Assessment of file tracking systems in the open registry of the High Court of Uganda
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The purpose of the study was to assess the file tracking systems which was archived with the aid of objectives of the study which were to; examine the current file tracking systems, determine the benefits derived from file tracking, identify the challenges associated with file tracking practices, and propose and recommend strategies for efficient file tracking practices in the Open Registry of the High Court of Uganda. The study used a case study research design which was supported by a mixed method research approach. Both primary and secondary data were collected using Questionnaire and Interview, and Document review methods of data collection respectively. The study employed a purposive sampling method onto High Court population for which a sample size of 32 participants was obtained. The study found out that the Open Registry uses manual file tracking means with the aid of a file transit sheet as a dominant control mechanism maintained on the daily basis by all record managers of the registry regardless of who initiated the transit. It involves physical tracking file processes guided by the available policies and procedures, a well-established file plan and a moderate file tracking program. Informed decision making, saving of records officers’ time, promotion of good governance, and maintaining a corporate and institutional memory were the benefits derived from file tracking in Open Registry. On the other hand, these were compromised by challenges in the file tracking practice like retrieval difficulties, lack of a trained and skilled personnel, inadequate resources and insufficient office space. The study concluded that the Open Registry would embrace the wave brought by ICTs and inhabit the automation of the records management practices than the manual operations involved in file tracking. Though the tracking is guided by the registry procedural manual and a file classification manual with in-house operations, advocacy for automation would still be paramount. It was recommended that the Open Registry should revise its policies such that current developments in the field are catered for. There should be a sensitization of the records personnel about the relevance of maintaining the file transit sheet, provide training and workshops to workers so as to improve their skills, and in some case automate the file tracking process. However, automating the file tracking function of the Open Registry would greatly curb the challenges faced and also enhance efficiency and effective service delivery of the Open Registry.