AN ASSESSMENT OF FINANCIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR
Financial control and accountability in public sector involves giving proper account of government funds and resources. It was discovered that the problems of accountability and control make it impossible for the set objectives of an organization to be achieved. These problems involve the ministries not adhering to set out regulations for proper allocation of government resources. The objective of financial control and accountability is to ensure that expenditure is properly authorized and adequate attention is given to collection of debts and revenue. Every public organization should maintain effective accounting information, which must be timely for decision making in the organization. This research work reveals the truth that there is a system of financial control and accountability in Edo state ministry of finance. Finally, review of internal control system, training and improvement of workers condition were recommended by the researcher as a means of improving effectiveness and efficiency.
TABLE OF CONTENT
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Objective of the Study
Scope of the Study
Significance of the Study
Limitation of the Study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
The Public Sector
Structure of the Public Sector
Performance of the Public Sector
Conceptual Framework for Public Sector Audit
The Role of Audit in the Public Management
and its Strengths
Empirical Evidence on Financial Control and
Accountability in the Public Sector
Public Financial Management in Nigeria
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Population and Sample of the Study
Instruments for Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis
Validity and Reliability of Instrument
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
Presentation of Data
4.2 Analysis of Data
4.3 Statistical Analysis of Hypothesis
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.2 Summary of Finding
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
There has been a lot of debate as to the effects or influence of the financial control on public sector activities of the government of Less Developed Economics (LDCs) on their economic growth and development (Nwezeaku, 2010).
Public sector financial control and accountability is concerned with the economic behavior of government with regards to the methodologies, rules regulations and policies that shape the planning, budgeting, forecasting, coordinating, directing, influencing and governing the inflow and outflow of funds in order to maximize the objective of the institution. In other words, public sector financial control deals with control government spending, taxation borrowing, public debts foreign reserves, foreign exchange system, level of liquidity in the economy and public financial auditing in order to achieve some stated objectives (Sharp and Slinger, 1970).
Ordinarily, control of the resources of any economy should lead to poverty reduction, improvement in the standard of living of its citizens, mitigation of inequalities income distribution and improve the general well being and economic development of the economy.
However, in spite of the visible attempts by the various governments to manager their vast financial and other resources, there exist what has been referred to as “the paradox of plenty” indeed, there has been rather a co-existence of abundant resources and wealth and extreme poverty in this economies unlike the developed countries.
Financial control and accountability is a very important type of control in the management of government finance. Oshisami (1992) defines as the process which ensures that financial resources are obtained at cost considered to be economical and utilized efficiently and effectively for the attainment of established objectives. A comprehensive definition of financial or fiscal control is given by Ekwonu (1996) as the sum total of the work, which guides, directs and interprets executive branch, involving finance and the ministries the adult department and the legislature.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Control of public finance is very important to public governance. That is why power over public finance is enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. To promote financial accountability in Edo state, power over finance is shared between the executive legislature and the office of the Auditor General. Have these institutions been able to play the roles assigned to them? It is observed that there is the problem of non or partial implementation of the budget by the executive arm of government in most states of Nigeria.
The budget is the legislative instrument of control over public finance. There is also the problem of spending without legislative authority.
The questions of this research are as follows
Is the budget a significant instrument of legislative control over public finance in Edo state?
Does state audit performance is significantly dependent on the quality of financial accountability?
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The research sets out to evaluate the role of the formal institutions of accountability and financial control over public finance in Edo state. Specifically, the research has the following objectives:
To evaluate the significance of the public budget as an instrument of legislative control over public finance in Edo state.
To determine whether state audit performance is significantly dependent on the quality of financial accountability.
The following hypotheses have been formulated to serve as a base for this research.
The public budget is not a significant instrument of legislature control over public finance in Edo State.
State Audit performance is significantly dependent on the quality of financial accountability.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is undertaken to examine the financial control and accountability in the public sector.
The population of the study is the entire public sector in Nigeria, while the sample size is some selected public sector in Edo State. In using time series, data from a period of five years is used (i.e. 2007 to 2011).
Geographically, the study will be conducted in Benin City, Edo State.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that this study would consolidate existing literature on the issues surrounding the relationship between financial control and the public sector. The study would also facilitate the examination of the effects of financial control and the public sector and thus boosting the empirical evidence from Nigeria. Furthermore, given the empirical nature of the study, the outcome of this study would aid policy makers and regulatory bodies in economic modeling and policy simulation with respect to the selected variables examined in the study.
The result of the study would be of benefits to investment analysts, investors and corporations in examining the effectiveness of the customs and excise duties.
It will also be useful in stimulating public discourse given the dearth of empirical researches in this area from emerging economies like Nigeria. Finally, it would also add to the available literature on the area of study while also providing a platform for other researchers who may want to further this study.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The subject matter of this study is constrained by the available limited time which would not allow for a more comprehensive work. Also this work is constrained by the following factors; limited number of published texts on the subject matter, lack of adequate finance, distance from source of data which makes it impossible to get some relevant data and lukewarm attitude of some officials towards researchers. In the course of data collection more, there may be some personal judgment which may not be absolutely correct. Finally, possible mistakes of the different writers whose work were consulted might be reflected.
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