PROBLEMS OF FILLING AND CORRESPONDENCE IN NIGERIAN INSTITUTIONS
The aim of this project/research work is to find out the problems facing filling/correspondence in Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu and to give useful suggestions. To obtain the necessary information for the research, the researcher used the questionnaire. From the findings, it was discovered that the institution stand to loose valuable man hours, experience great delays in the execution of official duties if it takes a lot of time to find and retrieve files in offices. It was also discovered in the study that the absence of a reliable filing/correspondence systems in the institution affect the efficiency of office operations. Recommendations are made based on the findings of the study, because filing/correspondence form the core of activities in any institution, there is every need for these two tasks to be accorded due recognition and seen as a system that should be properly administered. Every institution should therefore ensure that due attention is paid to the maintenance and administration of filling/correspondence systems.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The preservation of records is one of the main functions of a good secretary in any organization. Preservation of records in an organization takes various forms depending on the size of the organization. It involves the use of different equipment and systems. Normally, records are preserved through filing, indexing and micro filing. Filing is the commonest method for safeguarding important information and records. The efficient running of an office therefore depends largely on the existence of a good and effective filing and correspondence systems.
Filing can be described as the care of records management. The key stone of office organization is the maintenance of comprehensive, simple and efficient filing system. Filing therefore is the process by which records are classified, arranged, stored, so that they may be quickly located when needed. It entails storing records in a secure place and in a manner that permits rapid retrieval. As Onibonoje (1976:115) puts it, “filing is the orderly collection, arrangement and safe keeping of information and prompt retrieval of such information as and when required for any decision. Viewed differently, bathlomew (1974:214) sees filing as involving;“… collecting letters, carbon copies, accounts, forms and documents, sorting them by placing them in folders, binders, drawers etc, for future reference”.
Whatever the meaning attached to it may be, the fact remains according to Denyer and Mugridge (1978:145), that “filing is the basis of record keeping …”Consequently, it should be seen as an independable and to any business organization. The brain of every business as far as retrieval of information is concerned.
Correspondence is equally a very vital aspect of basic office routine of any organized body, be it private, government or club. In each of these organized bodies, letter writing, typing, duplicating and in fact communication represent the core office routine. Correspondence can be said to be communication in writing on subjects of mutual interest to both. The internal and external publics of an organization. The concise Oxford Advanced Dictionary (1974:192) defines correspondence as “communication by letters”. This takes care of in-coming and out-going mails.
Denyer (1980; 274) however sees correspondence as covering:
”… many types of documents including letters, which is probably the most common method of communication between a business and its customers of the public and public organizations”. Carrying out a study of the problems of filing and correspondence systems in offices today is most essential especially as many contracts are lost due to poor filing and correspondence system. Job offers and calls for interviews are lost and staff are denied promotion simply because their files cannot be located. The choice of institute of management and Technology Enugu is informed by the fact that the school has a sizeable number of staff and does a lot of filing of its activities with both the staff students and external publics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Academic institutions, today experience cases of delays and/or loss of correspondence in their daily operations. Where records are not loss, a lot of time is wasted in digging up people’s files and vital information often get to the final recipient highly distorted and filtered. All these bring about a chaotic decline in academic activities in schools. The major problem in the study therefore is to identify likely problems facing filing and correspondence handling offices. This will be done by studding the handling of these basic office routine in institute of management and technology (IMT) Enugu.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The study on the identification of the problems of filing and correspondence is concentrated on the institute of management and technology (I.M.T) Enugu. The researcher principally aims at investigating the details of filing/correspondence in Institute of Management and Technology (I.M.T) Enugu for the purpose of revealing only weaknesses and /or strengths and suggesting improvements if necessary.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study on the identification of the problems of filing an correspondence is concentrated on the Institute of Management and Technology (I.M.T) Enugu. This study will not attempt to discuss deeply the benefits of filing and correspondence systems or the qualification of staff handling such basic routine.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work will try to provide answers to the following questions:
1. Does the retrieval of documents take a long time after filing in the Institute of management and Technology Enugu?
2. Is the filing system in institute of Management and Technology Enugu properly organized?
3. What is the cause of undue delays and loss of documents in Institute of Management and Technology Enugu?
4. How can the system adopted by Institute of Management and Technology Enugu be reliable?
5. Does improper filing and correspondence system in Institute of Management and Technology Enugu affect the growth and job satisfaction of the workers?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is essentially significant in the following ways:
(a) It will highlight some of the problems of filing ad correspondence system adopted by correspondence and personnel in offices. This will help management to appreciate the seriousness of the problems and thus take action to improve the situation.
(b) The revelations of this study will also be of special assistance to some future researchers who might be interested in finding out other problems of filing and correspondence system that are not related in this work.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study of the problems of filing and correspondence in Nigeria Institutions will be carried out in Institute of Management and Technology (I.M.T) Enugu and does not pretend to give an overview of what applies in other institutions.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Filings: This can be defined as folding clipping, holding papers for reference. It is the process by which records are classified, arranged and stored so that they may be quickly located when needed.
Correspondence: This can be defined as communication in writing on subjects of mutual interest either within the organization or with outsiders.
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