Procedure for Handling Correspondence
Procedures for Handling Mails Received by Post:
Handling incoming mail is very important, because many issues may arise if it is not done properly. Mails should be handled with speed and accuracy. Any delay in delivering mail can prevent an immediate response, to an urgent matter.
There are procedures to be followed for efficient handling of mail. These include;
1. Receiving the Mail: Check mails one after the other to ensure they all belong to the organisation. Any letter wrongly placed in the post box, or mailbag, should be returned to the post office immediately for redirection.
2. Sorting Mail: Sorting of letters may be done, before opening of letters, or after opening of letters.
Official mail should be sorted into two groups, confidential or secret and non-confidential.
Before opening any letter, official, private and confidential letters, should be separated from ordinary/non-confidential letters.
2. Opening Mail: Open non-confidential mails by the clerk. This includes newspapers, magazines, ordinary letters, etc. When the letters are marked private or official, these are opened by the concerned person.
3. Removing the Content: The next step is to remove the contents from the envelopes and inspect them. The purpose of inspecting is to determine the department to which the letter relates.
Any enclosures of the contents should be properly verified and noted. Enclosures might include cheques, bills, reports, etc.
4. Date Stamping the Mail: After a proper inspection, the Date stamping of the letter is done. This is done by the clerk, to record the date and time the letter got to the organization.
5. Recording the Mail: Record the details of the letter in a mail inward register.
6. Distributing the Mail: In this stage, letters are distributed, to the departments or persons concerned. The letters are distributed through messengers. Official mails marked confidential, or secret should be sent to the officer concerned, for immediate attention.
Procedures for Handling Outgoing Mail:
1. Collecting Mail: The clerk is responsible for collecting correspondence ready to be sent out.
2. Preparing Mail: From the mailroom, prepare the mail for posting.
3. Sorting Mail: Sort letters according to class, such as first-class mail, airmail, registered mail, and international mail.
4. Folding Mail: Fold letters neatly.
5. Inserting: Insert mail into an envelope.
6. Weighing: Weigh the mail on a scale, to determine the postage.
7. Stamping: Stamp the mail.
8. Recording the Mail: Record the details of the mail into the mail outwards book.
8. Dispatching the Mail: The mail should be dispatched by the clerk.
Courier is a popular means of dispatching and receiving mail. Courier companies include DHL, FedEx, UPS, Royal Mail, etc.
Procedures for Handling Mails Received or Sent by Hand:
Mails received by hand are usually brought into the organisation, by the sender, or his representative. This should be received and the steps for handling incoming mails followed.
Details of mails, to be sent out by hand, are normally entered into the dispatch book, by the sender, and are signed for by the recipient of the mail.