Records created in the course of an organization's business transactions are a vitally important asset. They provide authentic and reliable evidence of those transactions. This integrity is of instant value to the creating department in managing its own affairs and for accountability - to auditors, shareholders and to the public. No government or organization can possess a collective memory and operate effectively without the practice of efficient record keeping. Citizens also have a general right to obtain information about the activities carried out by departments and organizations acting on their behalf. This right is essential for democratic accountability and also if public bodies are to be subject to informed public scrutiny. However, it must also be recognized that the individual citizen has a right to privacy concerning personally sensitive data supplied in confidence to government or private organizations. Adherence to the requirements of Freedom of Information legislation, or any applicable legislation is essential. Researchers, academic historians and students will make use of historical records to study the policies and actions of the organizations themselves but also for genealogy and other exploitive endeavours. Good records management can help a government achieve the following: policy objectives, a stronger economy, improved social services and health care, good governance, world class education, improved communication and infrastructure, sustainable natural resources and generally improved service to its citizens.