The role of internal auditors in Curbing corruption
1.0 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA OF STUDY
Corruption is a pervasive, World Wide problem that can crop up in any organization. The term “Corruption” implies many different meanings but generally entails misusing one’s position for private gain or an unauthorized end.
Corruption according to Hornby, S.A, (2000). Is defined as dishonest or illegal behaviour especially of people in authority. It is also the act of making change from moral to immoral standards of behaviour. It can involve financial and non-monetary benefit, bribery, extortion, influence pedding, nepotism, and fraud are all acts associated with corruption. Internal auditors can combat this effective anticorruption strategies. Combating corruption requires a complex approach, that addresses the many causes. Facets and structural issues that corruption entails. It also requires courage and a long-term commitment by a variety of anticorruption actors, political leaders, champions amongst public servant, civil society, media, academics, the private sector and international organizations all play important role in addressing corruption. The impact of corruption in the public sector can be devastating, corrupt practices increase risk and cost to business, damage investor, confidences and stifle growth. According to Adams, (2009;1). Public sector is “all organizations, which are not privately owned and operated but, which are established, run and financed by the government on behalf of the public. This conveys the idea that public sector consists of organizations where control lies in the hand of the public. Eventually, these activities can distort the public sector allocating of resources, undermine its legitimate business practice and even lead to bankruptcy. Internal auditors are uniquely qualified to help the public sector or organizations fight corruption. As the eyes and ears of management, auditors are present year round, they have a broad understanding of business operations, and they are bound by strict standards of performance and ethical conduct. By providing assurance that effective prevention, detection and correction measures are in place, auditors can play a significant role in the public sector anti-corruption efforts.
PREVENTIONS: Most auditors know quite well that rather than wait for a loss to occur, it is far better to establish control mechanisms that prevent the loss from occurring in the first place.
This is especially true in fight against corruption. A practice approach to anticorruption efforts that involves looking at areas from which the problem may stem can help reduce the potential for misdeeds.
Ethics, integrity, and accountability in the public sector. In the finally analysis management has the ultimate responsibility for preventing and fighting corruption. God corporate governance, appropriate tone at the top, and sound controls are the three main tools at managements, disposal for accomplishing this goals.
However, their efforts will be effective only if all members of the public sector or organization recognize corruption as a problem and work towards preventing it. Because the cost of corruption to public sector today is monetary as is the level of concern among professional, using Maxi Dimegwu Bankole and others involves in the embezzlement of public fund, as a good example of the corruption we are referring to in the public sector.
1.02 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MICHAEL OPARA COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE UMUAGWO,
Michael Opara College of agriculture Umuagwo was upgraded to a polytechnic status, renamed as the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo in 2007. the institution provide courses, training and research in all branches of Agriculture, management sciences, Engineering and food Sciences. The institution is certified to award National Diploma and Higher National Diploma qualifications.
The polytechnic is twenty six kilometer from (Owerri) on the (Port-Harcourt) road and has three hundred and sixty hectares of land. (Otamici River) runs past its border, making it deal for all year round agricultural production through irrigation Chiwe Obaji was a lecturer at this institution before appointed head of Nigeria Federal Ministry of Education.
In 2009, the Rector, Dr. Anderson Amadioha stated that “we have developed about 43 varieties of high yielding cassava stems for use by farmers. The college has also research improvement to other crops, such as maize, in March 2009.
1.03 PROBLEM ANALYSIS
Corruption threaten the life of people in the public sector and deserves to be ascribed in statute as a criminally unlawful act. It is not merely criminal expropriation of someone’s property but also a fatal threat to the integrity of the internal auditor in the public sector. The Defalcation of wages which includes the use of fictions names in the wages list as well as misappropriation through other means. If possible, the internal auditors should ascertain whether or not only a small area is involved, for example to avoid extra checking such as would be involved in collusive frauds involving many employees. Public funds and properties are entrusted to certain individuals or employees in the public sector and most case, these individuals or employees are not brought under thorough supervision. The ultimate consequence of this is that most of these fund or properties are diverted to personal use this study was set up to investigate into the impact of internal control ineffective management of public sector and also in Michael Opara College of Agriculture, from the forgoing therefore, the problem for the present study can unequivocally be stated thus what extent has corruption affected the performance of Michael Opara College of Agriculture.
1.04 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The main purpose of this research work includes:
a. To determine the role of internal auditor in the public-sector
b. To highlight the system of internal control in combating corruption in the public sector
c. To analyze ways corruption can prevented in the public sector.
d. To discourage fraudulent activities in the public sector.
1.05 RELEVANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How do bribery occur in Michael Opara College of Agriculture?
2. How do these fraudulent practices affect the college of agriculture generally?
3. How effective are the control systems put together to combat corruption in Michael Opara College of agriculture?
4. How well and fast are criminology practices detected?
5. How do you hope to enhance and ensure effective and adequate internal control in Michael Opara College of Agriculture?
6. How do you hope to ensure effective an adequate fraud prevention and detection in Michael Opara College of Agriculture.?
1.06 DELIMITATION (SCOPE) OF THE STUDY
This research work is limited to the role of internal auditors in Curbing corruption and prevention and set out vividly the possible ways through which an internal auditor can assist in curbing and preventing corruption. The research is limited to Michael Opara College of agriculture. The researcher uses the medium to discuss corruption in the public sector. The scope of this research is also limited to curbing corruption proper in writing this project. The research fund certain aspects of the work very uneasy as some obstacles were encountered in the conduct of the research. The minimal period being one of the major constrained.
It was assumed that the management of Michael Opara College of agriculture Umuagwo, would give the researcher the necessary information and explanation relevant to the study. It is also assumed that the findings and recommendations in this work will be of available to public sector. It was equally assumed that the supervisor would give the researcher the necessary advice for the completion of the study.
1.08 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Every meaningful research is expected to yield reasonable result. Therefore, this research will enable the internal auditors to rise up to their responsibilities in the prevention of corruption in the public sector.
The study will also provide an explanation to the high rate of corruption in the public sector and then make useful recommendations as to how to arrive at a solution.
Finally, it will give assistance to other researchers who would which to research more in this topic.
1.09 DEFINITION OF UNFAMILIAR TERM
1. AUDITOR: The individual or firm carrying out the audit of the enterprises and the partners of such individual or in such firm.
2. Audit: The independent examination of, and expresses of opinion on, the financial statements of an enterprises by an appointed and in compliance with any relevant statutory.
3. Internal Control: Internal control may be define as the whole system of controls, financial or otherwise, established by management in order to carry on the business of the organization in an orderly manner, safeguard its assets , and secure as far as possible the accuracy and the reliability of the information contained in the financial record.
4. Corruption: Dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority. It also the act or effect of making change from moral to immoral standard of behavious.
5. Curbing: Curbing means to control or limit inflation
6. Prevention: Prevention means the act of stopping or protecting bad from happening
7. Integrity: Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principle.
8. Detect: this is the process of finding or detecting crime or fact.