1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This question by how to increase efficiency and positive result in audit work in the public sector is a perennial problem in Nigeria, and one that is increasingly warning the generality of the people of this country.
The response has been to upgrade the quality to audit staff and widening of the power conferred on audit institution in the public sector. The need for the training of audit staff in modern techniques of auditing which is mere effective and result oriented rather than restricting them to the traditional method of “trick and turnover” which is inadequate and outdated.
Public sector auditing is centered towards ensuring the proper and efficient use of public funds, development of sound financial management, he orderly executive administrative activities and the communication of information to the public through the publication of objective reports since these are necessary for the stability and development of the nation, there is the need to map out the machineries and methods of carrying out a research that functions effectively as a to achieve a desired result.
In the past, the emphasis of on audit was on the traditional methods of auditing which has been mainly the compliance audit, seeing that all books and records comply with the laid down procedures and regulation. But now, there is the need for a shift of emphasis to modern concept of effectiveness and efficiency.
Based on these individual views of auditing and it’s functions, the researcher took a keen inherent to rest empirically auditing as on aid to accountability to the Enugu State post primary school management board (PPMB).
The increasing incidence of fund and misappropriation of public fund and property by the accounting officers and chief executives in the Enugu state post primary school management board possess a question as to whether auditing plays any role towards ensuring proper accountability in the state public sectaries.
Auditing is meant 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 numerous task that the Enugu state audit department was established to appraise the work of those entrusted with the responsibility of accountability.
Government undertakes varies transactions through its representative or agencies and as such they are required by law to give account of their stewardship. To achieve these purpose, the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria provide a law established audit departments both at the federal and state levels section 125 (1) of the 1999 constitution provides that there shall be and auditor general 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 concerted, and for that purpose the auditor-general or any person authorized by him in his behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns and other documents relating to those account.
The sub-section (3) of this constitution also states that nothing sub-section (2) of this constitution shall be constrained as authorizing the auditor-general to audit the accounts of or appoint auditor for government statutory corporation commissions authorized 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 auditor and
II. A guideline on the level of lies to be paid to external auditors.
III. Comment on their annual accounts and auditor’s report there on, the sub-section (4) of this section also states that the auditor-general for the state shall have power to conduct periodic checks of all government agencies, including all persons and bodies established by a law of the house of assembly of the state.
In spite of all these provisions and safeguards, one still hears or needs every now and then of the alarming rate of fraud out misappropriation of public fund and properties by those entrusted with their safeguard in view o the foregoing the study is aimed at appraising the function of the Enugu State audit department, problem affecting it’s efficient performance and possible suggestions 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 be of immense importance for its will appraise the performance of the Enugu State audit department and access the extent it has been able to achieve it’s objective.
The researcher will also offer useful suggestions on how best to achieve accountability in the state public service.
In oral interview with the chief internal auditor in the Enugu State audit department on the origin the audit department, he said, “the audit department is as old as Nigeria”, he said that the present Enugu state audit department had it’s root from the colonial masters, as of the time, there was audit in the federation known as the their representative in Nigeria and they were responsible to the queen of England. The country was divided into four repairs, East, West, North and South. Each of the regions had its own audit department but still under the control of the colonial administration. This gives rise to regional audits.
Section 61 (1) of the Eastern Nigeria 1958, constitution state, “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 the foreman Eastern Central state was divided into two viz: Anambra and Imo state following this each of the states now has her own audit department with a director of audit.
Section 118 (i) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1979 states, the director of audit of a state on the recommendation of the state commission subject to the confirmation by the House of Assembly of the State.
Following the creation of Enugu State in 1992, the state was empowered by section 25 (2) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and section (2) of chapter 13 of the audit law, to have it’s audit department in the state in respect of post primary school management board, and is being needed by the state auditor-general and often members of staff are responsible to him.
The problem of auditing affect both the management and audit unit, company’s shareholders, board of directors, researchers and businessmen, it therefore need to be discussed to find solution . From the view point of misconceptions, superstitious, and prejudices of auditing and its functions as mentioned earlier,
1. That inadequate auditing leads to misappropriation, embezzlement and insincerity
2. Those organizations do not perform well due to inadequate auditing.
3. Inadequacy of information in an organization hinders the efficiency of the operation of audit in the post primary school management board.
4. Non-challant attitude on the part of some staff in an organization constitutes problems to the internal audit department of an organization.
5. Inadequate payment of staff salaries and remuneration of the workers in an organization causes fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation of fraud in the post primary school management board.
6. Poor line of communication existing between the management and the internal audit unit causes inadequacy of internal control in the post Primary school management board (PPMB).
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The sole aim of this research work are: -
1. To ascertain the role being played by external audit department towards the protection of public funds and properties.
2. They know the extent these roles have advised in the state.
3. To know the compliance with the financial regulations on public fund by the authorities concerned.
4. To know the problems facing the government auditors this hinders their performance.
5. To know the effectiveness of audit report and their implementation.
6. To find out whether the standard of auditing has fallen in recent years and if so
7. What is responsible for this.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. What are the roles being played by the internal and external audit department towards the protection of public fund and properties?
2. To what extent have the roles been achieve in the Enugu state post primary school management board?
3. What is the extent of compliance with the financial regulations in fund by the authorities concerned?
4. What are the problems facing the government auditors that hinders their performance?
5. Has the standard of audit fallen in recent year? Are if so
6. What are responsible for this?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The growing nature of the Nigeria society ands the complexity of government operations have today given rise to frequency loss of public fund. The significance of this study can be from the number of tribunals, special investigation panels (SIP) being set up to look into loss of public fund. If the field auditors are given a free hand to conduct their inspection in a manner capable of achieving a desired audit result, the tribunals and panel should not arisen. To sure accounting clerks and other staff, accounting sound fearing, shivering and at time swearing, with the help of this research, they will be exposed fully to the main rudiments and purpose of auditing in the management of public fund. No doubt, the outcome of the research will be of great aid to the non-accountants, managers, students, staff of the state post primary school management board and the interest readers by revealing some of the important solution that need to be considered in the programme but will also stimulate the management board and the business when the auditing is meant for. This material will also be significant in the sense that it will highlight the functions of auditing the role it plays in our society and the auditors in the state post primary school management board communicate with their functionaries. Again, the concept of compliance and efficiency were examined to determine whether to sacrifices complain totally for effficiecny or to modify it and in what precise way, may the criterion by pursed what administrative, legal or constitutional adjustment in the constitution law and administrative regulations and financial circulars in a nutshell the significance as follows.
1. The auditors will find this work very eminent, for it will explore deeply their areas of operation and the section of the constitution that empowered the operation of audit in the public service.
2. Although this want is referred to the state board, the member of the board of directors and shareholders will also find this work useful for it will make them understand the usefulness of carrying out a research contenmas audit in tier establishment.
3. It will also make them understand that adequate remuneration of their staff will reduce misappropriation and embezzlement in their establishments.
4. The management both in the private and in the public sector will also be taught the need to put the machinery in motion towards establishing adequate internal check which will certify the efficiency and effectiveness of their internal control.
5. The state audit department which is central focus of this work will also be benefit from this research ie the suggestions made to them will be fully implemented.
6. The student would be researchers who would want to research on a similar topic will also have sure provided researchable question for them.
1.7 SCOPE / LIMITATION
The scope of this stud centered on the usefulness of auditing in a public sector titled “Auditing as an aid accountability” with a particular reference to the Enugu State post primary school management board.
Coming to the limitations of this study, the writer spent much time and money on transportation writing of this manuscript and collection of data, again a lot of difficulties such as harassment, redtop offices procedures were encountered during the case of the research work. Time and space also limited the volume and ingredients of this paper. Some of this limitation forced the researcher to purposefully eliminate some aspects of this research. All things being suppose to be and reported upon, but this will make this work look too voluminous and time consulting, however, those limitations did not prevent the writer form bringing this project to justifiable end.
1.8 DEFINITION OF SOME TECHNICAL TERMS
It is very eminent to define some professional terms and language used in this work to make it easily understandable to interested readers and other disciplines.
Public Fund: This is government independent and accounting entity with self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and or other resources together with all related liabilities segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulation, restriction, or limitation.
Audit: Ajembi O.A. (1995) describes audit as an examination by an individual or a firm of a set of financial statement and to the underlying books and records which results the auditing provides an opinion on the financial statement.
Accountability: This simply defined as the process of keeping and documenting all the relevant data of an event.
Stewardship Account: This is an account required of the stewards or agents to render to the person they are subject to the management of a firm render stewardship account to the members of the boards of directors.
Compliance Audit: This is a kind of audit method carried to ensure that all books and records are in agreement with the laid down procedures and regulations.
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