Assessing digital records authenticity in a Botswana government accounting system: an archival diplomatics perspective

Olefhile Mosweu


The purpose of this paper was to assess whether Botswana’s Government Accounting and Budgeting System (GABS), an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, generates digital records and maintains them as authentic over time. GABS was deployed by the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), to manage accounting and financial management processes right from budgeting to expenditure. Business applications such as ERPs generate digital records whose authenticity over time may not be guaranteed because by design, they are not recordkeeping systems. This qualitative study used concepts influenced by archival diplomatics as a theoretical lens to assess the authenticity of records generated and stored in GABS. Data was collected through systems analysis and interviews with purposively selected information and communication technology (ICT) professionals at AGD. The study found out that GABS generates authentic digital records as theorised by archival diplomatics. The records are thus authentic enough to support auditing processes in the public sector of Botswana.


Accounting; Archival diplomatics; Audit process; Authenticity; Botswana; digital records; Government Accounting and Budgeting System

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