Are you following the principles of good administration?

Good administration

However it is organised, whoever does the work, good administration in an organisation does the following:

  • it keeps the organisation in touch with important contacts, through letters, e-mail etc.

  • it makes the office the hub of the wheel when other staff goes off on various tasks, so that no one is lost or feels isolated

  • it keeps correspondence ordered, up-to-date, and findable

  • it makes sure that everyone gets paid on time

  • it keep some files, like personnel files, locked up and confidential

  • it keeps financial records and receipts up-to-date.

Everybody in the organisation should have good administrative skills: if computers are used, then everyone should be able to use them including the boss. If there are procedures and practice in use, everyone should use them, whether forms for internal memos and monitoring or rules for e-mails.

It is very important to ensure that the NGO does not have donkeys, the poor people at the bottom of the pyramid who end up doing all the boring work for everyone else, carrying an impossible load.  

A good office keeps everyone in touch through emails, memos etc; it ensures that when staff members are out working they know they have back-up.

It make sure that staff gets paid on time. It keeps correspondence, confidential files and financial records filed, safe and accessible. 

Ask yourselves the following Questions:
  • How are you doing in managing your office?

  • Is it ensuring that information and communication flows to everyone involved – including the community?

  • Do you have a clear framework to use when looking at the office – the skills that are already present and the skills needed in each sector, e.g. financial accounting, financial reporting, transparency, computer skills?

Further reading:

» folder How to Build a Good Small NGO Module C: The  Office