APPRAISAL OF EXPENDITURE CONTROLS IN GOVERNMENT (A CASE STUDY OF IMO STATE GOVERNMENT)
The researcher has primarily examined some of the expenditure control techniques that are and could be applied in government. Noting the obstacles and their rate of effectiveness, emphasis are laid on the techniques already in application.
Data for the research were gathered through interviews, questionnaires and financial regulations. Percentages were used in the data analysis. The following are the research findings.
Budgeting, expenditure control and audits are commonly used by government in order to curb expenditures, cost benefits, analysis and management audits that could be applied are not in use.
Variance analysis is the budgeting review technique universally applied for analyzing budgeting estimates. The effectiveness of each of these techniques are hindered by obstacles inherent in the implementation.
Government indicates the goals to be achieved with a given outlay. It is therefore essential to control the expenditure to serve the allowed purposes. Expenditure controls may be positive or negative. Expenditure controls essentially reflect a managerial process that is both political and administrative. The type of expenditure controls employed and their effectiveness are dependent in the external and expenditure environment of the government parastatas.
1.0. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Every organization has a purpose, which includes making some product and rendering some services at a price. For normal operations of the Government, it is the product or services of the firm that cause cash receipts (revenue) to flow into the firm. Revenue is associated with products or service of a firm as source of expected cash receipts. Revenue is an event; an increase that applies definitely to value that is monetary. This increase occurs because the firm undertakes certain activities or there is any performance by the firm.
Revenue therefore refers to the monetary event of asset valves increasing in the firm due to the physical event of production or sales of the firms’ products or services.
In Kam (1987:237), Financial Accounting Standard Board(FASB) defines revenue as inflows or other enhancements of assets of an entity or settlements of its liabilities (or combination of both) during a period from delivery or producing goods, rendering service or other activities that constitutes the entity’s ongoing major or central operations. In addition, Hongreen et al (2002:568) described revenue as inflows of asset (almost always cash or accounts receivables) received for products or services provided to customers.
Her goals include:
I. To continuously improve her service to her customer.
II. To realize full payment for timely accurate and complete billing of electricity delivered.
III. Institutionalise business and commercial orientation among the work force.
IV. Gradually aiming at closing the gap between demand and supply by upgrading and expanding, generating, transmission and distribution of infrastructure.
V. To improve skills and motivation of staff.
To achieve the above mission and goals, the management of the establishment must adopt measures to ensure that available resources are prudently used to obtain valve for money from resources allocated to them. Management in turn should generate operational data with which they evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of their operation. It is fundament aspect of management stewardship responsibility to provide interested parties with reasonable assurance that their organisation is effectively controlled and that the accounting data it receives on a timely basis are accurate and dependable. Developing a strong system of expenditure control provides this assurance.
Thus expenditure control is defined as the whole system of control, financial and otherwise established by the management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner to ensure adherence to management policies safeguard the assets and secure as far as possible the completeness and accuracy of the records. In addition the American institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1949 defined expenditure control as comprising the plan of organisation and all the coordinate methods and measures adopted within a business (or non profit making body) to safeguard its assets, check the accuracy and reliability of its accounting data promote operational efficiency and encourage adherence to prescribed managerial policies. A ‘system’ of expenditure control extends beyond those matters which relate directly to the functions of the accounting and financial department.
However, it is an established fact that all the business units and service centre of Government of Nigerian inEnugu state are often plagued by accounting and administrative control problems as it affect revenue generation and other assets. As a result the establishment revenue base has assumed a downward trend.
It has also been shown that despite considerable investment, public service delivery by the establishment is widely perceived to be unsatisfactory and deteriorating from bad to worse.
The complete dependence on capital grants allocation from government is also known. What is not known is the degree to which expenditure control weaknesses and reduced allocation from government contribute to the problem.
The incidence of expenditure control weaknesses unsatisfactory and deteriorating service delivery have the undesired effect of not only weakening the establishment’s ability to provide services effectively, but also encourages collusion, fraud, asset conversion, genuine and deliberate mistakes, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability for revenue collection and accountability for revenue collection and other assets. For the enhancement of the attainment of the mission and goals, it is therefore necessary that these hindrances be removed. It is against the above background and evaluate that this research carried out to examine and evaluate the expenditure control system in operation at holding Government of Nigeria in Enugu state.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The incidence of expenditure control weaknesses, unsatisfactory and deteriorating service delivery have the undesired effect of not only weakening the Government’s ability to effectively provide services but also encourages collusion, fraud, embezzlements, loss of cash (revenue), assets conversion genuine and deliberate mistakes, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability for revenue collection and other assets. Despite considerable investment, public service delivery is unsatisfactory and degenerating. The Government is not able to break even and sustain itself from the revenue obtained there from. This impacts so negatively on the Government’s existence.
For the enhancement of the attainment of the mission and goals of the Government, it is therefore necessary that these hindrances be removed. The management of the Government should familiarize themselves with expenditure control procedures that will ensure effective service delivery and the desired revenue generation.
Unfortunately, there has a dearth of adequate information in this regard. No determined effort has been made to investigate the problem of weak expenditure control over service delivery and revenue generation. Therefore the main motivating factor underlying this study is the desire to break new grounds with the intent of shedding more light on this problem and seeking avenues for solving it.
Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine and evaluate the expenditure control system in operation of Government of Nigeria in Enugu state with a view of knowing its impact on revenue generation in the state.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to evaluate, the expenditure control system in operations at Government of Nigeria in Enugu state.
Other objectives of the study are:
I. To examine the types and techniques of expenditure control system for revenue generation adopted by Government of Nigeria in Enugu state.
II. To determine the impact of expenditure control system on revenue generation.
III. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of the system of expenditure control in all departments in Government of Nigeria in Enugu state.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant for the following reasons:
i. These studies will highlight the accounting and administrative control problems plaguing Government of Nigeria in Enugu state.
ii. It will enable managers of services, organizations and government owned public utility establishments to bring the accounting and the expenditure control procedures inherent in them in conformity with expenditure accounting standards and practises.
iii. It will help government owned establishments to assess then expenditure control measures and make amends where necessary.
iv. The study could arouse further research into some other further research into some other functional areas in the Government by students and accountants. It will also help to broaden (my) researchers’ knowledge.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Although the study was to evaluate the expenditure control system in operation at Government of Nigeria in Enugu state, to ensure accurate and reliable data collection it was limited to the study of the expenditure control measures at the Enugu district unit of Government of Nigeria. This covers expenditure control as it affects revenue generation (handling of cash) assets control administrative control and manpower control as well.
The researcher due to the following could not take a wider range of study:
i. Inability to have access to some relevant documents from the officials in the Government.
ii. Financial and time constraint, which confined the researcher to only Enugu destruct unit.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the objectives of this study the following null and alternative hypotheses were developed.
Ho1`: Effective expenditure control does not ensure effective service delivery and desired revenue generation.
HA1: Effective expenditure control system ensures effective service delivery and desired revenue generation.
Ho2; Weak expenditure control system does not encourage collusion, fraud, embezzlement, loss of revenue, assets conversion and computation in Government of Nigeria.
HA2: Weak expenditure control system encourages collusion, fraud, embezzlement, and loss of revenue, assets conversion and computation in Government of Nigeria.
1.6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following are a few of the questions, which were asked in the questionnaire in the carrying out of this research work.
1. Does the expenditure control system ensure that operations comply with set policies and promote accuracy and reliability of transactions?
2. Are expenditure /external auditors independent of those whose functions they appraise?
3. Based on the evaluation of the expenditure control system, is it effective and efficient?
4. Is the accounting and operational routine sit out in an accounting Manuel?
1.7. DEFINITION OF TERMS
REVENUE: This describes the amount of money a Government generates in a set period of time through the sale of products or services.
EXPENDITURE CONTROL SYSTEM: This is the whole system of control, financial and otherwise established by the management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner.
AUDITING: An activity earned on by the auditor when he verifies or examines accounting information determines the accuracy and reliability of the accounting statement and reports and then expresses his opinion.
CONTROL ACTIVITIES: Policies and procedures that management has established
AUDIT: An independent examination of and the subsequent expression of opinion upon the financial statements of an organization.
EXPENDITURE CHECK:This is the allocation of authority and work in such a manner as to afford checks as the routine transactions of day to day work by means of the work of one person are being proved independently by another or the work of a person being complementary to that of another.