Effectiveness of internal financial control policies in public sector institutions: The case of the Ministry of Defence Zimbabwe
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The research assessed the effectiveness of internal financial control policies in Public sector Institutions, focusing on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the period 2010 to 2013. The study was necessitated by the need to improve effectiveness of internal controls in the Zimbabwean Public Sector. This was in light of the severe budget over-runs, misappropriation of funds and negative audit reports. The main objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of internal financial controls in place within the public sector. This was done through an assessment of the usage of and adherence to internal controls, coupled with uncovering the challenges and potential strategies associated with implementing and using effective internal controls. Relevant literature was reviewed in line with the mentioned objectives. This led to the methodology section. A survey with 92% response rate was used for the research and questionnaires were used to gather data from the respondents. The respondents were all employees at the MOD. Interviews were conducted with the Chief Internal Auditor and one Director to obtain in depth answers and also to clarify unclear responses thus improving validity and reliability of results. Major findings were that despite general adherence to internal controls, the internal controls in place are not effective. The findings also included challenges faced in using internal controls and identified potential strategies to enhance effectiveness of internal controls. The study also revealed the importance of creating a conducive environment for effective implementation of internal controls. There is no obvious flouting of control procedures put in place. The conclusion reached was that the internal controls at the MOD are ineffective. It was also concluded that there is reasonable adherence to the usage of internal controls in place despite the existence of several challenges such as outdated manuals, lack of inadequate funding and lack of appropriate training. The study recommended that management must continuously update policy and procedure manuals used and at the same time institute the necessary training to bring about effectiveness of internal controls. It was also recommended that management should professionalise the MOD through recruiting, training and development of qualified personnel. Furthermore, continuous dialogue with Ministry of Finance was suggested to reduce excessive budget overrun.
Additional Citation InformationMatare, T. (2014). Effectiveness of internal financial control policies in public sector institutions : the case of the Ministry of Defence Zimbabwe (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectInternal control systems
Financial performance measurement
Public sector institutions