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THE TOPIC AUDIT AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN A PUBLIC SECTOR (A CASE STUDY OF THE DELTA STATE POLYTECHNIC OZORO CAMPUS).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term audit is derived from the word “Audire” which means to Hear. The origin of audit can be traced to the ancient days inBritain where land owners allowed tenant farmers to farm on their lands. The land owners did not involve themselves in the cultivation of the land or in the imprecision of these tenant farmers, rather cultivation of the land was done by the overseer appointed by the landowners.
Agbawe, (2005) defines audit us, “An examination and inquiry into a statement of accounts, the underlying records, documents, assets and liabilities by an independent person with a view to express an opinion us to the accuracy and correctness of the financial statement”.
However, we shall adopt the definition given by the American accounting Association Committee for our study, on Basic Auditing Concept (1971) as “a systematic process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence regarding ascertain the degree of correspondence between the result to interested directors, established criteria and communicating the results to the interested users.
This definition is broad and general because it encompasses both the internal and external auditing. External auditing involves the appointment of the external auditors by the board directors, which auditing involves employment of internal auditors which normally leads to creation of audit department in the organization. The audit department should relate very well with the other functional unit in the organization.
Osita Aguolu (1998) defines the internal audit as “independent appraisal of the functions and qualities of performance of an organization by a specially assigned staff as part of the internal control system”.
This definition emphasizes more on the functions and the quality of performance required in the audit department.
On the other hand, Accountability in a general sense is the liability to reveal, explain and analyse what one does, how one discharge responsibilities financially or otherwise. It provides the post modern or examination of actions, the test of obedience and judgment. It is important to note that accountability and auditing are twin brothers, after accountability comes the auditing.
In respect of the above definitions, the researchers try to find out how fair is the audit and accountability of the public sector is being maintained. Whether the rules of the audit principles are being strictly adhered to as in the public and private limited companies. This study will also focus on the various problems faced by the audit department of the delta state university library, Oleh Campus. And also highlight the roles played by the audit department.
The researchers also try to look at the public sectors whether the have qualified or experienced personnel to man the various sectors. The opinion of eminent scholars expressed in various journals related books and seminar papers were also show-cased in the study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS.
The system of control as alleged have not been found to be compatible, lack of understanding of the objective by the audit staff proper auditing procedures, the internal auditing techniques and therefore dup of the work of account and external auditors and excessive control by the management staff and government officials.
Other possible or likely problems involved are: lack of skilled personnel, government officials practicing hide and seek games in accountability of government fund. There is a dire need to go into research in other to fund out what needs to be done to make the internal audit department more than ever effective and ensure a greater accountability in the public sector.
In this regard, the following research questions have been drawn;
i. Is the audit department of the Delta State University Library, Oleh Campus independent?
ii. Does the audit department carry out its duties without any influence?
iii. What are the qualification of auditors?
iv. Is there accountability in the library department?
v. Do the internal audit department lack qualified staff?
vi. Are the audit staff satisfied with the working conditions?
These questions are yearning for timely answers.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
The purpose of the research work is to find out the following:
i. To ascertain whether there is audit and accountability in the library department.
ii. To assets the level of utilization of government feuds released to the law library.
iii. To find out the benefit of internal auditing to the management.
iv. To find out the relationship between internal and external auditors.
v. And to recommend ways which will help the library department to improve on their internal audit practice and also sustain accountability.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is vital in a number of ways as will enable the management to determine whether there is accountability in the library department.
The research will enable management to know how effective the internal audit department has been functioning for control purposes.
The research also provides useful insight into internal audit practice in the law faculty library, Oleh Campus and provides useful information for effective management in both organizations to give sound implementation of audit functions.
The research will also see to whether the audit department is given a freehand to carry out their duties and obligation as obtainable in private and public companies.
To provide references materials for others that might wish to carry out enquires in the subject matter. To the researcher, the study would widen their knowledge on the subject matter. Recommendation would be ready tool for policy making by the government.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY.
The scope of the study is limited to administrative and technical units of the law library.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study suffered the under listed constraints.
i. The limitation to the study is one’s ability to lay hands on related text.
ii. Finance is also needed to gather materials, analyze, type and bind the project as well as transportation/communication. The cost involve is high.
iii. Limited time usually meant for lectures, and other things is scarified for the success of the project.
But however, I am convinced that the data available for this research would be sufficient to a great deal towards achieving the stated objective.
The data for this research work would be mainly from two district sources, namely primary and secondary sources. The primary sources are from questionnaires administered and personal interviews while the secondary sources are from textbooks, revered journals, newspaper, e.t.c.
PLAN OF STUDY.
Plan od study refers to how the entire project is structured. This project is basically divided into five chapters;
Chapter one: This comprises of the background of the study, statement of research problems, purpose of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study, methodology, plan of study, definition of terms and a brief history of the Delta State University Library, Oleh Campus.
Chapter two: This consist of literature review.
Chapter three: Consist of research methodology.
Chapter four: Consist of data presentation and analysis.
Chapter five: This consists of research finding, summary, conclusion, recommendation and suggestion for further study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In a study of this nature, a number of unfamiliar or technical terms are bound to be encountered. In an effort to ensure that the reader of the research work is taken along the stream of though, it is necessary to clarity some of these terms:
AUDIT: This is an examination of books, records and various vouchers of a business as well as to enable the auditor to satisfy himself that the balance sheet is properly drawn, so as to give a true and fair view of the financial period and that the records comply with relevant statutory and accounting standards.
AUDITING: This is the systematic process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence regarding ascertains about economic actions and events to assertion and establish criteria and communicating the result to the interested users.
INTERNAL AUDITING: Internal audit is an independent review and appraisal of the organization as a basis of protective and constructive service to management. It is done by a staff of the organization charged with the responsibility to act which normally leads to the creation of the internal audit department. It is important to note that the internal audit and internal check are part of the internal control, Agbawe, C.O. (2005).
AUDITOR: An auditor is an independent period who has the sufficient professional qualification to express an opinion as to the truth and fairness of financial statement.
INTERNAL CONTROL: This is the whole system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner, enhance adherence to management policies, safeguard the assets and secure as far as possible the completeness and accuracy of the records (consultative committee of Accounting Bodies in Uk).
FRAUD: Agawe, C.O. (2005) defines as an intentional act to obtain an illegal advantage.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Liable to account, responsible and explicable. The act of demanding an explanation or justification of set of value.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY. OLEH CAMPUS.
The Delta State University Library, Oleh Campus came into being as a result of the creation of theDeltaStateUniversitylaw faculty in 1995. the law library is today referred to as Prof. Olisa Chukra (SAN) law library.
The faculty was sited in an existing college, in oleh. Due to the existence of the school building in the college, an old library building of the college was renovated for use as a library. However, in 1998 the State Government awarded a contract for the renovation of an abandoned technical workshop for use as a library, consequent upon the enormous contributions of the librarian in charge, a proper library structure emerged.
Now, the library has ample space for Administration, Technical and Reader’s services. To go with the building, a proper circulation desk and porters’ lodge were built. The floor properly carpeted with tiles, the reading and stack areas are air conditioned. Furniture of enviable quality and design such as padded chairs, catalogues, newspapers and magazines display racks were provided. And today, the library sits a total of one hundred and eighty six (186) or 38% of the total users population of the campus.
There are also ten (10) rows of fifteen (15)ft units of steel shelves for library materials. With this sound arrangement put in place, today, the faculty of law library is a comfortable place where serious academic works can be done.
The Delta State University Library, Oleh Campus consists of there main sections. These are:
i. Administrative Department:- This deals with the purchase of all stock and fittings of the library, such as books, furniture.
ii. Technical Department:- This deals with the processing of purchased stock of materials through cataloguing, binding, e.t.c before sending them to the reference or reserve section.
iii. Circulation Department:- This deals with the clientele, (users or customers) of the library.
The history of the law library cannot be completed without putting on records of the kind donations made by individual and organization. Most notable are the donations of the library furniture by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), library roof (replacing) by Chief Smith Evivie and of course the renovation and extension of the library building by the State Government.