The communication of recorded administrative information in the Army in peacetime
educational resourceposted on 18.07.2018, 10:58 by A.M. Beaumont
In peacetime over 25% of the Army's work is administrative. Many of the tasks involve complying with rules and regulations produced by the Ministry of Defence and superior military headquarters. The amount of paper work is increasing, and already the volume is such that units merely store most of what they receive and only about a half of it is kept amended. Some of the excess can be attributed to the tendency for sponsors to try and specify how people should react in every eventuality, though this is a question of the degree of delegation of responsibilities and is therefore outside the terms of reference for this work. Duplication, and sometimes even contradiction, are liable to occur because the lack of standardisation in the indexing of military publications, combined with inadequate cross-referencing, mean not only that the sponsor may be unaware of material already published on the subject but also that he has no way of discovering what is in the course of preparation. It is recommended that more attention should be given to the different methods now available for communicating information and there should be more thought about the Intelligence Quotient and attitude of the recipients. The present system lacks any form of organised feedback from the user to the originator and therefore the majority, of the problems are perpetuated. As little is known about the cost of producing and distributing administrative information, it is not possible to compare the financial merits of the various methods of communication. The difficulties arise from a lack of co-ordinated control at Ministry of Defence level: no person below the Permanent Under-Secretary is responsible for the flow of information in the Army. It is proposed that a Defence Administrative Information System (Army) be formed. The aim would be to provide the user with the information that he needs. It would study the philosophy of producing recorded administrative information, assist sponsors, progress printing and distribution, and provide the user with a reference retrieval service. The majority of the staff would come from existing sources.
Great Britain, Ministry of Defence.
- Information Science