THE ROLE OF AUDIT FUNCTION IN GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT (A CASE STUDY OF OFFICE OF AUDITOR- GENERAL OF ENUGU STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There is need for acceptable accountability of the money spent by various government establishments. This has resulted in federal government establishment of Audit Department in both the federal and state governments as provided. The duty of the Audit department is to report on the accounts stewardship rendered by the public officer section 118 subsection 2 of the 1979 constitution provides that the public accounts of a state and officers courts and authorities of the state including all persons and bodies established by law entrusted with collection and administration of public reported by the director of audit and for that purpose the director of audit or any person authorized by him on his behalf shall have access to all books records and returns and other documents relating to those accounts.
The study focuses attention on how well or not Enugu State Audit Department conducted their activities in response to section 118 of the 1979 constitution of the federal republic at Nigeria.
To appreciate whether the Audit Department of Enugu State performs its constitutional responsibility efficiently and effectively, it becomes necessary to determine or examine the effectiveness of the Brief History of Enugu State Audit Department.
Before the enactment of Audit law of 1958 and prior the creation of Eastern Region of Nigeria the audit of government accounts was controlled by the Director of Audit not as it is now addressed or called, that is Auditor – General.
In 1956 the Audit law as enacted, known as audit ordinance of 1956. Chapter 13 of the laws of Eastern Nigeria 1963 give the government of the then eastern Nigeria the power and authority t establish an Audit Department. The Audit Department was headed by the “Director of Audit”. Direct of Audit here means the Director of Audit for the Region establishment by section 61 of the constitution of Eastern Region.
The Director of Audit was charged with the duties and responsibilities of collecting the accounts of Governments signed by the Account-General for the Region and examine the accounts. The accounts must show the true /fully the financial position of the Government of Eastern Nigeria on the last day of such financial year.
Such accounts shall include: –
a. An abstract account of receipt and payments;
b. A statement of assets and liabilities;
c. Statements of revenue and expenditure by sub-heads; and
d. Such other statements as the minister my from time to time requires.
After the examinations, the Director of Audit will then present the audit account with the Report from the Director of Auditor to the Legislative Arms of the Region’s Government.
With the creation of Anambra State by the then Murtala Ramat Muhammed Government of 1975 out the formal Eastern Region the formal Eastern Nigerian Audit Department was then addressed as the Anambra State Audit Department, which their duties and responsibilities was still derived from the provisions of chapter 13 of Eastern Nigerian constitution.
During the Democratic Era of 1979 a constitution was drafted for the federation which provided for the Audit – General of a state to be appointed the governor of such state. This was provided in section 118 of 1979 constitution.
The present Enugu state Audit Department came into existence with the creation of Enugu State out of the old Anambra State. The Audt Department came into existence early in August 1991, changed with the duty of examine the accounts of Enugu State government. The Audit Department is now headed by the Auditor – General of Enugu State.
Their duties, powers and responsibilities are derived from section 125 of the constitution of Nigeria 1999 audit function through the analysis of audit. Carried out on government establishments and the opinions of those that audited the accounts. This will include whether they always audit accounts rendered by other government establishments, and finally the impression of the general public about the audit function.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There have been the problems at delays in auditing the accounts of government minister and non-ministerial departments. A particular case was the eleven years accumulated unaudited accounts of the former Anambra State as revealed by the Audit.
The audit department after the creation of states in august 1991 the audit document the audit document could not resolve how to audit the area of accounts of the new state after the creation.
Consequently, the poor accountability in the public service in the state is a problem which had originated from the former Anambra State had been blamed on the ineffective manner with which the late Audit Department had performed its constitutional duties. The effects of these delays manifests when the auditing is actually done. The reasons being that some key public offices who are likely to give useful information or to whom audit queries might be addressed to would have left, either by reasons of retirements, a better job vital document destroyed are eve death.
The continuous accumulation of unedited accounts of government brings about poor accountability, poor record – keeping, fraud, embezzlement, forgery and other vices.