Financial Control And Accountability In Public Sector

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FINANCIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN PUBLIC SECTOR

INTRODUCTION 
The financial control of the Public Purse is in the hands of Government administration. Government business whether in form of policies, programmes, activities or functions, are formalities that become rigorous especially in relation to the accounting and reporting for the collection and use of government fund which supports the process of governance.
Public accountability is not a new phenomenon it is old as man in his social relations with his fellowman. This is because in ancient times, the Accounts of estate domain or manor were examined by reading them out by those compiled them to the persons in the authority. Thus, there was an element of answerability in government.
Today, however, public accountability involves the addition to stewardship assessing whether the uses of allocation of resources yield more benefit than another, this makes public accountability more complex with various consequences especially when decisions taken by public officers are brought under open and public scrutiny. The scrutiny is often being done by people who are not involved in making such decisions and / or those capable of understanding the intricacies of such decision, therefore, public accountability can be vague articulate depending on the understanding and ethical standards pf the group defining it. Prevailing circumstances and the values of people in that society
Review of Related Literature
Financial control and accountability in the Abia State Ministry of finance Umuahia is quite similar to what obtains in every public sector organization.
Thus, this chapter would review the nature of financial control and accountability in public sector organizations with particular emphasis on the Abia State Government as mentioned in the introduction. This works scope is mainly on Abia State Ministry of Finance Umuahia.
According to Oshisami (1982) financial control has been defined as “the process which assumes that financial resources are obtained economically and used efficiently and effectively in the accomplishment of designed goals.
Financial control is the ability of management to protect the resources of an organization such as materials and money against possible losses ranging from embezzlement to such causes as careless use of supplies or productive materials by inefficient workers.
According to Nwafor (1982:54) Accountability is simply answerability, that is requirements on public servants entrusted with certain financial Responsibilities to render account of or answer to questions from their superior officer (s). According to Johnson (1996) accountability means the obligation to answer for responsibility that has been conferred.
The chapter focuses on the impact of major government and professional regulations as well as pronouncements on accountability and financial control in government ministries. To this end certain departments, units and agencies of government play vital roles as exemplified (as treated in this chapter) by the office of the Auditor – General the audit Alarm committee and public Accounts committee. Also discussed are the meaning of public fund and the impact of the various constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979, and 1989, the civil service reforms 1983 and the financial regulations/instructions of government in ensuring accountability and financial control especially sit affects State government ministries.
To ensure accountability and financial control certain systems are installed they include sound internal Audit department with the roles of each internal auditor clearly defined a system where internal auditor checks make for a sound system of internal control as well as budgetary control system.
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