The management of public resources has always been a turbulent issue. This is precisely the heart of any governmental administration. Government business in whatever for, be it policies, programmes, activities or function is run in accordance with the laid down formalities. These formalities in the area of government accounting and financial control and procedures may include laws, rules and accepted norms certain financial memorandum of the local government system. The accounting framework regulates the account format for the preparation of government account in local government system in an instrument for introduction of new policies and guide lines, before inclusion into the financial regulation as a part of a more permanent code of regulation. It is used to aid the achievement of probity and accountability in government. The frameworks specify action acceptable and those doomed unacceptable. The system is set to ensure uniformly and conformity of application.
This work examined the general background and concept of the research topic listing the aims, objectives, statements of problems and the scope and limitations of the research work. The existing literature on the accounting framework was examined so as to create in theoretical base for the study.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certification - - - i
Dedication - - - ii
Acknowledgment - - - iii
Abstract - - - iv
Table of contents - - - v-vi
1.0 Introduction - - - 1-2
1.1 Background of the study - - - 2-3
1.2 Statement of the problem - - - 3-4
1.3 Objectives of the study - - - 4
1.4 Research question - - - 5
1.5 Research hypothesis - - - 5
1.6 Significant/justification of the study - - 6
1.7 Scope/Delimitation of the study - - - 6
1.8 Limitations of the study - - - 6-7
1.9. Definitions of terms - - - 7
2.0 Literature review - - - 8
2.1 Financial framework in overview - - - 8-9
2.2 Cash flow as a measure of financial health - 9-15
2.3 Framework of local government estimates - 15
2.4 Budgeting - - - 15-16
2.6 Estimate and financial control - - - 16
2.7 Approval of estimate by local government council 17
2.8 Implementation of estimate - - - 18
2.9 Care and custody of local government fund - 18
2.3 Strong room, safe and cash tanks - - - 19
3.0 Research methodology - - - 20
3.1 Research design - - - 20
3.2 Area of study - - - 21
3.3 Population of the study - - - 21
3.4 Sample/sampling technique - - - 22
3.5 Research instrument - - - 22
3.6 Method of data collection - - - 23
3.7 Validation of data instrument - - - 23
3.8 Method of data analysis - - - 23
4.0 Presentation/analysis and interpretation of data 25
4.1 Research question analysis - - - 25
5.0 Discussion of finding - - - 27
5.1 Conclusion - - - 28
5.2 Recommendation - - -
Letter to respondents – attachment to the questionnaire
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The peculiar nature of local government accounting transaction makes it desirable and indeed mandatory to treat it in accordance with specific, cohesive and standardize measurement such as the budgeting system and fiscal policy procedure. The local government financial framework measure all social activities with the control and stewardship of receipts, payment and related activities in the local government system in that the accounting system is maintained on cash basis. The system provides a satisfactory approach or matter of stewardship, accountability and cash programme accordingly. The balance sheet (known as monthly reconciliation of accounts surplus and deficit statement of local government) does not contain information on physical fixed assets, such as building.
In local government accounting framework, specific registers are taken on payment basis for the purpose of controlling fixed assets, such registers are referred to as plant registers or inventory control. The system of accounting principles which is double entry book keeping. They system requirement is that every debit entry be matched with a corresponding credit entry of similar amount. In the accounting system, after the approval of annual budget, the letters of authority are communicated to head of department vote controllers. In local government, transaction is recorded when cash is paid or received irrespective of when goods were supplied or services rendered. Some of such records include department vote expenditure account. This record gives accurate account of goods ordered but not yet paid. Similarly, the registers of bills received or bills issued are kept to show at any time what the local government aspects to receive from its debtors.
Some of the reasons why cash accounting is adopted in local government includes;
1) It is a non-profit oriented organization.
2) It operates an annual estimate of revenue and expenditure which constitute of basis necessary to meet the estimated expenditure during the financial year concerned.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
There are many or numerous reasons for appraising (checking) the financial framework. Among the major reasons for appraising the financial frame work include:
1. MISAPPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC FUND
Misappropriation according to oxford advanced learners dictionary is simply “taking somebody or money or property for yourself especially when they have trusted you to take care of it”. This act is very common in most local government, where those “in-charge” use public funds for their personal motives. They sometimes tell a lie about the purpose they use the fund for by using the so called “shortcut” and diverting public money into their personal purpose.
2. INADEQUATE FINANCIAL RECORD KEEPING.
This also is another problem encountered in checking the financial framework of local government. Funds are easily misused due to the fact that the financial record keeping are not enough and not also enough, hence a problem.
3. LACK OF FINANCIAL PROBITY
It is rare mostly in the local government to see someone who has the quality of being completely honest especially in terms of finance. They mostly use public funds for personal motives. Hence this call for checking the structure of the financial system.
If the guidelines for the management of local government finances are not strictly observed chances are those misappropriations will happen. It is reasonable to conclude that there will likely be a state of financial recklessness in the local government in Nigeria, this phenomenon cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely without caution, control or application of appropriate sanctions. It is in this respect that the financial framework in Nigeria is issued by the ministry for the financial business of local government. Finance is like a thread that runs around a cloth if the thread is pulled wrongly at one end, it will affect the design of the cloth. This is to say that finance is to an organization as thread is to cloth. It must be disbursed in accordance with financial regulations.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The intention is to reinforce the checks and balance in deliberate effort not only to enhance judicious utilization of public resources, but also to preserve the gains made in building the local government services. The study will specifically dwell on the following:-
i) Determining the yardstick for achievement of probity and accountability in local government.
ii) Streamlining of duties and responsibilities of the arms of the local government executives and legislatures.
iii) Determining the role of individuals key officers and other organs in the local government such as the executive committee.
iv) Ensuring strict adherence to estimates as any deviation may bring about unpalatable consequences.
v) Providing financial accounting services by means of accurate and detailed analysis of expenses in the course of discharging the function of the local government.
vi) Strengthening control and accountability in the local government by way of highlighting to weakness with respect to financial matters. It is imperative to assert that is not the exclusive concern of any part of the organization or any one person or category of persons but rather the generality of individuals in the organization from the highest to the lowest to ensure financial regularity by way of ensuring that their field of operation and responsibility, proper value is obtained for money spent.
Control system is also to be designed to combat malpractice.
1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research will examine the following questions with regards to an appraisal of the accounting framework in local government system. In Mbaitoli L.G.A.
Based on the definition, the following research question would be formulated to address the study.
1) Does public finance expert believe that a better way of eliminating the problem of accounting framework in our local government system is through operating a cash accounting systems?
2) Do you think that misappropriation of public fund in the local government system is a result of lack of proper financial record keeping?.