Assessment of records storage and retrieval at the Parliamentary Service Commission of Uganda
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The aim of this study was to assess records storage and retrieval at the registry of the Parliamentary Service Commission of Uganda. The research design adopted for this study was the descriptive survey method using simple random sampling. The 21 respondents of this study comprised of adults, 13 (61.9%) female and 8 (38.1%) male that were randomly selected. All of them had attained a higher level of education; 28.6% and 23.8% (Masters and Post graduates respectively) while 42.9% of were graduates with a minimum of one degree. Out of these, the technical personnel (57.1%) were involved in records management. The records categories identified included the active records (76.2%) that are referred to accomplish ongoing activities, vital records (66.7%) utilized in the execution the organizational functions, semi-active (52.4%), inactive (28.6%) and or archived (0.5%) records. The formats mostly kept were printed paper (95.2%) and electronic computerized (85.7%). Additional formats included memory stick/ SD cards (33.3%) and tape and audio recording (33.3%), filming (19.0%) and the cloud (09.5%). The computer storage facility (81.0%) was most available to store records. Paper base records facilities included metal shelves (71.4%), metal cabinets (71.4%) and paper boxes (66.7%). Other storage facilities were flash drive/stick (42.9%), SD card (28.6%) and CD ROM (19.0%). The only off site storage facility was the cloud storage (14.3%). The security measures for safe guarding record were locked cabinets (95.2%) and passwords n = 14 (66.7%) were significant. Personal codes (52.4%) and managerial clearance (42.9%) were used to a less extent while detectors (4.8%) and restricted entry (4.8%) were least applied. The retrieval tools used ranked included the register (71.4%), date book (47.6%), index (47.6%), simple list (33.3%), color codes (19.0%) and the functional code (14.3%). The achieved retrieval rate were 1 – 4 minutes (47.6%), 5 -9 and 10 -14 minutes simultaneously (28.6%), and 15 and above minutes. The lack of adequate storage space (85.7%), inadequate adherence to records management policy (42.9%), lack of necessary equipment and materials (33.3%), inadequate funding (28.6%), lack of records management policy (23.8%), erratic electricity supply (19.0%) and lack of skilled personnel (14.3%) were the challenges identified. The suggestions to enhance the records management practice were the updating computer hardware and software (71.4%), continuous training of the registry personnel (61.9%), regular maintenance and effective security for records (61.9%), proper planning and improving the records management policy (57.1%), equipping users with proper skills for records management (52.4%), involving all staff in record management process (52.4%), and provision of adequate funding (33.3%) were considered.