DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE)

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ABSTRACT

This research is on Design And Development of Personnel Information System (A Case Study Of National Nigerian Customs Service).

This  work intends  to provide  a computer  based system  for the maintenance of personnel records of employees in organization.  The work addresses limitations identified with manual method of handling personnel records of employees in a firm by providing a better platform to eliminate fraud, corruption, file hiding and misplacement, records falsification, duplication, fragmentation, inconsistencies and other vices  attendant  with manual  method  of handling  personnel  records.  The Personnel Information System (PIS) software is a user friendly package that gives one the fit  to accurately monitor employees’  records effortless.

With Personnel Information System (PIS), the personnel records of employees in a firm regardless of their place of assignment are simultaneously integrated and rationalized through the creation of a single system that provides accurate information to all in a time and cost  efficient manner.  This  software is  designed  for stand-alone  windows environment,  but has the ability to be networked.  The interface  is Visual Basic language  with the structured  query language  (SQL). The implementation  of the system will  provide speedy retrieval of data  as well as enhancing   effective  and efficient data.

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CHAPTER 1

1.1    INTRODUCTION:

This project is on Design And Development of Personnel Information System (A Case Study Of National Nigerian Customs Service). This chapter introduces and presents the baseline of the thesis. It provides an overview of  the  study  and the  important  issues  that will  be  discussed  and investigated.

1.2    RATIONAL/THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK:

Personnel Information System is a computer  based system for the maintenance of the service registers of individuals in an organization.

According to Hicks  and Gullet (19974; 316), “An information system may  be defined as an organized way of sending, receiving and recording messages”. Traditionally, personnel record for federal public servants of any organization in a country like ours are held in three places namely:  Open and secret register of the organization at the headquarters for all the staff of the organization in the nation. The state offices for all the staff in each particular state and local government area offices for staff posted to the local government area where applicable.

There are also operational departmental records for staff at the headquarters and states   head   offices.   This,   however, led   to  duplication, fragmentation   and inconsistencies in records of staff. Whereas, a firm’s information system should be unified, there should be no contradictions, no overlaps, and no gaps.

Information needed  by many departments  should  be  collected  by one  source, stored and made available to any section of the organization that needs it  (Unamka and Ewurum 1995; 329). Therefore, the Data are inaccurate and thus unreliable as a basis for decision making.

Unamka  and Ewurum (1995; 329) say,  “Unless   a  manager  has  the  correct information at the right time, he is unlikely to make the right decision”.

Since the data are inaccurate and unreliable, the information generated therein is of low quality and decisions taken likely to be wrong in confirmation to;

“The higher the quality of the information,  the better the result  of the decision Eating” (Unamka and Ewurum 1995; 329).

For instant, the name of a deceased local government  area staff may continue to be appearing in the register or nominal roll of the organization at the quarters years after the staff  demise,  whereas  his/her  name  has been removed  from the state register  or nominal roll list.  Secondly,  there are cases where  officers  obtained additional qualification  beside  the  ones  they were employed with, but these qualifications  are not accredited  to them at the headquarters whereas they have them at their  states  office files.  Another case  is  where a  couple  of staff  were employed at the same time, place on the same grade level and step and posted to different states, but few years later, the officers started earning different amount of money  as salaries because of one manipulation or the other. Thus data gathering and updating are subject to delay or worse when files are lost. Though the existing manual system of recording information is useful, however, with the development of PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (PIS) software,  personnel records will be simultaneously integrated and rationalized. It should then be seen as a route to eradicating all the problems of manual method of handling records through the creation of a single system that would provide accurate information to all in a time and cost efficient manner.

According to Unamka  and Ewurum (1995; 329), “Information that is  useful  in business should be accurate and timely”.

With Personnel  Information System  (PIS), the  details  pertaining  to personnel postings, qualifications, departmental test passed, training attended, family details, etc are stored  in this system. With the help of nice friendly graphical interface, retrieval  of information is  possible  based  on any individual or on collective information grouped by certain categories. These categories could be designation, retirement time, length of service, place of work or location, etc. Thus the issue of ghost workers, hiding of files, falsification of records, and other vices that are often associated with manual system will be things of the past.

Therefore, Personnel  Information System  is  very  much in  need  for  every organization.

1.2.4 BRIEF HISTORY OF NATIONAL POPULATION COMMISSION (NPopC):

The present National Population Commission was established in April 1988 by the legal instrument creating it (Decree No.23 of 1989).

The Commission is made up of the board members headed by the chairman and 37 federal commissioners, one each from all the states of the federation and federal capital territory. Also on the board is the Director General (DG) who happens to be the accounting officer of the commission. The board also has appointed secretary called the  secretary  to the  commission,  who oversees  the  secretariat  of  the commission. The board has the responsibility to formulate policies as directed by the  federal  government,  while  the  core civil  servants  are  saddled  with  the responsibilities to carry out the policies.

The  commission in other to carry out its functions effectively has  eight departments and each department is headed by a director. The departments are

  • ADMIN AND SUPPLY
  • CARTOGRAPHY
  • CENSUS
  • FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS
  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
  • PLANNING AND RESEARCH
  • PUBLIC AFFAIRS
  • VITAL REGISTRATION

The commission has its headquarters in Abuja and offices in all states capitals of the federation including the federal capital territory. It also has offices in the 774 local government   areas of the country. Presently,  the total staff  strength of the commission is about  five thousand.  The  personnel information gathering, processing and management of all the staff of the commission is carried out by the Admin and Supply department.

According to Unarnka  and Ewurum (1995; 135), “Personnel  Management also called human resource management is the management of people at work. That also refers to the functions and operations of a single department of the corporation which has the responsibility and authority to select and train personnel”.

This department in order to carry out the complex challenges of managing human resources is subdivided into divisions to enhance efficiency. The divisions are as follows:

  • ESTABLISHMENT:- Under which we have Open and Secret  Registry, nominal roll, salary variations, leaves and disengagement sections.
  • WELFARE:- Here we have Pensions, Gratuity, Stores, and Loans Sections
  • TRAINGS:- Here we have Manpower Development and Structure sections.
  • APD: – Here we have Appointments, Promotions, and Discipline sections.
  • TRANSPORT: – Here we have vehicle Maintenance, Communications and Supply sections.

1.3    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.

For the past four decades, manual  personnel  data management  system has been used. This method  has its problems and it has been proved  to be very ineffective and inefficient, and some of the problems identified are:

  • Manual  method of preparing,  gathering  and processing  data  as a personnel management function entails considerable manual efforts. Thus manual method is cumbersome, tiresome, boring, frustrating and time consuming.
  • Manual method  has a lot of discrepancies.
  • Manual method encourages frauds and corruption. Figures are easily falsified and changed with perhaps some exchange of money.
  • Manual method inflicts severe hardship on the staff due to avoidable human errors, like misplacement of files. When there are errors, then the reliability, accuracy, neatness, tidiness, and validity of the data would be in doubt.
  • Since it is the function of the Admin Department to raise variation advice for the  use of the  finance and  account  department  (pay roll), manual  method requires staff that have some numerical background to do the job reliably. This group of people are grossly inadequate, hence, we have a set of staff that were employed at the same time, place on the same grade level and step, and posted out to different states,  but they earn different salaries  years  after  due  to variation preparation.
  • Manual method results in incomplete service records of staff which undermines the  personnel management  function that depends  upon the  information gathered from the earliest stages of employee’s career. For instance, additional qualifications obtained after the initial one presented on employment may not be  used  to place  an  employee  adequately  due to lack of updating  data  or information. Further, management   needs  adequate  information to  resolve disciplinary  cases  fairly, otherwise  there may  be costly  delay  in obtaining decision for there is a dictum which says, ” justices delayed is justices denied or unfair decisions may be made in order not to deny justices. Besides, a great deal of staff time may be wasted tracking down missing documents.
  • Manual method of handling  personnel  information involves  waste of paper materials.
  • The size  of  the  paper  records  with  attendant  management  problem has significant logistic implications to the commission.
  • Manual method  encourages waste of man-hour  and resources because staff employed to carry files from one point to another do some time use the time to do something else instead of doing the job they were employed for. To see that this job is done more staff are employed than ordinary should be.
  • Manual method does not allow for the processing of large volume of data on a regular and timely basis.

Given these above scenarios, this study seeks to evaluate the various contributions of Personnel Information System (PIS) toward the improvement of inadequacies accompanying  the manual  method  of handling personnel  information issues  in National Population Commission (NPopC).

1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

This  project seeks  to design  and develop an  efficient  and effective  Personnel Information System (PIS) using National Population Commission as a case study. It also aims  at identifying the importance  of Personnel  Information System in handling personnel records against the manual method. Specifically, the following are the objective of the study.

  • To  identify  the  various  problems  of  manual  approach  towards  handling Personnel Information System in the Commission.
  • To identify and eliminate the major problems encountered through the use of manual  method of  processing  personnel  information like  falsification  of records, ghost workers among others.
  • To develop an integrated  and rationalized  Personnel  Information System in NPopC.
  • To suggest other measures that will help in eradicating the problem associated with manual method of handling personnel information matters.

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS.

Three Null  (Ho) hypothesis  though not tested  are proposed  to strengthen  the concept of the project work.

  • HI Personnel Information  System will    enhance significantly the processing of staff records in the National Population Commission.
  • HO Personnel Information System will not enhance significantly the processing of staff records in the National Population Commission.
  • HI Personnel  Information System will  significantly  affect adversely  the staff strength of the Commission.
  • H0 Personnel Information  System    will    not  significantly   affect adversely the staff strength of the Commission.
  • HI Personnel  Information System will  eradicate  fraud, corruption and  other malpractices in the Commission.
  • HO Personnel Information System will not eradicate fraud, corruption and other malpractices in the Commission.

1.6 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY:

This study is significant in the sense that it determines the benefit accruable to the staff   of  the  Nation Population Commission   through the   use  of  Personnel Information System against the manual method. These include:

  • It supports   large   volume  of  data    processing  and  storage;    promote information retrieval, addition, deletion, as well as other  database updating activities.
  • It provides  relevant,  complete,  accurate  and timely information to the management and staff.
  • It exposes  and  equips  the  staff  of  the  Commission  to  the  field  of information technology by sending them to training to acquire  necessary skills in Information Technology (IT).
  • It evaluates quickly the establishment and payment changes.
  • It demonstrates  the  importance  of  modernization  of  information and communication.
  • It improves  the  quality of  information communication  by  making it available to all the staff of the Commission at the time of their need.
  • The system will enable the managers of the Commission discharge their managerial function easily on any staff at any level due to availability of information.
  • It demonstrates how business needs could be met efficiently and effectively through the application of information tools made available by the advances in the field of science and technology.
  • The software will be able to compliment personnel database with payroll database.    Hence,  enhancing   the    Personnel   Management Information System and tighten the control of the payroll database.

1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY: In the course of carrying out this project some factors tried to hinder the free flow of the work. These factors include:

FINANCE:  Finance constituted major problem as there was no sufficient fund to round for the required materials, visit library, and cybercafẻ.

LACK OF MATERIALS: It was not easy to get written text on the subject matter from libraries and internet.

ACCESS TO PERSONAL FILES OF STAFF: It was not easy to have access to personal files of staff. A lot of persuasion and conviction was applied before the management could grant permission for us to have access to the staff files, where we extracted the form, format we used as a model in this project.

TIME:  Time was not at my liberty being a student| who is fully engaged with my studies, it was not easy for me to squeeze out time for me to out the project.

1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY: This project seeks to design and develop Personnel Information System. Our focus is on National Population Commission. Our major area is to identify and modernize the specific function of Admin and Supply Department  as regard to the management of personnel information. The software will be able to complement personnel  database with payroll database. The  sample  size  will  be the  staff  of National Population Commission Enugu state office. The design will  have three levels of users. They include:

  • AN INDIVIUAL  USER: Here an individual is able to view his records.
  • THE ADMINISTRATIVE USER: Here the administrator has access to all the users’ record of the department.
  • THE SUPER USER: Here the officer has access  to all  the users of all  the departments. The individual user can login and access their data/records only.

1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF SOME TERMS: Application:

An application is the executable file and all related files that a program  needs to function which serve  common purposes.  The  word is  sometimes  used synonymously with program.

ASCII: This is an acronym  for ‘American  Standard Code Information Interchange’. It is used to describe the byte values assigned to specific character. For instance, the letter ‘a’ has ASCII code of 65.

CLIENT:

  1. Is anything  that requires  the service  of something  else.  Example,  in Object Pascal, a client is any code that uses one or more features of an object or unit. In windows,  a  client is  the  code  that makes  use  of windows  Application Program Interface (API).
  2. Is a database system,  in which a workstation connected to a server can request for data from the server. The client workstation can process data locally and write it back to the server.

COMPILER: This translates a program source written  in a high level language to an object code which consists of instructions that the computer can understand.

COMPONENT: The element of visual basic application ionized on the component palette in the visual basic programming environment. Component including forms are object one can manipulate. It is always self contained and provides access to its features through properties.

DATA ACCESS COMPONENT: Data objects are based within a visual basic program to manipulate database as well as the tables and indexes within the database. The data objects are the representations (in program code) of the physical database, data tables, fields, indexes and so on.

DATABASE: A collection of operational data of organization stored in related tables.

DATA CONTROL COMPONENT: Data control component   means  a visual  basic  component  that enables  a developer to create the interface of a database application.

DATA SET: This is a collection of data determined by a Ttable or Tquery component. A dataset defined by Ttable includes every row in a table and dataset defined by a Tquery  contains a selection of rows and columns from the tables that meet the condition specified in the query.

END USER: This is a member  of an application’s intended audience synonymous with user but emphasized the fact that the programmer is not the user. According to Delphi  document,  end user  is  referred to as the  users  of application developed in a programming environment such as Delphi.

EXCEPTION, EXCEPTIONHANDLER: An exception is an event or condition that if it occurs, breaks the normal flow of execution. Code assigned to resolve the situation in run-time environment that raises the exception and/or restores the environment to a stable state is called exception handler.

EVENT,  EVENT-HANDLER: Event is a user action such as a button  click or a system occurrence  such as a preset time interval recognized by a component.  Each component  has a list of specific events to which it can respond. Code that is executed when a particular event occurs is called an event-handler.

FIELDS: These are rows of information that stores data of particular records.

FILE: This is a group of related records.

INFORMATION: This is a processed  data/facts obtained by assembling  them into meaningful form.

LOOKUPTABLE: This is a secondary  table that enables database systems to use a small code field to enable many records in a primary table to referring to information stored  in another.  This  can be  used  as a  means  of ensuring  that values entered  in a  primary table  are legitimate  values,  thus  safeguarding  data integrity.

METHOD: This is a procedure or function associated with a particular object.

MODEL, MODELESS: This represents the run-time state of a form designated as a dialog box in which the user must clear the form before continuing with the application. A model box restricts access to other areas of the application. If the user can switch focus away from the dialog box without first closing it, then the run- time state is called modeless.

NON-WINDOWED CONTROL: A non windowed control is a control that can not receive focus, that cannot be  the  parent  of any other control and  which does  not have  a  window handler.

OBJECT LINKING AND EMBEDDING  (OLE): OLE is a method  of sharing complex data among applications. With OLE, data from a server  application is stored in a container  application using the OLE object.

PRIMARY  INDEX: Primary index is an index on the key field of a database  table. An index performs the following tasks:

  • Determine the location of the record
  • Keeps record in sorted order
  • Speed up search operation

A  primary index  typically has  a  requirement  of  uniqueness  that  is  no duplicate key can exist.

PROGRAM: Set of coded instructions written in any of the programming languages to perform  a specific task.

RELATIONAL DATABASE: This is a database management  model  in which data is stored in rows and columns and which the data in one table can access the data in other tables by  means   of  common data  field.  The   database  assigned  to  specific characters. For instance, the letter V has ASCII code of 65.

SOFTWARE: This is a procedure  in machine-readable instruction called program that directs the activities of the computer.

SQL: Structured Query Language (SQL) is a relational database language used to define, manipulate, search, and retrieve data in database.

WINDOWED CONTROL: This is a control that can receive focus, that can own other control, and which does have a window handle.

WINDOW HANDLE: This is a number that is assigned by windows to a control that must be used to request services for that control from the windows’ Application Program Interface (API).

VISUAL COMPONENT: This is a component that is visible or can be made visible on a form at run-time.

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DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE)

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