1.1 Background of the Study
The Technical University of Kenya (TUK), is an institution of higher learning that has been mandated and chartered by the government of Kenya under the ministry of Higher learning to offer training and equipped learners with skills and knowledge so as to participate in enhancing and development of the country and in terms of the world at large, for the university to run smoothly they always get some support from the government, school fees from students and also investors for them to chip in
According to the activities that run by the university, paper based records and electronic data are produced in large volume that documents their daily activities. Nevertheless, these documents and data are very vital and therefore need to be well-preserved. University is legally guaranteed to retain and preserve documents as a proof their daily transactions.
University therefore generates records to support their activities they carry out on a daily basis. Nevertheless, In any case, if records are not managed appropriately, the information and data might be misplaced and that leads to issues for the institution. To have a productive and successful university there must be appropriate management of records that guarantees the institution to run smoothly
However, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15489 (2001) describes records management as the field of management liable aimed at the well-organized and orderly control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, comprising the procedures meant for capturing and retaining proof of an information that includes university performances and transactions in the form of records.
Again Mrwebi (2000) shows that information is the key role in cost-effective improvement of the university which remains important for any business form to work well. Information is the university best basic and important skill, which recorded information requires operational management.
Mrwebi further states that university generates huge quantities of information and thus larger volumes of records, in both paper and electronic formats. It is important that information is created, maintained and well-kept in an organized system that keeps its transparency and reality as well as achieving legitimate and fiscal requirements.
According to Shepherd (2006), explains that in the university records are used to support accountability, when they want to show that they have encountered their requirements or observed with the best exercise or well-known rules. If record system is not managed well the performance of responsibilities will be more challenging, thus the university will incur some cost for the all resources and makes them helpless to safety openings, trial and shame.
According to Duose (2009) it says when the records officers maintain their records well; the records would all the time be present to display the condition the way it is. He further says that nobody will say about good control, fairness and instruction of act once records are not preserved well. In future, the requirement for precise records management at the various units, sections, departments and faculties is very important.
Technical University of Kenya
The technical university is an innovative type of university in Kenya, whose mandate shall be to offer Higher Education and Research in Technology.
As an institution of higher learning, TU-K shall offers undergraduate degrees at the Bachelor’s level. To this extent in addition to producing graduates at the fully professional degree level, TU-K continues in the tradition that has been set by KPUC in offering as well degrees aimed at producing technologists.
The technologist on the other hand is normally concerned with the actual production of artifacts and the implementation of systems. TU-K offers the degree of Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) for those aiming to be technologists. Parallel with this however, TU-K also offers the full professional degrees in various fields. For instance, it is intended to offer degrees such as Bachelor Engineering (B.Eng.), Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), and Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.).
1.2 Statement of problem
Records are very important asset that warranties the university management to function successfully and well, and ought to be accountable to its staff, students and the community at large. For instance Records provides decision-making, establish collections, offer prove of actions, and support the university in cases of any event.
Looking for a report or record that cannot be easily recovered is one issue that influences the university and moreover takes a lot of time when searching for the exact record.
According to Audit that was conducted on May 2016 as per ISO 9001:2008 at Technical University of Kenya shows that there have been numerous occasions whereby records were proved to be lost or misplaced hence raising questions on which records are kept by the University, how are records managed, what framework and approaches are utilized in terms of records management therefore the University is in process of transitioning to the ISO 9001:2015 Standard in years’ time.
Wamukoya and Mutula (2005) further states that, when records are not management well is guaranteed to outcome in information openings that lead to insufficient records and the damage of document legacy. Similarly, good records management plays important role in making sure that records are reserved in a good environment and can be retrieved easily whenever required..
Furthermore, when there is poor records management, it is very hard to clarify for every conclusion in use. Corruption and untruthfulness cannot be easily spotted and be managed in the event that there is no evidence recorded. In the case of the Technical University of Kenya, there is a challenge in the management of records such that it is not clear on how records are managed both physical and electronic form.
Therefore, according to poor management of records it raises questions on which records to keep that the researcher interested to research on the assessment of records management since there is no reference of any study that has been done in regard to records assessment management practices at the Technical University of Kenya
However records that justify evidential requirements are being created in the university system that is accurate, reliable and trustworthy but not properly managed (Longe, 2001). Based on the problems stated above the need for the university to keep proper records and should not be overstated. Therefore is important to conduct a study concerning assessment of records management practices amongst administrative staff at Technical University of Kenya.
1.3 Aim of the Study
The aim of this study is to assess the practice of records management among administrative departments in Technical University of Kenya with a view of enhancing protection of vital information.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study are to:
1) Determine the kinds and types of records generated and managed
2) Establish the Records Managements practices and policies
3) Find out the challenges faced by staff in an attempt to effectively perform the operations
4) Propose possible solutions/recommendations for the above challenges
1.5 Research Questions
To achieve the above objectives, the study sought to answer the following questions;
1. What kinds and types of records generated and managed at the Technical University of Kenya?
2. What are the Records Managements practices and policies at the Technical University of Kenya?
3. What are challenges faced by staff in an attempt to effectively perform the operations at the Technical University of Kenya??
4. What solutions/recommendation are associated with records management at the Technical University of Kenya?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The learning will be very important towards different investors thus will help management of TUK to prepare the organizational staff on the importance of actual records management practices in the university. Also, the learning will help the management of TUK to raise the challenges associated with records management and how to address them.
However, it would assist learners and the common community to know how proper records management is vital. The learning also will help disclose the condition for good records management for real planning of TUK to ensure rapid growth and development.
It will also help identify the need to use appropriate filing system to meet daily actions of different departments within the university.
Moreover, the learning will guarantee easy admission to records by legal persons; hence it will help to provide the government with quick and accurate data for effective policy preparation and regulation. Lastly, it will also add to the body of knowledge in the area of records management.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The restrictions of the study will include inadequate fund and resources and limited time allocated to carry out the research, Some of the respondent are not cooperative they are hesitant to provide information to the researcher, and some respondent provide wrong information..
Once more, the learning will limit the records administration practices amongst the staff at the Technical university of Kenya
1.8 Scope of the study
The entire research will be based at the Technical University of Kenya where the research will be focused on the assessment of records management practices amongst administrative staff at Technical University of Kenya. It therefore confined itself to units, sections, departments and faculties in the university.
Basically chapter two provides a review of literature on records management where by literature review according to Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2001:120) describe a literature review as a well-organized, clear and generative method for classifying, assessing, and understanding an current body of recorded work that was produced by researchers, scholars and practitioners. However it is different from an essay where it does not require you to build an argument on a particular issue but to analyze and evaluate key literature on a given topic to identify, compare and contrast common themes explored.
Oliver (2004:4), states that the word review in literature review’ means that one should summarize the broad content of the research study and also indicate clear ties to other studies in the field. However, Pickard (2007:26) confirms that a literature review is a critical discussion of all significant, publicly available literature that contributes to the understanding of a subject. Pickard (2007:34) further states that the literature review not only informs the researcher on the state of knowledge of the subject, but also provides an insight into methodology. Thus the researcher can not only provide a summary of the study, but also the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology.
The main purpose of a literature review is to establish the academic and research areas that are relevant to the subject under investigation which is assessment of records management practices amongst administrative staff of Technical university of Kenya.
2.1 Records continuum concept
According to records continuum concept, activities and interactions transforms documents into records, evidence and memory that are used for various reasons in future. This concept highlights that those records deemed as having continuing value are retained and controlled as active records or as archives. This theory also suggest that records are both current and archive at the point of creation
According to this model, records control happens even before the records are created. This involve the identification of records management requirements, policies, systems, processes, laws, and mandates that effects on what is created and how they will be controlled. This concept also suggests that records that have a continuing value should be retained and managed as archives. Therefore, it has an implication on records in that systems and processes can be established and put in place even before records are created to enhance records control.
This concept also suggests many and diverse perspectives that contribute to records and archives control, including organizational, individual and institutional. For instance, records undergo the same process where they are created, utilized, retained and managed as archives. These records require proper control right from the time they are created until when they are preserved and managed as archives. This task calls for the identification of records control requirements, formulation of policies, processes and identification of systems and mandates that effect on how these records control will be achieved.
2.2 Definitions of Records Management
Records management, according to Miller, Roger and Steward (1999:19) is the area of general administrative management concerned with achieving economy and efficiency in the creation, maintenance, use and disposal of the records of an organization throughout their entire life cycle and in making the information they contain available in support of the business of that organization.
ISO 15489:2001 defines records management as the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records. Records can be referred as recognized data, in any form, created or received and maintained by an organization or person in the transaction of business or conduct of affairs and kept as evidence of such activity.
Dictionary (2000), characterizes a record as a record in composing or other changeless frame filling in as a commemoration or bona fide proof of certainties or occasions. It is viewed as data passed on or safeguarded. Penn, Pennix and Coulson (1994) depict records administration as the administration of any data gathered in generative frame that is necessary for leading business
Records administration is depicted as methods for good data administration, enhancing and revealing the administration of associations (Yusof and Chell, 1999). Smith, then again, tries to describe records administration by stressing the capacities that ought to be taken up by the program. Consequently works depend on the record’s life cycle that extents period, dynamic utilize, dormant utilize and transfer (1986: 9). Information management is a larger concept within which records management falls. In other words, the main purpose of records management is to manage and control the flow of records with the necessary information within the university. Information management also entails the management of all the information in the university as well as the management of the people, hardware, software and systems that produces the information.
2.3 Types of records
There are two types of record that the university uses to create records for their daily activities and they are as follows:
These are records which are generated from records office in form of hard copy whereby they are produced by either typing or photocopy for example memos or letters.
Electronic or Digital Records
These are records that have been generated and can also be read by a computer. However they are either be born digital or digitized.
2.4 Benefits of Records Management to an organization
1. Records should be well managed in order to ensure they are protected for both administrative purposes and to serve as evidence of the university’s work. The process of caring for records is known as records management. Records are important to university management and for it to be successful it relies on information to improve university daily activities for effectiveness, efficiency and productivity and the following are the benefits;
2. Good records management preserve university memory where a proper records management program can ensure that the work, research, and information that is generated by an employee during his or her tenure is captured and managed appropriately to avoid being be lost and it would be easy for the university to store every kind of record that has been created thus also help the university to retrieve any kind of record required. Saur (2005:31) says corporate memory is information of an organization that is of value for re-use
3. Good records management saves time when records are managed well where it will be easy to locate and retrieve without consuming a lot of time and also it should easily accessible whenever they are required
4. When records are managed according to a formal records retention policy, it is easier to respond to an audit or litigation where record staff knows what they have, where it is and the ones that were disposed of.
5. Good records management identifies records that have permanent historical value to the University and continued to be used by University administration and also the researchers.
6. Records management helps in protecting vital information.
The Technical University of Kenya will therefore need a complete program for protecting its vital records and information from disaster because every university is at risk of losing it. Therefore records programs preserve the integrity and confidentiality of the records and safeguards according to records management plan of the university. Records management helps to control the creation and growth of records. An effective records management program addresses both records management program,
Records management helps improve efficiency and productivity since searching for missing records is time consuming and overwhelming therefore good records management program can help any organization upgrade its record keeping systems so that information retrieval is enhanced. A well designed and operated records system with an effective index can facilitate retrieval and deliver information to users as quickly as possible.
Records management helps to ensure regulatory compliance where university will ensure they comply with the rules and regulations by operating a good records management program which takes responsibility for every record they have. .
Records management helps to support better management decision making thus proper records management program ensures that decisions are made with documented proof where by it ensures that university employees have the information they need when they require it and to know for how long will a record be kept before disposal.
Good Records management should have disaster preparedness programs to identify risks which may cause emergencies or disasters to the university then the assessment will be done to consider how damaging the emergencies or disasters might be to the information of university.
After identifying the risk which might occur in a university the impact analysis must also be conducted and it is necessary to consider both the tangible and intangible consequences that could result from a loss of university daily activities
Good record management control the creation and disposal of records by ensuring Policies and procedures must be put in place to control the creation, retention and disposal of records where a proper records management system would help to organize and identify records which must be retained for day-to-day business operations and systematically dispose of when no longer needed.
2.5 Organizational records management program requirements
For an organization to recognize the above benefits, there should be a support from top management in order have proper records management practices in support of the organization’s business transaction. The top management will be able to embrace records management standards by having the leadership qualities which will aid in managing the records. However in an organization there should be records manager, being delegated to take care of all organizational records management projects. The records manager must be a person who is able to encourage records management standards to the organization. Without the support of organizational top management the records management program will not function well.
However, good organizational records management program is secured when there is policies and procedures in an institution for creating and storing records in both paper and electronic format that are supported by an institution administrators.
The organization must have its own records management policy which shows how records can be created, used, preserved and finally deposited at the end of its life-cycle. An effective records management program requires organizational file plans that help in listing records types so that information can be traced without depending on staff. File plans, are also called records inventories, which in turn helps to;
i) To gather information series,
ii) To collect information on up-to-date disposal practices and on known legal requirements for the creation and retention of records.
iii) To identify types of equipment and supplies currently used for storing records,
iv) To establish the quantity of space occupied by records
v) To provide information on the purpose and functions of record series, to collect together information on where record series are currently stored,
vi) To establish the frequency of access to individual record series,
An effective records management system need to have an important records protection program that classifies and safeguards those records that are critical for immediate restart of an organization’s business process following a disaster
A complete Disaster Preparedness Plan is one of the important features of an organization record management program. Without a disaster plan in an organization will lead to losing of records including vital records which will help the organization in case of emergency or a disaster.
In addition, an organization records management must have a documented Records Retention Schedule that lists Records Services and the expected retention time periods. Record appraisal and disposal is the key to effectiveness of records management to an organization.
2.6 Records Life-Cycle
Life of a record is compared to biological organisms which is born, lives, and dies where the record is created, used and disposed by either destruction or transfer to an archival institution. However in life cycle of records there are three biological ages that are seen equivalent of three phases namely current or active phase, semi-current or semi active phase, non-current or inactive phase. In the life cycle
Current or Active phase
These are records which are regularly used in the conduct of current business and therefore maintained near the place of origin or in the records office or registry.
Semi – current or Semi – active phase
These are records still used but infrequently in the conduct of the current business and maintained in the records Centre waiting for disposal.
Non – current or Inactive phase
In the current phase records are no longer used for the current business and therefore are destroyed unless they have enduring value and the records value are normally referred to for historical purposes, Research, information, or administrative purposes. An effective records management program recognizes the importance of managing records
2.7 Records Appraisal
Appraisal is the term used for assessment of value of records on how long all record need to kept for business purposes and whether the record can be destroyed when it is no longer needed by the organization or transferred to archives, because it is for historical and cultural value.
2.8 Appraisal Purposes
For a record to be effective the following purposes should be considered. Well documented appraisal policy, methodology and procedures provide transparency and accountability for disposal action. Appraisal is the process that identifies the need for records and the outcomes of appraisal are records disposal and retention. Records of ongoing value are identified and managed appropriately. Easy access to current needed records thereby improving on efficiency and effectiveness to organizational operations. Records appraisal helps prevent destroying early records of the organization before they reach the end of their life-cycle.
2.9 Records Retention Schedules
The purpose of record appraisal is to decide the value of each organizational record and the result of such use is the records retention schedule. Educause (2008:5) asserts that “records scheduling is a process for determining the life of a record in each stage of the information life cycle (from creation through disposal). Scheduling takes into account not only the practical business life of records satisfying administrative, fiscal and research needs, but also federal, state and local requirements.” A records retention schedule offers direction and guidance on record keeping requirements and conditions.
In addition, Moses (2006:7) affirms the centrality of records retention/ disposal schedules ensures compliance with records management principles by ensuring that records that have been identified as archives with retention schedules.
2.10 Disposition of Records
Disposition is the destruction of records or the transfer of records to archives for permanent preservation. An Organization’s records disposition program provides approved routine procedures to dispose or transfer records that are no longer needed in the office for current agency business. Keller (2009) goes on to say during the disposition process, records are approved for destruction or transfer according to the policies and procedures of the organization. Records containing sensitive information should be destroyed in a secure way that protects privacy, such as shredding, incineration or secure digital destruction. Records containing non-sensitive information may be disposed of in the trash, recycling or the less secure digital destruction.
2.11 Challenges Associated with Records Management
Records keepers’ have inadequate knowledge or skills and competences for handling records and archives in the university. Due to inadequate skills in information technology, records managers and archivists are very conservative and have fear for computers. The conversion of paper based records management activities to electronic format will not succeed in university if the records management processes are not structured in an efficient and effective way.
The other challenge associated with records management in the university is inadequate finance since the management will not be able provide money to purchase equipment’s in order to have proper and efficient electronic records management. However, the other challenge was lack of retention and disposal schedules, where the university had no proper management programme that will guide the managers on how long the records should be kept before being disposed of. Moreover another challenge is poor supervision of records staff in this case if records officers handling record are not supervised they will end up not performing their duties well and thus also will not deliver services efficiently.
Lack of knowledge about the importance of information in university is another challenge whereby if records are not secured the important information will be leaked out or get lost
Absence of an archival institution, where by record storage is challenges associated with records management which results into loss of document or misplaced whenever a document is needed it will take long for it to be retrieved. However if important records are needed for a legal matter, such as defending the university against a lawsuit, not supplying the appropriate documents can cost huge sums of money, or even mean the termination of the business entirely.
On the other hand record storage depending upon the nature of business which the university keeps their records, and how long the university has operated, thus may find itself running out of space. The challenge in supporting the implementation of the Management of Information Policy to ensure that they had the capacity to provide leadership and guidance on many information and knowledge management issues which includes metadata standards, records management, business activity and the structure of classification systems, content management, long-term access and preservation of information technologies. The other challenge related to the need to acquire resources, to develop a tough information technology infrastructure for the long-term preservation of, and access to, management of records.
A Disaster Preparedness Plan is one of the important features of a university record management program failure to have a disaster plan it will lead to loss of its records including vital records which could not make it possible for the university to return back into its normalcy in case of emergency or a disaster. Lack of records management systems in place, with absence of the use of classification schemes, retention schedules and systematic disposal of records, resulting in heavy congestion of offices and poor retrieval of information.
2.12 Summary of the Chapter
Records play endless roles in university since managers and staff use them on a routine basis for carrying out different administrative duties especially decision making. The information contained in records helps to enlighten and educate staff on issues relevant to the university. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations for improvement will be made. The major recommendations are: adequate filing system should be adopted for filing records so that they can be retrieved quickly when needed.
Proper appraisal, retention and disposal of records should be done. There is need for records managers or officers to have relevant skills for themselves, in order to offer required services. Universities should provide adequate storage and security facilities for records to avoid damage and loss of records.
Finally, provision of adequate space, funds and the use of information technology in storage and retrieval of records in university would facilitate faster access and use of available data. It is recommended that the Records Manager be provided with adequate training to ensure that this officer is able to undertake the full responsibilities of their daily activities.?
This chapter discusses the research methods and techniques that will be used when carrying out the research study. The chapter presents the research design, population and sampling techniques, data collection tools, data analysis and the data quality control of the research study.
The research methodology of a study refers to the set of procedures and methods that the researcher uses to conduct research. Research methods had to be evaluated in order to explain what information will be required, how it will be procured more accurately and more cheaply and how it will be analyzed. Sudden changes to the research design, limitations of the research design, acknowledgement of the shortcomings of the execution of the study and proper issues must be dealt with when evaluating research procedures. There are usually approaches to research that are quantitative or qualitative, and with a third dimension referred to as the mixed method approach that encompasses both qualitative and quantitative methods.
The chapter presents the methodology that is going to be used in carrying out the study and discusses the study viewpoint and policy used in the study in pursuit with the aims of the study. Furthermore the chapter has advantages and disadvantages of making use of the research strategy utilized in this study so as to justify its use. It also discusses about the research design, the target population, sampling techniques, and data collection tools that will be used in the study. In addition, the chapter discuss on how the issue of ability and consistency will be addressed within the study. To conclude it looks at the data analysis method used in the study in relation to the goals of the study as well as moral considerations within the study.
This research study will be carried out at Technical University of Kenya main campus. This institution of higher learning is located in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and it is located in the Central Business District of the city.
3.3 Research Design
Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information on a particular topic. The central role of research design is to minimize the chance of drawing incorrect causal inferences from data. Research design aims at identifying variables and their relationship Nwana (1981). The researcher in this case will use descriptive design method which will entail quantitative research approach. This will allow measurements of relationship between variables. The application of quantitative approach will ensure accurate data is obtained in the research process. It is therefore, research design can be said to be a guide to the researcher in her efforts to generate data for her study
3.4 Population of the Study
The term population refers to a well-defined group from which a sample can be drawn and which is specified in very concrete terms Neuman, (2000). An example of a population can be a person, a group, an organization, a written document or symbolic message, or even a social action under study. According to Mugenda and Mugenda (1999) research population is the complete set of individuals.