THE OECS Commission is poised to be a Centre of Excellence of Information Management (IM). Statistics Canada (StatCan), under the Project for the Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean (PRASC), delivered a training workshop to enhance the Commission’s capacity for its own IM function and practices, and to be equipped to support the OECS national statistics offices (NSOs) to improve their information management culture.
According to StatCan, “IM is a discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organisation, from planning and system development, to disposal or long-term preservation.”
Information management in NSOs is therefore part of the statistical business process that attends to data quality, protection and accessibility – that is, availability of requisite information and metadata to explain the data and how they were produced. Where there is no IM culture, users will be unable to know how useful the data are to their needs.
Other benefits of IM include:
(a) Safeguarding information to preserve institutional memory;
(b) Converting information to knowledge for insight, guidance, experience and know-how, for the purpose of decision support, action and learning; and
(c) Structuring and classifying information in a way that affords business continuity.
Lessons learnt, best practices, and institutional memory are critical to the business continuity in NSOs because they are the stewards of important data resources for their respective country. Lost data and staff exits are examples of situations that would be detrimental to business continuity and an IM culture can safeguard against these situations.
Among the topics covered in the workshop are Managing Physical Records, Email Management, Electronic Records, Preservation, Disposition, Planning, Evaluation and Governance. The Commission and the NSOs now have the resources and technical support from StatCan to put in place the infrastructure to transition to an IM culture.
The Commission is committed to ensuring that this knowledge is passed on to the Member States and is poised to facilitate the training.