INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) AND RECORD-KEEPING CHALLENGES BY NIGERIA POLICE FORCE
Crime has become very sophisticated as some criminals make use of the very latest technology. To handle this, the Nigerian police force has to develop equally sophisticated methods of crime detection and prevention. Legislation has also been updated to allow the police to gather evidence on the criminal activity carried out via the internet, for example.
Information is the keyword in crime detection and this information must be accurate and easily available. ICT has a huge role to play in this. As Nigeria transitions into the new world economy, a number of factors should be operational to make traditional ways of policing obsolete… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter gives an overview of the research for a deeper understanding of the research. It gives the background of the study and study area, the problem to be investigated, the purpose of the study, the research objectives, and the research questions that were used in the investigation of the problem. In the same way, this chapter offers conceptual analysis, gives the scope of the study, and the importance of the study to the Nigerian police force, students, and its contribution to the field of Records and Archives Management (RAM).
Background of the Study
Security issues consistently rank among the most pressing concerns of citizens in Nigeria. Terrorism, organized crimes, drugs, and violence have an impact upon citizens‟ perception of their immediate surroundings and also shape their attitudes towards the state and its representatives.
Police are one of the most ubiquitous organizations in society. The policemen, therefore, happen to be the most visible representatives of the government. In an hour of need, danger, crisis, and difficulty, when a citizen does not know, what to do and whom to approach, the police station and a policeman happen to be the most appropriate and approachable unit and person for him.
The police are expected to be the most accessible, interactive, and dynamic organization of any society. Their roles, functions, and duties in the society are natural to be varied and multifarious on the one hand; and complicated, knotty, and complex on the other… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Duties of Police Force in Nigeria:
According to the National Police Commission set up by the Government of Nigeria in 1997, the duties and responsibilities of the police are as under:
- To promote and preserve public order… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Concept of ICT:
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a generic name used to describe a range of technologies for gathering, storing, retrieving, processing, analyzing, and transmitting the information. The police force makes use of ICT in many areas of its operation such as records maintenance, surveillance through the CCTV technology, and traffic through the speed cameras that are usually mounted on police cars. The use of ICT in the police force has greatly enhanced service delivery to the public.
Role of ICT in the Nigerian Police Force
Policing is a highly complex, information-led activity that requires the integration of multiple data sources, often in short time frames. The sensitive nature of most information and the severe consequences of possible errors further increase the relevance of adequate design and use of ICT. ICT systems present an opportunity for police forces to increase their capabilities. ICT concepts, architecture, and design have matured significantly and are subject to continuous innovation.
Relevant ICT may range from systems installed in public environments over PC-based systems in offices, to systems installed in cars and mobile systems used on-site. In addition to systems that are specifically designed for the police, ICT in use by the general public may offer the police new means of dealing with their tasks. Emerging ICT and their appropriation by society may also constitute a threat that demands new competencies and practices to be developed and integrated into existing police work.
Offenders could use systems directly against the police or against the general public. The extended use of ICT turns out to be much more than just a technical innovation to make police work easier and more efficient. Technological innovations change the organization and its environment in various ways… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Statement of the Problem
ICTs are of great value in record-keeping and as early as 1998, the government of Nigeria, recognizing the need to develop appropriate and deliberate policies and strategies for ICT, initiated a consultative process to formulate a National ICT Policy (IRMT, 2011). ICTs form an integral component of records since they play a great role in improving creation through the use of advanced technologies that enhance the life of a record… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
To identify the various records kept at the Nigeria Communication Commission:
- To find out how ICT has enhanced record keeping.
- To identify the challenges faced by NPF in the use of ICT in the creation and distribution of information/records… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter attempts to identify, and synthesize various related works which include websites, newspapers, articles, books, reports, circulars, and other documents to explain the concepts that relate to this research. The chapter gives views of different authors as regards the role of ICT in record keeping.
Types of Records
Records are created in various forms and they take various formats depending on the technologies that were used for their creation. However, it’s important to note that when determining what to maintain as a record, consider the retention schedule, which lists the types of records created by different parts of the organization and how they should be treated, (Leathart, 2013).
Records need to be kept for either legal or operational reasons. The retention schedule lays out the periods for which these records should be kept. He further stresses that it is the content, context, and structure of a record that is important rather than the format of a record. Read and Ginn assert (2008), that there are majorly 3 types of records and they are discussed below:
- Administrative records – these help employees perform operations. Fiscal records used document operating funds and other financial processes. Examples of such records include; policies and procedures, handbook, organizational charts, tax returns, records of financial transactions: purchase and sales orders, invoices, balance sheets, and income statements… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
How ICTs have enhanced record-keeping
In recent years, electronic information has gradually become a major resource in every university library and this makes it necessary to strengthen the entire information management lifecycle, (Shuling, 2007). It is therefore important to appreciate the role of ICT in record keeping as enhanced.
Better service delivery is facilitated by the ease of people using email, telephone, website, and text messaging. In addition, reliance on ICT is that it reduces surface-level distinctions between members that contribute to the formation of in-groups and ingroup favoritism (Malhotra, & Majchrzak, 2014). Managers collect, manage, ensure better records tracking and distribution as well as report performance to help run organizations smoothly.
This is similar to (Reed and Bernhard, 2012), who assert that the sharing of mobile phones as the most potent source of spreading information technology and information in developing countries. According to (Saaka, 2013), the Government of Nigeria, recognizing the need, implementation, and development of e-governance, it had to establish NITA as a semiautonomous body under the ministry of ICT. This is to regulate and facilitate record-keeping between ministries, departments, and parastatals… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Challenges associated with the use of ICT in record keeping
Governments in the developing world are under a lot of national and international pressure to increase transparency, support decentralization, decrease corruption, and participate in global digital information sharing, (Jager and Reijswoud, 2006). This implies that there are numerous challenges hampering record keeping. In the same vein, they assert that;
- Implementing District Net was a major challenge from the start, and the rural setting and scale posed some new and unexpected problems. For instance, professional technical ICT knowledge and computer literacy levels were much lower than anticipated.
- In addition, implementation progressed slowly until the Districts assumed ownership of the program in May 2005, at which point the quality and pace of implementation improved greatly… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Strategies for proper use of ICTs in the record-keeping
ICT systems in record-keeping should be based on a strategy that defines objectives, governance and implementation structures, and mechanisms for identifying needs and measuring performance (Ohio State University, 2011). According to Magara (2010), the National ICT policy framework provides an institutional framework for the management and coordination of information in Nigeria. The structure for this policy framework provides an environment that is conducive to the designing of an information management system.
This is why it is important to provide a strategy for ensuring the utilization of a digitization environment to ensure archiving and dissemination of information in the country. This is similar to (IRMT, 2011), that stresses that records are valuable assets, and because they are assets they must be managed by a regulatory framework that is as robust and rigorous as those that have been established for other assets such as human and financial resources… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
This chapter gives a detailed analysis of the different methods used to collect data. It further gives the different tools that were used in data collection and how they were applied or implemented for successful data collection. Since ethics is very vital in accomplishing tasks, the chapter also discusses the various ethical issues that the researcher put into the account in the data collection process and the whole carrying out of his research.
Area of study
The research focused on the role of ICT in record keeping in NPF and the study was conducted at the NPF offices in Ikeja, Lagos – Nigeria.
Creswell (2013), gives three research designs which include qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research design. For the purpose of this research, the researcher used a mixed approach which is a combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data about the role of ICT in Recordkeeping in NPF.
In the application of the design, the researcher distributed 10 questionnaires to a number of records managers, creators, and users of records. In the same way, the researcher also sampled the ICT administrators and specialists in record keeping.
The research study was restricted to the records creators, managers, users, ICT administrators, and specialists in NPF offices Ikeja, Lagos – Nigeria.
Kotrlik & Higgins (2001), denote that the determination of sample size is a common task for many organizational researchers. Inappropriate, inadequate, or excessive sample sizes continue to influence the quality and accuracy of research. To avoid the collection of inaccurate and irrelevant data in the field, the researcher used a purposive sampling technique whereby individuals involved in records management were the only ones given questionnaires.
The research methods can be best explained as the different measures the research/researcher used in data collection. The researcher used the following methods in the collection of data. The methods or measures were supported or aided by numerous quality control and ethical considerations… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter presents findings from the role of ICT in record keeping in NPF. In the research, a series of self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from the records staff, ICT workers, and other records workers. The researcher also used observation and document review in the data collection process. The chapter gives details analysis of the findings from the field. The chapter starts with giving the analysis or characteristics of the respondents.
A questionnaire was administered to selected 10 employees in NPF. These included 2 records officers, 2 records assistants’, 2 Receptionists, 2 ICT specialists, and 2 resource center attendants (staff). This was due to the nature of sampling which was purposive in nature and aimed at meeting those who are involved in the creation, management, and use of records.
Sex of respondents
Table 2: Gender response
|Gender||Number of Respondents||Responses in Percentage|
Source: Field data (2014)
According to the above table (table 1) of findings, there is a slight difference between the male respondents and female. The male respondents were 6 representing 60% and female respondents 4 representing (40%). This implies that there are equal opportunities given to both males and females. This proves the reality of gender balance or equality where all people are given equal opportunities since there has female empowerment as focused and encouraged by the government of Nigeria.
Table 3: A table showing the respondents working experience
|Designation||Number of Respondents||Period (Rating)|
Key: 1-6 months = A, 7months – 1 year = B, 2 -4 years = C, 5 years and above = D
Source: Field data, July 2014
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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In conclusion, it is possible to point out that ICT has played a great and core role in the record-keeping in the NPF. This can be evidenced in the secure, quick retrieval and update of records, accuracy in the dissemination of records, records capture, and tracking of records through the use of databases and other measures. The use of systems such as EDMS has also contributed to the role of ICT in record-keeping however there still exist challenges of having less skilled, untrained, and other employees who not ethical enough when dealing with clients as regards records distribution.
Basing on the findings and challenges faced by NPF in the use of ICT in record keeping; the researcher recommends that the following strategies be adopted if the role of ICT is to be realized in record keeping.
- Putting in place standards for record-keeping. This can aid to check on the quality of records created, distributed, and maintained by NPF. Considering IRMT (2011), there is no standardized format for the creation of records which makes it hard to realize the role of ICT… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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