Assessment of the records management practices for paper- based records at the national forestry authority
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The study was about assessment of the records management practices for paper based records and the objectives of the study which were to identify the different types of paper records generated and managed, to analyze the different paper records management practices carried out, to distinguish the importance’s of proper records management practices for paper-based records, to examine the challenges/factors that hinder proper records management practices and finally to propose the possible recommendations for effective and efficient improvement of the management practices for paper based practices. This study involved use of a descriptive research design framework, where 15 respondents who work directly with paper records on a daily basis within the organization were provided with questionnaires, some of were interviewed and also use of the observation technique so that the objectives of the study can easily be achieved. It was revealed that this organization doesn’t have a standing records management policy which is a core regulator for all records management practices but records are internally managed to ensure that they can easily be accessed whenever they are needed. However, paper records are greatly exposed to poor records management practices especially while carrying out reprographic processes such as scanning, photocopying, printing, in the storage rooms where they are greatly exposed to rodents, insects, direct sunlight and also other records management practices, like appraisal of records without use of an unofficial retention guideline, distribution of unfiled paper records with bare hands among other which can lead to loss of vital information due to tear and wear hence leading to both legal and financial risks in the long run. After a dialogue on a questionnaire, observation and interview basis, the recommendations which were proposed to ensure that these factors are counter checked include; user orientations, provision of adequate storage equipment’s, approving and implementation of the records management policy, recruitment of new records staffs among others so that the records are protected from exposure to oily fingers, excessive light, poor filing inadequate storage equipment’s among other. In conclusion, the research study was able to unveil the common poor paper records management practices which were taking place and have been leading to delays in decision making and wastage of time to the organization activities therefore delaying workout. And by the end of the research study, recommendations where discussed upon so that such factors can be eliminated thereby reducing on the time wastage hence increasing organizational production work output.