Title : Organisational Filing Scheme
Document Type : Executive Directives (CF/EXD/...)

Country : Headquarters Document Symbol/Series: CF/EXD/1990-002
Year Published : 1990 PDF Link :
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Executive Summary:

Document Text:

To: Heads of Offices
Executive Staff
Section Chiefs

From: Karin Lokhaug
Deputy Executive Director, Operations

Organisational Filing Scheme


Most UNICEF staff spend a good amount of their time manipulating UNICEF records. It is generally felt that this area is one where large improvements in productivity and work effectiveness are possible. After a review of the need for a standard organisationaI filing scheme with IRM Office and NY Directors, I have decided to proceed with the implementation of such a scheme for UNICEF.

This note explains the rational for this work and the plan of action for its implementation. IRM Office will lead this work, and I ask you to give every co-operation to this endeavour.

This work will require management commitment and the devotion of effort at the sectional, divisional and office level if results are to be achieved. However, I believe that UNICEF has come to a point in its development when a standardised records management scheme is needed.

An important principle to bear in mind is that records do not belong to individual staff members, but to the organisation. Thus they should be managed accordingly.

Reasons for a standard filing system

The benefits of a standard filing scheme are to:

Ensure that all UNICEF offices and divisions maintain mandatory files.

Help familiarisation of staff rotated between offices and divisions, as well as trainees, consultants, auditors and those covering for colleagues on leave.

Reduce staff time, costs of filing and retrieval of information, as well as reducing the space and related costs needed for files and related documents.

Facilitate the storage and retrieval of information within and between offices/divisions. Enables one division or section to know what files are maintained by another division/section, and therefore, avoids the maintenance of duplicate information and enables divisions to request others for needed information.

Enable/facilitate the setting of archival standards and their implementation.

Enable linkage between correspondence registry logging of outgoing, incoming and internal correspondence) with files and with archives.

Set the prerequisites for electronic filing and processing of text based information, and construction of standard electronic systems to support records management.

Elements of an organisational filing regime

The element of an organisational filing regime are reflected in the accompanying chart and are as follows:

1. Standards for registry of outgoing and incoming correspondence and-their relationship to follow up action and filing.

UNICEF has recommended standards in the Administrative Manual and a 1984 EXD on "Establishing functions in UNICEF Offices", which has been found useful. However, this recommendation is not completely followed in NYHQ or other offices. A standard system facilitates the filing and retrieval of records.

2. Identification of standard file series.

The major terms for a Global Classification Guide (GCG) for file series was included in the Administrative Manual. Some elaboration of this has been done on an ad-hoc basis with divisions. The results are summarised in Annex Io Most UNICEF divisions and offices have not used this scheme, and it needs to be reviewed for relevance and simplicity.

3. Standard list of subjects.

The subject terms are to be used to describe the file series and thus, aid searching and retrieval of records. UNICEF has a Thesaurus of terms, but this covers programme subjects better than other subject areas. Even the programme subject terms need updating for the new programme codes etc.

4. Appraisal criteria applied to file series.

Criteria have been specified when records are transferred to archive, and precedents are recorded for future use. A financial circular covers the criteria for major financial records, and a Supply instruction does the same for major supply records. When the file series are determined, appraisal criteria need to be developed in association with each one.

5. Standard support systems for records management.

IRM is in the process of developing computerised systems for registration of file series and archive management. This will allow sections/divisions to see what files are maintained in other divisions. Also, in April - July 1990, NYHQ will start to implement a computerised system for logging and tracking of correspondence. This will enable correspondence to be registered and tagged and notified by electronic-mail (WangOffice) to those who need to action it. In 1991 PC systems to support similar functions will be developed for introduction to field offices.

Action Plan

1. Early in 1990, implement the acquired package for NYHQ computerised logging and tracking of correspondence:

- Pilot implementation, about 100 users. 1 April - July 1990)

- Evaluate pilot for rest of NYHQ and make adjustments as necessary. (July 1990)

- Extend to full implementation. (August 1990 - March 1991)

- Consider to capture correspondence images electronically for transfer to action points. (June - December 1991)

2. Review the Global Classification Guide (GCG) for file series, and produce a revised one, as follows:

- Three HQ division were selected for initial review: Programme Division will be one of these, since it will help with an early field office review of proposed file series. Other Divisions selected were ID/DPA and Personnel. The Office of the Secretary of the Executive Board will be reviewed in October 1990.

- For each divisional review exercise, establish a team of divisional staff, including one senior person to oversee and one IRM advisor. Divisions will need to dedicate 1 GS staff member, or one short-term assistant for some months (larger divisions 6 - 8 months, smaller divisions 4 - 6 months). (February 1990)

- A preliminary appraisal, identification of major file series existing in each section and identification of existing major difficulties. (February - March 1990) List file titles where required. (April May 1990)

- Formulate a revised Global Classification Guide (GCG), taking into account the previous GCG and existing files and problems. This process will be aided by use of the IRM developed computerised system for expressing GCG. (June - August 1990)

- Sort existing files into newly defined ones, and retire old files. (September 1990 - January 1991)

- Repeat the above steps for remaining HQ divisions as previous divisions complete their exercises and IRM resources are freed up to assist. (expected October 1990 - August 1991)

Note, that each divisional exercise will focus on the file series for which that division is functionally responsible. Files relating to other functional areas will wait for the determination of the related division. When that occurs, IRM will circulate these to the divisions so that they can, in this manner, gradually review and replace all their files with the new standard.

- A few pilot field offices will be asked to comment on proposed file series classifications. (July - October 1991)

3. After they have determined their file series;, functional divisions to determine mandatory as opposed to discretionary files for all divisions and offices. For each file series, propose appraisal criteria for review, retention and destruction of records. (finalised for all divisions by end September 1991)

4. IRM Office to formulate guidelines for the implementation of the standard organisational filing system. This will be done incrementally, as each division completes its exercise. Generic training packages for all new staff will be developed with the Training Section for inclusion in orientation programme. This will include list of standard document series and types of general information which need not be filed by individual units. (to be completed by end October 1991)

5. IRM to complete a PC system to support field offices registration and control of files. (November 1990 - August 1991)

6. Field office pilot of the standard system (September - November 1991)

7. Revisions to the standard guidelines as a result of the field office pilot exercises. (November 1991 - December 1991)

8. Revised EXD on organisational filing. (31 December 1991)

9. Training support and implementation in field offices (April - September 1992)

Global Classification Guide Code Listing for Demonstration Subj: OR-735

GCG Code Title Subject

AD-000 Administration ADMINISTRATION
AD-100 General Service Administration OVERVIEW
AD-200 Accommodations ACCOMMODATIONS
AD-300 Property PROPERTY
AD-400 Communication COMMUNICATION
AD-500 Records & Archive Management RECORDS MANAGEMENT
AD-700 Data Processing DATA PROCESSING
AD-800 Travel & Transportation TRAVEL TRANSPORTATION

ER-000 External Relations EXTERNAL RELATIONS
ER-200 Fund Raising; Awards FUND RAISING
ER-400 International Agencies INT'L AGENCY
ER-500 Government Relations GOVERNMENT
ER-600 News Organizations News Organization
ER-700 Non-Government Organizations NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
ER-800 Individuals, Personalities, INDIVIDUALS, HEADS OF STATE

FI-000 Finance, Budget and Accounts FINANCE BUDGET ACCOUNTS
FI-100 General Coordinated and Over- Coordination, Overlap, General Matters
FI-200 Finance (Reports on Exchange Finance
FI-300 Budget related matters-(future Budget
FI-400 Payments for Staff (income tax Payments, Staff
FI-600 Accounts (Invoices) Payment Accounts
FI-700 Investments, bank accounts, Investments, Bank Accounts, Savings Loans
FI-800 Funding for UNICEF including Funding

IN-000 Information Material INFORMATION
IN-100 Access to Information Access
IN-200 Information Systems see also Systems
IN-300 Information Machine Transfer Machine Transfer Processing
IN-400 Creation (and Contribution) of Creation & Contribution, Print & Non-Print
IN-500 Reproduction & Distribution Reproduction Distribution Control
IN-600 Reference & Background by form Reference & Background Non-UNICEF
IN-700 Reference Materials by Subject Reference Materials Subject
IN-800 Publications and Documents Publications and Documents
IN-900 Promotion, Publicity, Advocacy Promotion, Publicity, Advocate

LE-000 Legal LEGAL
LE-200 Agreements with host countries Agreements, Host country, Staff Associations
LE-300 Legal basis for-UNICEF Legal, UNICEF
LE-400 Conventions, Privileges, Conventions, Privileges, Immunities
LE-500 Contracts Contracts
LE-600 Tribunals - International Tribunals, International Court
LE-700 Litigation, Disputes, Claims Litigation, Disputes, Claims
LE-800 Interpretation of Laws Interpretation, Laws

GCG Code Title Subject

OR-000 Organization and Management ORGANIZATION
OR-100 Policy & Procedure for UNICEF Policy, Procedure
OR-200 Structure of UNICEF; Authority Structure Authority
OR-300 Meetings - Internal UNICEF Meetings, Internal UNICEF
OR-400 Plan, Goals and Objectives Planning, Goals, Objectives, Targets
OR-500 Monitoring, Evaluation, Audits Monitoring, Evaluation, Audits
OR-600 Leadership, Control, Coordina Leadership Coordination Control Direction
OR-700 Global System Global System, Guide

PE-000 Personnel PERSONNEL
PE-100 Policy and Procedures Policy Procedure
PE-200 Recruitment of Personnel Recruitment
PE-300 Duties, Responsibilities, Duties Responsibilities Obligation Privileges
PE-400 Renumeration - including Renumeration
PE-500 Movement - Travel and Removal Movement Travel Removal
PE-600 Evaluation & Development of Evaluation Develop Career Performance Report
PE-700 Training and Course Material Training Course
PE-800 Staff Relations & Welfare, Staff Welfare Relations Disciplinary Appeals

SU-000 Supply SUPPLY
SU-200 Procurement Procurement
SU-220 Requests for Procurement Requests
SU-221 Supply List (SL) Supply List (SL)
SU-224 UNICEF Administrative UNICEF Administrative
SU-230 Local Procurement Local
SU-240 Bids Bids
SU-250 Offers - Bids Received Offers Bids Received Returned
SU-260 Purchase Orders (General) Purchase Orders
SU-261 Purchase Orders (Open) Open
SU-263 Review of Purchase Orders Review of
SU-264 Amendments to Purchase Amendments
SU-265 Purchase Orders (Closed) Closed
SU-300 Monitoring Supply, Operation: Supply OPS
SU-500 Vendors/Suppliers Vendors/Suppliers
SU-600 Commodities Commodities
SU-700 Transport of Material and Transport/Goods
SU-800 Warehouse, Storage & Packing Storage/packing