INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Value for money audit is a recent expansion in the scope of auditing. In the public sector, state auditors were of traditionally concerned with regularity of expenditure and compliance with laws, rules and regulations. They also reported to parliament on the deficiencies in revenue collections and any wastage of public funds. In the early 1970s, the role of state auditor began to change in USA, Canada and in several Europeans countries. The elected representatives of the people started demanding information in the efficacy and the effectiveness of public expenditure. They expressed dissatisfaction with the traditional role of audit which focused merely on regularity and compliance aspects. They wanted to know value for money being achieved from the expenditure of public funds. They expected greater accountability from public officials in the management of public funds. The state auditors tried to this challenge and started value for money auditing. The value for money audit is also referred to performance auditing, comprehensive auditing, management auditing, efficiency auditing etc. Oladipupo (2005) states that value for money audit is an assessment of the activities of an organization to see if the resources are being managed with due regard for economy efficiency and effectiveness and that accountability requirements are being met treasonably. Value for money (VFM) audit focused on the elimination of waste and extravagance, but today the role is much wider. It is concerned economy, efficiency and effectiveness. It determines whether the entity is acquiring management or utilizing its resources (Staff, building, space, materials etc) in an economical and efficient manner and the causes of any inefficiencies or uneconomical practices. Value for money audit involves an inquiry into whether, in carrying out its responsibilities, the organization gives adequate consideration to optional acquisition procedures, and practices, safe keeping of its assets and money and minimum expenditure of effort. Value for money audit also determines whether objectives established by law and other authorizing bodies are being met and whether the organization has considered other alternatives which might yield desired results at a lower cost. This will involve and inquiry into the results or benefits achieved and the programs or activities to determine their achievement of established objectives. Considering the level of government involvement today in the national economy, it appears that a better way of holding public managers accountable for resources placed under their care is the application of value for money audit. For certain public sector programmes, it is possible to measure effectiveness where the output (objective) can be conceptualized in monetary terms, otherwise a cost benefit analysis approach is appropriate out, its utility as a control and accountability tool may be at a minimum.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS With the trend of things (Misappropriation of public funds) and the transfer of more responsibilities to public organization therefore, there is very need to look into how the resources entrusted to public managers are being managed. Most public of government establishment are completely funded by the allocation from the Federal Government Annual Budget. The need has arisen to have an in-depth study on how this is utilized. The main focus of this work is to ascertain how value for money audit acts as control and accountability tool in the management of public sector. The various ways in which value for money audit acts as a tool for securing accountability from manager is made explicit.
RESEARCH QUESTION This study was designed to find answers to the following questions. What role does value for money audit play as a control and accountability tool in the management of public organization.? Do the benefits from value for money audit in the public sector justify its cost? What effect does value for money audit have in the achievement of organizational objectives in the public sector with regards to the laid down policies and practices of government? What factor militate against value for money audit in public sector?
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The purpose of this research is to examine the concept of value for money audit as a tool for securing accountability for public managers. In this respect, conceptual framework, audit approach, limitations and reporting format will be discuss. Value for money (VFM) audit is a means of ascertaining if the financial, human and physical resources entrusted to management have been managed economically and efficiently and whether operation have been conducted effectively (Oshisami 1992). This work was purposed to expose how value for money audit can help as a control and accountability tool in the management of public sector. It was purposed to ascertain if the financial, human and physical resources entrusted in management have been managed economically and efficiently and whether operations have been conducted effectively. Public sector being organizations set up by government, there is need to carry out this study in order to look into the following areas. To ascertain the role value for money audit play as a control and accountability tool in the management of public organization. To ascertain whether benefits from value for money audit in the public sector justify its cost. To identify the effect value for money audit have in the achievement of organizational objectives in the public sector with regards to the laid down policies and practices of government. To identify the factor that militate against value for money audit in public sector.
RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS According to Agbonifoh and Yomere (1999), hypothesis is a tentative answer to a research question. Ho: Null hypothesis HI: Alternative hypothesis Ho: Value for money audit does not play any role as a control and accountability tool in the management of public organization. HI: value for money audit plays a positive role as a control and accountability tool in the management of public organization. Ho: There is no benefits derived from value for money audit justify its cost in public sector. HI: There is positive benefits derived from value for money audit justify its cost in public sector. Ho: There is no constructive effects in the achievement of organizational objectives in the public sector with regards to the laid down policies and practices of government. HI: There is positive constructive effects in the achievement of organizational objectives in the public sector with regards to the laid down policies and practices of government Ho: There is militating factors against value for money audit in public sector. HI: There is positive number of factors militating against value for money audit in public sector.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY This research studies public organization as a whole in Edo State and not restricted to any one particular organization. It concentrates on economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the operation of an organization. Ensuring that value for money provided, is the responsibility of management. The external auditor should review the system achievement of value for money. He should check that positive action is taken by management to correct weaknesses which are identified.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY Some of the weaknesses encountered by the researcher in his work is as follow: Low response rate, the researcher faces the challenges of low response from the public servants, and receiving crucial primary data (information) from the question asked was sometimes meet with a deadlock. The smallness of sample size is another challenges faced by the researcher. The inadequacy of the researcher to get a large sample size as limited to the books available, information processed from the secondary sources such as textbooks, internets, etc. Other weaknesses face was occasioned by the limited time and resources.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will helps organizations (public organization in particular) and its members/staffs to know how to manage resources entrusted to them in the best interest of the organization and the public. The need for this work is timely in this period of hard economic conditions where the ability to manage public resources in an economical, efficient and effective manner is a necessity for the survival of public establishments. It is in the opinion of the researcher that no sufficient work presently exist that exclusively treats value for money audit as a control and accountability tool for the management of public sector and this add to the uniqueness of this work. It will also be useful to all students of auditing, management accounting, Government accounting etc. and the general reader alike who will like to known how much value for money audit has contributed in ensuring accountability in the public sector. Lastly, the purpose of this work is therefore to bring us closer home to the importance of an adequate attention to value for money audit.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS The following terms are deemed necessary for definition for the purpose of this work. The definitions are drawn from available literature in the area of finance. Value for money (VFM) audit refers to the audit of economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of an organization. In other words, value for money audit is an investigation into whether proper arrangements have been made for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resource. Control – A control is a system built to main a desire state. It may be view as a measuring device which captures what is happening or a comparative device which compare what be happening or a corrective device for altering behaviour or performance if need be. Accountability –Means subjecting all public revenue and expenditure to the scruting of inspection. Accountability is also a process of ensuring that money is disbursed according to the budget. Tool – a tool is a mechanism for achieving something Public sector – public sector includes all organization not privately owned which are operated or established by government on behalf of the public.