The Effectiveness of Records Management Practices at the Judiciary: A Case of Eldoret High Court Registry, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Mwangi, June Wanjiru
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Efficiency in managing court records has been a key issue of concern for the Kenyan Judiciary. Good records management practices are vital for timely administration of justice. This study addressed the key issues related to records management. They include missing and misplaced files, incomplete files and poor physical state of the files that hindered the administration of justice for the parties seeking justice and backlog of cases. Records management practices have been put in place to streamline these issues. The study sought to assess effectiveness of records management practices in place at the Eldoret High Court. The study was guided by research objectives and sought to assess the policies and procedures in place at the Eldoret High Court; the disposal procedures, compliance and accountability procedures that are in place at the high court. The study used descriptive research design, and data was collected using questionnaires. Purposive sampling was used to select the sample for this study. There were 27 respondents selected for the purpose of this study since they are the personnel that handle records and are knowledgeable on records management practices. Pilot study was carried out at the Nakuru High Court registry staff. Validity was ensured by administering the questionnaires to the Nakuru high Court to assess ambiguity and relevance of the questions in the questionnaires. The reliability of the research tools in the pilot study ensured that gaps, ambiguous statements and errors in the questionnaires were identified. The validity also sought to establish if the questionnaire would collect the intended data. Data analysis was by use of SPSS and descriptive statistics and represented using graphs and charts. The findings revealed that there is a records management program in place and the classification system enhances ease of retrieval of the files. Despite having records management measures in place, the issues of missing files, poor state of records is still prevalent. The major recommendation was ICT adoption in the management of records to achieve efficiency in handling court records. The significance of this study was to provide guidelines understand their roles and responsibilities in handling records and ensure efficient records management practices in managing the case files at the Eldoret high court registry.