NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC
ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES (NAPAC)
GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC
ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
REPORT WRITI...
i
Foreword
Public Accounts Committees (PACs) are viewed as the apex for
financial scrutiny and accountability in any democ...
It is my pleasure to recommend these Guidelines to all Members
of NAPAC and other Committees that are interested in writin...
iii
Preface
In every functional democracy, doctrine of separation of power
between the threeArms of government is paramoun...
Accounts Committee Report Writing” as produced by Nigerian
Association of Public Accounts Committees (NAPAC), one can
conc...
v
Goodwill Message
The idea behind the publication of the handbook, Guidelines for
Effective Public Accounts Committee Rep...
vi
Acknowledgement
The publication of this Handbook received the support of the
leadership of the Nigerian Association of ...
who contributed to the success of this handbook, we accept
responsibilityforanyerrororomissioninthetext.
Ahmadu E. Abdulla...
1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword..............................................................................i
Preface..........
2
CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION
The Senate and House of Representative Public Accounts
Committees facilitated the establish...
3
As part of its mandate to develop standard procedures and
processes, NAPAC has an interest in the way PACs reports are
d...
4
aspects of specific reporting products or topics within PACs.
They are only intended as a guide, to foster better report...
5
content, and potential impact and can benefit from the utilisation
of the guidelines. Performance audit reports in parti...
6
CHAPTER TWO
2.0 CHARACTERISTICS OFAGOODREPORT
Given the fundamental requirement for PACs to be independent
of external i...
7
b) should be concise since short reports are easier to read
than long reports. However, reports that do not include
impo...
8
This is a primary consideration for report writing, no
matterwhattypeofreportisbeingproduced.
A report has a well-define...
9
team should be involved in structuring the report. If individual
team members understand the overall structure and thrus...
10
that this will be reflected in its quality and readability. Equally,
PACs should ensure that the inquiry deadlines are ...
11
appearance. What follows is a generic structure for reports.
Using this structure will not only give your report the co...
12
·Membersofthelegislature;
·Auditor-General;
·AccountantGeneral;
·Auditee representatives which can include the head of ...
13
errors in the text, typographical errors in tables and graphs, and
omissions of headings or captions. Do not rely solel...
14
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 TYPES OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES'
REPORTS
PACs in Nigeria produce eight different types of reports...
15
AnnexAforthefulltextoftheseSectionsoftheAct)
3.3 Reporton theFederalCapitalTerritoryAdministration
This is the report o...
16
3.7 Sessional Report
At the end of each legislative year, every committee of the
legislature submits a report of its ac...
17
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 PUBLICACCOUNTS REPORTSTRUCTURE
4.1 COVER PAGE
A good report structure should contain a meaningful titl...
18
4.2 TABLE OFCONTENTS
Atable of content (a list of report headings against page numbers)
should be used if there are mor...
19
MinistryofMinesand SteelDevelopment .........................17-19
PoliceServiceCommission (PSC) .........................
20
8. SenatorPaulinusIgweNwagu - Member
9. SenatorBarataHassanAhmed - Member
10. Senator Solomon Ewuga- Member
Ahmadu E. A...
21
FOURTH REPORT
Pursuant to its mandate under Sections 85 and 125 of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nig...
22
the report. It should enable the reader to make an informed
decision about whether they want to read the report or not....
23
of Nigeria for the Year Ended 31st December, 2008. You will
note that the main point of the report is specified and the...
24
TheCommitteemaderecommendationson thefollowing:
1. NigeriaPoliceForce
2. MinistryofDefence(Headquarters)
3. Federal Min...
25
and 9, 2005. These hearings were held to follow up to two
reports oftheAuditorGeneralofCanada.
The first report, on the...
Hon. Solomon O. Adeola
Chairman House of Reps. PAC
& National Vice-Chairman of NAPAC
Senator. Ahmad I. Lawan
Chairman Sena...
A Cross Section of the high table at the NAPAC Inauguration
Another view of the high table at the NAPAC Inauguration
A vie...
NAPAC members alongside the World Bank Country Director,
Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly
NAPAC Community of Clerks Working Gro...
Senator Ahmad I. Lawan leading discussions with
members of NAPAC
The World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Ne...
30
report are transcripts of the public hearings and written
responses submitted by YDC to supplement answers
givenatthepu...
31
records reports) will start with a preface, an introductory chapter,
andthenthebody of thereportfollowedby annexes.
The...
32
4.7 WORKMETHODOLOGY
State clearly how the inquiry was carried out. Explain why a
particular method was used. If there w...
33
Paragraphs divide the report into logical segments that develop
the overall argument of the report. Each paragraph gene...
34
The supporting evidence collected by the team must be verifiable
and strong enough to support the inquiry arguments. Ev...
35
This section is sometimes called “Discussions and Conclusions”.
Conclusions are statements of facts derived from the fi...
36
·Measurable - although some things are difficult to
measure, your recommendations would be more
persuasiveiftheyaremeas...
37
action taken against them should be reported back to
5
theNationalAssembly .
Categorize the list, if it is long and ite...
38
· The Local Government should consider the settlement of
7
thecontractorhis balancepayment .[sic]
· The Committee recom...
39
recommend to change your procedures; use We recommend
changingorWerecommendthatyouchange.
·The committee during the scr...
40
Recommendation/Resolution
The contractor handling the project should return to
the site for speedy completion of the wo...
41
maintain proper records of their legislative
proceedings and present such records to the Auditors
14
onrequestforverifi...
42
Committee'sRecommendation:
The Committee recommends that the officer(s) who
approved the advances be sanctioned accordi...
43
Finance on the issue. The Committee directed the
Authoritytotakeuptheissue immediately.
Committee'sRecommendation:
The ...
44
Observations
Efforts made to trace the problem proved abortive as
all documents regarding the Feeder Road contract
were...
45
It should be noted that recommendations will also be made in the
body ofreportssuch as performanceaudits.
4.11 ANNEXES
...
46
structures. For example, use: "since" rather than "due to the fact
that"; "can" rather than "have the capacity to"; and...
47
bytheauditteam".
Parallel grammatical structure should be used to improve
readability. By stating similar ideas in the ...
48
·useconsistentformatting;
·useconsistentlanguage;
·useshort conciseparagraphs;and
·do a careful proof-reading – do not ...
49
ANNEX A
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as
amended)– Sections 85and 125
85. (1) There shall be an...
50
(b) comment on their annual accounts and auditor's reports
thereon.
(4) TheAuditor-General shall have power to conduct ...
51
accounts of or appoint auditors for government statutory
corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies,
including al...
52
ANNEX B
Summary of tips and tricks for effective report writing
–Reportcontent
PACs inquiryreportsshould:
·meet stakeho...
53
Summary of tips and tricks for effective report writing
–Reportstyle
PACs inquiryreportsshould:
·be written using clear...
54
ANNEX C
Checklistforsuccessful reportswriting–Reportstructure
Coverpage
ðcontainsameaningfultitle
ðisproperlydated
ðhas...
55
ðspecialstructureexplained
ðthanksandacknowledgment
o proofreadnamesattentively
Introduction
ðclearlyidentifiestheinqui...
56
ðinformationincludedsupports theargumentsbeingmade
ðall other information considered useful placed in an
annex
ðtablesa...
57
Recommendations
ðflowlogicallyanddirectlyfrominformationinbody
ðlimitedtothedatapresented(no newmaterial)
ðarespecific–...
58
Instruments used by PAC
ðConstitution
ðStandingOrders
ðHouse Rules
ðFinancialRegulations(Federal)
ðFinancialInstruction...
National Assembly Complex, Abuja
of 67

NAPAC Report Writing Handbook

NAPAC Report Writing Handbook
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: Government & Nonprofit      
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Transcripts - NAPAC Report Writing Handbook

  • 1. NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES (NAPAC) GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE REPORT WRITING COMMUNITY OF CLERKS
  • 2. i Foreword Public Accounts Committees (PACs) are viewed as the apex for financial scrutiny and accountability in any democratic government. PACs are important legislative oversight tool through which the legislature oversees the government's accounts and expenditure to ensure transparency, accountability and proper utilization of public funds. In Nigeria, Public Accounts Committees are established by the provisions of sections 85(5) and 125(5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended). The report of PACs is therefore the primary accountability productoftheCommittee. To support the work of PACs in their efforts to ensure good governance and accountability in the management of public finance, the Senate and House of Representatives Public Accounts Committees facilitated the establishment of Nigerian Association of PublicAccounts Committees (NAPAC). NAPAC is an umbrella organization of all the Public Accounts Committees of the two chambers of the National Assembly as well as the 36 State Assemblies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As part of its mandate to develop standard procedures and processes to help PACs in Nigeria achieve their Constitutional mandate, NAPAC through its Community of Clerks (CoC) developed this very useful document - Guidelines for EffectivePublicAccountsCommitteeReportWriting. The document is a product of several brainstorming sessions of the Working Group of the NAPAC CoC that was put together not only to distill prevailing practice but most importantly, identify good practices within the Community.The goal of the Guidelines therefore, is to ensure better and standardized report writing practiceamongtheNAPAC members.
  • 3. It is my pleasure to recommend these Guidelines to all Members of NAPAC and other Committees that are interested in writing clear, concise and goal-oriented Reports in the course of dischargingtheirlegislativeandConstitutionalduties. Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D, CON National Chairman, NAPAC & Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee January, 2015 ii
  • 4. iii Preface In every functional democracy, doctrine of separation of power between the threeArms of government is paramount to achieving transparency. Since the emergence of democracy in 1999, conscientious efforts have been made to invigorate the mandate of the Legislature in accordance with Sections 88, 89 and especially Section 85 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended. Parliament remains the hub of democracy as it is through it that you have representation of people and accountability by government to the people. The means of determining the level of accountability is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report produced by the PACs of the National Assembly and the various Houses ofAssembly. Proper analyses and critical examination of MDAs submissions on queries raised against financial activities in the Auditor- General Report as presented to the Public Accounts Committee of both Chambers and those of the 36 State Houses of Assembly remains a critical evaluation of accountability and transparency of the government. The work of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) without a proper report would only amount to a wink in the dark, unnoticed, and inconsequential. It is for this purpose that I whole-heartedly welcome the effort to produce a well-structured PublicAccounts Committee report format that will not only meet best international practice but also take cognizance of our local challenges. This Handbook is divided into four Chapters. Chapter One focuses on the purpose of the Guidelines, while Chapter Two deals with the characteristics of a good report including report content, structure and style of the report, stakeholders relationship and quality control process. Chapter Three outlines various types of PACs reports and finally, Chapter Four provides apracticalguideoneffectiveways of writingagood PAC report. With the framework in the “Guidelines for Effective Public
  • 5. Accounts Committee Report Writing” as produced by Nigerian Association of Public Accounts Committees (NAPAC), one can conclude safely that the challenges of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) notwithstanding, there can be no impeding our intentions and disposition to moving PAC ahead in reaching the goalofgood governance. Hon. Adeola Solomon Olamilekan NationalVice-ChairmanNAPAC & Chairman, House of Representatives PublicAccountsCommittee iv
  • 6. v Goodwill Message The idea behind the publication of the handbook, Guidelines for Effective Public Accounts Committee Report Writing is a welcomedevelopment. The Public Accounts Committee is a Committee of the Legislature established by Sections 85(5) and 125(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) to help the Legislature achieve its mandate of ensuring transparency, accountability and good governance. Any effort designedtoachievethisobjectiveshould bewelcomed. This handbook will help in bringing the importance of the duties of Public Accounts Committees to public life and provide a concisemodelfor PublicAccountsreportinginNigeria. It is in the light of the above that I commend the PAC Community ofClerksinNigeriafor thisnobleeffort. I therefore wish to recommend this handbook to Legislators, Staff,Researchersandthegeneralpublic. Alh. SalisuAbubakarMaikasuwa OON,mni, fnim ClerktotheNationalAssembly
  • 7. vi Acknowledgement The publication of this Handbook received the support of the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Public Accounts Committee (NAPAC). We are grateful to Senator Ahmad I. Lawan, Ph.D, CON, the National Chairman of NAPAC and Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts for his encouragement, and for allowing us the services of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts' secretariat as well as writing the Forward fortheHandbook. We thank Hon. Adeola Solomon Olalekan, NAPAC Vice Chairman and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts for his advice and prefacing the Handbook. The pillar behind the production of this handbook is the World Bank Group. The Bank hosted several meetings of the Zonal Coordinators of the Community of Clerks (CoC) leading to the development and production of the Handbook. We salute the guidance and the technical support of the World Bank team comprising of Mitchell O'Brien, Deji Olaore, Jens k. Kristensen, Roland Lomme and Chukwuemeka Ugochukwu. Thank you for your unflinching support and dedication to the works of Public AccountsCommitteesinNigeria. To our bosses, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa OON, mni, fnim, Ciroman Keffi, the Deputy Clerk to the NationalAssembly, Mr. Benedict Efeturi and the Clerks of the two Chambers of the NationalAssembly as well as the 36 State Houses ofAssembly, we thank you for granting us the permissions to attend the various sessions that culminated intotheproductionof thishandbook. To our colleagues, Clerks of all PACs in Nigeria, we thank you for your comments and suggestions. While thanking everybody
  • 8. who contributed to the success of this handbook, we accept responsibilityforanyerrororomissioninthetext. Ahmadu E. Abdullahi National Coordinator, NAPAC CoC & Clerk, Senate PAC vii
  • 9. 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword..............................................................................i Preface.................................................................................iii Goodwill Message......................................................................v Acknowledgment...........................................................vi Chapter One..............................................................................2 1.0 Introduction................................................................................2 1.1 Purpose of the Guidelines...........................................................4 Chapter Two…...…………………....……………............…..6 2.0 Characteristics of a Good Report...............................................6 2.1 Report Content...........................................................................8. 2.2 Report Structure and Style........................................................10 2.3 Managing Stakeholder Relationships During Report Development................................................................11.. 2.4 Quality Control and the Review Processes.............................12 Chapter Three……....…………………................................14 3.0 Types of PublicAccounts Committees Reports........................14 Chapter Four……………......................................................17 4.0 Public Accounts Report Structure…........................................17 4.1 Cover Page..............................................................................17 4.2 Table of Contents.....................................................................18 4.3 Committee Establishment/membership...................................19 4.4 Committee Jurisdiction, Powers, Functions and Scope..........20 4.5 Preface Page.............................................................................21 4.6 Introduction..............................................................................30 4.7 Work Methodologies................................................................32 4.8 Main Report.............................................................................32 4.9 Findings/observations..............................................................33 4.10 Recommendations....................................................................35 4.11 Annexes....................................................................................45 4.12 Report Style..............................................................................45 5.0 Who Signs The Report?............................................................44 6.0 How toApproach Dissenting /Minority Reports.......................48 7.0 Conclusion...............................................................................48 AnnexA...................................................................................49 Annex B...................................................................................52 Annex C...................................................................................54
  • 10. 2 CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION The Senate and House of Representative Public Accounts Committees facilitated the establishment of the Nigerian Association of PublicAccounts Committees (NAPAC) as part of its determination to ensure good governance in public finance management. NAPAC is an umbrella organisation of all the PublicAccounts Committees of the two chambers of the National Assembly and the 36 State Houses of Assembly of the Federal Republicof Nigeria. NAPAC aimsto: ·develop standard procedures and processes to achieve the constitutional mandate of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) as enshrined in Sections 85 and 125 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)(See Annex A for the full text of these Sections oftheAct); ·provide an avenue for interaction, sharing experiences, ideas and information among members on issues relating tothefunctionsof PACs; ·developtheindividualcapacityof members; ·promote good governance in Nigeria and liaise with the Offices of theAuditor-General for the Federation and the States to adopt international good practices in auditing andproductionofAuditReports; ·collaborate with bodies such as anti-corruption agencies and civil society organisations in ensuring transparency, probity and accountability in the management of public funds of thenation; ·liaise with national, regional and international associationsofPACs; and ·developthecapacityofPACs' staffandSecretariats.
  • 11. 3 As part of its mandate to develop standard procedures and processes, NAPAC has an interest in the way PACs reports are drafted. After all, in order to carry out their roles effectively, PACs must be able to convey their findings to the House in an organised and clear manner. Since the vehicle used to do this is the report, it is crucial that it prove to be consistently crafted in such a way that it provides maximum impact. In order to help NAPAC achieve these objectives, the Association established NAPAC Community of Clerks (NAPAC CoC), consisting of Clerks of PublicAccount Committees of the two Chambers of the National Assembly and Public Accounts Committees of the 36 State Houses ofAssembly in Nigeria. The NAPAC CoC seeks to identify good practice and strengthen the capacity of PAC Clerks to support the functions of the Committee. The NAPAC CoC created a Working Group and invited its members to a brainstorming session to distill prevailing practice and identify good practicewithintheNAPAC reportwriting. The PAC report is an important document because it will be carefully scrutinized by departmental officials, policy communities, academics, and other interested parties. It is important that the report be written in such a way that technical criticisms do not detract from the Committee's substantive observationsandrecommendations. PACs produce a range of different reporting products, from opinions on financial statements to complex performance audit reports and associated discussion papers, brochures, and media releases. Each of these products may vary in their structure, content, and writing process. Therefore, the suggestions for effective report writing will not necessarily be applicable to all reporting products. These guidelines will instead focus more on general report writing techniques and may not fully delve into
  • 12. 4 aspects of specific reporting products or topics within PACs. They are only intended as a guide, to foster better report writing practice within PACs, and should be interpreted as such within the particular mandate and operational framework of each PAC. Furthermore, this Guideline is intended as a living document that issubjecttochangeas practiceevolves. 1.1 PURPOSEOFTHEGUIDELINES If the PAC starting point is the reports of the Auditor-General, then the end is drafting the inquiry report.This inquiry report will be the primary accountability product of the inquiry process as it provides a summary of the inquiry activity, including the inquiry conclusions, supporting evidence, accountability requirements, and recommendations for improvement. These matters need to be brought to the attention of stakeholders in a clear and persuasive way. After all, the persuasiveness of a report for initiating change or simply in conveying information to the reader often comes down to a well written and understandable report. There are many stakeholders involved in the development of the report: the users of the report, such as members of the legislature; auditee representatives which can include the head of the agency being audited as well as managers and specialists responsible for functions within the organisation; other government institutions; the media and the public; and PAC itself.An effective PAC report will not only meet the different information requirements of all these stakeholders, but will ensure that government departments takeinquiryoutcomesseriously. Although the presentation and contents of audit opinions on financial statements are largely established by auditing standards, the management letter on a financial audit and the report on a performance audit are much more varied in structure,
  • 13. 5 content, and potential impact and can benefit from the utilisation of the guidelines. Performance audit reports in particular, require significantcriticalthinkingon thepartof theauditteam. PAC will have specific communication requirements for its products. An example of this is PAC's own annual report, where the PAC will want to fulfil accountability requirements. There will be press releases, where the Committee provides a brief summaryof significantinquiryfindingstothemedia. Irrespective of the type of report that is being produced, the ultimate aim of this guideline is to produce an effective report: one that is read and that stimulates some sort of anACTION as a resultofbeingread. During the drafting process many instruments may be used by PAC suchas: · Constitution; · StandingOrders; · House Rules; · FinancialRegulations(Federal); · FinancialInstruction(States); · FinancialMemorandum(LocalGovernment); · FiscalResponsibilityAct(Federal); · Fiscal Responsibility Law (States & Local Government); · PublicProcurementAct(Federal);and · Public Procurement Law (States & Local Government). · Enabling Act of the MDAs and other existing ExtantActs/regulations This guideline is simply an additional tool to add to the vast body ofworks thatwillaidPAC inthedraftingof areport.
  • 14. 6 CHAPTER TWO 2.0 CHARACTERISTICS OFAGOODREPORT Given the fundamental requirement for PACs to be independent of external influence, inquiry work should be carried out in a professional and unbiased manner, and this should be reflected in the report. The Clerks must have no interest in the outcome of the inquiry. They are professionals upon whom Members rely on for substantive and objective information.Therefore, inquiry reports should be balanced and constructive, conveying all the findings oftheinquiry,bothpositiveandnegative. The reputation of PACs rests to a large extent on the reliability of information and significance of matters covered in its reports. Therefore, report contents must be complete (covering all relevant matters and containing enough information to support conclusions), factual, arithmetically accurate, and objectively determined. The findings should be supported by logical and verifiable analysis. It is also important to identify in the report any limitations that have restricted the inquiry team in obtaining any necessary information. The findings and conclusions must befullydefensiblewhenexposedtoexternalscrutiny. The inquiry fieldwork and the contents of the report should be strictly focused on the subject matter that is relevant to the inquiry. An inquiry should foster rational debate on contentious issues.Therefore,thereport: a) must comprise well developed inquiry conclusions that are presented in a sound and well-argued manner, in a neutraltoneandavoidingemotivelanguage;
  • 15. 7 b) should be concise since short reports are easier to read than long reports. However, reports that do not include important information are open to being discredited for failing to draw on all the information when formulating recommendations. The report should be brief and complete. One way to shorten your reports is to omit unnecessary phrases such as “during the reporting period…” and repetitions of things included elsewhere inthereport; c) should be written in clear and concise language easily comprehended by a non-specialist.To readily convey its message, a report should be easy to read. Therefore, it should be written using clear language to avoid any ambiguity in interpretation or misrepresentation of the facts; d) should avoid the passive voice. Positive language will help with clarity, while negative language may lead to confusion. For example, be careful not to use two or more negatives in one sentence, and express positive ideasinpositiveterms; e) should have headings that are meaningful, a font that is easy to read, and have reasonable spacing between the sections of the report – this is sometimes referred to as theuseofsufficient"whitespace";and f) should be structured to best meet the needs of the potential readership. Therefore, as part of the report writing process, the writer must constantly consider the users of the report when deciding on issues such as the report structure, whether or not to include material, and the emphasis to be placed on specific points being made.
  • 16. 8 This is a primary consideration for report writing, no matterwhattypeofreportisbeingproduced. A report has a well-defined structure. It should begin with a specific title. The title should convey useful information about the content of the report. This is followed by the name of the Committee, along with the date when the report was finished. Each section should be numbered accordingly. A summary should be included, which briefly states the aim of the report, describes the methodology followed and groups the conclusions and recommendations of the investigation into categories. The summary is followed by the introduction which states the terms of reference. (See Section 7, Report Structure and Style, for furtherdetails) Some report writing tips that will help to achieve these outcomes arediscussed insubsection7.12ReportStyle. 2.1 REPORTCONTENT PACs should ensure that inquiry reports are prepared by experienced teams with proper supervision, as this will provide a sound basis for producing the report. Report drafts should be peer reviewed within the PAC. Such examinations provide an objective view separate to that of the inquiry team and alternate perspectives on the conclusions reached. This process should foster debate and discussion on the interpretation of contentious issues throughouttheinquirytorefinetheconclusions. A well planned inquiry focused on achievable objectives. It is impossible to write a good report if the underlying inquiry processes are flawed. The inquiry planning process also extends to the production of the report itself. Although individual team members will be responsible for writing up their fieldwork topics and for preparing particular parts of the report, the whole
  • 17. 9 team should be involved in structuring the report. If individual team members understand the overall structure and thrust of the inquiry, they are more likely to write their segments of the report inaconsistentmannerandwithabetter"fit" intothereport. It is a good idea to plan the required contents and structure of the inquiry report as soon as the inquiry is under way.As information is collected, it can be recorded in a draft document or discussion paper that eventually can be incorporated into the final report. It is a lot easier and more accurate to write up sections of the inquiry work as you go along. Doing this will help the writer understand the links between different elements of the information collected, as well as the relativeimportanceof the conclusions being drawn. It will also highlight areas where additional information needs to be collected. This ongoing production of a report in parallel with the inquiry process is sometimes referred to as "continuous reportwriting". The planning phase of the inquiry should involve preparatory research on the issue or subject matter to develop the scope and to identify priority areas for inquiry fieldwork that will contribute most to the inquiry report.At this stage, the inquiry team (mostly Committee staff) will gather information, consult, and brainstorm ideas with peers. The impact of the inquiry report will be maximised if it is focused primarily on the significant issues raised during the inquiry. As part of the preparatory research on the inquiry, relevant information should be gathered from past inquiries,reviews,andpublicationson thetopic. As part of the planning process, ensure that the budget includes adequate resources and enough time to successfully write the report. Allocate appropriately skilled people and develop realistic timeframes to cover the required report writing processes, including the necessary iterations for redrafting the report, undertaking a quality-review process, and formal management clearance processes. If a report is rushed, it is likely
  • 18. 10 that this will be reflected in its quality and readability. Equally, PACs should ensure that the inquiry deadlines are met once milestones have been set. Meeting the reporting timetable will ensure that information in the report is as current and up-to-date as possible.Timely publication of the report ensures that it will be ofmostusetoreaders. For a summary of tips and tricks for effective report writing see AnnexB. 2.2 REPORTSTRUCTUREAND STYLE The structure of the report is based on the type of report being written, the audit query, and its intended audience. Once this report "skeleton" has been developed, "flesh" may be added to the "bones" – that is, each of the areas may be filled in as information is gathered and analysed. The structure can be developedby answeringquestionssuchas: ·What is the most effective report structure to convey informationaboutthetopic? ·What is the nature of processes and systems involved in thetopic? ·What data needs to be collected and how should it be presented? ·What charts and diagrams will be used to complement the reporttext? Generally, a report of analytical nature (for example, a performance audit report, annual report, or some accounts and records reports) will start with an executive summary, an introductory section, and then the body of the report followed by appendices. The report should be easy to read and professional in its
  • 19. 11 appearance. What follows is a generic structure for reports. Using this structure will not only give your report the correct level of formality, it will also help to ensure you do not omit anything important. Each of the following sections of a report willbefurtherelaborated: ·Coverpage ·Tableof contents ·Committeeestablishment/membership ·Committee jurisdiction – powers, functions and scope of theCommittee ·Prefacepage ·Introduction ·Work methodology ·Mainreport ·Findings /observations ·Recommendations ·Conclusion o Signature ·Annexes 2.3 MANAGING STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIPS DURING REPORT DEVELOPMENT Inquiry reports must be able to meet the different information requirements of the stakeholders involved with the report. A good report is one that strives to meet the needs of all its stakeholders. In particular, the PACs have a responsibility to work closely with the Auditor-General's office to ensure transparency and accountability in the financial operations of government. There are many stakeholders involved with the PAC report, they include:
  • 20. 12 ·Membersofthelegislature; ·Auditor-General; ·AccountantGeneral; ·Auditee representatives which can include the head of the agency being audited as well as accounting officers, managersandspecialistswithintheorganisation; ·Othergovernmentinstitutions; ·The media, the public, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); and ·PAC itself. As part of the report writing process, the writer must constantly consider the users of the report when deciding on issues such as the report structure, whether or not to include material, and the emphasis to be placed on specific points being made. This is a primary consideration for report writing, no matter what type of reportisbeingproduced. It could be argued that the inquiry report is the primary accountability product of the inquiry process as it provides a summary of the inquiry activity, including the inquiry conclusions, supporting evidence, accountability requirements, and recommendations for improvement. Therefore, it is essential that inquiry reports bring these matters to the attention of stakeholders in a clear and persuasive way.The persuasiveness of a report for initiating change or simply in conveying information to the reader often comes down to how well written and understandablethereportis. 2.4 QUALITY CONTROLAND THE REVIEW PROCESSES Always proof read the contents when writing a report. Proof reading should specifically check for spelling and grammatical
  • 21. 13 errors in the text, typographical errors in tables and graphs, and omissions of headings or captions. Do not rely solely on “spell- check”. The report should also be reviewed from the perspective ofitsmeaningandfromtheaccuracyof itsinformation. In particular, the conclusions made in the report should be reviewed to ensure that they are sound and that the recommendations are workable and will solve the problems identified. Herearesomehelpfultipstohelpyouwiththereviewprocess: ·Has thematerialbeenplacedintheappropriatesections? ·Has allthematerialsbeencheckedforaccuracy? ·Aregraphs andtablescarefullylabelled? ·Is data in graphs or tables also explained in words and analysed? ·Does the discussion/conclusion show how the results relatetoobjectivessetoutinintroduction? ·Has allirrelevantmaterialsbeenremoved? ·Is it written throughout in appropriate style (e.g. no colloquialisms or contractions, using an objective tone specificratherthanvague)? ·Is itjargon-freeandclearlywritten? ·Has every idea taken from or inspired by someone else's work beenacknowledgedwithareference? ·Do thesentencesmakesense? ·Is thestructurelogicalanddoesitflows well? The checklists provided in Annexes B and C will also help with theproof readingprocess.
  • 22. 14 CHAPTER THREE 3.0 TYPES OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES' REPORTS PACs in Nigeria produce eight different types of reports which are submitted to the House at Plenary for consideration. However, the number of reports prepared by PACs and submitted to the House plenary vary at the National and State levels. The typesof reportsare: 3.1 Report on the Comments of the Auditor-General (A-G) on theAnnualAuditedAccounts ofParastatals TheA-G has no power to audit the accounts of Parastatals of government. Instead the Parastatals are required to have their accounts audited annually by an external audit firm and the audited accounts are submitted to the A-G for his comment. In accordance with Sections 85(3)(b) and 125(3)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the A-G's Comment is submitted to the legislature for PAC consideration. (See Annex A for the fulltextoftheseSectionsoftheAct). 3.2 Report on the Annual Report of the Auditor-General (A-G)on theAccounts of theGovernment Sections 85(2)(5) and 125(2)(5)of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)mandates the A- G of the federation and states to audit the accounts of government's Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) annually and submit his/her report to the legislature for the consideration of the PACs. After consideration, PACs would submit a report to the House either at the National or State levels for consideration. (See
  • 23. 15 AnnexAforthefulltextoftheseSectionsoftheAct) 3.3 Reporton theFederalCapitalTerritoryAdministration This is the report of theAuditor-General on theAccounts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration. The National Assembly is the Parliament of the FCT. The A-G prepares the financial statements of the FCT which is forwardedtoNationalAssembly for consideration. 3.4 TheAccounts ofLocalGovernmentAreas This is the report of the Accounts of Local Government Areas in the state. There is an Auditor-General for Local Government in each of the states who audits the accounts of local governments in the states and submits the report to the StateHouses ofAssemblyforconsideration. 3.5 Reporton Routine Status Inquiry All PACs carry out a status inquiry into any aspect of the financial operations of MDAs and Parastatals randomly within the legislative year. A report is submitted after each inquiry. 3.6 ReferralReport Every legislature usually refers certain legislative measures such as consideration of bills, petitions, confirmation of appointments to PACs for further legislative action. A report on the referral is submitted to the House after completion of the exercise. It should be noted that no committee of the Nigerian legislature has a final say on any legislativematterreferredtoitforconsideration.
  • 24. 16 3.7 Sessional Report At the end of each legislative year, every committee of the legislature submits a report of its activities for the year to the House. The report highlights successes and failures, challenges,andrecommendations. 3.8 NEITI Report This is the report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative submitted to the National Assembly in accordance with Section 4, 13 and 14 of NEITI Act (2007)
  • 25. 17 CHAPTER FOUR 4.0 PUBLICACCOUNTS REPORTSTRUCTURE 4.1 COVER PAGE A good report structure should contain a meaningful title to help the reader readily identify the report's content. The title should clearlystatethepurpose ofthereport. It should contain the details of the entity preparing the report i.e. thenameof theCommittee. The cover page should also contain the date of the presentation of the report to the Assembly. The date will also provide a time frameandcontexttothereaderaboutthereportfindings. Here is an example of a cover page of a PAC report of the Senate PublicAccountsCommittee: SEVENTH SENATE (2011 – 2012 SESSION) REPORT OF THE SENATE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL FOR THE FEDERATION ON THE ACCOUNTS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FOR THE YEAR ST ENDED 31 DECEMBER, 2008 JANUARY, 2013 SECOND REPORT
  • 26. 18 4.2 TABLE OFCONTENTS Atable of content (a list of report headings against page numbers) should be used if there are more than 10 pages. It should contain the list of the report's headings and annexes and should articulate thecorrespondingcontent. Ensure that the correct page numbers are shown opposite the contents.You may also consider adding hyperlinks if the report is tobemadeavailableinanelectronicformat. Other useful "reader aids" to use in a report are the inclusion of a contents page, a keyword index, and a glossary (an alphabetical listexplainingtermsandabbreviationsusedinthereport). Here is an example of a table of contents from the Report of The Senate Public Accounts Committee on The Annual Report of The Auditor-General for the Federation on The Accounts of The Federation of Nigeria for the Year Ended 31st December, 2008. Table of Contents Page TableofContents........................................................................i Preface......................................................................................ii ListofCommitteeMembers......................................................iii NigerianPoliceForce .........................................................1-5 MinistryofDefence(Headquarters) ....................................5-8 FederalMinistryofInformationand Communications.........8-11 FederalMinistryofInterior ............................................11-14 NigerianImmigration Service(NIS)..................................14-16 SupremeCourtofNigeria ..................................................16-17
  • 27. 19 MinistryofMinesand SteelDevelopment .........................17-19 PoliceServiceCommission (PSC) ....................................19-22 MinistryofPetroleumResources ......................................22-23 OfficeoftheSurveyor-GeneraloftheFederation......................24 FederalMinistryofTransport .................................................25 FederalMinistryofAviation ............................................25-27 NigeriaCollegeofAviationTechnology(NCAT), Zaria......27-28 FederalRoads MaintenanceAgency(FERMA) ................28-29 FederalMinistryofWaterResources ................................29-30 NigerDeltaDevelopmentCommission (NDDC).................30-32 NationalHealthInsurance Scheme(NHIS).........................32-33 NigerianCivilAviationAuthority(NCAA)..........................33-35 CentralBankofNigeria(CBN)...........................................35-36 VerbatimReportofProceedings ............................................37 4.3 COMMITTEEESTABLISMENT/MEMBERSHIP The Committee membership should be included in the report since the stakeholders will be interested in knowing which MembersoftheAssembly wereinvolvedinthestudy. This is an example from the Report of The Senate Public Accounts Committee on The Annual Report of The Auditor- General for the Federation on TheAccounts of The Federation ofNigeriafor theYearEnded31st December,2008. MEMBERSHIP: 1. SenatorAhmadI.Lawan CON - Chairman 2. SenatorAbdulNingiAhmedCON- ViceChairman 3. SenatorAyoAkinyelure - Member 4. SenatorDomingo Obende - Member 5. SenatorUmaru Dahiru OON - Member 6. SenatorOlubunmiAyodejiAdetunmbi- Member 7. SenatorAbdulmuminM.Hassan - Member
  • 28. 20 8. SenatorPaulinusIgweNwagu - Member 9. SenatorBarataHassanAhmed - Member 10. Senator Solomon Ewuga- Member Ahmadu E. Abdullahi - Clerk * Replaced Senator Yusuf Nagogo Musa as Senator andMember. 4.4 COMMITTEE JURISDICTION, POWERS, FUNCTIONSAND SCOPE Powers are granted to Committees either through the Constitution, the Standing Orders or by Order of the Assembly. PACs may only act in conformity with the powers they have been given. They are bound by their orders of reference and may not undertake studies or make recommendations to the Assembly thatgo beyondthelimitsestablishedbytheseorders. The mandate sets out and explains the powers and conditions that govern PACs' deliberations.This should help the reader to clearly identify the inquiry objective, scope and to establish the purpose andboundariesoftheinquiry. The report should therefore clearly identify the authority under which the study was undertaken.This section of the report should upfront set the specific mandate that has empowered PACs to study andreportonthesubject. For exampletheCommittee'smandateissetoutin: · Sections 85 and 125 of the 1999 Constitution of the FederalRepublicof Nigeria(as amended) THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS has the honour to present its
  • 29. 21 FOURTH REPORT Pursuant to its mandate under Sections 85 and 125 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),theCommitteehas studiedX; · A Standing Order THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS has the honour to present its FOURTH REPORT Pursuant to its mandate under Standing Order 108(3)(g), the Committee has studied Chapter 2, Access to Online Services, of the Fall 2013 Report of the Auditor General 1 ofCanada andhas agreedtoreportthefollowing: · An order of referencefromtheAssembly The State Assembly was entrusted with the task of considering the reports. Accordingly, the Public Accounts Committee was requested by the House to Examineand submit report. The Audited Accounts was therefore committed to the committee on Wednesday, 27th July, 2011 (Sha'aban, 1432AH) for examination. In the process of carrying out its legislative assignment the committee had duly examined the Auditor General's report on the Audited Accounts of the 44 (Forty four) Local Government 2 Councils . 4.5 PREFACE PAGE A preface is written by the author of the report. It is a small introductiontothereportandwilltypicallycontaintheessenceof 1 House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Fourth Report, 2nd Session, 42nd Parliament, presented to the House on July 16, 2014 2 Report Of The Public Accounts Committee Kano State House Of Assembly On The Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils For The Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010
  • 30. 22 the report. It should enable the reader to make an informed decision about whether they want to read the report or not.Agood preface can be a good advertising campaign and can attract more readers. It should be written with the objective of making the readerwanttoreadtheentirereport. Agood preface: a) should provide a brief description of the purpose and scopewithoutproviding substantialdetails; b) should briefly summarize the report and may provide an explanationof thechoiceofthetopic; c) should acknowledge the intended audience, illustrate how the subject has importance and state why the report wouldbeofinterest/usetothem; d) should contain some of the following in varying amounts of detail as is appropriate: main design point; essential difference from previous report; methodology; suggestions about how to read the report if there is a specialstructure;andsomeeye-catchingresultsifany; e) may acknowledge those who provided assistance to the reportand f) should use concise language to emphasize key points that will be discussed in greater detail in the body of the report. This is an example from the Report of The Senate Public Accounts Committee on The Annual Report of The Auditor- General for the Federation on TheAccounts of The Federation
  • 31. 23 of Nigeria for the Year Ended 31st December, 2008. You will note that the main point of the report is specified and the methodology is briefly explained. Some eye-catching recommendationswerealsosupplied. Preface The Senate Public Accounts Committee sat from 30th November, 2011 to 8th October, 2012 and examined the Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on the Accounts of the Government of the Federation for the yearended31st December,2008. In the consideration of this Report, the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) adopted the following strategies: (i) Called for written responses from the Ministries, Departments andAgenciesqueried; (ii) Analyzedtheresponses; (iii) Invited for Public Hearing the Ministries, Departments and Agencies whose responses were not satisfactory for their defence and explanation on the queries. The MDAs were represented by the Accounting Officers (Permanent Secretaries and the Chief Executive Officers) who led theirofficials; (iv) Carried outOn-The-Spotinspectionofprojectsites; (v) Cleared queries that were satisfactorily explained and certified by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation,theauthor ofthequeries.
  • 32. 24 TheCommitteemaderecommendationson thefollowing: 1. NigeriaPoliceForce 2. MinistryofDefence(Headquarters) 3. Federal Ministry of Information and Communications 4. FederalMinistryofInterior 5. NigerianImmigration Service(NIS) 6. SupremeCourtofNigeria 7. MinistryofMinesand SteelDevelopment 8. Police Service Commission (PSC) 9. Ministry of Petroleum Resources 10. OfficeoftheSurveyor-GeneraloftheFederation 11. FederalMinistryofTransport 12. FederalMinistryofAviation 13. Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria 14. FederalRoads MaintenanceAgency(FERMA) 15. FederalMinistryofWaterResources 16. NigerDeltaDevelopmentCommission (NDDC) 17. NationalHealthInsurance Scheme(NHIS) 18. NigerianCivilAviationAuthority(NCAA) 19. CentralBankofNigeria(CBN) In this example from the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts of the Yukon Legislative 3 Assembly Canada , in addition to providing the main point of the report and explanation of the methodology a short paragraph was added with thanks and acknowledgment to those who provided assistance. Preface “This report is based on public hearings held by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on February 8 3 Standing Committee on Public Accounts of theYukon Legislative Assembly Canada, 3rd Report, 31st Legislature
  • 33. 25 and 9, 2005. These hearings were held to follow up to two reports oftheAuditorGeneralofCanada. The first report, on the Energy Solutions Centre Inc. grew out of an audit of the corporation's 2003 financial statements conducted by the Auditor General. During the audit the Auditor General became aware of serious deficiencies in the overall management and control of the operations of the company. As a result the Auditor General expanded its audit to look at issues relating to corporate governance, oversight and control in the Energy Solutions Centre Inc., and its parent, the Yukon DevelopmentCorporation. The second report is on the Mayo-Dawson Transmission System project. This audit was undertaken at the request of the Yukon Energy Corporation's board of directors. The project had been justified on the basis of cost-savings that would result from replacing diesel-generated power with hydro power to Dawson City customers. The project was originally planned to be completed before the end of 2002. That date was not met. Cost overruns have raised questions as to extent to which cost savings will be realized. In questioning witnesses from the Yukon Development Corporation (YDC) the Committee was looking for reactions to the Auditor General's reports, further detail about the Energy Solutions Centre Inc. and the Mayo- Dawson Transmission System project, as well as an outline of steps YDC plans to take to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future. Appended to the
  • 34. Hon. Solomon O. Adeola Chairman House of Reps. PAC & National Vice-Chairman of NAPAC Senator. Ahmad I. Lawan Chairman Senate PAC & National Chairman of NAPAC Hon. Gabriel Onyewife Secretary of NAPAC Mr. Ahmadu E. Abdullahi Clerk Senate PAC & National Coordinator NAPAC CoC Mr. Titus S. Ajina Clerk House of Reps. PAC 26 Alh. Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa OON, mni, fnim. Clerk to the National Assembly
  • 35. A Cross Section of the high table at the NAPAC Inauguration Another view of the high table at the NAPAC Inauguration A view of members of NAPAC and other stakeholders at the Inauguration PHOTOS FROM 27
  • 36. NAPAC members alongside the World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly NAPAC Community of Clerks Working Group alongside the National Chairman of NAPAC, Sen. Ahmad I. Lawan NAPAC Community of Clerks NAPAC EVENTS 28
  • 37. Senator Ahmad I. Lawan leading discussions with members of NAPAC The World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly addressing Members of NAPAC at the Inauguration. Hon. Solomon O. Adeola engaging with members of NAPAC during a session at the Inauguration 29
  • 38. 30 report are transcripts of the public hearings and written responses submitted by YDC to supplement answers givenatthepublichearings. One Committee member, Pat Duncan, had been Premier and the Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation and its subsidiaries during the time that some of the events examined in these reports took place. After discussion between Ms. Duncan and other Committee members it was agreed that Ms. Duncan would not participate in these hearings. While Ms. Duncan remains a member of this Committee, and was kept apprised of Committee proceedings, she did not participate in the Committee's preparation for the hearings, the hearings themselves or the drafting of this report. The Committee would like to thank officials from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada for their assistance in preparing the Committee for the hearings. The Committee would also like to thank the witnesses who appeared before it for the documentary information they provided and for their candid and forthright responses during thepublichearings.” An alternative to a preface page is an executive summary. Such a summary provides the overall conclusions and important messagesthattheauthorwishes toconveytothereaderupfront. 4.6 INTRODUCTION Generally, a report of an analytical nature (for example, a performance audit report, annual report, or some accounts and
  • 39. 31 records reports) will start with a preface, an introductory chapter, andthenthebody of thereportfollowedby annexes. The introduction is where the topic is introduced and provides general background information. The aims and objectives of the report should be explained in detail.Any problems or limitations in the scope of the report should be identified. The introductory chapter provides a background to the inquiry topic along with other matters such as the PACs mandate, inquiry objective, and methodologyused. These are some expressions commonly found in the introduction: ·whatwas investigated ·theaimof ·willoutline ·was todetermine ·determinethefeasibilityof ·thepurpose of ·toinvestigate The introduction should also give an explanation of procedures followed during the study. The past tense is used. Typical expressions found regardingthemethodologyinclude: ·was collected ·withdiscussions ·was used ·was undertaken ·findings ·weresurveyed ·responses wereidentified ·questionnaires ·tabulated ·notedevidence
  • 40. 32 4.7 WORKMETHODOLOGY State clearly how the inquiry was carried out. Explain why a particular method was used. If there were witnesses who were they? How many? How were they selected? Write this section concisely but thoroughly. Go through all of the Committee's work andincluderelevantwork such as : ·advertisedtheinquiryinthemediaandon theInternet; ·called for written submissions from interested individualsandorganizations; ·gatheredinformationbyquestionnaire;and ·heldhearingswithwitnesses. 4.8 MAIN REPORT The body of the report contains a set of paragraphs that outline the major areas of the inquiry, evidence gathered, analysis undertaken, inquiry findings, and conclusions. This is the part of the report that pulls the whole piece together by showing how the findingsrelatetothepurpose of thereport. Structure paragraphs in a logical manner to build the report. A clearlydefinedandlogicallysound structurewill: ·reflecttheinquiryobjective; ·develop supporting arguments that lead to the conclusions; ·makethereporteasiertoread; ·convey the information in a more persuasive and understandableway;and ·makeuse of headingsandsubheadings.
  • 41. 33 Paragraphs divide the report into logical segments that develop the overall argument of the report. Each paragraph generally contains only one main idea (known as paragraph unity) and this main idea should logically flow into the main idea of the next paragraph. Paragraphs should be ordered in a logical sequence beginning with the most important material first. Within each paragraph you should use a structure that helps your reader. A paragraph should havethefollowingstructure: ·topic sentence (states main idea of the paragraph and makealinkbetweenparagraphs); ·explanationsentence(explainsthetopicsentence); ·support sentence (gives evidence for the idea of the topic sentenceandincludesdate,examples,andcitations);and ·concludingsentence(optionalfinalsentence). Use bullet points to present a series of points in an easy-to-follow list. 4.9 FINDINGS /OBSERVATIONS Findings are the facts that were discovered by using the methodology described in the introduction. For example, if briefs were requested the findings will be a summary of the various briefs. The findings are grouped, presented in tabular form, or reduced to statistic for easy understanding. An example of a finding is “Eight percent of presenters considered the X to be unsatisfactory because of Y.” Divide complex information logically into parts and number each part. The past tense is used inthissectionandthepassivevoiceis common.
  • 42. 34 The supporting evidence collected by the team must be verifiable and strong enough to support the inquiry arguments. Evidence should be confirmed by cross-checking between different sources. Data validation and verification techniques should be used to test the accuracy of numerical data used in the report. Such techniques include the use of proofreading, checksums, parity checking, and double keying. Working papers should contain all relevant information relating to the inquiry findings and should be indexed to allow ready access to supporting documentation. On occasion, where the inquiry covers topics that require specialist knowledge, experts should be consulted to ensuretheaccuracyoftheinquiryreport. When presenting the results of data analysis, it is not necessary to display the results as both graphs and tables of data. Some results are better presented as statistics (numbers, percentages, ratios), others are better in tables, and others still are clearer when they are presented visually on a graph.Again, think of your audience. Senior management often does not have the time to wade through extensive data sets and may prefer a few key statistics or a meaningfultrendgraph. When writing up the results of an analysis, it is not always necessary to include all of the raw data in the report. Information should be included in the body of the report only if it is necessary to support the argument being made. If supporting data is considered useful, but too detailed for the body of the report, then placeitinanannex(seeSection7.11 for detailson annexes). Tables and figures should have an informative title and number, axes and legends should be labelled, and symbols and units should be defined.The table or figure should also be referred to in the text in details to explain its context, purpose, and significance.
  • 43. 35 This section is sometimes called “Discussions and Conclusions”. Conclusions are statements of facts derived from the findings. Usually the present simple tense or the present perfect tense is used. 4.10 RECOMMENDATIONS Even though this section of the report is towards the end, it is probably the most important part of the report. It calls stakeholders to action based on the evidence that has been gathered and analyzed in the report. It needs to be actionable, specific and make sense as a solution to the problems detailed in the report. Some readers will skip the report and turn directly to the recommendations section, which represents the essence of the report, so you need to take special care with clarity and correctness. Review the body of the report for conclusions and fashion recommendations based on them. The recommendations section should flow logically and directly from information in the body. Limit the recommendations to the data presented and do not introducenewmaterial. This section is usually longer than the Conclusion, but shorter than the Findings. Like the other sections of the report recommendationsshould beclear,concise,andcorrect. In terms of content, the recommendations should be specific, measurable, achievable, result-oriented and time bound 4 (SMART) . ·Specific - state the method for implementing the recommendations. This should be well defined and clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the subject matter. 4 Doran, G. T. (1981). "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives". Management Review (AMA FORUM) 70 (11): 35–36.
  • 44. 36 ·Measurable - although some things are difficult to measure, your recommendations would be more persuasiveiftheyaremeasurable. ·Achievable - recommendations should not involve too littletime,or toomuchmoney,labour,facilitiesor risk. ·Result-oriented - recommendations should provide good resultsforstakeholders. ·Time-bound - recommendations should set realistic deadlines for completion of suggestions. Include an actionplanifthisfitsthescopeofthereport. Specific Recommendations should be numbered so that it is easy for readers to refer to them in messages (e.g. In recommendation 30- 32 it is stated…). If action is imperative, list them in order of priority so that the stakeholders know which item needs attention first. If the recommendations are of equal importance, list them in thesameorderas theyoccurinthebody ofthereport. 33.0DECISION/RECOMMENDATIONS 30.The Committee recommends a complete overhaul of the accounting system of the Institute in order to strengthen the internal control mechanism thereby blockingallareasofleakages 31. To achieve the recommendation above, the Institute should engage qualified professional accountantsinitsaccountingdepartment. 32. Henceforth, Officials who deduct taxes due to Government but refuse to remit them to the appropriate authorities should be summarily dismissed from service and prosecuted. The report of
  • 45. 37 action taken against them should be reported back to 5 theNationalAssembly . Categorize the list, if it is long and items fall into logical groupings. Hereisanexampleof agrouping. · Local Legislative Councils must realize that they have special responsibilities for Financial, Project and Program matters, in particular by ensuring that proper values are obtained for money spent as approved in the annual budget of the Local Government through over sightfunctions; · The Local Legislative Councils should produce and maintain proper records of their legislative proceedings and present such records to the Auditors on request for verification. · The Local Legislative Councils should ensure efficient and effectivemonitoring of projects executedby the Local Governments; and · The Local Government Executives should ensure compliance with the Local Council's genuine 6 observations,recommendationsandresolutions . When possible write one-sentence recommendations, starting with actionable verbs and use concise language. As you provide detailsinthesentence,remindthereaderwhatmotivatesthe recommendations and remember that the body of the report has already provided this reasoning. It is more important to be concise and give the stakeholders clear, easy to understand actions. 5 House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Examinations Conducted onAuditor General's Reports of theAccounts of 13 Ministries and Agencies of the Federal Government for 2003-2005 and Status Enquiry Reportson5 PublicEntities 6 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010
  • 46. 38 · The Local Government should consider the settlement of 7 thecontractorhis balancepayment .[sic] · The Committee recommends that the officer who took the CashAdvance should refund to the Treasury the unretired sum of N1,804,500.00, in compliance with Section 3124 oftheFinancialRegulationswhichstatesthat: “A public officer who fails to respond to a query issued to him within 21 days for non-retirement of advances or imprests shall be surcharged and the total amount 8 involvedrecovered .” The grammatical structure of each recommendation should be the same.Arecommendation implies that there will be an action. So start each recommendation with an imperative word (instructionalword):improve,donot,reduce: · The Committee directed the Local Government to put more effort to emulate from the State Government towards generating more revenue. Refer to the detailed 9 summary ofrevenueUnder Collection . Recommendations often use modal verbs such as “should” and “could”, followed by an infinitive verb. “Should” is for recommendations that you are sure about, but “could” is for ones that you are less sure about.Verbs for recommendations typically are: recommend, suggest and propose. It is wrong to use We 7 Ibid8 Report of the Senate Public Accounts Committee on the Annual Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation on theAccounts of the Federation of Nigeria for theYear Ended 31st December, 2008,January, 2013, SecondReport 9 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010
  • 47. 39 recommend to change your procedures; use We recommend changingorWerecommendthatyouchange. ·The committee during the scrutinization and verification of the documentary evidences submitted discovered that purchases for the sum of N44,848,325.00 has not been supported with necessary verifiable documents or evidences in spite of the ample time given for the officials of the 44 Local Government Councils to rectify the anomaly identified during the scrutinization of the Domestic Audit InspectionReport. Sequel to the foregoing therefore, the committee resolved that the payments of N44,848,325.00 should be recovered and returned to the Treasury Accounts of the affected Local Government 10 Council . Avoidconditionalwords such asmaybeandperhaps. Measurable Although some things are difficult to measure, your recommendations would be more persuasive if they are measurable. ·Construction of hexagonal ring cells culvertContract for the construction of hexagonal 6 ring cells culverts at Dogon Dorawa was awarded to Garba Tanko & Sons at the contractsum ofN4,863,274.59. REMARKS The project was ongoing at 50% level of work done and the contractor has received full payment of the totalcontractsum. 10 Ibid
  • 48. 40 Recommendation/Resolution The contractor handling the project should return to the site for speedy completion of the work within one month or refund the sum of N2,431,637.30 being 50% 11 valueofwork notcarriedoutattheprojectsite . Achievable The recommendations should not involve too little time, or too muchmoney,labour,facilitiesor risk. ·The Committee resolved to accept the response submitted by the Internal Auditors but at the same time directed all of them to draw up a detailed audit program and as well submit copy [sic] of their monthly, quarterly and yearly reports to the Chief Accounting Officers of the Local Governments, the Ministry for Local Government and Auditor-General 12 onthetrueprogress oftheirauditfindings . ·The committee resolved that the Ministry for Local Governments should follow up the issues and instructed all the 44 Local Government Councils to without further delay imbibe and adopt the new Budget classification and chart of accounts coding system in use by both Federal and state 13 Governments . ·The Local Legislative Councils should produce and 11 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010 12 Ibid 13 Ibid
  • 49. 41 maintain proper records of their legislative proceedings and present such records to the Auditors 14 onrequestforverification . ·With limited resources and increasing public demands, the Local Government should not depend solely on Federal Grants but must hasten to find new ways to generate the needed Local revenue to be able to provide the services the public require. The abundant and potential sources of revenue such as markets, motor park fees, cattle markets, slaughter houses and tenement rates among others as provided under fourth schedule of 1999 Constitution and schedule of the Local Government Law respectively should be explored by the Councils in order to boost 15 theirinternallygeneratedrevenuebase . Result-oriented The recommendations should provide good results for stakeholders.In the first examplethe stemmingof loss of revenue would be a good result for the government. In the second the stakeholdersAlasanShu'aibuandSons would bethebenefactors. · Committee'sObservations: The Committee frowned at the practice of granting advances for services in violation of extant regulations which invariably leads to loss of revenue forgovernment. 14 Ibid 15 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December,2010
  • 50. 42 Committee'sRecommendation: The Committee recommends that the officer(s) who approved the advances be sanctioned according to Rule 3112(i) of the Financial Regulations which statesthat: A Public Officer who fails to respond to the Auditor- General's query satisfactorily within 21 days for failure to collect Government Revenue due shall be 16 surchargedand betransferredtoanotherschedule . ·Observations Efforts made to trace the problem proved abortive as all documents regarding the Feeder Road contract werewiththestateAnti-CorruptionCommission 59 Recommendation/Resolution i. The contractors handling the project should return to the site within two weeks for continuation of works or the contractberevoked. ii. The Local Government should consider giving the chance to AlasanShu'aibu and Sons to handle the whole project considering that the agreement was signed in his 17 nameandhehas shown asign ofcommitmenttowork . ·Committee'sObservations: The Committee expressed surprise that the Ministry could not issue receipt for payments allegedly made for about nine years. The Committee faulted the Authority for not pursuing the receipt as there was no correspondence between it and the Ministry of 16 Second Report of the Senate Public Accounts Committee on the Annual Report of the Auditor- General for the Federation on the Accounts of the Government of the Federation for the Year Ended31 December, 2008, datedJanuary, 2013st 17 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010
  • 51. 43 Finance on the issue. The Committee directed the Authoritytotakeuptheissue immediately. Committee'sRecommendation: The Committee recommends that the appropriate receipts should be issued by the Ministry of Finance and the particulars forwarded to theAuditor-General fortheFederationfor auditverification. ·The Ministry of Finance being the custodian of the Stabilization Funds Account should endeavour to periodically print out the statement of Account of each Local Government. This will enable each Local Government to reflect the correct end of the year 18 balanceduring preparationofitsannualaccounts . Time-bound Recommendation should set realistic deadlines for completion of the suggestions, requests. If possible include a plan of action if thiswithinthescopeof thereport. ·The Committee resolved that the Ministry for Local Governments should furnish the committee with the result obtained from the Ministry of Finance and office of the Accountant General respectively within one month from the date of presenting this report for 19 furtheraction . ·The contractor should return to the site and complete the project within two months. The local Government and the Ministry for Local Government 20 should ensurecompliance . 18 Second Report of the Senate Public Accounts Committee on the Annual Report of the Auditor- General for the Federation on the Accounts of the Government of the Federation for the Year Ended31stDecember, 2008, datedJanuary, 2013 19 Report of the Public Accounts Committee, Kano State House Of Assembly,on the Audited Accounts Of 44 (Forty Four) Local Government Councils for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2010 20 Ibid
  • 52. 44 Observations Efforts made to trace the problem proved abortive as all documents regarding the Feeder Road contract werewiththestateAnti-CorruptionCommission Recommendation/Resolution i. The contractors handling the project should return to the site within two weeks for continuation of works or the contractberevoked. ii. The Local Government should consider giving the chance to Alasan Shu'aibu and Sons to handle the whole project considering that the agreement was signed in his nameand hehas shown asign ofcommitmenttowork · Recommendations: TheCommitteeherebyrecommends as follows: That the Commissioner for Health should ensure that within 60 days from the date of the adoption of this report by the House of Assembly, Dr. Joseph Bassey retrieves and return to the Collage Hospital, Akpet Central, the two (2) 500 litres capacity tanks given to MessrsAmama and Associates of No. 44 ItaOkon Street Calabar. Failing which the value of the cost of the two tanks should be established and deducted installmentally from Dr. Joseph Bassey's monthly salary and if retired from his monthly pension through the Public Funds and Property Recovery 21 Court . That the commissioner for Health should within 60 days from the date of the adoption inform the House of Assembly on action taken and extent of compliance. 21 Report of the PublicAccounts Committee on theAuditedAccounts of the Government of Cross RiverStatefortheYearEndedDecember31, 2009
  • 53. 45 It should be noted that recommendations will also be made in the body ofreportssuch as performanceaudits. 4.11 ANNEXES Annexes include any additional information that may help the reader but is not essential to the report's main findings. They are normally used to store detail that may support the inquiry argument, but that would clog up the body of the report, for example, raw data supporting a piece of analysis. They should relatetothereport's purpose andnotjust“tackedon”. Label all annexes and refer to them where appropriate in the main text(e.g.“SeeAnnexAforfurtherdetails”). A single annex should be titled ANNEX. Multiple annexes are titled ANNEX A, ANNEX B, etc. Annexes appear in the order thattheyarementionedinthetextofthereport. 4.12 REPORT STYLE An effective report is one that is cohesive and has a logical flow of ideas. The report should work as a unified whole. It should contain links between and within its sentences, paragraphs and sections. The report should contain sufficient details to successfully argue the points being made, but avoid duplication and unnecessary details as this makes reading more difficult and can confuse the message being delivered. It must be complete, covering the plannedareasandusing relevantandaccurateinformation. The style of writing for an inquiry report should focus on clarity and simplicity – use plain language and simple grammatical
  • 54. 46 structures. For example, use: "since" rather than "due to the fact that"; "can" rather than "have the capacity to"; and "if" rather than "in the event that". The report should have a professional tone without using jargon or too many acronyms and it should not be unnecessarilyformal. Sentences should be structured logically, generally in the following order: the subject (somebody or something) does or is something (object or complement), followed by extra information, if any. One idea in a sentence is enough, two is plenty, and three may cause confusion.The readability of a report can be degraded by the use of excessively long sentences. Whenever possible, write short sentences and use bullet points to list a series of points.When a longer sentence is required to group related matters, use punctuation such as commas to break up the sentence into easily understood components. Use semicolons to separatephrases containingcommas.. Paragraphs should start with a topic sentence. A good topic sentence consists of a subject (which is the main idea or focus) and a controlling idea (which indicates how the paragraph will support and develop the subject). For example, "The inquiry had threemainobjectives". Generally write in the past tense, not the present tense. You are describing an inquiry process that occurred in the past so you should note that you "analysed" and "concluded" during the inquiry. Use of the active voice helps to make the language in the report more direct and easier to understand. For example, an active voice would say "The audit team examined the invoices", whereas a passive voice would say "The invoices were examined
  • 55. 47 bytheauditteam". Parallel grammatical structure should be used to improve readability. By stating similar ideas in the same grammatical format, it is easier to understand that two or more ideas are of the same importance. An example of parallel structure would be, "Designing the inquiry plan was easy, but executing the audit was difficult". When constructing a list and using bullet points, be surethattheitemslistedarewritteninaparallelstructure. Capital letters should only be used sparingly as their overuse can make text harder to read. Capitals should be used for proper nouns such as "the Ministry of Finance", however "the ministry" wouldbelowercase. Quotations are generally placed on a separate line, indented, and italicised.For example:Theministerstated: 'The ministry welcomes this performance audit report on government motor vehicles, noting that it will improve theeffectivenessoffleetmanagement.' Numbers greater than nine are generally expressed in figures. If a number is used to begin a sentence then it should be expressed as a word. For example you would say, "Twenty invoices were selected"or "Inquiry selectedasampleof20invoices". Presentation and style are important. First impressions count, so considerthesetips: ·use plenty of white space – use generous spacing between eachelements; ·ensurethateachsectionofthereportstands out; ·usenumberedheadingsandsubheadings; ·use dots/numbers/letters to articulate each elements – be consistentintheusageof such; ·numbereachpage;
  • 56. 48 ·useconsistentformatting; ·useconsistentlanguage; ·useshort conciseparagraphs;and ·do a careful proof-reading – do not rely solely on spell check. A checklist of elements of presentation and style is providedinANNEX C. 5.0 WHOSIGNSTHEREPORT? Ideally, all PACs report should be signed by all Members and the Clerk of the Committee on the signature page. However, the signatures of the Chairman and Clerk should suffice if there are nodissentingopinions. 6.0 HOW TO APPROACH DISSENTING / MINORITY REPORTS Opposition Members will attempt to have their opinions reflected in the majority report, but will often produce a dissentingreportaswell. The Standing Rule of each House usually makes provision for this.Aminorityreportis notacceptedby theSenateRules. Minority opinion should be included in the main report and highlighted. 7.0 CONCLUSION There is no universal structure or format prescribed for PACs reports. Therefore, these standard guidelines for report writing within NAPAC will provide Clerks with an invaluable resource while drafting reports.As previously stated, this guideline is only intended as a model,but it will help foster better report writing practiceswithinPACs.
  • 57. 49 ANNEX A 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)– Sections 85and 125 85. (1) There shall be an Auditor-General for the Federation who shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of section86 ofthisConstitution. (2) The public accounts of the Federation and of all offices and courts of the Federation shall be audited and reported on to the Auditor-General who shall submit his reports to the National Assembly; and for that purpose, the Auditor-General or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts. (3) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall be construed as authorising the Auditor-General to audit the accounts of or appoint auditors for government statutory corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies established by an Act of the National Assembly, but the Auditor-Generalshall- (a) providesuchbodieswith- (i) a list of auditors qualified to be appointed by them as external auditors and from which the bodies shall appoint theirexternalauditors,and (ii) guidelines on the level of fees to be paid to external auditors; and
  • 58. 50 (b) comment on their annual accounts and auditor's reports thereon. (4) TheAuditor-General shall have power to conduct checks of all government statutory corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies establishedbyanActof theNationalAssembly. (5) The Auditor-General shall, within ninety days of receipt of the Accountant-General's financial statement, submit his reports under this section to each House of the National Assembly and each House shall cause the reports to be considered by a committee of the House of theNationalAssemblyresponsibleforpublicaccounts. (6) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution, the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or controlofanyotherauthorityorperson. 125. (1) There shall be an Auditor-General for each State who shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of section126ofthisConstitution. (2) The public accounts of a State and of all offices and courts of the State shall be audited by theAuditor-General for the State who shall submit his reports to the House of Assembly of the State concerned, and for that purpose the Auditor-General or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all the books, records, returns andotherdocumentsrelatingtothoseaccounts. (3) Nothing in subsection (2) of this section shall be construed as authorising theAuditor-General to audit the
  • 59. 51 accounts of or appoint auditors for government statutory corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies established by Law by theAuditor-Generalshall- (a)providesuchbodieswith- (i) a list of auditors qualified to be appointed by them as external auditors and from which the bodiesshallappointtheirexternalauditors,and (ii) a guideline on the level of fees to be paid to externalauditors;and (b) comment on their annual accounts and auditor's reportthereon. (4) The Auditor-General for the State shall have power to conduct periodic checks of all government statutory corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies, including all persons and bodies established by a law of theHouse ofAssembly of theState.
  • 60. 52 ANNEX B Summary of tips and tricks for effective report writing –Reportcontent PACs inquiryreportsshould: ·meet stakeholder needs – always keep stakeholders in mindwhenwritingthereport; ·be complete, covering the planned areas and using relevantandaccurateinformation; ·betightlytargetedonrelevantsubjectmatter; ·contain soundly argued analysis and objectively determinedinquiryconclusions; ·be balanced and constructive, conveying all findings, bothpositiveandnegative; ·contain recommendations that are practical in nature and limitedtothemoreimportantissues; ·bewellplannedwithachievableobjectives; ·be written in parallel with the inquiry process – known as "continuousreportwriting"; ·have a realistic budget and reporting milestone that must bemet; ·be well researched – the writer should consult and brainstormideaswithpeers; ·be focused primarily on the significant issues raised duringtheinquiry; ·be structured based on the type of report, the inquiry topic,anditsintendedaudience; ·be developed in a logical way that builds up the reporting picturethatyouwish toportray; ·wherever possible, have the important issues towards the frontofasection;and ·use supporting evidence that is verifiable and strong enoughtosupport thearguments.
  • 61. 53 Summary of tips and tricks for effective report writing –Reportstyle PACs inquiryreportsshould: ·be written using clear and concise language to avoid any ambiguity; ·be written in a neutral tone, avoiding emotive language, andtakingintoaccountauditeecomments; ·have a clear and simple style – using plain language and simplegrammaticalstructures; ·avoid duplication and unnecessary detail as this makes readingharder; ·contain logically structured sentences, generally in the following order: the subject does or is something, followedbyextrainformation,ifany; ·be written with short sentences and use bullet points to listaseriesof points; ·have paragraphs starting with a topic sentence consisting ofasubjectandacontrollingidea; ·generally be written in the past tense, not the present tense; ·mostly use the active voice, as it makes the language moredirectandeasiertounderstand; ·use parallel grammatical structure to improve readability; ·use capital letters only sparingly, as their overuse can maketexthardertoread; ·have quotations indented, italicised, and generally placed onaseparateline; ·only include information in the body of the report necessary to support the argument – other supporting data canbeplacedinanannex;and ·always be proofread and, wherever possible, peer reviewedwithinthePAC.
  • 62. 54 ANNEX C Checklistforsuccessful reportswriting–Reportstructure Coverpage ðcontainsameaningfultitle ðisproperlydated ðhas the appropriate name of the entity who prepared the report Tableofcontents ðcreatedifmorethan10 pages ðtitle of headings and annexes are descriptive of the content ðcorrectpagenumbershown oppositethecontents Listofabbreviationsand/orglossary ðdeemednecessary ðinalphabeticalorder Committee jurisdiction – powers, functions and scope of the committee ðappropriateorderof referenceused o Constitution o StandingOrder o Specialorder ðmandateclearlyindicated Prefacepage ðbriefdescriptionof thepurpose andscope ðmaindesignpoint ðessentialdifferencefrompreviousreport ðmethodology ðeye-catchingresults
  • 63. 55 ðspecialstructureexplained ðthanksandacknowledgment o proofreadnamesattentively Introduction ðclearlyidentifiestheinquiryobjectiveandscope ðproblemsorlimitationsareexplained ðbackgroundofinquirytopicarestated ðinquiryobjectivearestated ðPAC mandate ðproceduresusedareexplained Workmethodology ðdetailedexplanationofhow thestudy was carriedout ðexplanationof why aparticularmethodwas used ðhow andwhatevidencewas collected ðclearlyidentifytheinquiryprocesses ðclearlyidentifytheanalysisundertaken ðwitnesses o how many o who werethey o how weretheyselected o carefulproofreadingof namesandtitles Findings –observations ðevidencecollectedverified ðevidencestrong enoughtosupport theinquiryarguments ðdatavalidated ðdataverified o proofreading o checksum o paritychecking o doublekeying ðworkingpapersindexed
  • 64. 56 ðinformationincludedsupports theargumentsbeingmade ðall other information considered useful placed in an annex ðtablesandfiguresexplained o context o purpose o significance ðtablesandfiguresverified o informativetitle o number,axesandlegendslabelled o symbols andunitsdefined ðpresentsimpletenseor presentperfecttenseused Mainreport ðparagraphoutline o majorareasof theinquiry o evidencegathered o analysisundertaken o inquiryfindings o conclusions ðshowed how the findings relate to the purpose of the report ðused headingsandsubheadingstocreateaclearstructure ðeachparagraphgenerallycontainsonlyonemainidea ðparagraphs are ordered in a logical sequence beginning withthemostimportantmaterialfirst ðparagraphshavethefollowingstructure o topicsentence o explanationsentence o support sentence o concludingsentence ðused bullet points to present a series of points in an easy- to-followlist
  • 65. 57 Recommendations ðflowlogicallyanddirectlyfrominformationinbody ðlimitedtothedatapresented(no newmaterial) ðarespecific– statedthemethodfor implementing ðaremeasurable ðareachievable ðareresult-oriented ðhaverealisticdeadlinesforcompletion ðarenumbered o byorderofpriorityor o insameorderas theyoccurinthereport ðareconcise ðgrammatical structure of each recommendation is the same ðused actionverbs ðstartrecommendationwithanimperativeword ' ðshould' usedfor recommendationsthatyou aresureabout ' ðcould' used for recommendations that you are less sure about ðconditional words such as 'maybe' and 'perhaps' were avoided Annexes ðcontain helpful additional information not essential to report ðcontain detail that may support inquiry argument such as rawdata ðrelatestothereport's purpose ðproperlylabelled ðproofreadagainstcross-referenceinbody ofreport
  • 66. 58 Instruments used by PAC ðConstitution ðStandingOrders ðHouse Rules ðFinancialRegulations(Federal) ðFinancialInstruction(States) ðFinancialMemorandum(LocalGovernment) ðFiscalResponsibilityAct(Federal) ðFiscalResponsibilityLaw(States&LocalGovernment) ðPublicProcurementAct(Federal) ðPublicProcurementLaw(States&LocalGovernment) ðEnabling Act of the MDAs and other Extant Acts/regulations
  • 67. National Assembly Complex, Abuja

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