Assessment of retrieval and storage of active records: A case study of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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This study assessed the storage and retrieval of active records in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The aim of this study was therefore to assess the storage and retrieval of active records MOFA with the view of improving the active storage and retrieval. The study was guided by the following objectives; to find out the types of active records stored, to assess the storage of active records, to assess the retrieval of active records as well as to find out the challenges of storage and retrieval of active records at MOFA and recommend strategies for improving storage and retrieval systems in public sector organizations. To achieve the above objectives, the researcher adopted qualitative research approach with some aspects of quantitative approached used during analysis. Interviews, observation and document analysis with their respective tools used to collect data from to a sample of respondents purposively selected basing on the premise that they were familiar with records management in pa1ticular records storage and retrieval. Findings from the study revealed that MOFA like any other public sector in Uganda generates a lot of records in the course of its operations that are very vital in aiding planning, administration, accountability processes, decision making and development. Findings also revealed that the ministry's records are largely paper based. However, records generated daily accumulate at a very high rate contrary to the available storage space which has led to many challenges in storage and retrieval of records. For instance, misplacement and loss of records was reported to be a big problem. Other challenges reported included; flooding, tear and wear, theft, inadequate technology infrastructure, inadequate qualified staff trained in records management, improper storage of files consequently causing delays in decision making as time is wasted in the process of tracking and retrieving a particular document. Basing on the findings above, the researcher concludes that there is need for paying attention to the issue of records management especially storage and retrieval systems to enhance service delivery. The researcher therefore recommends implementing an electronic records management system that can effectively manage both paper and e-records ensuring easy tracking and retrieval of records, need to digitize vital records that originally appear on paper to economize on storage space and ensure back up of records and ensure staff with qualifications in records management that can easily adapt to changing records management demands.