Documents Administration in Federal government Businesses in Sierra Leone


Records Management is the systematic control of all information from their generation or receipt, by their processing, distribution, corporation, storage and retrieval to their best disposition. Simply because details is this sort of an essential resource to firm, the data management function also includes info management. Hence, information management is also regarded as Documents and Information and facts Management or RIM (Magnus, 2006).

Data administration may perhaps also be employed to determine as the way official documents (correspondence data files, information) are structured in this sort of a way that they have a which means, and can be utilized continuously by the customers this sort of as administrators, data professionals, educational establishments,

Great importance of Documents Administration in Governing administration Agencies

Establishing a records management programme, in government companies for illustration, the Meteorological Section may outcome in equally immediate and lengthy-phrase worth to the division. Below are stated some of the relevance of information administration in the authorities organizations, civil services, businesses and corporations as a entire:

• Documents management lowers lost or misplaced data. For the reason that the human component is normally with us, even the very best technique in the world will sometimes have misplaced data. But correctly built document management programs can gradually lessen misfiles. Most typically misfiled data can charge the clerical workers a large wastage of time in searching for information

• Records administration act as proof in the time of dispute. It is important for the settlement of dispute for the reason that it can be proven as proof in court

• It allows in analyzing progress of organization. It allows in the preservation of background of the firm. The earlier data exhibits path to firm. It assists in discovering out the weaknesses and toughness of firm. Data management provides the account of development and route in which corporation is providing on

• Information administration is the memory of organization. It is beneficial for long term determination building course of action. The study of past records shows course for long term. It provides details to group when it is needed for that reason, it helps in taking selection

• Documents administration can help to appraise enterprise progress and overall performance. It assists in comparison among one particular period of time of time and a different or concerning sometime of companies

• Records administration aids in administration and regulate of essential records. It can help to safeguard vital documents with care and disposes useless records
• To minimize litigation hazards. Organization apply records management programmes in order to lower the risks related with litigation and probable penalties. This can be equally true in authorities agencies. A consistency applied records management programme can decrease the liabilities associated with document disposal by furnishing for their systematic, routine disposal in a typical training course of business enterprise

• It increases accountability. A information management will put in place a procedure for tracking actions on each individual file, as a result raising accountability and providing entry reviews and

• To improve operating atmosphere. Utilizing data management programme improves the operating surroundings by way of the firm of documents and storage offsite. Organized operating ecosystem can then strengthen the notion of the small business by shoppers and possible staff. New employees are also simply qualified to manage the firm’s documents when an effective data management programme is in location (Jackson, 2008).

The Historical Background of the Meteorological Division Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone was the headquarter (HQ) of the West African Meteorological companies which was established in 1923.Meterological providers were offered for 4 West African international locations namely Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and The Gambia respectively. The Sierra Leone Meteorological department is an offshoot of the British West African Meteorological expert services established on the 27th April 1961. Considering that the institution, the section has been ruled by sequence of administrators and the presently director is Alpha Bockari who has served in this capability from 2012-to day. The headquarter is positioned at F18 Charlotte road Freetown.

The Meteorological Division exist to present value helpful temperature and local climate products and services by collecting, processing, archiving and disseminating meteorological and climatological information and expert services to guidance finish user contributing to the management of Sierra Leone’s financial system with exclusive regard to safety of life and home and safeguarding of the setting and recovering the expenditures of the expert services so rendered so that it expenditure will not exceed it earnings.

As a division under the ministry of Transportation and Aviation, they are charged with the next mandates /obligations:

• Safety and effectively becoming of citizen and their protection in opposition to critical weather conditions predicament and devastation from pure disasters

• Provision of trustworthy weather facts to facilitates task style and design for agricultural preparing and apply, water source programs, infrastructure, and tourism

• Contributing to the socio- financial (such as supplying conclude user services for agricultural routines, maritime) growth of the region

• Carryout temperature and local weather similar actions e.g. Clean Improvement System (CDM), Weather Adjust Solutions (CCS), Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and National Communication (NCS) (Meteorological Office, 2014).

Aims of the Meteorological Department Sierra Leone

The overarching objective of the Meteorological Section proven as the sole authority, which concerns climate and climatological warnings and providers are, to:

• Forecast, strategy and provide meteorological and climatological companies which meet nationwide socio- financial development needs.

• Obtain, method, retail outlet and disseminate meteorological and climatological details each nationally and internationally in accordance with regulations and tactics and methods recognized below the WMO Convention of the Intercontinental Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Global Maritime Business (IMO), etcetera and other relevant conventions of the United Nations techniques such as the Frame operate Convention on Local climate Alter (UNFCC), and Conference to Battle Desertification, Drought and so on.

• Give a range of consumer/ sector specific operational meteorological services to this sort of significant sub sector as people for aviation, water assets, agriculture, protection, marine, tourism, sports and recreation, and construction

• Presents information on meteorological and climatological issues to the countrywide local community and other governmental and non- governmental companies.

• Acquire adequate manpower to boost purposeful success and effectiveness of organizations.

• Minimize its reliance on the countrywide price range and generate its very own earnings by charging for products and services rendered to other clients

• Set up for and take care of surface area and upper air observation networks and accurately and proficiently report the weather conditions and climate affliction for Sierra Leone’s financial progress

• Offers meteorological expert services for look for and rescue operations through catastrophe and aid operations as properly as throughout nationwide emergencies and

• Participate on behalf of Sierra Leone in the routines of relevance international businesses to which its belongs, in distinct the Earth Meteorological Corporation (WMO), Intercontinental Civil Aviation Corporation (ICAO), Planet Climate View (WWW), World Weather Observing System (GCOS), World-wide Atmospheric Check out (GAW), Inter- Governmental Panel on Local climate Change (IPCC), African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Developments (ACMAD), United Country Natural environment Programme (UNEP) and many others part in all local weather adjust actions of the place (Meteorological Department, 2014).

Methods of Taking care of Documents at the Meteorological Office

Data retaining are of wonderful worth to any institution. One particular of the most important determination administrators, directors or heads of business have to make is to pick out the acceptable solutions of handling their organization’s records. There of two strategies that is appreciably utilised. These consist of centralized and decentralized approaches of controlling information.

Centralized Techniques

A Centralized strategy of taking care of data is the a single in which all actual physical paperwork are found in a single central spot or workplace. The place is controlled by the data management office workers. The selection of staff in the documents office will count on the sizing of the firm. In a centralized approach, finish consumers have the comfort and ease of recognizing all physical paperwork relating to a individual situation are held in the exact same place. If for instance, conclusion consumer wants to reference a file he/she would be essential to get hold of the records business office employees. The file would then be checked out to the conclude consumer. A complete claim of custody of file is captured, so the site of file is regarded at all moments.

A centralized system has a heightened stage of security. For instance, the entrance is locked so only the data personnel has access to the information in the information workplace. This process yields substantially additional control more than physical document than the decentralized procedures. For effectiveness of function, uniform business treatments are documented and circulated to all conclude user. These strategies address subject areas these types of as several hours or procedure, file request and delivery times.

Decentralized Method

A Decentralized approach is 1 in which the actual physical paperwork are positioned throughout the overall office. This may well signify they can be uncovered in each individual employees workplaces or other perform home space. Unlike centralized techniques, the place the information are managed solely by the documents office. A decentralized technique is controlled by the staff that created the file. The actual physical documents are stored at the employee’s desk not in a centralized spot for all to accessibility. Hence, the system would not involve a total time report workers.

Employees would have accessibility to their information at all times and would be accountable for preserving precision. The decentralized process of handling documents has its demerits. For instance, suppose team of personnel are working on the exact scenario at the exact time suddenly, the employee who is dependable for sustaining the file is absent. The relaxation of the team may well have hassle in finding the file if the group does not have assert of custody treatment in spot. Along the similar traces, a decentralized process of managing documents will have small or no security about information. This can confirm problematic specifically if an organization handles high sensitive instances.

However, in the meteorological department, a centralized process of managing the department’s data is adopted. That is to say, both actual physical and digital or other information are centrally managed by the department’s place of work clerk. While, there are problems with regards to the preserving and taking care of of records, yet the approach is nicely used. (Meteorological Section, 2014).

Types of Information produced by Meteorological Division

The information generated by the meteorological office office environment performs a critical function in taking care of the operations of the department. The division paperwork earlier functions, phenomenon and situations that serves the basis for even more steps. The information are equally handbook and electronic in character. Illustrations of manual information include:

• Place of work administrative documents
• Human useful resource records
• Financial/ fiscal data
• Meteorological knowledge/ data
• Substance records
• Public details data
• Meeting/seminar company records and
• Basic courses.

Electronic Data: These digital or device readable documents are details in a form that can be browse and processed by a pc and that satisfies the legal definition of a file. At the Meteorological Section in Sierra Leone these are documents relating to divisions and out stations in the department and these include:
• Electronic mail and messages
• Digital spreadsheet
• Major information information and facts bases
• Equipment readable indexes and
• Word processing information.

End users of the Records at the Meteorological Division in Sierra Leone

The buyers of the Meteorological Section data in Sierra Leone involve:
• Administrative personnel
• Research/ external customers
• Human Resource Administration Place of work (HRMO)
• Government ministries and companies
• Intercontinental organizations e.g. United Nations Progress Programme (UNDP), World Meteorological Firm (WMO) and
• Customers to which Meteorological Section information and facts is given. For illustration, the media in Sierra Leone such as: Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), African Younger Voices (AYV), and Star Television).

Submitting Process at the Meteorological Section in Sierra Leone

Filing Method in Information Administration is the process of classifying, arranging, sorting and storing information so they may perhaps be easily positioned and retrieved when necessary. It is the classification and control of fundamental file groups, materials collection treatments, file preparing, sorting, indexing, routine maintenance and cross referencing. A perfectly described and preserved submitting method will allow critical info to be accessed quickly and will save organization money by preserving time. Small business, educational institutions, federal government organizations and even every single day, persons use filing systems to preserve their affairs organized. Hence, the pursuing different varieties of submitting methods may permit agency to have out proper submitting method effectively.

Alphabetical Submitting Program

In the alphabetical submitting method, data are organized in accordance to identify that is from A-Z possibly the name of a particular person, firm or subject in accordance with the letters of the alphabet. There are two approaches include in alphabetical filing technique.The topical alphabetic submitting process, also acknowledged as a dictionary program. In this process data files, particular person record are in alphabetical get. This submitting method functions effectively when storing a compact number of information. It proves to be problematic when particular person has a large amount of shopper sharing the same title.The other system is the geographical filing procedure also know as encyclopedia or classification program. This method is applied to manage bigger volume of documents. It groups matter collectively beneath broad categories primarily based on a area this sort of as a metropolis, nation or state. The types and the data files in just about every classification are arranged alphabetically.

Numerical Filing Method

In the numeric submitting process, quantities are assigned to each individual file and arranged the quantities in segmented order. Files of people today with the exact name will not have replicate headings as with the alphabetical process. This procedure also presents far better filing confidentiality because names are displayed in the information and get the job done effectively when handing a huge volume of files.

Terminal Filing Process

In the terminal digit filing program also, figures of assigned files are in sequential buy but submitted according to the past two digits. For instance. If an individual is filing selection 18547 first the specific go to 47 part of the filing process then glimpse for the 85 area of the segment and lastly seem for the variety one (1).

Alphanumeric Submitting Program

The alphanumeric filing program, the two letters and quantities are employed to arranged data files. For instance, two letters are utilised to signify the consumer information in, followed by a number to denote his account range.

The meteorological division filing program, have adopted the alphanumeric submitting procedure. In that report, they use the conclude-tab folder and pockets that just stand on shelves and filing cabinets. No hanging pocks with a use of workplace house. The meteorological department has some difficulties but the filing technique is structured and use proficiently.

Documents Storage Units

Report must be stored in great buy, in a protected place. Those made up of confidential or personal facts these kinds of as employees documents will have to be saved in lockable units and ought to not be still left on desks right away or watch of people. Only data which are demanded commonly ought to be saved in the business. Individuals which need to have to be retained for legal or other motives should really be stored offsite with the data workplace offsite, although those people which have outlived their usefulness ought to be destroyed. Even so, information which are less than one particular calendar year will not be stored offsite.

Storage programs employed in information office environment most provide suitable protection for information based mostly on format and quantity of documents, how often they are used, how promptly they need to have to be accessed and protection need. The primary forms of records storage programs employed consist of:

Vertical Submitting Cabinets

These are satisfactory for smaller filing devices, but are fewer suited for big operates of information and documents that have to have recurrent access. Obtain is gradual, because drawers have to be opened, and these can important effect the place there is a high volume of documents action. The cabinets involve huge quantity of place and drawer house is generally not use to whole capacity.

Guide Cabinets

These are ideal for publications or files that are stored upright, this kind of as box data files and lever arch information.

Lateral Submitting Models

These have very long drawer for storing documents laterally and use room much more proficiently than their vertical counterparts. Alternatively, static unit without having drawer can be use, wherever files are stored in hanging pocket or cradles. Exactly where prompt filing and retrieval are essential open device will be the most efficient. If file obtain is to be limited, units with lockable doors or shutters can be used.

Cellular Shelving

This might be acceptable wherever a big quantity of records need to be stored around at hand, as it cuts down the amount of access aisles demand. It is the most high-priced form of shelving, and is incredibly heavy. The flooring will have to have adequate structural capacity to support these cabinets.

Open Shelving Procedure

This generally discovered in big offices and in central file rooms, it allows for quick retrieval and refilling. This kind of lateral file, which resemble open book cabinets lets data files to be retrieved horizontally. It also presents comprehensive viewing of the folder tabs, which helps make for swift retrieval. And there is an approximated 50 % preserving area when data files are moved from vertical program to an open shelve method. This unit generally needs skilled installation, which can be negotiated with the vendor is an inclusion in the value of the tools. These are the most effective kinds of documents out there. They also have doorways and can be locked. Some of individuals with doorways have flush backs and can be utilised as appealing home dividers with a designed-in edge of providing a superior offer of seem- proofing. These doors and 6 openings are quickly accessed around 200 inches of submitting. People without the need of doorways supply even a lot more submitting potential and must be take into account, even if there is a perceived require to lock them.

Information Storage Systems at the Meteorological Division in Sierra Leone

The main forms of documents storage methods utilized at the Meteorological Section in Sierra Leone is the open Shelve Method which is outlined earlier mentioned where information making contact with documents are commonly located in massive places of work and in central file rooms which will allow for the swift retrieval and refilling. This style of lateral file, which resemble open up e book cabinets enables information to be retrieved horizontally.

Records Retrieval at the Meteorological Section in Sierra Leone

Retrieval is the system of finding and taking away a document or file from storage. It is also the action of recovering facts on a provided subject matter from saved information. It specials with criteria and methods in retrieving paper, electronic and image records. For instance, acquiring a title and phone amount in a telephone listing or details base is a prevalent storage and retrieval action. Records or information can be retrieve in three techniques:

Manually: individuals go to a storage container and get rid of by hand a report required or make a notice of facts asked for from it.

Mechanically: a human being makes use of some mechanical suggests, these as urgent the appropriate buttons to rotate movable shelves to accurate area of a record, take out the file manually, or history data asked for from it.

Electronically: a man or woman works by using some means, this kind of as a pc, to identify a report. The actual physical history may possibly not want to be eliminated from storage. The requester is informed as to in which it can be observed, or the data asked for is confirmed to the requester in some way, perhaps on a monitor in a information base or digital mail file.

Ask for for saved information might be produced orally around the phone or by a messenger or in producing memo, letter etc. The request may perhaps be sent in human being, sent by mechanical, these types of as a conveyor system, or sent electronically by electronic mail. The record ought to be retrieved from storage and offered to the requester rapidly. Just about every moment of delay in getting a report is high priced in consumer or requester squandering time and in filers hunting time and could possibly lead to loss of cash for the business (Stephens, 2009).

Nonetheless, handbook and mechanical treatments are normally utilized in retrieving documents at the Meteorological Section considering the fact that majority of their documents are in paper primarily based kind.

Difficulties dealing with Records Management at the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone problem in business enterprise of record retaining and management specially in the Meteorological Department method has not been far too prosperous mainly because of the deficiency of management component. Writing in aid of the earlier mentioned acquiring, I have observed that a lot of decades of neglect had completed terrific problems to meteorological sector and document retaining is not an exemption. The subsequent are some of the troubles of appropriate records administration confronted by the Meteorological office in Sierra Leone:

Insufficient Funding

The trouble of inadequate funding of information office in the meteorological office is much more intense than the other departments. This is a issue that was not only seasoned throughout the colonial era but has handed on even to present day documents management applications. Payment of employee’s salaries, obtain of contemporary preservation gear and chemical substances amongst the other working day- currently functions that facilitates documents preservation are very important pursuits that connect with for correct adequate funding to help the establishment to achieve its goals are not quite noticed. For this purpose, the meteorological information business office apply is abandoned with unqualified staff so struggling from inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

Inadequacy of Room and Equipment

The data business office at the Meteorological Department is alternatively far too smaller to include current and non- present-day documents. The machines applied is in some way crude in mother nature and also of inadequate capacity. The history staff members do not have obtain to modern day machines thanks to combine problem of insufficient funding and know- how engineering.

Problematic Mother nature of Format

Most document resources are continue to natural and organic nature, most of them been paper centered. This signifies they are able of getting old, advancing, deteriorating with time. For this cause, they have to have equipment to be taken care of and managed with for the reason of preserving them. For these types of a region like Sierra Leone which lies in just the tropics this kind of problems are worsen by high level of humidity in the environment and high temperature all all-around the calendar year. All these situations merge function to hasten the nature chemical system of decaying records. On top of that, information keeping facilities in the Meteorological Office do not have weather handle preservative exactly where all temperature conditions can be managed to enhance document preservation hence, producing the total preservation approach even extra tricky.

Absence of Information Administration Rules

The Countrywide Records act of 1964 is out-of-date and is no for a longer period serving its usefulness. Records do not have authorized description, backing or definition of their assistance. Authorized guidelines offer for authenticity, which serves to endorse and also supplies self confidence to the general public and those people practising in the profession about the service currently being supplied. These are the extremely important components that the Meteorological Department’s report preserving facility lacks.

Lack of Knowledge and Appreciation

The documents administration method in the Meteorological Office is rarely appreciated and its position in the provision and management of information and facts comprehended by only a handful of employees. This is also legitimate as it is the tradition in lots of other community and personal sectors that produce important records on a daily basis have no essential comprehension of information life cycle and requirement of the documents disposal act. They are incredibly ignorant of the important role that can be performed by the documents business to support them effectively managed and maintain record both of those at the latest and semi- recent levels. Staff members is entirely uninformed about the records things to do and for this explanation it is recommended that the data place of work should really engage in applications that will support to teach team and other consumers in the requirement and material of the functions.

Conclusively,Record retaining in an group established up is extremely critical and can not be around emphasized. This is mainly because continuity relies upon on availability of practical information of the earlier pursuits. In a sophisticated corporation like that of the Meteorological Section, it is not feasible to preserve each one information in the mind, mainly because the quantity of details is heavy, therefore documents ought to be kept. In Sierra Leone, meteorological rules demand that each meteorological station really should preserve particular meteorological data these kinds of as climate fore forged knowledge, personnel information, visitor’s ebook, stock e-book, account book. History retaining occupies a strategic position in the productive and powerful administration of meteorological technique. In fact, it is central in the administration of establishment of finding out since it doc the arranging and implementation of suitable study course of services permitting checking of get the job done.

Regretably, the Sierra Leone predicament in business enterprise of record retaining and management especially in the Meteorological Department procedure has not been far too successful simply because of the lack of management element. Giving credence to this assertion, records management practice in the Meteorological Division has a range of complications as indicated previously mentioned. By paying out near awareness to all these issues and addressing them a person at a time we enable solve the troubles and enhance superior administration of data in the Meteorological Department in Sierra Leone.