Staff Reporter

Civic body follows Japanese 5-S management system

Steering committee has been set up to monitor the progressExpected to increase productivity

Thiruvananthapuram: It is difficult to imagine a government office free of clutter. Files stacked up high on desktops, papers strewn around and on top of every available piece of furniture, shelves overloaded with dog-eared registers and folders the situation is the same in every government department and administrative centre.

Officials admit that office clutter brings down productivity and affects their morale. They feel helpless in dealing with the accumulation of paper. But things are set to change for the better, thanks to a novel project taken up by the City Corporation to set its house in order.

In a bid to implement quality concepts, the civic body has initiated a housekeeping and workplace management programme at its headquarters office at Palayam.

The project is being implemented through the Modernising Government Programme (MGP) with the help of the Quality Control Forum of India (QCFI), a non-profit organisation based in Hyderabad. Working on the concept of quality circles, the reforms follow the Japanese 5-S management system classified into Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke steps. The project involves sorting out official records and files in each section, disposing of unwanted documents and arranging the required ones. The records that have to be preserved are packed in cloth bags, labelled, catalogued and arranged in shelves. The bags are also mothballed to repel insects. The documents that are to be used daily are sorted and stored neatly within reach. The furniture and storage cabinets in all the sections are also being labelled as disposable and usable items. While the damaged articles are to be repaired and reused, the disposable ones will be auctioned away.

The project also includes cleaning and painting the offices and marking the pathways to guide visitors.

Each department will be equipped with a checklist and an audit mechanism.

The new management system has already been implemented in the Health, Accounts and Town Planning sections. A steering committee has been set up to monitor the progress of the project.