Accountability In Local Government Administration (A Case Of Ngor Okpala L.G.A.)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Abstract


There is nothing concerning pursuit of knowledge that is lost. This research work was undertaken to show the situation report of the practices of public accountability in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A, Imo State. It covers a range of issues concerning the meaning, origin and the need for public accountability as well as the mechanism involved for its sustenance. It commenced with an introduction and its associated issues, thereafter, it wades into the review of literature.

The review of literature buttresses on the contentious issues in public accountability as well as its practice, prospects and challenges which focuses on Ngor-Okpala L.G.A. Chapter three centered on the methodology, while chapter four revolved on the presentation and analysis of data. The last chapter deals with brief summary, conclusion and recommendations.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Public Accountability
  • 2.3 Mechanisms for enforcing public accountability
  • 2.4 Hindrances to public accountability
  • 2.5 Major factors in financial management
  • 2.6 Impacts of public accountability
  • 2.7 Principles of public accountability
  • 2.8 Leadership and the problem of accountability
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources / Methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample technique
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability measuring instrument
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Interpretation of result(s)

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Accountability is the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibilities for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also included the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.

Accountability in the workplace is defined as doing the right thing consistently, day in and day out, in tasks, relationship interaction to fulfill or further the mission of the organization.

Accountability also means that when everyone is responsible for the tasks that they assigned and if they do not perform the tasks properly, then they are accountable for the repercussions.

Accountability therefore ensures good conduct and management of public affairs, public morality, proper use of power and public funds and the fulfillment of expectation.

To Nwachukwu (1993), accountability means being placed in a steady, to render account of ones action or stewardship. He buttressed that stewardship includes financial accountability and representational accountability. It however requires all public resources entrusted to the elected official be wisely utilized for the purpose they are intended. In Nigeria, local government reforms has been a continuous exercises management rely on the internal auditing to appraise the efficiency and it emphasized to enhance financial accountability in the local government areas in Nigeria.

Accountability is taken into account, the efforts tends to emphasize either the supply or the local government can be downward by accountable to citizens of party based systems in Nigeria.

Accountability in Ngor-Okpala LGA has been faced with lots of obstacles and constraints. The officials of the local government do not embrace the principles of transparency and accountability in the management of the affairs of the Ngor-Okpala people. Some of the elected officials of the local government do not even have the time to relate to the people whom they represent and majority of them do not stay in the village where the people will have access to interact with them rather they operate from the town, making it difficult to have a face to face interaction with the people they represent. Accountability deals with one giving account of its stewardship but the officials do not give account of the steward to the people they represent.

Obstacles to accountability in Ngor-Okpala local government include the social value, bribery and corruption, political leadership, lack of continuity of policies and political instability.

These are some of the obstacles of accountability in Ngor-Okpala local government area.

Accountability in local government area in Nigeria will promote good governance in the economy, security, infrastructure, social sector, the electoral process and the fight against corruption. Local government as a third tier government should embrace the principle of transparency and accountability so as to deliver the aims and objectives of its creation to the local objectives of its creation to the local people as a grass root government.

Accountability in local government in Nigeria will lead to enjoyment of democratic life if properly implemented and practiced in the rural or local government areas in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

Ngor-Okpala local government in Imo State is found to be facing serious problems in the course of realizing its goals and objectives in the administrative of public accountability. The course of these problems may be traceable to mismanagement of public funds, reckless spending, poor and misprofessional manpower and manipulation/change of local government bye-laws in carrying out this research, therefore, the researcher seeks to unravel the following:

  1. What is the essence of public accountability in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A?
  2. Is public accountability a tool of public service delivery in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A?
  3. To what extent has public accountability been undermined in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A
  4. What factors is inhibiting public accountability in the administration of Ngor-Okpala local government?
  5. Have the leaders and staff in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A succeeded in keeping the principles of public accountability?

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

  1. To promote the culture of honest discipline and transparency in local government areas in Nigeria.
  2. To encourage the recruitment and appointment of quality and professional public officers so as to enhance efficiency, effectiveness as well as the productivity of local government council.
  3. To promote the strict observances of roles and regulations governing their duties and conform to the procedural due process established by the laws and regulations in local government in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Question

  1. Have the leader and staff in Ngor-Okpala L.G.A succeeded in keeping the principles of public accountability?
  2. What are the means of achieving public accountability in Ngor-Okpala?
  3. To what extent has public accountability been undermined in Ngor-Okpala?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The significance of the study hinge on the fact that it will expand the frontier of knowledge reawakens the consciousness of government and the citizenry to the importance of public accountability at the local government level. The study will go a long way to unearth the bottlenecks drawing the local government administration back in their bid to achieve their objectives in Ngor-Okpala LGA.

The staff in this study will provide useful and rewarding information to politicians and administration which are necessary for public accountability of the local government level.

Above all and most importantly, the material is the library and also will be beneficial to both students and individual researchers since it will assist them in buttressing their points on crucial aspects of research work related to local government administration. Also it will provide some already made answers on certain unanswered questions accountability.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is designed accountability in Ngor-Okpala local government area between 2003 and 2012. also, references may be made outside the stipulated period where necessary.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

A critical nature of this study can be insulated from limitation on the part of the researcher and other uncontrolled variable that may influence the outcome of the research. Some of the major problems encountered by the researcher include finance and insufficient time and space, transportation problem caused by distance and road, etc. also we are not unaware of the limitation which these problems and other seen circumstances may pose to this study.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Accountability:

According to Bird (1974), he explains accountability this way; stewardship is held accountable to the persons or body which entrusted resources to him, whether the later is superior steward of the ultimate owner.

Authority:

The power to give orders, make decision and enforce obedience. It is also the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another.
Organization: This is a group of people intentionally organized to accomplish an overall common goal of set of goals.

Administration:

According to Herbert Donald and Victor Thompson (1950), administration simply put graphically as when two men cooperate to roll a stone that neither could have moved alone, the rudiment of administration has appeared.

Local Government:

According to Ogunna (1999), local government is a formal devolution of political powers of the state. It is the government of grass root which is designed to serve as an instrument for rural development.

Stewardship:

In general, stewardship is responsibility for taking good care of resources entrusted to one. It is also an ethnic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources.

Contemporary:

Means happening, existing, living or coming into being during the same period of times i.e. modern or current.

Power:

Power is the ability to do something or act in a particular way especially as a faculty or quality. Power is frequently defined by political scientist as the ability to influence behaviour of others with or without resistance.

Responsibility:

Can be defined as assuming accountability for a task, decision or action. It is also a duty or obligation to satisfactory perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances). That one must fulfill and which has a consequent penalty for failure.

Transparency:

This is the easy and unrestricted access of government information by the population.


Chapter Five


5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter will be denoted to brief summary of findings carried out during the period of this research following the recommendation or suggestion that will help in other to sustain and consolidate the principles of public accountability in Ngor-Okpala local government area and lastly the conclusion.


5.2 Summary Of Findings

Accountability is an indispensable principle in the operation of any responsible and responsive local government council. It ensures that public officials who are giving power should utilize such power responsibly and in a manner that will guarantee the highest benefits to the people. The public officials particularly in Ngor-Okpala local government area ignore and undermine the principles of accountability with reckless abandon. It should be borne in mind that everyone in the local government is accountable for his action.

In public service, accountability is based on the morality, integrity, honesty, ethics and behaviour of all officers in the areas of finance, money, material and the management of men. It is however an essential condition for Ngor-Okpala local government area efficiency and high productivity and a solid foundation for its growth and development. Above all, public accountability is designed to lay a solid political and economic foundation for grass roots socio-economic and political development, by this measure therefore, it ensures that the welfare and interest of the grassroots people are guaranteed.


5.3 Conclusion

Accountability is very important and relevant in the local government administration. This is because it ensures that holders of public officers are there to represent the interest of the people that gave then the mandate and not to themselves. This requires that all public resources entrusted to the elected officials be wisely utilized for the purpose they were or are intended. Again, it entails that public funds cannot be diverted to private use. Be it as it may, the question of accountability is intricately linked with the issue of primary of public interest in governance which is just the essence of democracy.

Therefore, accountability enhances trust and confidence in the institution of government. It prevents abuse of power and authority by the public officials. And more so, it enhances the efficiency, effectiveness and the responsiveness of the public service to the demand, need and aspirations of the public.


5.4 Recommendations

From the foregoing we strongly recommend the following measures in order to sustain and consolidate the principle of public accountability in Ngor-Okpala local government area.

  1. Public officers should observe strictly the laws and regulations governing their officials and conform to the procedural due process established by the law and regulations. Again they should always carry their actions and activities with legal authority they should therefore recognize the fact that they are public property and should act in strict accordance with the will.
  2. There is need to promote the culture of honestly, discipline and transparency. Public officials should exhibit transparent honesty and a high sense of discipline on the discharge of their duties. This would check all those tendencies that may erode public accountability. There should be adequate salaries and wages for the public officials for the satisfaction of their needs. this however should be paid regularly, timely and promptly too to avoid the temptation of corrupt and fraudulent practices.
  3. Also, there is need for the recruitment and appointment of quality and professional public officers so as to enhance efficiency, effectiveness as well as the productivity of local government council.
  4. Local government officials should give regular and accurate accounts of its resources. any official that fails to render satisfactory accounts of resources and authority entrusted on him should be disciplined and made to face severe sanctions.

Accountability In Local Government Administration (A Case Of Ngor Okpala L.G.A.)


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