AUDIT IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR

(Accounting)
AUDIT IN THE NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR
           TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study                     
Statement of the Research Problem                
The Research Objectives                    
The Research Hypotheses                
Scope of the Study                    
Relevance and Significance of the Study        
Limitation of the Study                         
References                             
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction                             
The Public Sector                            
Structure of the Public Sector                    
Performance of the Public Sector                
Accountability                            
Audit                                    
Conceptual Framework for Public Sector Audit        
Auditing in the Public Sector                     
The Role of Audit in the Public Management and its Strengths
References                             
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
Introduction                        
The Population and Sample                
Data Collection Methods                        
Sources of Data                        
The Research Instrument                 
Data Analysis Method                        
References                        
CHAPTER FOUR:     DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
4.1    Introduction                    
4.2    Descriptive Analysis of Responses from Respondents    
4.3    Test of Hypothesis                     
Discussion of Findings                 
CHAPTER FIVE:    SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Introduction                        
Summary of Findings                    
Conclusion                            
Policy Recommendations        
Recommendations for Future Researcher            
Bibliography                             
Appendix                                
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
    Public sector audit has experienced considerable expansion throughout the world. The reason for this is closely related to changes in the structure of government and concern for more accountable and transparent governance, which has resulted in a large increase in the number of accounts and sophistication of financial reporting. The growth of the public sector calls for proper accounts or record keeping and according to Johnson (1992), the nature of public sector accounting is quite different from that adopted by the private sector. This difference can be in the  area of objectives, sources of revenue and bases of recording of accounts, responsibility and accountability among others. Accountability or rendering of accounts is traditionally concerned about ensuring effective and efficient use of state resources (Odesomi, 1992).
    Public sector audit applies to almost every public sector body and is relatively wide-ranging. It involves the certification of accounts of public sector entities. Pubic sector audit has a key role in safe-guarding public money, ensuring proper accountability, upholding proper standards of conduct in public services, and helping services achieve value for money. The public has a legitimate interest in public sector audit and the standards and guidelines applied by Auditors as the public sector is financed by tax, charges and fines.
    With increasing democratization and concern about corruption, people are demanding to be informed about what their Government intends to achieve and what it has actually accomplished. Proper audit has a distinct role in promoting accountability and ensuring the best use of public money by providing credibility to the information reported by or obtained from management through objectively acquiring and evaluating supporting evidence. And according to the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA, 2009), the annual accounts (including the audit report are only one way in which the management of the authority demonstrates its proper stewardship of public assets to the legislature and ultimately to the electorates.
    In Nigeria, the appointment, authority and duties of the Auditor-General are described in sections 85 and 86 of the 1999 constitution. The Auditor General or any person authorized by him is to audit, without directions or control of any other authority, the accounts of the federation of all offices, the courts and all federation authorities, including persons and bodies established by law and entrusted with the collection and administration of public monies and assets. He shall have access to the books, records and other documents relating to the accounts, he is required to submit the audit report to each Houses of the National Assembly for consideration by the Public account Committee (PAC). It should however, be noted that members of the National Assembly are responsible for holding the government accountable for its actions. The role of the Auditor-General is to provide them with independent, fact-based and reliable information and assurance as to help them do their job. The Auditor-General does not comment on government policy nor judge whether programme are delivering value for money or whether policy choices are appropriate. That is parliament’s job. Rather, He tells parliamentarians how well government programmes are being run and whether they are achieving their intended results.
    However, owing to changing technology and increasing demand for good governance, transparency and accountability in the public sector, it is important to revise auditing practices to assess their adequacy, reliability, efficiency and effectiveness in promoting accountability in the public sector.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
The major issues of audit in the public sector includes: The inability of the public sector to produce an effective audit system. There is the general believe that audit system on ground is not adequate. Lord (2002), identifies poor internal control measures as the reason for ineffective audit in the public sector.
    Also, research has not been able to show whether public sector audit enhances accountability. There is a knowledge gap in this regard.
    Lastly, the collective effect of audit and accountability on the public sector operations is one that is yet to be established.
In light of the above, the following research questions are raised:
Is the general approach to public sector audit efficient?
What is the relationship between public sector audit and accountability?
THE RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
    The research objectives refer to what the study seeks to achieve, and these include:
To examine if the general approach to public sector audit is efficient.
To ascertain the relationship between public sector audit and accountability.
THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
    Baridam (1990), defines hypothesis as “statement that express the relationship between independent and dependent variables. And according to Horby (2008), it is an “idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts but that has not yet proved to be true or correct.
    The working hypotheses are as follows:
Hypothesis I
H0:     The audit system of the public sector is not efficient.
H1:     The audit system of the public sector is efficient.
Hypothesis II
H0:     There is no positive relationship between public sector audit and accountability.
H1:     There is a positive relationship between public sector audit and accountability.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the impact of audit in the Nigerian public sector. Also the subject matter of this study is evaluate the impact of audit in the Nigerian public sector”.
The time period for the research is for the period of ten years (2001 to 2011).
The sample size is restricted to some selected public sector in Benin City, Edo State.
Geographically, the study which will be specifically be restricted to Edo States in Nigeria.
RELEVANCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
    The study is hoped to correct the flaws or misconceptions about public sector audit and accountability. The study would improve on the audit system prevailing in the public sector by suggestions ways of improving on them.
    Lastly, the study would contribute to the existing literature on public sector audit, thereby, serving as a reference point.
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.  
 REFERENCES
Baridam, D. M. (1990), Research methodology in administrative science. Port Harcourt: Bell publishers
Lord, S. (2002) Review of audit and accountability for central government. Retrieved January 5th, 2011 from archive. Treasury.gov.uk/docs/2001/s
Odesomi, J. A. (1992), Overview of the statutory guidelines for public sector accounting. Journal of the Nigerian Accountant. 25(2) pp.3-4


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