Analysis of the Patterns of Mismanagement of Funds in the General Education Sector using the Theory of Accountability and Fraud Triangle: A Case Study of Zambia
Keywords:Education Sector, Financial Mismanagement, Theory of Accountability
Financial mismanagement in the public sector in Zambia is commonplace as shown by the Auditor General’s Reports for many years. The general education sector has the highest figures each year and has a wide range of forms of financial mismanagement. It is not yet known why financial mismanagement exists in the general education sector. The main objective of the study was to profile the patterns of mismanagement of funds in the General Education Sector using the theory of accountability and fraud triangle. A cross-section national study involving a questionnaire survey of 539 respondents from the ten provinces as part of the study. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 22.0. The materiality means score obtained from the ten provinces was all above the sample mean which was 43 implying the existence of materiality in terms of financial mismanagement. About 44% of respondents perceived financial mismanagement to be committed by accounting staff, 33.4% by a top management staff with accounting staff, and 22% by top management alone. The study found out that financial mismanagement was influenced by pressure, perceived opportunity, and the tendency to give an excuse for engaging in unethical behavior. The study also reviewed that there is a lack of legislation and technical knowledge, insufficient monitoring and control of funds, lack of availability of fiscal policies in the education sector, lack of action to combat criminals, and lack of honesty, openness, and credibility. The article proposes corrective measures that can make the financial management of public institutions conform to the principles of good governance. In conclusion, the Ministry of General Education would require embracing in its policies and practices financial mismanagement risk governance, financial mismanagement risk assessment, financial mismanagement prevention, financial mismanagement detection, and financial mismanagement investigation and corrective action in order to mitigate them.
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