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Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation A Case Study of Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri
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Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation

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DEDICATION

This research work titled "Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation (A Case Study of Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri)" is dedicated to God for his enabling grace and to all computer enthusiasts who help to make life a pleasant experience.



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I owe my indebtedness to my Supervisor (Name of your Supervisor), the Head of Department (Name of your HOD), the Lecturers in the department of Accountancy / Accounting, Book Authors and Profound Scholars of existing/related research work for your moral support that facilitated the successful completion of my (Tertiary Institution level). I am grateful to God Almighty and my parent for their financial support in my career. I really appreciate you all for everything, Thank you very much.



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Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation (A Case Study of Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preliminary Pages

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Background of Study
  • 1.3 Statement of Problems
  • 1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
  • 1.5 Research Questions
  • 1.6 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.7 Significance of Study
  • 1.8 Scope and Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Brief History of Imo State Ministry of Finance
  • 2.3 Nature and Definition of Financial Control
  • 2.3.1 Financial Control over other Ministries
  • 2.4 Government Internal Audit Department
  • 2.5 Conceptual Review of Accountability
  • 2.6 Overview of Financial Control
  • 2.7 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.8 Budgeting as a Concept
  • 2.9 Authorities on Budgeting and Budgetary Control
  • 2.10 Budgeting and Financial Forecasting
  • 2.11 Empirical Studies

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of Study
  • 3.4 Sampling and Sampling Technique
  • 3.5 Validation of Research Instrument
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Questionnaire
  • 3.8.1 Interview
  • 3.8.2 Key Informants Interview
  • 3.8.3 Observation
  • 3.9 Statistical Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS, RESULT AND DISCUSSION

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation and Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Test of Hypothesis 1
  • 4.4 Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATION

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A - “QUESTIONNAIRE”




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ABSTRACT

Public Financial control and accountability in the public sector of the economy is an indispensable factor that must be considered with a great care and skill, almost all workers in the civil service especially those involve in government financial operation are well acquainted with financial control and accountability. The aim of the study is to scrutinize the Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation using Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri as a case study. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out to investigate and know whether the formalization, publication of account and poor keeping of internal account records has been resolved, examine the extent of public sector conformity with financial regulations, and know the extent to which lack of individual responsibility affects the public sector financial control and accountability. The research design used in this report is descriptive design, utilizing questionnaire method to obtain information from the respondents for this project. A total of 150 (one hundred and fifty) respondents were selected for this study to represent the entire population of the study. For null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the one-way ANOVA and the t-test statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance. Primary data were collected from the primary source which questionnaire was used as an instrument of data collection while secondary data were sources from textbooks, journals, newspapers and the internet were employed. The data were presented on a frequency distribution table and analyzed using simple percentage, while hypothesis was tested using chi-square test. Based on this research the need for developing a sound control and accountability especially in the ministries and parastatals of a developing state like imo can be over emphasized. It is because the government is at the center of the economy. This study will portray on the extent that partner government expenditure of manner of resources allocated, determines the extent to which accountability and control can be achieved for economy, efficiency and effectiveness.





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Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation (A Case Study of Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri)

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Introduction

Public sector is a part of the economy set up, operated and financed by government and its agencies distinguishable from the private sector and is organized on behalf of the whole people. Public organizations in Nigeria signify the most leading economic force, as a result efficient and effective systems of government financial management which are also in form of internal and financial control are vital for budgeting the nation's resources. There is a broad opinion that most of the public institutions have failed to deliver on the basis for which they were established. Management incompetence and inadequacy have been advanced by practitioners and researchers of public enterprises as the bane of the Nigerian public sector.

As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Research hypothesis and questions, Limitation of the study and Definition of technical terms.

1.2 Background of Study

Financial control and accountability in the public sector of the economy is an indispensable factor that must be considered with a great care and skill. Almost all workers in the civil service especially those involve in government financial operation are well acquainted with financial control and accountability. In view of this, such terminologies such as cash control, capital expenditure, warrants, budgeting to most public servants but unfortunately only few understand the nature, need objective and efficiency only of the financial system in governments.

Public accountability is as old as the exchange process that gradually developed with civilization. It is as old as man in his social relations with his fellow man. The reason is quite obvious, productive resources such as estate or minor, in the ancient time were owned by one persons in authority, this illustrating the stewardship function of accountability in government.

Our society is dynamic. According to Ana (2003:25) “as economic activity progress from the final system to agriculture and then to industrial revolution”, accounting continued to hold to the need of society, as business unit become more complies and brooder in scope, accounting involved in response to the increase planning and control responsibility of management. As government grows in size accounting was developed to meet the increase accountabilities.

But it is after a race that the miles were counted. This is why today, public accountability and stewardship is more concerned on whether one uses of resource allocated yield more benefits than another of course, inefficiency and ineffectiveness or the revise as can be fund in the Nigeria public sector.

Quoting Aristotle in the politics Johnson (1999:79) said” to protect the treasure from being defrauded, let all public money be issued openly in front of the whole city, and let copies of the accountable deposited in the various wards”.

The question of whether one use of resource allocated yields more benefits than one another make public accountability more complex with serious consequences. This is especially when decisions taken in public office are brought under open and public strutting, often by person who were not involved in making decision and those learned in the field.

Public financial control and accountability is usually jaundiced and vaguely articulated. This depends on the understand and ethical standards of the group defining it, its prevailing circumstances and the values of the people in the society. As a result of this, the research work will adequately dive into our public sector organization examine the extent of financial control and accountability.

Therefore, the research expectation is to know at the end of the work whether there has been a positive drive towards financial control and accountability in the public sector organization.

1.3 Statement of Problems

Nigeria public sector is faced with a lot of problem. This is especially so when viewed from the perspective of functional control and accountability evidence in the public. It is believed that there is a lot embezzlement and other forms of financial recklessness in government parastatals.

One of the problems is the late finalization and publication of accounts, and poor keeping of internal accounting record. It is caused by the large nature and functions of government department and prostates as well as caliber of personnel in its employment. The effect is that it takes a long time before relevant records and accounts are gathered, prepared and published. Some public sector organization, witness inconsistency in the audit of their accounts. In fact, is a corollary of the above problem. The effect is that files of accounts that needed to be audited lies in the organization unattended to and confusion besiege the auditors minds on how and where to start.

Financial regulations are also not conformed to in the public sector organizations. This is because most of the regulations are basically proper works that are not implemented, due to the fact that there are no transparent and skilled staff, no adequate supervision and non use of controlled forms, receipts book and documents, and poor remuneration. The effect is that, widen room for chains of fraud malpractice are created.

Another problem is the excess authorization of expenditure. This is cruised by an anticipated livelihood of shortage accruing within the fiscal year. The effect is inflation of contract, price of procurement etc. there is also problem of lack of individual responsibility. This is caused by bureaucratic nature of public sector. Its effect according to (Aguwas 2003:88) “if the policies failed, the ministry is blamed”.

Public sector organization is also faced with problem of lack of luster attitude to the collection of debts and revenue. The cause is that there is no formalized system or method of collection of debts and revenue. E.g. government changes where they are, they are frequently floated and not adhered to, the effect is that government losses thousands naira yearly.

Lastly, there is also a problem of lack of effective internal control/audit system in the public sector. Its causes are lack of independence, integrity and objective e.g. where a head of accounts has a higher qualification than the internal auditor. The effect is that the audit is controlled and influenced.

1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study

The aim of the study is to scrutinize the Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation using Imo State Ministry of Finance Owerri as a case study. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows:

  1. To investigate and know whether the formalization, publication of account and poor keeping of internal account records has been resolved.
  2. To examine the extent of public sector conformity with financial regulations.
  3. To know whether there are still inconsistencies in auditing the accounts of public sector organization.
  4. To know the extent to which lack of individual responsibility affects the public sector financial control and accountability.
  5. To know whether or system of controlling excessive authorization of expenditure has been placed.
  6. To investigate and know whether lack of luster attitude to collection of debts and revenue has been ameliorated.
  7. To know the extent to which an internal control audit system has been placed in the sector.

1.5 Research Questions

The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:

  • Is there any system of financial control and accountability in Imo State Ministry of Finance?
  • Are there possibilities for institutory system of control and accountability in the ministry?
  • Are there existing system of accountability and financial controlling the ministry?
  • Is the existing ministry effective?
  • Is there any need to amend the existing system?

1.6 Research Hypothesis

In order to pursue the objective of this study, the following generalized statements have been designed to guide and aids in obtaining the result for the experiment to be conducted. For this work, the null hypothesis will be represented with H0 while the alternative hypothesis will be represented with hypothesis H1.

  • H0: There is no need to amend the Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation existing system
  • H1: There is a need to amend the Financial Control and Accountability in Public Sector Organisation existing system

1.7 Significance of Study

Financial Control and accountability has been a very important benchmark to the public sector of every economy.

Based on this research the need for developing a sound control and accountability especially in the ministries and parastatals of a developing state like imo can be over emphasized. It is because the government is at the center of the economy.

This study will portray on the extent that partner government expenditure of manner of resources allocated, determines the extent to which accountability and control can be achieved for economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

It will also portray the need for every public sector organization to establish and maintain effective accounting information which would be reliable, timely and compatible for decision making, management control, and internal control as the case may be the accounting information system should be understandable and disclose government financial condition as well as results of operations.

Apart from the government and the entire public sector that will benefit from this resources work, the researcher and academics will also benefit from it. This is because it will serve as a benchmark for further research and replication.

1.8 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study will be restricted to Abia State ministry of finance. It shall review the impact of the accountant general office account committee (PAC). The expenditure procedures and control within the ministry shall also be reviewed to evaluate their effectiveness, efficiency, and economy.

The class of personnel studied, varied in their qualification, profession and units, they include: the staff (senior and junior) and contractor in the ministry.

Abia State Ministry of Finance was selected for this because it represents an aim of the public sector in Imo State and its proximity to the public researcher. The personnel-staff and contractor in the other hand are seen to perform the same duties and functions in the whole gamut of institution or wholly owned by the government on behalf of the general public.

In the course of this study, the researcher encountered some limitations, such limitations are common occurrence that could prevent successful execution of research work.

The major limitations of this research work are:

  1. Time: A lot of time was wasted while trying to convince and negotiate with the respondent and return of questionnaire.
  2. Money: No research can successfully be accomplished with financial resources. Therefore, the researcher encountered financial shortage in the process of moving from place to place together the research materials, and finally to work together.
  3. Insufficient Textbooks: The researcher also encountered a problem of gathering enough textbook for the literature review.
  4. Primary Data: Generation Limitation: The researcher was not given free to interview some to-short in the ministry.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Accountability: It means the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them and to disclose the result in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.

Budget: This is a document that expresses the anticipated revenue and expenditure of government revenue and expenditure of government for a specific period of time.

Government Finance: It refers to the wide range of activities undertaken by government in financial and economic matter (the encyclopedia Britannica 1988).

Internal Audit: This is the process of continuous review of the financial transaction in order to ensure that they are working as management intends (Azubuike:P :151).

Internal Check: It is the aggregate of the check and balance imposed on the day to day transaction in an organization where by the work of one person is verified independently by or is complimentary to the work of another, the objective being the prevention of early detection of errors and fraud (Okoro 2001:P:32).

Internal Control: These are procedures or things a company or an organization will adopt in order to avoid wastage of resources and also to secure proper asset.

Statutory Basis of Audit / Public Sector Auditing: This is the independent examination of an expression of option on the financial statement of that government by an appointment auditor in pursuance of that appointed and incompliance with any relevant statutory obligation.

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

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