THE IMPACT OF PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTING ON ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
For the purpose of fiscal accountability, there is first of all the auditor general whose position, powers, security of tenure; impartiality and independence are guaranteed by the constitution. It is his duty, through to regular auditing of accounts, to ensure that government department/parastatal and other public establishments spend funds appropriated for them in a proper manner, for the purpose for which the funds were appropriated and in accordance with government rules and regulations. He can surcharge offenders, refers cases of fraud and misappropriation to the policy and by yearly reports, left the legislature know how the funds that it had previously were appropriated and used.
Nigeria for the federal and state governments, are bodies known as the public accounts committees of which the auditor general duty is to scrutinize the accounts and establishment to question or examine those responsible and report to the legislature which appointed them. There is the legislature itself which are the sole sources of money supply for public, must scrutinize all elements of funds to carryout public service.
The budget sessions afford every sector effective:
- Are the internal control measure adequate to ensure public accountability
- What are impact of public accountability in Kaduna polytechnic
- What problems likely to be encountered as regards to effectiveness and economy
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
More often than not, public state and reactions addressed to how government resources are managed accounted for in the public sector organization have left much to be desired such statements and reactions have unfolded many impressions. Bill before examining these impressions let us look at what Dr. Bamye Akipa of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria put together as public statement in the New Nigeria of Tuesday 25th June 1991.
Occasionally one runs into statements either in the mass media or conversation in respect of public resources such as follows:
- For all the taxes we are forced to what value we are getting for the money
- Government should not have approved the location of that project there, it is nothing but a white elephant project
- That contract price was unduly inflated
- How could that equipment cost that much
- It is government property and therefore feels free to use it anyhow you can
- Why are you bothered about this work, don’t you know it is government work?
This researcher was privileged to have personal experience of the situations at Kaduna polytechnic and think the situation there like a typical public organization would attract the same verdict as had been collated together by Dr. B. Akpa.
The major emphasis of the reformed civil service of 1988 was an attainment of efficient and expedition administration, reduction in expenditure and improvement of economy to the fullest extent consistent with efficiency in the implementation of policies and programmes to the fullest extent practicable. The emphasis on economy efficiency and effectiveness in executing government programmes has constrained every government organization to set into motion internal system to enhance the desired result. This in effect brought to bear on the internal audit units of Kaduna polytechnic the responsibility of proper internal auditing which will in turn advance effective internal control system to conform to the new government policy. All these developments call for dynamic processes of investigation and verification of activities to enable management monitor control and measure the rate of its performance output, bearing in mind the cost in terms of resources inputs.
The act of investigation, verification and reporting are all audit functions. The problem now is to determine which audit approach will be most effective in assisting management to have a better grip of internal control and accountability so as to effect the desired economy. Efficiency and effectiveness for result oriented performance.
Experience has shown that hitherto financial audit carried out in Kaduna Polytechnic, emphasis less on economy efficiency and concern has often been to accuracy and conformity with regulations. This is another approach will ensure the measure of economy, efficiency and effectiveness audit (the three Es audit is advocated here.)
The problem of this research now therefore, remains to establish if the new audit approach being advocated will enhance better internal control and accountability than the hitherto financial audit. The main problem is therefore stated thus:
Is economy, efficiency and effectiveness audit a better effective management tool for internal control accountability financial audit?
The problem is further broken down into small specific problem as follows:
- Can the three ES audit enhance the desired system of internal control better than financial audit
- Can the three Es audit enhance effective accountability than financial audits?
- Can the three Es audit enhance more comprehensive stewardship reporting than financial audit?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
- The aims and the purpose of this work includes; the responsibility of designing accounting system in public parastatals and other related organizations with the need of marking right design and having the right calibre of officers to implement the system in order to achieve the desired results.
- To evaluate the accounting system of the ministry of finance in Kaduna State in relation to its scope of activities
- To evaluate the level of accountability in the public parastal and other similar organization
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Ho: That public sector accounting does not leads to accountability in Public sector.
Hi: That public sector accounting does leads to accountability in Public sector.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this research work cannot be over emphasized the reason is that it is a pre-requisite for the researcher to acquired the award of National Diploma in Accountancy.
The study is significance to public enterprises management as it will enable them to know the importance of public accounting towards ensuring accountability in public organization.
The significance of the study does not only limited to public sector, the private organization can make use of this research work and apply the recommendations made by the researcher to ensures proper accountability.
Lastly, the work will serve as a source or reference for future researcher that may be willing to undertaken research on the subject matter.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is to critically analyze the impact of public sector of accounting on accountability in public sector. The research is carryout to covered Kaduna polytechnic as the case study. Also to highlight the role of internal audit, the role of internal control and the effect of accurate record keeping as techniques of accountability in the public sector.
1.7 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE CASE STUDY
It is worthwhile to state briefly and objectives of Kaduna Polytechnic. Kaduna Polytechnic was established in 1956 as Kaduna Technical Institute. The first significance report on the proposed establishment of a polytechnic to be built in the then northern Nigeria was prepared by Dr. H. W French and Mr. G. H Wiggles north of the British Ministry of Education (which later known as the department of education and science) in June 1962. The terms of reference for the survey were to formulate and present advice to the Nigeria Authorises on the planning of a polytechnic college in Kaduna in the northern region of Nigeria. These terms were later amplified to include advice on the selection of the site, schedule of accommodation and the grouping of rooms with regard to education, architectural and cost consideration. The site work for the building of the institutions started in March 1966.
As a result of the break of the north into six (6) states and the subsequent insistence on roughly equal students representation in the proposed college caused a much lower progress of the building that predicted.
In April 1968, the federal military government in its decree No. 20 of 1968 formally established the Kaduna polytechnic. The official opening ceremony was held 21st November 1968. The opening was done by British high Commissioner from Lagos, Sir. David Hunt, KCMO’s OBE at a large gathering of limited guest including two northern state governors. The buildings and equipment were all gifts from the government of United Kingdom. The first principal of the institute as Mr. F. J. Hawley and Colonel W. Martin was its first secretary.
The polytechnic was in the central of the northern states of Nigeria before it was taken over the federal government on 27th August 1991 by Decree 40 of 1991.
The objectives of the institution have been to provide:
- Diverse instruction, training and research in technology, science in technology, science commerce and humanities.
- Course of in-service instrument for members of the public service in Nigeria in general and the northern states in particular
Kaduna polytechnic computer of four (4) viz
- College of engineering
- College of science and technology
- College of environmental studies
- College of administrative and business studies
It now has twenty-eight academic department offering over 120 programmes and the post HND, postgraduates diploma at the B.E.d (technology) Higher Diploma and certificate level. It has student population of about 19,000 and staff strength of 3,580 as at April 2001 ending.
The central administration of the polytechnic has various sections viz, establishment. Academic affairs, rectory, works bursary, student affairs and medical center.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In the course of this research, the following shall be used from time to time and their meaning are as follows:
- Balance Sheet: This is a statement of financial position of business organization at a particular moment time showing its assets and liabilities
- Cash Book: This is a book in which we record all business transaction made on cash. This book shows the details of cash made.
- Voucher Register: This is a register which is maintained by the accounting officer, which shows the departmental voucher number giving to payment voucher
- Capital expenditure vote book: This is a vote book which shows the analysis details of capital expenditure made on a particular project
Notes on the accounts: These are notes preceding the account showing the details of how the various item totals were arrived at. This gives the users of the account an idea of how the various figures were arrived at