Full Project-GOVERNMENT INTERNAL AUDITS ACCOUNTABILITY IN MINISTRIES / EXTRA-MINISTERIAL DEPARTMENT
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The practices of auditing originated from the necessity to impose some system of check upon persons whose business involves to record the receipt and disbursement of money on behalf of theirs. However, due to the crudeness of accounting methods in the early stages of civilization individuals checked accounts for themselves. The impetus given to trade and commerce in the 15th century by the Renanssance resulted to the discovery of a more scientific system of accounting and in 1494 LUCCA PACIOL, an Italian publisher of the principle of Double Entries Book-keeping in Venice. Thus, by this discovery it because possible to record all sort of merchandise transactions involving all matters of accounts and this development resulted to the application of Audit on these records.
The mechanical invention of the Eighteenth centuries which lead to the industrial revolution coupled with increased need for financial assistance to finance ambiguous projects explained the emergence of several joint stock companies and corporate under-takings utilizing enormous capital under the management of few individuals. Under these circumstances the advantages to be gained by utilizing the services of professional auditor were apparent to be commercialized publicly, generally to force the operator of these enterprises to account for the results of all transactions under-taking by them, on the company behalf during the period of stewardship. In order to attest for the emergence of auditing as a profession, it is widely accepted that autonomous expertise and the service ideal are not most distributive attributes of a profession, together with the existence of a systematic body of knowledge and authority recognized by the client or user. All these have been defined for and are true of auditing.
The need for auditing mostly government audit exist in the operations of government and institutions. Based on the above management, burden has become of greater importance because of wider delegation of authority and responsibility. The need for honest, candid public disclosure exist for federal state and local government expands an increasing scheme of the gross material product and in so doing relied upon the communication of financial data to ensure that the cost it involves are reasonable for regardless of weather the project be a mass transit system or foreign aid programme the financial problems of federal state and local government in recent years is a further reminder that all organisation must be held accountable for proper management of resources entrusted to them if they are changed. Efficient allocation of materials and financial resources necessities that industries, organizations are subjected to goods accounting and reporting since it forms an effective means of assessing capability. Inadequate accurate reporting on the other hand conceal waste and inefficiency and thereby present our economic resources from being allocated in a material manner. Most of the materials policies, such as developing energy resources, controlling inflation and increasing employment rely directly on qualitative management of economic activities and the communication of these data.
Undisputably the whole essence of audit is to ensure accountability and rendering of accounts of stewardship to whom one is responsible. The fundamental tenet of a democratic society holds that government and the authority for applying them have a responsibility to render a full account of their activities. Accountability is inherent in government process and could vividly be understood as the dept of responsibility or explanation one person owes for his action or conduct to a superior officer. It identifies the reasons for which the public resources have been diverted as well as the manner and effort of their application. Accountability involves expenditure of funds and the placing of legal boud on services delivering. If the job is not done according to specification, the owner has a redress to exercise some sanctions or penalty on such a person or group upon which services is communicated, and responsible for planning and implementing strategies which provides that services. It is this expertise that constitutes the main problem that necessitate concern. Thus it provides a significance for a research.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Specifically, the problems perceived which inspired the research into this study are as follows:
1. The public sector lacks trained personnel posed of technical skill to meet challenges in the public sector, Hence, the problem of poor staff composition is evidence in the audit department.
2. The financial regulation which guides the principle in government auditing restricted the Audit functions of the Auditor – General is not broadened enough.
3. Audit Department in practice is subjected to excessive control by the politicians and senior government officials. This has rendered the independence of the department inadequate.
4. The Authority of the office of Auditor – General is not strengthened enough to meet audit challenges in ministries and Extra – ministerial Department.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study so predicated on the evaluation of government audit in relation to accountability in ministries / Extra – ministerial Department. Therefore, the purpose of this study include:
1. To determine to what extent that public sector lacks trained personnel to meet up with challenges.
2. To find out the financial regulation which guides the principle in government auditing that restricted the Audit functions of the Auditor – General, not broadened enough;
3. To ascertain the extent the Audit department in practice is subjected to excessive control by the politicians and senior government officials, which have rendered the independence of the department inadequate.
4. To find out the extent the authority of the office of the Auditor – General and discover if it is stronger or strengthened enough to meet Audit challenges in ministries / Extra – ministerial Departments.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Applying public outlay as regards financial irresponsibility that had resulted in the Mis-management of available Limited resources in our public sector. It becomes obvious that this work will find application to the public sector. This would as well contribute immensely to the revolving a verile and formidable audit Department which is fully equipped to meet audit challenges of the times hence it present high level of fraudulent practices. It will also help in improving staff which would enhance accountability in ministries / Extra – ministerial Departments.
To provide basic information on the authority of the Auditor – General and the strength to meet challenges in ministries / Extra – ministerial Departments. This would as well improve the relationship between the Audit staff and the rest of the staff who thinks that auditing is something else. It will as well unfold the financial regulation which restricted the Audit functioning of the Auditor – General. This work will as well ensure useful solution to staff composition problem which exist in Audit Department and as well realization of the audit functions. Moreover, not much literature has been written on this area, hence the study will find application in the polytechnics and Higher Institutions and Libraries as it will contribute to stock of knowledge.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this project board on certain procedures in the ministries / Extra – ministerial Department with reference to Audit – General, Enugu state.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In other to adequately address the problems already stated, four research questions were formulated to ensure clarity. This research question originated from the background, statement of problem and purpose of the study. For example:
i. To what extent does public sector lack trained personnel to meet challenges in the public sector?
ii. To what extent does financial regulations which guides the principle in government auditing restricted the Audit functions of the Auditor – General, it is broadened enough?
iii. To what extent does the Audit Department in practices is subjected to excessive control by the politicians and senior Government officials?
iv. To what extent does the authority of the Auditor – General do not strengthened enough to meet Accountability challenges in ministries / Extra – ministerial Department.
1.7 NULL HYPOTHESIS
For the purpose of handling this study effectively, the null hypothesis have been empirically tested on the generalization of assured relationship between government audit and accountability in ministries / Extra – ministerial Department.
HO1: There is no significant difference in the issue of senior and junior staff of state Audit on the Extent lack of trained personnel in public sector affect its challenges.
HO2: There is no significant difference between the senior and junior staff of state Audit on excessive control of budget by politician and government officials.
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