AN APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE OF OFFICE MANAGERS IN THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPT PRACTICES IN SELECTED GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT
The objective of this study is to identify the various corrupt practices perpetrated by officials of the government establishment and to find out if the penalties meted on corrupt practices are implemented.
This project is divided into 5 chapters. Chapter one is the introduction, which include the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, research questions and scope of the study.
Chapter two reviews all available relevant view and contributions of various authors of the issue under study.
Chapter three discusses the method used in obtaining factors and figures as contained in this project work. The main instrument used in data collection was questionnaire which was divided into 5 sections, section A- E. Section A was the personal data, section B research question 1, section C research question 2, section D research question 3 and section E research question 4. The mean and frequency table was used in analyzing the data collected.
Finally chapter four and five are the analysis of the data collected and summary, conclusion and recommendations respectively. The table appendix 1 attached at the back of this project was the frequency table showing how the mean was calculated.
1.1 Background of the Study
There are two keywords in this topic, which are Office Managers and Corrupt Practices. Let us first define or know the meaning of these words before going further. Office Managers are known as administrative service managers or the business office manager, are responsible for making sure that a company’s support staff is running smoothly. This can take many forms and depends on the size and type of company, so it could mean organizing, planning and overseeing a large pool of administrative assistants, or working with one or two people in a smaller office. Office managers make sure that the office runs smoothly, which includes keeping supplies in stock, making sure administrative and office staff are doing their job, working with vendors, planning events, supply and energy consumption to determine cost saving and efficiency savings.
Corruption in the 21st century has become a big problem and subject of great concern to all corruption involves willful and illegal exploitation of power and authority of one’s office for personal gain. From every perspective, corruption or corrupt practices has to do with fraudulent activity especially siphon funds that are aggrandizement only. Right from the beginning, corruption has been a vermin that has been killing and discouraging Owerri from moving up or welcoming new innovations.
From historical point of view, government establishment in Owerri have been in the hands of those who care for themselves, putting aside the yearning of the entire populace. Gone are the days when merit, honesty and transparency, has meaning in government establishment in Owerri, and this was them actually helping the State to move up.
Due to the noticeable nature of corruption in the State, the State embarked on policies that will eradicate corruption completely in the State. The State promised to fight corruption at all levels of establishment so as to promote accountability, higher ethical values and exemplary leadership among public office holders. In this case, no one shall stop Owerri from having new norms, new values and standards, that elected and appointed public officials should be transparent at all levels.
Corruption in government establishment in Owerri has reached its alarming rate that everybody, even those in power who are the greatest perpetrators of the acts are crying for redness. It has reached the extent that some social critics and cynics now feel that hell is not as bad as Owerri.
Corruption has endemic oracular and cancerous tendencies. It is endemic because it normally catches up with people. It is just as people of ancient times spreads in a system people tend to believe it just as people of ancient times believed and worshipped oracles. It is cancerous because it spreads from one person to the other until it engulfs the whole society, (Edeki : 2003).
Corruption thrives in Owerri because the society sanctioned it. Take for instance during the regime of Mr. Ikedi Ohakam corruption was institutionalised and elevated to a state craft that it was a popularly recognized instrument for the achievement of objective at whatever level in whatever degree and for whatever thing. The situation became worse that nothing will be impossible to obtain in Owerri provided the affected individual is ready to “play ball” and “settle” all the interest that may involve. We now work for money, struggle for money and argue for money and with it, we can pass on the road, get employment, secure promotion, buy our freedom, win contract and secure our right
The numerous corrupt practices that abound in government establishment in Owerri bribery, pen robbery, embezzlement of public funds, certificate forgery, fraud, extortion, favouritism, nepotism, election malpractice, tribalism, to mention but a few.
It is believed that the primary concern of reasonable, caring and competent leader should be the welfare of his followers, the case is different and so far while out leaders pay lip service to fight against corruption and poverty reduction, and they wallow in self – adulation and sycophancy, and never seem to be tired of asking for more benefits for themselves. It is no wonder them that Owerri people feel no sense of patriotism, as our leaders appear insensitive to the plight of the masses.
Ojinika (2001) wrote that corruption is a disease of the mind and soul. In a State like Owerri where corruption has eaten deep into fabrics of the society, effort should be made to eradicate it. Perhaps it is in an attempt to eradicate corruption in Owerri that the president Olusengum Obasanjo has promulgated the anti – corruption bill to fight corruption, (Akanbi 2000).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Anti – corruption bill was introduced in Nigeria in order to combat corrupt practices in Nigeria. Corruption as we all know is a disease of the mind and soul. It has eaten deeply into the fabrics of the society to the extent that it is almost impossible to achieve anything, get anything done, implement and program anything without the implement force or influence of corruption.
These corrupt practices are bribery, fraud, embezzlement of public fund, pen robbery, favoritism, extortion etc. this has turned the rural areas into poverty and had hindered development of rural areas. The penalties, measures for each of the offences by the State Government cannot be implemented by the judicial arm of government because they too are involved in corrupt practices.
The Office Managers like every other work in the organization has a role to play in preventing corrupt practices by not being corrupt herself, having a standard value system and as regards to her role in keeping the secret of the document in the office which is mostly the function of the office managers, the discovery such documents may lead to corrupt practices in the organization which the government establishment may lead to corrupt practice in the organization which the government establishment is inclusive.
These corrupt practices have bastardized to the growth and development of our nation and have created a very big problem in our society especially in rural areas. In view of the above, this research work was carried out to examine the possible ways of preventing corrupt practices in government establishment in Owerri.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The investigationOffice Managers in prevention of corrupt practices in selected government establishment in Owerri specifically, this study is set out to accomplish the following objectives.
1. To find out if corrupt practices prevail in government establishments in Owerri.
2. To find out if the anti- corruption policy of the Federal Government affects the attitude of government officials.
3. To find out if the penalties meted upon corrupt practices has any impact on the performance of office managers.
4. To find out if the office managers play any role in preventing corrupt practices in government establishment in Owerri.
In view of this study, the following questions will help the researcher to have a good knowledge of the problem at hand.
1. Does corrupt practice prevail in government establishments in Owerri?
2. Does the anti – corrupt policy of the Federal Government affect the attitude of government establishment officials?
3. Do the penalties meted upon corrupt practices have any impact on the performance of office managers?
4. Do office managers play any role in preventing corrupt practices in government establishment offices in Owerri?
Ha1: Corrupt practices prevail in Government Establishments in Owerri
H0: Anti-Corruption Policy of the Federal Government does not affect the attitude of Office Managers.
H0: Penalties meted on Corrupt Practices do not have any impact on the performance of office managers.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be relevant to students carrying out a research relating to this topic and also organizations whose aims or objectives are to fight against corruption in Owerri. Office managers in both private and public sectors of the economy.
This study, it is hoped would make the society to develop negative views about corrupt and will perhaps draw the attention of those who engage in this act as a means of livelihood to fight it because of the penalties it attracts.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The main focus of the study is to examine the possible ways of preventing corrupt practices in government establishment officers in Owerri.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Office Managers: This is defined as an employee of a business or organization whose duties typically include allocating physical resources such as office space and supplies, scheduling internal events, overseeing operational staff such as accountants, technicians, and administrative personnel, and other details necessary to run an office in any industry or field.
Prevention: It is defined as the act of stopping or hindering something bad or obstruction of action from happening. That means that it is better to stop something bad from happening rather than try to deal with the problems after it has happened.
Corrupt Practices: It is defined as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence improperly the actions of another party.