Office notes are put up for ‘consideration and orders’ or for ‘information’ where there are specific delegated powers for various sanctions, incurring of financial expenditure, changes in placements and assignments. Office notes incorporating all relevant details and seeking such sanctions are put up to the appropriate sanctioning authority. Such sanctions, through office notes, constitute a record of due permissions obtained before duly communicating or acting on them.

Office notes are put up to the president, general manager, executive director, managing director or chairman, as the case may be. Alternatively, they may be put up to the Executive Committee, the General Managers’ Committee, the Management Committee, Audit Committee and the Board of Directors as well. Some organizations also have some specific functional committees like the Legal Committee, Premises Committee, Credit Committee, Promotions Committee, Procedures and Systems Committee to whom office notes seeking deliberation and orders or reporting developments are put up.

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Although there may or may not be any specific written instructions on the drafting of office notes or the details to be furnished therein, in practice, one can observe a well-established and widely followed method in putting up such notes. Sometimes, the size and colour of the paper, the nature of typing (single space or double space), the authority who should sign and time schedule for submission are clearly stated. Office notes often refer to policy guidelines or important sanctions and generally pass through various tiers and incorporate views or comments of different functionaries.

Whenever inputs are sought from different departments such as legal, personnel and inspection, their views are incorporated in the office notes as well. Office notes are prepared and filed in serial order and serve as authoritative documents confirming sanctions or orders. While in some cases copies of the office notes are dispatched to the implementing units, in other cases the gist of the order or observations made by the authority concerned on the note are conveyed to the implementation levels. Preparation of office notes too calls for relevant skills, as all relevant facts and figures will have to be furnished sequentially. Wherever necessary, other related matters and previous decisions will have to be cited for reference. The actual recommendation has to be clearly stated.

In the end, the specific decision or instruction sought, or development being reported, has to be clearly mentioned. Unless the office note itself is clear, the observations or orders thereon may also become vague and unimplementable. This will create uncertainty at various levels and may necessitate the putting up of the note once again with additions and modifications. It is necessary, therefore, that the office notes prepared cover all relevant information and facilitate consequent decision making and orders by the authority concerned.