Financial accountability of public corporations in liberalized Economy
AbstractFor more than three decades since 1967 the role of public corporations in the Tanzania economy was dominant. However, their poor financial management and loss-making character could not be underestimated either, particularly by the taxpayer who was ultimately responsible for sustaining them. For instance, in the year which ended in June, 1991, a year before public corporations were lined up for privatization, the aggregate losses accumulated by the loss making institutions exceeded the aggregate profits realized by the profit making enterprises by Tanzania shillings 4,616 million. In an economy dominated by the public sector, surplus from this sector was expected to be the major source of public finance and the determinant factor in the growth of the economy. Unfortunately, its performance defied this expectation presumably due to poor financial accountability. Financial accountability in public corporations was and still is, one of the mandatory requirements. In this context legislators have always made it mandatory for public corporations to have their accounts audited annually and cause the same to be submitted to a minister who, in turn, lays them before the National Assembly, the people's representative organ, for final scrutiny and verification. In order to facilitate the audit function the public corporations are also required to keep and maintain proper books of accounts. All these requirements are taken in order to ensure that public money is properly expended and accounted for.
(Af. J. Finance and Management: 2002 11 (1): 16-35)