An analysis of the effectiveness of internal audits in government: a case study of five (05) selected government ministries in Lusaka district.

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Tembo, Gregory
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The University of Zambia
Internal audit is an important part of public sector performance and enforcement of control systems. It includes among other things financial management to ensure that public funds are Used for the intended purpose whilst following the standard procedures. This research examines the sufficiency and competencies of internal auditors, evaluates the management support accorded to internal auditors and accesses the extent of the independence of internal auditors in order to analyse their effectiveness. The research employed both qualitative and quantitative review of literature. It employed the interpretivist paradigm to discuss the objectives of the research. Scrutiny of journals, reports, books, newspapers and the internet were used to collect secondary data. It also employed the inductive approach to gather data, analyse it and formulate theories to arrive at a conclusion. The research was conducted in five (5) selected ministries namely, Ministry of Finance, Health, Higher education, Community development and Social Security and Agriculture with a sample size of twenty-five (25) respondents. The research further employed the case study approach to examine and appreciate the gaps in the effectiveness of the internal audit functions in the five (5) selected ministries. The research was longitudinal in nature. The ministries were selected using non-probalistic purposive sampling. The research used semi-structured questionnaires as primary tool for data collection. Statistical package was employed to produce descriptive statistics. The findings of the research include that internal auditors have the requisite qualifications and competencies to discharge their functions. However, they lack adequate management support. Internal auditors form part of management as such evaluates their own work and suffer undue influence from management. Internal auditors require independence in order to discharge their functions without compromise. However, they lack the necessary adequate independence. The internal auditors are not sufficient in numbers in the selected ministries thereby affecting the audit coverage. The research recommends that internal auditors should be increased in numbers to expand the human resource and audit coverage, they must be separated from management to curtail the undue influence on the internal auditors and in future the research should be extended to all government ministries in order to establish whether the challenges in the selected five ministries are common to all other government ministries.
Thesis of Master of Business Administration in Finance