INTERNAL AUDITORS’ AUTONOMY AND FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN CROSS RIVER STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM- 2008-2013.
This work aims at investigating the Internal Auditors’ Autonomy and financial Accountability in Cross River State Local Government system. In the process of this research, the investigator attempt to examine how the double coincidence of the chairmen of local governments being the political heads and at the same time, the chief accounting officers of the local governments could affect the proper financial management in the local government system. The study adopts the system theory as the theoretical framework of analysis. It agues that local government is a full system comprising of other sub-systems, therefore, the activity of any part of the sub-system (department) may definitely create reaction to other parts. The research methodology consists of random sampling techniques. Both primary and secondary source of data collection was used. The following findings were made by the investigator: that the constant subjection of the internal auditor to be answerable to the chief executive of the local government council (the chairman) has made the internal audit activities a myth rather than a reality; that there is no frugality in the disbursement of public funds in the local government system; that the duties of the Internal Auditors of the local government councils as stated in the Financial Memorandum (FM 40:r3), which includes the independent appraisal of the accounting, financial and other processes of the local governments are not strictly followed; coupled with the above findings, the investigator proffered the following recommendations; that the Internal Auditor should be granted autonomy and made to exist independent of the Chairman and Local Government control as this will ensure objectivity and prudent financial management in the Local Government System ,that the National Local Government Audit Commission should be set up in each state of the federation where by this commission shall be accountable to the Federal Government and responsible for the appointment, postings to various local government promotions and discipline of Internal Auditors who now be accountable to it etc. Finally, the investigator conclude that if the above recommendations could be accepted and implemented, the problems associated with internal auditing in the local government will be reduced if not totally eradicated which will go a long way towards enhancing proper financial accountability in the local government system.