INDEXING & MAINTENANCE OF FILES (PL-113)Importance of Maintaining Correspondence in Files A file contains records and record hold information vital to the interest of the Company. Information in the files relate to various transactions, assets & liabilities, historical events relating to the company, policy matters etc. Records of company, policy matters etc. constitute a valuable possession to the company, as any other of its resource. Records to an Organisation are what eyes, ears and mouth are to an individual. When the organization is too small (like sole proprietorship or small partnership concerns) most of the information of the business is personally looked after by one person and such information is normally retained in his own memory. Filing system does not or may not play a major role, but when the business grows and its office is organized into multiple persons looking after its administration, record come to play a dominant and decisive role. Criteria for a good filing system A file is a data store. As materials are kept in the store or godowns, information (i.e. data) relating to the company is stored in the files. The functions in both cases are similar. Stores maintain large number independent bins for keeping different categories and sizes of materials. Store management should provide smooth receipt of incoming goods, and quick delivery of material needed by handling to relevant persons. We follow the procedure of identifying a particular place for keeping each store items and we do keep the said item only in the place provided. In the same manner a good filing system should provide the following:-
- Classified system of files i.e. subject wise, department wise, activity-wise organization of files. Each category in turn is further classified into sub-categories in which it is known as hierarchical structure of files. This system will enable a smooth growth of the filing system, as the business grows in volume and complexity.
- Smooth & quick filing of new records every new record coming to the organization should relate to a particular file, easily identifiable and it should be in the normal scenario the dealing with letter should be done with letter in file, i.e. as a part of the file. The letter will move with the file and not in its loose form.
- Easy & Prompt retrieval of records Even when a particular record is needed relating to a subject which is about one or two years old, it should be possible to get the record, identifying its source file and place of storage within 5 minutes. This is the benchmark of a good filing system.
- No Occasion for misplaced record a perfect filing system will not allow even a single record to be misplaced.
- Updating of records as we identify old, unusable scrap article from the store and remove them periodically, it should be possible to segregate old unwanted (no longer required)record from the storage and destroy them.
- Every file should bear a name, based on the subject description of its contents. The name of the file should indicate the category of letters stored in the file. The name should be prominently written on the file folder.
- As letters are filed within the folder date wise according to the date of receipt, each letter should be paged. The period of commencement of the files and the starting page number should be entered in the file at the time of its initial opening. When the file is completed, the date when it’s closed and the last page should be mentioned at the top.
- A good filing system should be flexible. As our activities expand and new types of transactions and dealing subjects crop up, the existing filling structure should be able to accept and absorb them without restructuring the whole system.
- In addition to giving a name for the file, identify the file through code no. which indicates full information to us about the file, while not conveying the same to the outsiders. The file code number should be mentioned in our correspondence on the subject relating to the file. As our letters reach the addressee and they quote our file reference mentioned in our letter, in their response, the link between the reply and its connected file is thus quickly established.
- As letters are received in the company and entered in the inward diary register, the name of the file (or its reference number) where the particular letter is filed should be mentioned in the disposal column of the diary register. This will enable subject retrieval of the letter on a reference easily.
- A letter received for disposal by a section at the office from the dairy section on receipt, moves from person to person (generally) from the junior level to the senior level and back in the process of its disposal and this movement of the letter should be along with the concerned file, i.e. the letter should be placed in the file and the entire file should move. The connected information from the file should thus be available to all persons handling the letter in the course of its disposal.
- Finally, a well-organized filing system should enable switching over computerization of our records smoothly, whenever programmed.
We have organized our filing system based on the above cardinal principles and our filing system is functioning smoothly for over a couple of years now and has been able to absorb the quantum spurt in our business & activity growth without any sign of structure deficiency.
File Coding system used by us
Custody of files is department-wise and our code number consists of the following components, each indicating a meaning to us as under:-
- Commencing letter “F” representing the word file.
- Next one to two digits. This number identifies the main subject or category to which the particular file pertains.
- The next number within brackets, indicate the sub-number, or further classification under the main head.
- Next two numbers representing the year. This is represented to indicate the calendar year.
- The Last part of the code3 is the representation three letters ‘PLL’ for the company’s name. An Example of code used in a file ‘F-(6)97/PLL’ is based on the above illustration.
Section wise files must be indexed in a register. Some of the section may be having multiple series of files and under each series there may be some hundreds of files (e.g. individual files opened for Dealers). Present arrangement of files section wise is enclosed in an Annxure-1
Disposal of correspondence-nothing to be made in the file
The file is the container, which contains the letter(s) to be disposed and the whole set moves as a single unit. We have divided the file into two parts. The first part is nothing portion and second the part contains the correspondence papers serially date wise. When a letter is to be dealt by a dealing person, he must put up his/ recommendation on the action to be taken in the blank sheet appended in the nothing portion. Where necessary flag may be attached to the concerned letter to which the nothing pertains. Other Operational guidelines for staff to follow in the working of the system
- Before placing papers in the files, check the subject of the file for correctness
- The file should contain two tags, one for nothing portion and the other for correspondence portion. The tags should not be tightened and kept loose as it makes the file quite flexible and writing on the file become easier.
- Officers and staff initiating nothing on the file should give their designation and date along with their initials below their note. The designation of the officers to whom it is being sent should also be marked.
- The routine files received by any officer/staff should be cleared on the same day. If any matter which requires some policy decision, consultation or otherwise, be put up within 2-3 days explaining the reasons for the delay in submission.
- Dairy clerk should note that all the files received by him/her should be passed on to the respective desk without loss of time and efforts should be made to avoid delays as much as possible.
- Submitting note sheet/paper in loose form is to be avoided. All such papers should be put in respective files so that there is no chance for their misplacement.
- All the correspondence within the office should be done on inter-office memo only.
- If any paper is to be submitted in the absence of main file, it should be sent in a separate file giving part file no. and the same subject be mentioned in the original file so that there is no difficulty in merging it in the main file. Opening of part file should also be entered in index register.
- All the noting done in the note portion should give clear indication if note portion is to be referred (p…n/) and in case of correspondence portion (p…/c) so that there is no difficulty in l
- ocating that particular reference. All the noting should be done in green A4 sheet.
- All should fix different slips for e.g. ”URGENT” and “COURT Case”, for matters which require urgent attention. URGENT in RED color and for court cases the slip in yellow color should be affixed on the file (available in stationery). This will attract immediate attention of the officer and hence avoid delay.
- The final DFA approved by the competent authority should be kept in file along with fair office copy. No need to keep the pervious draft at various stages.
- The Dak /files may be sent to CEO through A.M (service) twice a day i.e. 1.00pm and 5.30 p.m.
- In case, any file is lying with CEO for more than three days, a reminder should be sent to A.M (service) for its latest position and early clearance.
- Any action requiring personal attention of CEO should come in writing and no verbal talk will be entertained.
- All staff members who are performing the jobs entrusted to them honestly/efficiently will be rewarded suitably by the management by way of extra monetary benefits
At the beginning of a new accounting, we may start fresh files in specific cases (e.g. indent file, Invoices file etc., which are relevant for the year) other case when the existing file gets bulky, a new file may be started. When a new file is started, it will have the same index number. The previous file will be marked as ‘part-1 and the current (new) file as Part-2. Here the old file (Part-1) will be referred as the old record and will be in the operative custody of the record keeper. Part -2 will be called the current record and will be in the period, when reference to contents of both files are frequently needed slip (PF-39) files in the record store to be kept department/section-wise with a separate index, which will not only give the name of the file and section to which it belongs, but also mention the period of the file (beginning period and ending period) and the date when it was transferred to the old record.
Requisition of files from old record
When the old files are needed for reference, a requisition slip may be sent to the record keeper (PF-21) who will deliver the same against signature in the slip again, which will then be filed and kept by the record keeper.
Destruction of old records
Files which become stale with information that is no longer relevant should be sorted out once in a year and market for destruction. (e.g. after an employee’s leaves service and no claim/dispute is pending in his case, his file may be deemed as irrelevant after the lapse of 3 year from the date of his leaving . Even if there may be some claims in either side, such claims become unenforceable at this point of time (expiry of 3 year). The file may mark for destruction and subsequently destroyed by burning of the same.
SECTIONWISE LIST OF FILES IN USE CURRENTLY
|MAJOR HEAD(CODE NO.)||MAJOR HEAD (DESCRIPTION)||SECTION TO WHICH PERTAINS||REMARKS|
|F1||Company Establishment (Correspondence with Ministry, Statutory Authorities etc.||Service|
|F2||All Dealing pertaining to Dealers, Distributor and business Associates.||Marketing Department|
|F3||Administration, Staff, Establishment etc.||Service|
|F5||Insurance||Procurement & Supply|
|F6||Project & Plant (owned & On lease/Hire)||Procurement & Supply|
|F7||Procurement of Store & material||Procurement & Supply|