IMPORTANCE OF STOCKTAKING AND VERIFICATION IN GOVERNMENT STORES
It is not exaggeration to say that stocktaking and verification is an important exercise in which every organization out write to be successful must embark on. This issue, stocktaking and verification are not restricted only to business sectors and are no longer a new exercise for it has been as old as mankind. as life is important to mankind, so also stock is important to every organization. more so, materials or items in stock are life-blood of any organization. with regard to this, Obuseh (2007) noted that to manage materials is to manage the life of an organization that can be successful without adequate management of stocks to have this, there mist be a need for proper stocktaking and verification at the stipulated time. Meanwhile, stocktaking and verification is an exercise in which any organization must not look down on. if actually, success in their target.
1.1 GENERAL OVERVIEW
According to Morrison (1982), stocktaking is a complete process of verifying the quantity balance of the entire range of items held in stock. stocktaking can be further said to be the check of stock of materials and components in store with a view to check the balance as shown on the stock records with the physical stocks in the bin/rack and with the looks of account by valuation. Similarly, Verification has to do with physical check on stock to show that it is accurate. this kind of exercise is usually carried out on a regular basis unlike the stocktaking which is being planned before embarking on the exercise. It is worthy to note that stocktaking and verification is very imperative to every organization. The reason behind this is that since stock represent money, it demands thus, adequate and strct control for the achievement of the organization objectives or goals which has to do with minimizing cost while maximizing profit.
This study, stocktaking and verification in government stores is mainly narrowed down to the ministry of health, Owerri. This ministry was one of the eastern central state to owerri, capital of Enugu State when it was created, 1976 government technical college along Mbaise road was where it was located then. Then after being there from 1976-1997, it was moved to another site at Orlu road secretariat owerri. In 2005, during Udenwa regime, the ministry was finally relocated to its permanent site at new secretariat in Port Hacourt road, new owerri. The ministry comprises three divisions namely; Medical division, Pharmacy division and Public health division. Currently, the Honourable Commissioner of health of Owerri is Dr. VincentS Udogu, while the Permanent Secretary is Dr. Mrs. Nkem Onumaguru and (DAF) Director of Administrative Finance is the person of Mr. Mbadiegwu.
Under this ministry, there are eight functional departments namely; Public health/ Primary health Care, Nursery Service, Vector control/ Laboratory Service, Administration and Finance(DPRO) Development planning research and Statistics, Accounting Administration and Medical Service department. In the organization of the ministry, supplies division is attached to the administration/finance department. To this effect, the purchasing of every necessary material and storing of them are the responsibility of this department hence store department is under it. The supplies division on itself is made up of Principal store officer1, Principal store Officer 11, Service store Officer, Store Officer, Store Keepers and Stores Attendants. Each of the above officers has its own role to play in this sector. To crown it all, stocktaking and verification in the ministry of health owerri is being carried out by supplied division under administration/finance department.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is true that stocktaking and verification are very important yet there are still problems associated with it. The problems are as follows
1. Lack of trained purchasing personnel in the organization. Most organization see stocktaking activity as what anybody can do without knowing that it require professionalism.
2. Stocktaking and Verification exercise is expensive because it requires many staff within and outside the store’s organization of the ministry. More so, overtime for weekend working can be very expensive.
3. Another major problem is the effect of discrepancies. discrepancies are carried over for a long period of time before such is discovered. This would be very difficult to amend because stocktaking exercise is carried out in the ministry periodically.
4. When stocktaking and verification activities take place, it requires a complete closure of store thereby disrupting the activities of the storehouse at that point in time.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Stocktaking and verification in the ministry of health Owerri, Imo State has its objective. The main objective of the study is to review the current stocktaking and verification exercise and find out so that the strength and factors militating agents efficient stocktaking will be determined in order to provide a more accurate record of items held in stock. For the purpose of actualizing this objective, the following objectives are kept in view;
1. To access and review the stock recording system
2. To review the issues and receiving procedure
3. To analyze the various types of stocktaking implemented by the ministry.
4. To analyze the various methods of stocktaking
5. To find the importance of effective of stocking and verification
6. To highlight methods of stocktaking and verification adopted by the ministry
7. To make recommendation where necessary thus aimed at improper use the stocktaking and verification practice system of the ministry.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following below are the significance of this study. This study will analyze the current stocktaking and verification in operation in the ministry of health owerri and pin point factors that are responsible for inefficient stocktaking and verification and proper alternate solution to them all. This study will also aid to increase the awareness of the relevance of efficient stocktaking and verification to any organization. It will also serve as useful guide to those who manage store in both public and private sectors. Furthermore, this study will in future serve as a reference guide or data bank for the new students in time of their research work Finally, this research is one of the pre-requisites for the award of Higher National Diploma Certificate (HND) in Purchasing and Supply to the researcher.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The essence of formulating some research question is to direct the readers, other researchers trained. Therefore, this study needs answers to the following questions below;
1 To what extent has stocktaking and verification is beneficial to the ministry?
2 What are the process involve in stocktaking and verification exercise in the ministry?
3 What are the methods used by the ministry in carrying out stocktaking and verification?
4 Who is responsible in the exercise of stocktaking and verification in the ministry?
5 How does stocktaking influence the effectiveness and the efficiency o the ministry?
6 How is the stores department organized in the ministry ?
In carrying out this research work, the researcher will make use of the null (H0) and alternative (H1) hypothesis to find out the importance of stocktaking and verification in management of inventories in the ministry of health owerri, it is hypothesis thus;
1) H0: Stocktaking does not contribute to efficient management of inventories in public sector ( ministry of health). This stocktaking contributes to efficient management of inventories in the ministry.
2) H1: Effective and efficient stocktaking and verification do not help to discover fraud in government ministries.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study appraised stocktaking and verification in the ministry of health owerri. The methods and practices are the store in the ministries and that is why it is being limited to only ministry of health. The findings made in this study can be used in every other government in owerri.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There are a lot of limitations that faced the researcher during this work. They are as follows;
Time Factor: It was not easy for the researcher to combine lecture periods with this work, The reason is that the time the researcher was supposed to go to the ministry for information always collide with the lecture time. Similarly, some assignments do not easily permit the researcher to settle down and complete the data gotten.
Finance: In spite that there was no enough money to carry out this research, yet there were unavoidable expenses incurd. inadequate fund made the researcher not to go to the minisjtry as it is supposed for information since it involve transportation from school to the ministry.
Materials: The researcher was limited to few textbooks, it was difficult for the researcher to get enough textbooks that will help him out, even purchasing dictionary to understand some store terms was not available to the researcher. finally, other activities out of academic tended to limit from writing this project
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1) Stocktaking: This is the physical verification, counting and checking of individual stock record at least once in a year.
2) Verification: This is a physical check on a regular basis to show the accurate and efficiency of stock in store.k
3) Store: These are place where materials are kept until they are needed.
4) Ministry: This is a government building in which a government department head by a minister is house.
5) Public Sector: This is an establishment managed and run by the government
6) Stock: These are raw materials, parts, components, work-in-progress or finished goods kept ready for immediate use or sale.
7) Stock Control: This has to do with the policies procedures, techniques, tools used by organizations to control the inflow and outflow of material l within the stock house and stockyard
8) Stock keeper: This is the physical aspect of managing materials and parts before and after processing in the factory
9) Stock-Out: this is the situation where an organization has no material in the storehouse to meet the current demand of the organization
10) Obsolete Stock: This is an item that is no longer required because the production of the final product in what they were incorporated has been stopped due to changes in taste and fashion
11) Stockyard: This is an open storage area from the natural relevant are stored.
12) Stock Records: This is a system of maintaining a formal set of documents or clerical records which h contain full particulars of individual stock items held within the stores.
13) Storage: This involves the entire activity of managing the storehouse or stockyard by ensuring that all the materials are kept in the proper places or locations.
14) Store Vocabulary: This is a document, a file or a system where information concerning the description and code numbers of all items held in stock is kept or store for future use by the department whose function or operation may require a working knowledge of the code system.
15) Stock Discrepancies: This is the non-agreement between the stock balance as indicated in the stock record and the quantity physically found and counted during stocktaking.
16) Periodic Stocktaking: This is a system where stocktaking exercise is undertaken at regular period, usually at the end of every financial year or at shorter interval
17) Store Accounting: Store accounting is the process of recording details of stock movement and balance in value.
18) Security of store: This is the process of ensuring that adequate security is maintained at all times within the storehouse and store yard.
19) Storekeepers: these are the officers responsible for the physical handling of materials in the stores that is, the day-to-day receipt, storage and issues of materials with the stores
20) Buffer stock: This is a proportion of stock planned to be held protect against unforeseen circumstances (sudden changes in demand long-term lead-time etc) and normally held in store.
21) Issues of Store: This is the process of receiving requisition for materials from the user department and treating these requisition by selecting the required items and delivery them to the user department.
22) Dispatch of Stock: This is process whereby a storekeeper after being instructed through a sales advices, note, releases stock to customers.
23) Stock Standardization: This is the process reducing the number of varieties of items held in stock so that items with similar design and functional properties are limited, leaving only a single line of that item in stock.
24) Stock Deterioration: This is a situation where the functional or useful value of item gets reduced through natural or physical factors thus rendering such item worthless over time.
25) Redundant: This occurs when the quantity of an item in stock is more than is reason ally necessary to provide an adequate source to the production or operational activity, the excess over the normal holding.
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