This article is condensed from a doctoral dissertation that aims to investigate devolution of records management to sub national governments or county governments: a case of four selected counties in Western Kenya. The key findings of the study were: counties lacked preparedness to receive records of the devolved functions; failed records systems in the central government were imposed on the newly established county governments; the constitution of Kenya does not designate archives other than the national archives as a functional area of the counties and archaic records management infrastructure was being used to support DORM. DORM is under resourced because its significance is unacknowledged leading to inadequate records management in the county departments. Despite the challenges DORM offers many opportunities: records of devolved functions are key tools of efficient administration and planning by the counties, the means by which citizens hold counties accountable to them and sites of ongoing consideration of the past in order to enable a better future. Counties through their respective archives will have the responsibility to approve records systems, determine the criteria by which records are appraised and identified for transfer to archives and authorizing disposal of records that are no longer required. DORM may lead national government to enact legislation that applied to national archives and counties to enact legislation that applied to county archives. County legislation will have provision made for county application and relevance. Investment in records management infrastructure of in support of DORM will define the responsibilities of the programme ensure survival of the programme during budgets cuts, accountability by assigning to the national archives and county archives specific responsibility for the management of records throughout their life cycle. The study recommends: a criteria be used in the closure and transfer of records of the devolved functions; review of existing records systems based on requirements of records and business of the counties; anchor devolution of records management in the country’s constitution and review the existing national archives act and enact county government archive act to empower counties establish and maintain their own records management infrastructure.
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