Possible solutions to records management problems in the public service

Possible solutions to records management problems in the public service

As stated above there are various problems affecting the efficient running of registries. There is need to re-organize or restructure registry operations especially public registries.

The restructuring programme should address the problems currently affecting the registry staff and its operations.

The following require due consideration: – 

Registry personnel and organization:

The layout of a registry determines the rate at which files and information would flow.

A poor registry layout is a source of annoyance to everyone.  Poor equipment can greatly contribute to inefficiency in many ways.  It can and does have a very psychological effect on individuals concerned and cultivates bad habits in records keeping.

Staff Training:

Training of personnel is an important element in helping to produce qualified staff to deliver a quality service.  Training of increasing techniques and responsibility should be encouraged and staff permitted to progress to higher grades.  Such improvement goes along way towards staff motivation and high productivity.  Public offices are encouraged to use the records management seminars normally organized by the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service to uplift the operation capabilities of their registry staff.

Staff deployment:

Proper deployment of staff should be considered.  The registry should be seen as central to an organization where its functions contribute highly to the efficient running of that organization.  This calls for deployment of staff of high integrity to man the registries.  Consideration should be given to rotation duties among the registry staff

DISPOSAL OF RECORDS

Disposal of records does not always mean destruction. It can also include transfer to an archive centre e.g National archive or museum. Destruction of records ought to be authorized by a suitable regulation, or operating procedure and the records should be disposed of with care to avoid inadvertent disclosure of information. (cite commonplace example of pay slip information wrapping meat in the streets)

The process needs to be well-documented, starting with a records retention schedule and policies and procedures that have been approved at the highest level.

Digital records

The general principles of records management apply to records in any format. Digital records (almost always referred to as electronic records) are preserved using special software programs called EDMS or Electronic Data Management systems or an Electronic Records Management System (ERMS). These are computer program used to track and store records. ERM systems commonly provide specialized security and auditing functionalities tailored to the needs of organizations. Where an organization has bulk data and records to store then a Commercial records center would be appropriate. These are facilities which specialize in the storage of paper and electronic records for organizations. The centers provide secure storage for paper and electronic records at a fee and can provide temperature controlled storage for sensitive information.

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