Audit as an Aid to Accountability

(A Case Study of Enugu State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development)

ABSTRACT

The research study is concentrated an audit as an aids to accountability in public service. The project research commences with an introduction and over view of the history of audit in Nigeria. Sequel to this effect, data were collected from primary and secondary sources, primary sources involves the design and distribution of questionnaires to 106 respondents of the ministry of finance and economic departments and Enugu State Audit. The secondary source extensively reviewed the opinion of some scholars who had earlier drawn written conclusions that are related to the project topic. Data collected were analysed and tested using percentage and formulated hypotheses.

The main findings were based on the analysis and subsequent test, which showed that auditing is a strong tool for accountability in the public service. Poor and irregular payment of staff salaries and remuneration has caused diversion of public fund to private purposes. Moreover, management skill has not improved operational standard in the state service.

Based on the findings, the researcher made possible recommendations to correct the negative conception of an audit and to appraise audit standard in the state public service.

This project research is therefore, beneficial to both the students, lecturers, politician, public and private sectors.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page

Approval page

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Abstract

Table of contents

List of tables

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Statement of problem

1.2     Purpose of the study

1.3     Scope and delimitation of the study

1.4     Hypotheses formulation

1.5     Significance of study

1.6     Definition of terms

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURES

2.1     Auditing and Accountability defined

2.2     Historical origin and development of auditing

2.3     The meaning of public and civil service

2.4     Short note on public accountability

2.5     Government accounting procedures

2.6     The need of internal audit department in public service

2.7     Statutory positions, powers and functions of an auditing general of the state.

2.8     Audit report

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

3.1     Research design

3.2     Area of the study

3.3     Population of the study

3.4     Sample and sampling procedure

3.5     Instrument for data collection

3.6     Validity of the instrument

3.7     Reliability of the instrument

3.8     Method of administration of the instrument

3.9     Method of data analysis.

CHAPTER FOUR DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.1     Data analysis

4.2     Test of hypotheses

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1     Summary of findings

5.2     Conclusion

5.3     Recommendation

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The question on how to increase efficiency and positive result in audit work in public sector is a perennial problem in Nigeria, and one that is increasing warning the generality of the people of this country. The response has been to upgrade the quality of audit staff ad powers conferred on audit institutions in the public sector. There is also the for training of audit staff in modern techniques of auditing to enhance effectiveness and result oriented rather than restricting them to the traditional methods of trick and turnover which is inadequate and outdated.

Public sector auditing is conferred towards ensuring the proper and efficient use of public funds, development of sound financial management, the orderly executive administrative activities and the communication of information to the public through the publication of objective reports. These are necessary for the stability and development of the nation. There is a need to map out the machineries and method of carrying out a research functions effectively as to achieve a desired result.

In the past, the emphasis of an audit was on the traditional approach which ha been mainly the compliance audit to ensure that all books and records comply with the laid down procedures and regulation. But in the modern time, there is the need for a shift of emphasis to modern concept of effectiveness and efficiency.

Based on these individual views of auditing and its functions, the researcher took a keen inherent to rest empirically auditing as an aid to accountability with a particular reference to Enugu State Ministry of Finance and economic development.

The increase incidence of fraud and misappropriation of public fund and property by the accounting officers and chief executives in the public sector/ service passes a question as to whether auditing plays any role towards ensuring proper accountability in the public service especially the state government and particularly the ministry of finance and economic development.

Auditing is to control, deter and find out any fraud or misappropriation of public fund or property by officers entrusted with such duties.

It is because of this onerous task that the Enugu state audit department was established to appraise the work of those entrusted with responsibility of accountability.

Government undertakes various transactions through its representatives or agencies and as such, they are required by law to give account of their stewardship. To achieve these purposes, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides a law established audit department both at the Federal and State levels. Section 125 (1) of the 1999 constitution provides that there shall be an Audit General for the federation and for each state of the federation who shall be appointed in accordance with the provision of section 126 of this constitution. The sub-section (2) of this section provides that the public accounts of a state and all offices, ministries, parastatals, and the courts of the state shall be audited by the auditor-general for the state who shall submit his reports to the House of Assembly of the state concerned. Therefore the auditor general or any person authorized by him in that behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns, and other documents relating to those accounts. The sub-section (2) (3) of this constitution shall be constrained as authorizing the auditor-general to auditor-general to audit the accounts of or appoint auditor for government statutory corporations, commissions authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies established by law but the auditor general shall, (a) provide such bodies with,

(i)      A list of auditors qualified to be appointed by them as external auditors and from which the bodies shall appoint their external auditors and;

(ii)     A guideline on the level of dues to be paid to the external auditors and;

(iii)    Comments on their annual accounts and auditor’s report there on. The sub-section (4) of this constitution also states that the auditor-general for the state shall have power to conduct a periodic check of all government statutory corporations,

Commission, authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies established by a law of the House of Assembly of the state.

Inspite of all these provisions and safeguards, there is always an increased rate of fraud and misappropriation of public funds and parties by those entrusted with their safeguards. In view of the foregoing, this study is aimed at appraising the functions of the Enugu state audit department, problem affecting its efficiencies performance, and suggested solutions to enhance its effectiveness.

The researcher aims to examine the major cause of fraud or misappropriation of public funds in the state public service and offer useful suggestions to arrest the ugly situation. This study will also be of immense important for it will appraise the performance of the Enugu state audit department and assess the extent it has been able to achieve its objectives. The researcher will in addition offer valuable solutions on how to achieve accountability in the state public service.

The origin of audit department is as old as Nigeria. The present Enugu state audit department had its root from the colonial administrations. During colonial administration, there was one audit in the federation known as the colonial audit. The colonial masters have their representatives in Nigeria. These representatives were responsible and report to the Queen of England. The country was divided into four Regions as follows: Northern Region, Southern Region, Eastern Region and Western Region. Each of the regions had its own audit department but reports under the control of the colonial administration. This gives rise to regional audits.

Section 61 (1) of the Eastern Nigeria 1958, constitution states, and “There shall be a director of audit for the region whose office shall be an office in the public services of the region. In 1976 there was a further creation of states in the country and it was then that Anambra state and Imo states was created from the former Eastern central state. In 1992, the old Anambra state was further divided into Anambra state and the present Enugu state. Following this, each state now has her own audit department with a director of Audit or Auditor general of the state. The state was empowered by section 25 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and section 4 (2) of chapter 13 of the audit law to have its audit department. The internal audit department in the ministry of Finance and economic development is being leaded by the state auditor-general.

1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

There has been an entry of poor accountability in the public service particularly Enugu state civil service of Nigeria. There has been various radio and television news and the report from the daily newspapers about fraud, embezzlement of public fund and misappropriation of public properties. Enugu