INTERNAL AUDIT DEPARTMENT–FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Our Vision Statement

To create a functional and effective Internal Audit Department through well motivated staff that would enhance the economic, efficient and effective utilization of resources, and emphasis value for money audit, strengthen the internal control system that will detect errors and fraud and minimize waste as much as possible.

Our Mission Statement

To constantly upgrade the workforce that would be relevant in the change-policy of the Federal Government through achieving Internal Audit set goals.

Internal Audit Department of the Ministry is charged with the functions of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of all the internal control systems in the Federal Ministry of Education. The conduct of the monitoring and evaluation are facilitated by the staff in the Department of Internal Audit. These officers’activities, duties and functions are recognized in the relevant statute books of the nation and including Financial Regulations and Treasury Circulars.

The Internal Control Systems shall have its basis as enshrined in the Financial Regulations 1703 which states:

“The Internal Auditor in charge will be directly responsible to the Accounting Officer for a detailed audit of the accounts and records and for the examination of the systems and procedures in force. Initially he will submit to the Accounting Officer a detailed programme of audit and thereafter he will report monthly to the Accounting Officer on the progress of the Audit. He will also issue special reports, if necessary, when, in his opinion, the attention of the Accounting Officer and of the Accountant-in-charge must be called to anyirregularity in the accounting records, or to an apparent weakness in the accounting procedure, or to any apparent in- attention to the reports of the Auditor-General, or to earlier internal audit report(s) issued by him”.

This shall also be enhanced by and other controlsestablished by Managementthrough extant regulations for the purpose of providing a complete and continuous audit of the accounts and records of revenue and expenditure, assets, allocated stores and unallocated stores both of the headquarters, all the Federal Unity Schools, the Federal Universities and other Parastatals under the Ministry.

Until March 12, 2014, Internal Audit was a Unit and by Federal Treasury Circular Ref. No. TRY A3&B3/2014 OAGF/CAD/026/V.1/218 from the Office of the Accountant-General of the federation it wasupgraded to a full Department with two (2) main Divisions namely:

a)Prepayment/System Audit, and

b) Budget Monitoring/Forensic Audit.

Achievements

The Department has recorded substantial achievement in the area of auditing every cost and spending centre of the Ministry down to the 104 Federal Unity schools. The pre-audit activities in the schools were made possible with the posting of Resident Internal Auditors (RIAs) to someof the schools while post-payment audit is conducted in schools without RIAs. This has made it possible for the Department to render timely reports on the activities in the schools and the headquarters. It is also worthy to note that hithertovery high incidences of the of Public Account Committee (PAC) queries have significantly beenreduced as most of the reasons for the previous queries are now been addressed through the conduct of a reasonable percentage of pre-payment audit. The Department,in the past two years, hasalso been able to prepare, present and work with its approved Internal Audit Programme.

Duties/Functions

Internal Audit duties include the following:

a)Undertake comprehensive pre-auditing of all payments and receipts vouchers;

b)Appraise progressively the soundness, adequacy and application of the internal control systems;

c)Ascertain the extent to which the system of internal control ensures compliance with the Financial Rules, Regulations and extant Treasury Circulars, policies and procedures;

d)Ascertain that the system of internal control promotes the efficient and effective use of resources at Headquarters and the 104 Federal Unity Schools.

e)Ascertain that the system of internal control operates to ensure that the assets are properly controlled and safeguarded from losses arising from fraud, irregularity or corruption;

f)Ascertain that there are adequate controls to ensure reliability of accounting and other information as a basis for producing accounts and for financial, statistical and other returns;

g)Ascertain that there is an adequate internal control system to ensure the integrity and reliability of financial and other information provided to the Permanent Secretary, the Accounting Officer;

h)Confirm compliance with laws, regulations and Government Guidelines guiding expenditure of Public Funds.

i)Identify all aspects of control systems on which it intends to rely and develop a review cycle especially as it affects the functions of the Principal Officers in the Unity Schools and zonal offices,

j)Evaluate those systems, identify inappropriate and inadequate controls and recommend improvements in procedures and practices based on best practice;

k)Recommend and advise on value-for-money and efficient improvements as evident from reviews performed;

l)Ensure transparency, probity and accountability in the government expenditure process by liaising with the management; and

m)Prepare periodic Reports on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and yearly reports and any other report that would be required from time to time.

Achievements

Following the collective and collaborative efforts of the Department and in addition to the cooperation from Management staff of the Ministry, the following are some of the achievements of the Internal Audit Department occasioned by the enhanced status of the Department:

a)Management Audit

b)Value-for-Money Audit

c)Ensuring the preparation of periodic Audit Reports

d)Timely Pre-payment Audit of Overhead vouchers

e)Timely Pre-payment Audit of IPPIS Salary vouchers

f)Timely Pre-payment Audit of Contact payment vouchers

g)Investigation of reported cases of fraud, embezzlement and loss of Government funds.

i)Auditing of stores and ensure the update of stores records and Purchases

j)Audit of Ministry’s Parastatals Accounts and Records

k)Complete and continuous Audit of Accounts Records and Internally Generated Revenue Books (IGRBs)

l)Introduction of the safeguards for the prevention and prompt detection of fraud and loss of government funds

j)Ensure the adequacy of internal control system in place

k)Ensure pre- payment audit of the 104 Federal Unity Schools Books of Accounts and Records

l)Prompt assessment and monitoring of the implementation of policies and extant rules.

m)Assist the management to achieve the overall mandate of the Ministry within the stipulated period

n)Advice the management on the appropriateness of adhering to the Appropriation Act in spending Government funds.

o)Total reduction in  the number of negative Federal Audit Reports and PAC queries of the Ministry.

p)Posting of Resident Internal Auditors to FUCs. This has strengthened theinternal control compliance in the schools and in the application of pre-payment audit.

q)Rendition of timely reports on the activities of the headquarters activities and the 104 Federal Unity Schools

r)Use of Internal Audit Programme for yearly Internal Audit activities

However, FR 1701(iii) states:

“The existence of an Internal Audit Unit shall not divest any member of the ministry or extra-ministerial office and other arms of government of the individual responsibilities placed upon him, neither shall it obviate the necessity for normal departmental checks”.

Challenges

a)Inadequate Funding: The Department is inadequately funded. Therefore, more funding will further enhance the Departments capability and impacts positively on efficiency and productivity.

b)Inadequate Office Accommodation as Officers are congested in few offices without sufficient sitting arrangements.

c)Inadequate training and capacity building opportunities in this era of constant financial management and public sector reforms and policy changes.

d)Forensic audit training required to cope with the financial and Accounting reforms occasioned by the introduction of GIFMIS/TSA

Way Forward

To effectively position the Department,further strengthen and enhance efficiency and quality service delivery that would meet the evolving and dynamic changes in the use and application of Government resources through the support of all relevant Departments. These are required in assisting the Internal Audit Department to deliver on its mandate of ensuring prudence, effective Internal controls and above all, value for money auditing in addition to timely reporting. Funding of the Department is undoubtedly a critical limiting factor in the discharge of our assigned statutory responsibility; and its availability along with the dedicated staff of the Department will help drive the Internal Audit Department process effectively.

Internal Audit Department,

Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.

9thOctober, 2015.