This chapter discusses conclusion drawn from the study findings and recommendations made. The recommendations basically presented on the management of public entities, internal audit unit and internal auditors who are working in the public sector.
The study found that, the effectiveness of internal audit function in the public sector is influenced by the code of ethics for internal auditors. Code of ethics for internal auditors contains principles that are relevant to the profession and practice of internal audit and rules of conduct that describe behavior norms expected of internal auditors (IIA, 2010). These rules help in interpreting the principles in practical application and the purpose is to govern with ethical conduct of internal auditors. Thus, internal auditors in the public sector need to uphold integrity which create trust which provides a basis for the reliability of their assessment otherwise, no one will value their activities.
The study findings show that, internal auditors need to respect laws, disclose information as required by law and the profession, perform their duty honestly, carefully and responsibly. Also, they need to avoid to participate in illegal work or activities that discredit the internal audit profession. This will help to strengthen internal audit function in the public sector and also enhance public organizations to achieve their legal and ethical objectives. The study findings were similar with the results of study of Krishna et al., (2010) who found that, internal audit has been designed to improve the organization’s operations. Likewise, the study by Badara (2012) found that, internal auditors need to review organization processes continuously in order to improve internal controls of the organization and strengthen the effectiveness of internal audit function while complying with the code of ethics for internal auditors.
Additionally, the study findings show that, internal auditors in the public sector need to possess high level of professional objectivity. Objectivity of internal auditors is an essential factor for internal audit effectiveness (Suwaidan and Qasim, 2010). This is because, objectivity enhances effectiveness of internal audit function since it requires internal auditors to conduct a balanced assessment of all relevant circumstances and upon them do not affect their own interests and others formed opinions.
Internal auditors are supposed to avoid to participate in any activity or relationship that could be considered to damage their fair assessment. Such scenario includes activities or relationships that may be in conflict with the interests of the organization (Azzone, 2009). Therefore, internal auditors are supposed to remain objective at all time.
Moreover, the study found that, internal auditors are required to respect the value and ownership of information they receive and not to disclose any information without appropriate authority unless there is a legal or professional obligation so to proceed. It has been pointed out that, public entities are holding massive information and data for public interest.
Therefore, internal auditors need to be very careful in the use and protection of data and information made available to them when they are performing audits (IIA, 2009). They are not required to use any information for personal gain or in any manner that would be contrary to law or detrimental to the legitimate and ethical objectives of public organizations.
Effective internal audit function in the public sector needs competent internal auditors. Internal auditors need to apply their knowledge, skills and experience needed in executing audit activities. They are supposed to carry out internal audits in compliance with the requirements of the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF). IPPF is a mandatory guidance and recommended guidance by the IIA to internal audit professionals worldwide (IIA, 2017).
Last but not least, internal auditors need to improve their expertise and quality of services in order to strengthen the effectiveness of internal audit function. They need to be aware and uphold firmly the code of ethics for internal auditors.
During interview with one internal auditor at the Ministry of agriculture on the challenge facing internal auditors on compliance with the code of ethics for internal auditors, he said that, “majority of internal auditors in the public sector are not aware with the benefits of upholding firmly the code of ethics for internal auditors as compared with the private sector”.
Another respondent when interviewed on the kind of supports that internal auditors need from the management in order to help them to comply with the code of ethics for internal auditors and eventually improve the effectiveness of internal audit function, she said that, “the Ministry is supposed to have adequate copies of the Code of ethics for internal auditors in order to help internal auditors to read at all-time in and outside the office”.
With due regard to the ever increasing desire to have effective internal audit function in the public sector in Tanzania, there is need for internal auditors to uphold firmly code of ethics for internal auditors. It is very essential for the managements of public institutions in Tanzania to encourage their internal auditors to abide with the requirements of the code of ethics for internal auditors. By complying with the requirements code of ethics, internal auditors will execute their tasks efficiently for the benefits of their departments, organizations and the public at large.
Also, internal auditors should be allowed to attend professional trainings related to code of ethics for internal auditors so as to be up-to-date with the new changes which are occurring every day in the internal audit professional’s environment worldwide.
Likewise, internal audit departments in the public sector need to have code of ethics for internal auditors because very few internal audit departments within the public sector in Tanzania are having the code of ethics. By having the code of ethics, it will become very easy to see whether internal auditors are complying with the requirements of the code of ethics or not. This should be done through regular check-ups and follow-ups on their performance. By doing so, the effectiveness of internal audit function in the public sector in Tanzania will be improved.
Last but not least, internal auditors who are working in the public sector in Tanzania need to understand the benefits of upholding firmly the code of ethics for internal auditors. The code of ethics narrates the principles and behaviors that internal auditors need to have.