Records being very key in decision making process, the University administration saw it wise to train the key officers charged with the responsibility of creation, storage and archiving of records in a two days seminar organized by the Administration Department at the Central Catering Unit and presided over by the Vice-Chancellor on January 18-19, 2015.
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter M. F. Mbithi noted that every employee is important in the becoming of the University and hence the reason they were hired. “When a car stops moving, it is not because the engine has fallen down. It could be a small thing that has fallen and you are the small thing that drives the car engine, without it, the car can’t move,” he said.
He noted that the records kept help him in quick decision making process. Records also help in the planning purposes, noted the Vice-Chancellor. As per the ISO rules, that which you don’t know, you can’t improve and it is from records that you develop the know-how.
Prof. Mbithi urged those in attendance to have a vision for their departments and to improve on their functions. He charged them to gather all their energy and using the Principle of “seven down with one blow”, they can knock out everybody and become number 1 in Africa.
Speaking during the sensitization Workshop, Mr. Benard Kiigeh, Deputy Registrar (Personnel) noted that virtually all employees were hired because of records. “You presented to us your records, and we did the short listing and hired you,” he said. He added that the University is now ranked 7 in Africa because of records.
Records Manager, Mr. Omollo, noted that since the University is ISO Certified, we follow ISO 15489 Records Management Standard to properly file records according to their functional units.
The staff members were made aware that records should be used without loss of integrity and meaning to the institution. Those in charge of records were told that the records are evidence of what has transpired in any organization. The laws regarding custody of records states that all records form part of national archives. All records belong to the state and hence export of any records made in Kenya is prohibited.
Official records can also not be destroyed unless with authority from the Director, Kenya National Archives. The University staff, comprising of Secretaries, Technologists and Clerks were made aware that as per the Government of Kenya Security Manual, 2005, there are 4 levels of secrecy of documents: Top Secret, Secret, Confidential and Restricted.
“Research shows that 40% of the time, we are looking for records. 70% of the time, we are recreating records, because we couldn’t find the original documents and since the coming of the computers information keeps growing at 200%, “says Ms. Mary Machio from Kenya National Archives, one of the lead trainers during the sensitization workshop. It is in this respect that proper classification, indexing of records is key for any organization, she added.
The role of the Secretary involves availing of records fast to aid in decision making, uploading the information quickly for people to access and protection of records from leakage.