contended that it was only when a problem occurred that the importance of records keeping was realised.????????????????

The symposium also brought into focus the ???five Cs’ of records management – cost effectiveness, compliance, competitiveness, customer service and continuity.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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