Developing a model for effective response to internal audit findings in Ugandan government departments
The study aimed at examining the response to internal audit findings and recommendations among Uganda Government Ministries with a view of suggesting remedial measures aimed at ensuring effective response to the findings and recommendations. Globally, internal audit has been has been adopted as a tool to add value and improve an organization’s operations in the public and private sector. The government of Uganda put in place the IAF in the different agencies to improve their performance. Audit recommendations are considered vital but they are in most cases ignored, not implemented and neither is guidance on how to implement them provided. The main objective of the study was to examine the response to internal audit findings and make recommendations to Government on how best to improve performance in Agencies. The study was guided by Principal Agency and Institutional theories. The study adopted a mixed methods approach using exploratory design. The study population was 93 government officials for quantitative part of the study and 23 for qualitative part of the study. A sample size of 73 study participants for quantitative study using simple random sampling, and 23 for qualitative study using purposive sampling, was selected. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires and qualitative data was collected using both interviewing and documents review. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of SPSS version 25 and qualitative data was analyzed thematically using narratives. The study findings revealed that there is partial and untimely response to internal audit findings and recommendations due to inadequate response mechanisms. Also, organizational factors of systems and structures, personal factor of competence and environmental factor of technocrats from other agencies were found to be the main factors for effective response to internal audit findings and recommendations in Uganda government ministries. Finally, based on SEM an integrative IA model was developed to ensure effective response to internal audit findings and recommendations. It was concluded that due to inadequacy of response mechanisms, internal audit recommendations are untimely and partially responded to. The study recommends that Uganda government ministries, agencies and departments need to strengthen organizational structures, commit financial and human resources to IA and take into consideration factors affecting internal audit effectiveness.