The relationship between Determinants of Risk Governance assurance and efficacy of the Public projects in the Government of Dubai from the perspective of Internal Audit Function

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The government of Dubai has been heavily focusing on the public sector and investing in the infrastructural development of mega-projects to support and increase the economic growth of the nation and have reliable alternatives to the gas and oil sector. These mega-projects may include the construction of major buildings, roads, railway lines and airports. The success of these public initiatives may create the course for the government to decrease its reliance on other sectors. However, not all of these projects are completed on time and adhering to the predetermined budget. Thus, the effectiveness of risk governance has to be analysed to assess the possible risk factors and eliminate them to ensure the success of the future projects. This study addresses a literature gap that exists for such research of global solutions for the local environment. While a significant sector of research is devoted to risk management in Europe and the United States, the unique culture, location and economy of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai, in particular, have to be incorporated into the understanding of local risk management in order to reach the best outcomes. Thus, risk governance issues, approaches and methods specific to Dubai and other emirates are the primary focus of the present study. The research presents a comprehensive literature review of different risk governance frameworks to assess and find the context that is most appropriate to use in the Dubai setting. Furthermore, the role of Internal Audit is highlighted as the main procedure impacting the quality and reliability of risk management processes. The study adopts a quantitative methodology and employs a research philosophy of positivism in order to evaluate the collected data objectively and obtain results that create a visual representation of the identified research problem. As a result, a questionnaire with 148 questions with answers based on the Likert scale was collected from 113 respondents working as the staff from the internal audit and risk management departments in the government of Dubai and some practitioners who were attending the Middle East Risk Management Forum. Then, a reliability test, factor analysis, analysis of variance and correlation analysis were undertaken to assess the answers and relate them to the formulated hypotheses. The results of the study confirmed the necessity of a specific approach in addressing risk management of the Dubai public sector. The questionnaire revealed that ten possible determinants could be identified in assessing risk governance, including strategy, risk communication, risk culture and financial capacity. By collecting the opinions of managers and executives working in the risk management sector, these factors were appraised and classified. Furthermore, different variables were analysed to find that some of them may be more significant than others. For instance, risk communication was established to be one of the principal factors in affecting risk management as it implies that issues are addressed appropriately and timely. Thus, a model for risk governance specific to the local sector in Dubai was created. This research has multiple practical implications. It may assist policymakers of the Dubai government to develop and implement systematic changes into the current risk management processes. Organisation management may also benefit from the study’s results as it presents a number of possible strategies for more successful risk governance. The presented research addresses the gap in the literature which includes specific needs and issues identified. Its identification of ten factors affecting risk governance in Dubai is based on opinions of professional working in the sector. The development of a detailed risk governance framework that incorporates the nations’ geography, history, economy, politics and culture can assist the government and management of Dubai, other emirates and other countries in approaching new mega-projects and securing their success.
risk Governance assurance, public projects, Government of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), internal audit function