Review of internal audit in Housing Department by SERVQUAL

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Review of internal audit in Housing Department by SERVQUAL


Author: Tan, Kin-tak
Title: Review of internal audit in Housing Department by SERVQUAL
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1999
Subject: Hong Kong (China). Housing Dept. Management Branch
Auditing, Internal -- China -- Hong Kong
Customer services -- China -- Hong Kong -- Quality control
Quality assurance -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Building and Real Estate
Pages: vi, 148 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Housing Department was certified to ISO 9001 in 1993 and internal audit become a new requirement to the organization. The Management Branch (MB) of Housing Department employs somewhat 1,800 professional and technical staff for maintenance services of 860,000 flats of public housing which accommodate half the Hong Kong population. It is revealed from the survey report of Housing Department that staff often complain about too much manuals and they are generally resistant to be audited. On the other hand, the finding of average no. non-conformity per audit was continuously decreased from 0.61 to 0.29 from 1995 to 1997. With regard to the adverse feedback of the quality system but decreased finding of non-conformities in MB, it is worthwhile to study the effectiveness of internal audit in such a large public sector. The overall objective of this research is to review the performance of internal audit in MB. However audit is not a product but a service. How to measure its performance? From literature review, SERVQUAL instrument is found useful for measuring quality service and thus it is adopted for assessment on internal audit in MB. The research was conducted through interview and questionnaires. Questions were prepared in accordance with the sample questionnaires of SERVQUAL instrument. Qualitative data were collected from interview with auditees and senior manager. Quantitative data were also collected from questionnaires to all in-house auditors. The findings are tabulated and presented in graphs. Major deficiencies includes: (a) The existing quality system is not effective as there are too many manuals in which outdated and inconsistent procedures are often found. (b) The efficiency for manual review is slow to settle non-conformities. (c) Lack of research and communication to get staff feedback on internal audit. (d) Lack of resources such as auditors to implement the audit. (f) Lack of long term improvement programme for audit. (g) Lack of reward to auditors to whom role conflict is also found. (h) Lack of clarification on misunderstanding of quality system and internal audit. Audit is not a fault finding exercise but provides opportunity for system improvement. The success of internal audit could be achieved from the following recommendations: (a) Conduct seminar for better understanding of quality system and internal audit. (b) Collect comments from staff and establish improvement programme. (c) Improve the review system to speed up the settlement of non-conformities. (d) Improve communication and encourage feedback. (e) Provide training to auditors to enhance the delivery of service. (f) Strengthen incentive scheme for auditors. SERVQUAL model initially developed for service industries is found useful in this study. It should be the first time to apply in Hong Kong construction industry like audit of maintenance services in Housing Department. There are some limitations such as auditee are unlikely to enjoy the audit service, he could not refuse the audit and have no choice to the scope of audit, etc. It is appropriate for this research to focus on service provider and a revised SERVQUAL model is produced suitability for internal audit.

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