1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The ever-increasing volume of records being created as well as the rapidly increasing costs of maintaining these records necessitate the utilization of efficient records management. The smooth functioning of an organization is greatly dependent upon the efficient utilization of information. For any business organization to survive, progress and to continue in existence, there must be records of the part issues, events, stories etc., which must be kept and also maintained.
This is further buttressed by Oliverio and pasework (1977) that all records will be important to the contained successful operation of your firm. The records become part of the memory of the organization. Not only do the record provide the history of the transaction but also form the basis for future decision. Records refer tot he informational documents utilized by an organization in carrying out its various functions. It is generally used in the office to refer to documents, specific information and data which form the basis of an organization’s operations and transaction. Types of records commonly utilized include forms, letters, memorandums, reports and manuals, minutes of meetings. It is also used to refer to those documents from which a business organization derives its legitimacy, powers and substation like acts of parliament, memorandum of association, certificate of incorporation etc. records management is one of the fundamental functions of a record officer in an organization. It is therefore the art and devices employed to capture and control and the records of an organization.
Elendu O. Elndu (1985) described records management as a means of making use, controlling and the disposition of records so that the systems work efficiently and economically. This means that the basic concept of records management involves the control of recorded information from the original creation to the ultimate disposition. The records cycle beginning with the creation of records involves use, maintenance, preservation, protection and finally disposition. In the same vein, records management programme refers to a system designed to control and administer the organization records. Every business organization receives all sorts of records every working day, there is no doubt that if these records are not properly taken care of, the whole office space will be flooded with papers and this will eventually cause inconvenience for the workers.
According to Denyer (1994) he said, it is the foundation of a good filing system that when records become inactive they should either be destroyed or transferred to a reserved storage. Records management is not concerned with the technique and facilities for data manipulation but it focuses its attention on the captured data and means and methods for its efficient capture and later exploitation.
There are three principle functions of records management, these are clearly spelt out in the Encyclopedia of management (1973) as follows:- adequate records management system programme deals with three aspects of organizations records handling, creation, maintenance and disposition. As said earlier in this study, these principle functions are also the basic concept of records management covers all devices and means used to obtain data or information, keeping and safe – guarding it is an easily retrievable place and manner, produce it when required and protect it until it is no longer useful and therefore disposable.
All business firm keep records. this is true for small, solely owned business, such as Eme’s Retail Store, as well as for giant corporations, such as consolidated breweries Plc. Business keep records for three major purposes:
1. To operate the business on a day-to-day basis for example, companies must make sure that customer’s orders are filled and that bills are sent promptly.
2. To manage and control the business efficiently, mangers must know how much business the company is doing and how much it costs to do the business.
3. To prepare reports for shareholders and government agencies. For example, most companies file income tax returns more than ones a year. Although the amount of records keeping varies with the size and type of business, all business must keep records of certain information, or data. The collecting, classifying, summarizing, reporting and storing of the information is called data processing.
The people and machines used to process data are called data processing systems. There are three basic ways to process data:
1. Manual Data processing: - With this method all the work is done by hand, usually by a book – keeper.
2. Machine Data processing: - With this method adding machine and calculators are used to process business records.
3. Electronic Data Procession (EDP): - This method uses electronic computers to process data quickly.
Most data processing system today combine at least two of these methods. None of these systems are totally automatic. Since some of the work must always be done by hand (manually).
What is a computer: - A computer is an electronic tool capable of accepting data, interpreting data, performing ordered operation on data, and reporting on the outcome of these operation (Gary 1986).
The data that a computer processes may be numbers, letters or even sounds.
It is turned into electrical impulses so that the computer can sort it, change it, or do arithmetic with it. For example, when we add two numbers, we are processing them in a specific way. The computer cannot decide for itself what to do with the data on information given to the computer, it is a machine.
Data and Information
The term information is often used as if it were just another name for “data”. Data refers to a collection of unprocessed items, which on their own do not convey any meaning. Whereas information is the outcome of processed data items. A data item may be defined as the smallest unit of named data having a definite size (e.g. the number of characters that comprise it). Data and information are illustrated below:
12 Chidi is eighteen today
He lines at 111 Aba Road
The city bus is 16 yards long
Joy and James are related
Enugu is in Enugu State
There are 12 months in a year
By this process, otherwise meaningless pieces of data item are logically organized to convey information. Data processing is a process of converting unprocessed (raw) data into information or into a definite meaningful result.
Concept of management information system (MIS). Management information system (MIS) is a mechanism designed to collect, combine, compare, analyze and disseminate detain the form of information. Management information system seeks to gather data in accentual location where it can be meaningful processed to generate information for managerial decision making. It provides managers with a structured means for presenting past, current and projected information gathered from various sources. A properly functioning management information system provides such information on a continuous basis (Arther Bedcian 1986). For any information to be of value, it must be timely, that is within, the line frame it is needed by the recipient. It must be accurate, this mean the degree of absence of error in information. It must also be accessible – the cast and speed with which information can be obtained. It should also be free from bias, there should be no alteration or modification in order to influence recipients. And above all, information should be clear to the user, that is, it should not be ambiguous.
Establishment of MIS:
The establishment of management information system requires the efforts of managers at all levels of an organizations may take several years to complete. The real test of an MIS is its ability to provide information of value that people will use. The steps followed in establishing an MIS as described by Burch et al 1984 are as follows: -
Step One: System Planning:
First step calls for a requirement survey.
A comprehensive description of information needs should be prepared from the intended user’s a formal statement of what is gained by establishing management – formation system.
Step Two: System Design:
This step includes the technical task of development.
Necessary task typically include structuring necessary data base, defining information flow, and determining report requirements.
Step Three: System Implementation:
As system specifications are decided in step two, the job of making it happen, now becomes the primary concern …..
Equipment must be purchased, facilities renovated, necessary data – processing resources obtained, and information system personnel hired and/or trained.
Step Four: System Evaluation:
The forth step which never ends allows an organizations management information system analysts to assure that a system is accomplishing the goals original set in step one. This is the time for refining modifying, and adding to any aspects of a system design that may become problem areas.
Records management takes cognizance of the organization and layout of the office, size of the firm, scope of operation of the firm, adequate filing system, the comprehensive knowledge of all complex technology of information management, availability of essential equipment and trained personnel t operate the system.
The efficiency of an organization largely dependent on the effectiveness and efficiency of its records management system. An effective filling system is a prime requisite for a successful operation.
An incorrect and obscure filing system can cause delays in obtaining information, thereby resulting in delays of some opportunities.
Incorrect filing system can also lead to outright cancellations of appointments and orders which ca lead to huge loss of money and goo-will. Also the loss of a document can also precepitate wrong decisions which can mar the existence and operations of the organization.
But if the records of an organization are well kept, quick and accurate decisions are enhanced since the data or information are easily accessible ad quickly supplied. In that case, the management has all the facts on its finger tips before embarking on any decision, the management can also art or re-art to any situation promptly, this saving various opportunities, time and money.
With the increased importance and use of records management, Carl Heyel (1973) classifies all records and documents of any organization into two broad categories namely: transaction documents and reference documents. Under transaction documents, we have orders, invoices, cheques, services supplies etc. this forms over 75% of all total records. Reference documents on the other hand consist of reports, research data, marketing information, books and brochures, legal documents etc.
These documents are meant to show the way in order to minimize errors on the part of the organization. The emergence of data processing has resulted in new application in the storage and retrieval of information.
Before organizations utilized data processing, storage and retrieval of information involve tangible documents, but with data procession, a considerable amount of information is stored on magnetic tapes, drums or disks, by a process known as electronic filing.
These new methods of storing and retrieving information that have been developed and add new dimension to the records management function. Dallas and Thumpson are of the opinion that computer have made tremendous impact on office work since they can internally store programmes and provide security on processed data (information).
Indeed, the invention of computers and other electronic devices has brought about a kind of revolution in records management system. Taking cognizance of all the above points enumerated, this project was focused on the investigation into records management in Consolidated Breweries Plc. This inquiries were based on the effective operation of records management in order to ensure accountability and minimize frauds and embezzlements.
AN INVESTIGATION INTO RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN SELECTED BUSINESS ORGANIZATION IN OWERRI METROPOLIS. (A CASE STUDY OF CONSOLIDATED BREWERIES PLC.)