An assessment of the role of records management strategies on processing benefit claims by organizations in Kenya
Otieno-Ombado, E. A.
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Organizations handle large volumes of information and receive money for and on behalf of clients for later payment; for example, contribute to various funds for their financial security after retiring from active work environment. Provident funds play a significant role as vehicles through which workers contribute towards their financial security after retirement. In Kenya, there are a number of provident funds, and the speedy processing of such information for such funds is critical. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is one such organization. At the inception stages, NSSF operated an effective system of processing benefit claims. This could largely be attributed to the small number of workers retiring then. With time, however, the situation changed. Membership and contributions increased; hence the number of transactions. This posed a big challenge to the giant National Social Security Fund; and culminated in delayed benefit processing and even loss of benefits. It is as a result of this delay that this study was conducted to establish the role that records management plays in this regard. The objective of this study was to assess the role of records management strategies in the processing of benefit claims. The specific objectives were to: i) Identify the records management strategies adopted at NSSF ii) Assess how the strategies had affected the processing of members' benefit claims. iii) Assess the implication of the storage, maintenance, security and retrieval of members' records on benefit claim processing at NSSF. iv) Recommend records management policy interventions for the effective and efficient processing of member benefit claims at NSSF. The study design adopted was descriptive design involving a population of 850 staff members. Data was collected from a sample of 85 staff selected through stratified random sampling according to staff cadre. Data was analyzed through simple statistical techniques and presented by way of charts and tables. The research findings were that: i) The records management strategies adopted at NSSF were not adequate and negatively affected the processing of members' benefit claims. ii) Records creation, storage, security and maintenance were significant in member benefit claims processing iii) The records management policy interventions for the effective and efficient processing of member benefit claims at NSSF include: a. Full(100%) automation of member records and Upgrading of ICT b. Provision of back up for all records; especially electronic records c. Development of a records management policy for the Fund d. Provision of secure storage facilities e. Training of staff on records management f. Change of attitude on records management