Assessing the effectiveness of Internal Control Systems in public institutions – A Case Study of Takoradi Polytechnic

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There have been several cases of embezzlement of funds and misuse of resources in public institutions though such institutions have several rules and control measures to guide their operations. The main purpose of the research was to assess the effectiveness of internal control systems at Takoradi Polytechnic. The specific objectives were to find out the internal control systems at Takoradi Polytechnic, employee’s awareness of the internal control systems, effective implementation of the control systems, whether management is able to override the control systems and how consistent are the control systems with international standards. The descriptive research method was employed in the study. The population was all the administrative staff at the Polytechnic in the year 2010-2011. The sample was made up of 71 respondents comprising of 44 experts (finance, audit, procurement and stores) and 27 non-experts from other departments apart from the ones already mentioned. The purposive and the accidental sampling technique were used to sample the population and the main instruments used for the collection of data were the questionnaire and the interview guide. Some of the findings the research revealed are the existence of strict supervision, authorization and segregation of duties. The findings revealed that management does not communicate to the staff of new control policies introduced. Again the findings indicated that the control systems at the polytechnic are quite effective and are directed towards the detection and prevention of fraud and error. Some of the recommendations to the management of the Polytechnic include the embossment of the institution's logo on all assets and that management must keep the employees informed of new control policies introduced. Finally, the Polytechnic must invest in computerizing most of its manual operations.
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters in Business Administration,