DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONNEL INFORMATION SYSTEM (A CASE STUDY OF NATIONAL NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE)
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.
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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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, EXCEPTION–HANDLER: 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.
LOOK–UP–TABLE: 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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