INTERNAL AUDIT UNIT
The Internal Audit Unit is one of the Units under the Office of the Executive Secretary that undertakes the internal audit functions of the Fund and advices Management over control issues.
The Unit is saddled with the responsibility of examining the books and records of the Fund in order to ascertain or verify and report upon the financial and non-financial activities of the organization, aimed at ensuring compliance to extant rules and regulations specified in the Financial Regulations and Circulars issued by government.
The Unit is expected to provide a complete and continuous audit of the accounts and records of revenue and expenditure, assets, allocated and unallocated stores.
1.1 KEY ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNAL AUDIT UNIT
The following are the main activities of the Unit as it relates to the functions and duties.
- Pre- payment audit of all payment vouchers to ascertain authorization, approval, accuracy and proper documentation before passing them for payment;
- Post payment audit of all accounting records to confirm the correctness of what was passed for payment;
- Audit inspection of the various accounting books and records of the Fund’s Beneficiary Institutions;
- Vetting Financial Returns of all intervention projects from Beneficiary Institutions (BIs) and Issuance of Audit Clearance Certificates;
- Analysing and Reviewing of submissions on TETFund Scholarship Academic Staff (TSAS) programmes from BIs with the aim of ascertaining compliance of with TETFund guidelines;
- Preparation of Internal Audits- monthly, quarterly, and annual reports through which arising management control issues are disclosed;
- Audit Checks on Internal operations of the Fund’s activities which is reflected in the audit reports;
- Planning and organizing Routine Audit Verification Exercise (RAVE) of beneficiary dedicated TETFund accounts nationwide;
- Verification of all procurements and items received into Store and taking part in physical stock taking activities;
In order to carry out the above functions effectively, the Unit is subdivided into the three main sections;
1. General Payments.
The staff in this section carry out audit checking of payments vouchers for the overhead of the Fund, for Purchases, General Contracts and Utilities. Payments are checked for proper authorization, adequate documentation and compliance with government rules and regulations. This section also handles Staff Salaries andvouchers relating to allowances and other staff entitlements, checking of items received into Store and procurement activities
2. Beneficiary Accounts.
This section handles the payment vouchers for the various disbursements for Projects and Academic Staff Training and Development. Beneficiariesalso submit Financial Returns to the Audit Unit on disbursements earlier released to them. These are scrutinized to ensure that the monies are spent in accordance with the Fund’s guidelines and government regulations. Where the Returns are found to be adequate and satisfactory, the Unit issues an Audit Clearance Certificate to the Monitoring andEvaluation Department for the Beneficiary to access additional funds.
The secretariat of the Unit maintains all Audit files for the various activities of the Fund. The staff here also maintain incoming and outgoing registers for Payment Vouchers as well as other correspondences with the Unit.
2.0 MAJOR ACTIVITIES
In line with its statutory functions as enumerated at 3.0 above, the Unit carries out daily checks on all Payment Vouchers raised by the Finance Department and where found satisfactory the vouchers are stamped and passed to the E-payment office for payment.
2. Issuance of Audit Clearance
The Unit receives Financial Returns from the Fund’s beneficiaries containing details of expenditure from all disbursements made to them. The Unit checks these submissions and where they are found to be satisfactory retirement of earlier disbursements, issues Audit Clearance in respect of the institutions before they are eligible to receive further disbursements from the Fund.
3. Periodic Audit Reports
The Unit prepares Monthly, Quarterly and Annual Audit reports on the Funds activities. This consists of a summary of all payment vouchers passed under various headings during the month or quarter. It also gives an overview of the projects and activities funded by the Fund over a period of time whilst advising management on control measures and drawing attention to areas of concern. Audit Reports are also made to the Board of Trustees through the Audit Committee of the Board.
The Reports serve a medium of making recommendations for stronger Internal Controls and more effective implementation of the Fund’s mandate.
4. Audit Inspection of Special Intervention Projects
The Fund has a number of Special Intervention Projects aimed at the general development of the education sector such as Special Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Project nationwide, The Electronic Teaching and Learning Platform (Presidential Project) for Teaching and learning to 79 Public Universities. These and other specialized interventions such as the Book Development and Research Fund are closely monitored by the Audit Unit.
The Internal Audit Unit carries out inspection visits, sometimes jointly with other departments of the Fund as the case may be depending on the nature of the project. The objective of the inspection visits is to conduct an Audit verification/Value for money Audit and produce Reports to Management for effective administration of the various projects.
5. Audit Verification of Beneficiary Accounts
Three times a year, the Unit carries out an Audit Verification of the Accounts of Beneficiaries in the states. This is done with the help of Financial Consultants.
Six states, one from each geopolitical zone, are covered in each exercise making a total of 18 states each year. This way the 36 states are covered in two years and each beneficiary is visited once in two years.
The aim of the exercise is to ensure that proper and adequate records of TETFund funds are maintained in respect of the Fund’s disbursements to the beneficiaries, and that the books are kept up to date.
This Audit Verification have gone a long way in establishing the fact that the Fund takes the issue of accountability and transparency in the usage of TETFund funds seriously and has helped in improving record keeping and ensuring better accountability by the beneficiaries.