An investigation of the relevance of internal audit function in the public sector in the light of mismanagement of public finances.

Thumbnail Image
Mwila, Silvester
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
The presence of Internal Audit in the Public sector is fundamental for the elimination or reduction of financial and non-financial irregularities though there has been recurring cases of such irregularities as highlighted in the reports of the Auditor General. Therefore, as the result of these cases the general public, donors and other stakeholders have questioned the relevance of Internal Audit function if cases of financial irregularities could arise in the face of internal auditors This study was aimed at evaluating the relevance of internal audit function in the public sector of Zambia. The specific objectives of the study were to evaluate senior management support to internal audit function in government ministries, to evaluate senior management’s responsiveness to internal audit findings and recommendation, and to determine the extent to which internal audit effectiveness is evaluated in the public sector. The institutions targeted were the Ministries and public institutions within Lusaka Province. The study embraced a descriptive survey investigation design with the target population of 140. The sample size was 109 respondents comprising internal auditors and finance staff in government departments. The respondents were picked using a purposive sampling technique. The data was collected using questionnaires and analysed using SPSS. The results revealed that the variables used, that is, senior management support, internal audit independence, internal audit quality and audit committee are serious determinant factors of relevance of internal audit which management must pay particular attention to. This is in agreement with the previous studies. The study recommended that management should put extra emphasis on providing responses to internal audit results and implement recommendations and, providing the logistical support to internal audit for easy of operations. It is further recommended that the sound relationship between the audit committee, senior management and the internal auditors should be encouraged. The implications of the findings therefore are that the effectiveness and relevance of internal audit function rests with management. The future studies should focus on establishing the factors affecting management’s responsiveness to internal audit observations and also factors affecting management support to internal audit.
Thesis of Master of Science in Accounting and Finance.