Employees’ Perception of Internal Audit Role in Promoting Accountability among Public Universities in Uganda: Evidence from Mbarara University of Science and Technology

Manasseh Tumuhimbise, Peter Kamugisha


The paper examines how employees perceive the internal audit role in promoting accountability in Public Universities of Uganda. Assessment of internal audit focused on internal controls, procedures and practices. On the other hand, assessment of accountability in the study focused on transparency and compliancy. The Agency theory informed the study. A cross sectional survey in a case study design was adopted. Accordingly, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) was the case study. MUST, established by the Act of Parliament in 1993, and was purposively selected out of six (6) Public universities in Uganda. The six universities include Makerere, MUST, Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema, and Muni (NCHE, 2015). Out of 196 respondents, data was collected by administering 182 questionnaires. Thus the study attained a response rate of 84.3%. The level of validity and reliability of the research instruments was at 0.951. Based on the perception responses, the study reveals presence of weak internal audit. Correspondingly, accountability was perceived weak too.

Regression results confirm that internal audit as a predictor variable positively influences change in accountability (R2 = .347; p < 0.05). Therefore, this paper confirms that there is a weak perceived role of internal audit in promoting accountability at MUST. The paper concludes that Public Universities need to continuously improve and strengthen the internal audit function in order to promote accountability. Changes in internal control processes, procedures and practice yields proportionate positive change in accountability.The study recommends MUST executive to initiate measures to strengthen the internal audit function. In particular, the study recommends review of university internal controls. The university should also consider ‘individualizing and socializing’ internal audit procedures and practices by inspiring two-way communication among university staff. 


Internal audit; Accountability; Public universities.

Full Text:



Kreysing, "Autonomy, accountability, and organizational complexity in higher education: The Goettingen model of university reform," Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 40, pp. 552-560, 2002.

The paradigms of governance in higher education systems, 4, 1996.

B. Kogan, "Organization and governance of universities," Higher Education Policy, pp. 477-493, 2007.

M. a. A. Arnaboldi, G, ""Constructing Performance Measurement in the Public Sector." Critical Perspectives on Accounting " vol. 21, pp. 266-288, 2010.

A. Azzone, "Incrementalism and strategic change: A university’s experience," International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 19, pp. 552-563., 2005.

B. Brignall, "Reflections on the use of a dual-methodology research design to evaluate accounting and management practice in UK university central administrative services," vol. Management Accounting Research, pp. 32-48, 2007.

C. Thanassoulis, "Evaluating cost efficiency in central administrative services in UK universities," Omega, vol. 34, pp. 417-426, 2006.

S. Anand. (1996). Performance auditing in the public sector: Approaches and issues in OECD member countries.

OECD. (2005). Financial Literacy: Analysis of Issues and Policies

A. g. office, "Perfomance report," ed, 2013-2014.

J. S. Lerner, Tetlock, "Accounting for the Effects of Accountability," Psychological Bulletin, vol. 125, 199.

J. A. Wood, & Winston,, "Toward a new understanding of leader accountability: Defining a critical construct," Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, vol. 11, pp. 84-94, 2005.

International Proffessional practices Framework(IPPF), T. i. o. i. a. R. foundation, 2009.

J. R. K. Kagaari, Munene, "Agency Relations and Managed Performance in Public Universities in Uganda," 2013.

P. Ntayi J. M., N. & Cornelia, S. K, "Moral Schemas and Corruption in Uganda Public Procurement," 2012.

B. Mark, "Public Accountability: A framework for the analysis and assessment of accountability arrangements in the public domain," 2010.

D. D. K. Frunk, Toward a theory of accountability in organizations and human resources management, 2004.

Integrated framework executive summary, committee of sponsoring organizations, 2004.

F. Henry., "Embedding risk management: Structures and approaches," Managerial Auditing Journal., vol. Vol. 22, pp. 392-409, 2007.

M. M. Zain and N. Subramaniam, "Internal auditor perceptions on audit committee interactions: A qualitative study in Malaysian public corporations," Corporate Governance: An International Review, vol. 15, pp. 894-908, 2007.

C. A. Adams, "The ethical, social and environment reporting-performance gap," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal vol. 17, pp. 731-757, 2004.

K. V. P. Peursem, L. D. , "Internal Auditors and Independence: An Agency Lens on Corporate Practice," Financial Reporting, Regulation and Governance, vol. 4, pp. 1-33, 2005.

A. M. Ali, Gloeck, J. D., Ali, A., Ahmi, A. & Sahdan, M. H. , "Internal Audit in the State and Local Governments of Malaysia," Southern African Journal of Accountability and Auditing Research., vol. 7, pp. 25-57, 2007.

H. A. Edward, B. , Enhancing accountability for effective use of public sector resources: How to improve the effectiveness of Public Accounts Committee, 2008.

M. E. Amin, Social Science Research Conception, Method & analysis, Kampala. Makerere University Printery, 2005.

U. Sekarana, Research methods for business: A skill-building (4th Edn) Approach: New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc, New York, 2003.

P. M. Brewerton, & Millward, L. J. . (2001). Organizational research methods: A guide for students and researchers.

R. V. Krejcie, Morgan, D. W. , Determining Sample Size for Research Activities”, Educational and Psychological Measurement., 1970.


M. Bovens. (2005). The Oxford handbook of public management.


  • There are currently no refbacks.





About IJSBAR | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

IJSBAR is published by (GSSRR).