Ukraine

Democratic Security Sector Governance

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According to CIDS, accountability means that people will be held responsible for their actions and for how they perform their duties. Accountability involves having control and verification systems in place, and, if necessary, the ability to arrest, prosecute and convict offenders for illegal, or corrupt behaviour. All personnel must be held accountable under the law regardless of rank, status or office.[1]

accountability 1

What is accountability?

Mark Bovens distinguishes between two concepts of accountability: accountability as a virtue and accountability as a mechanism. Accountability as a virtue refers to a set of standards for the evaluation of the behaviour of public actors. Accountability as a mechanism refers to an institutional relation in which an actor can be held to account by a forum.[2]

The Global Accountability Framework identifies four core dimensions that make an organisation more accountable to its stakeholders: transparency; participation (active engagement of both internal and external stakeholders in the decisions and activities that affect them); evaluation (monitoring and reviewing); and complaints and response handling.[3]

Accountability is a crucial element of Building Integrity (BI) initiatives and one of the key principles of Good Governance. A responsible, responsive, and democratic security sector cannot be conceived without accountable personnel, institutions, and procedures. Accountability, much like oil in machinery, ensures a smooth functioning of the system. It is understood, of course, that such a system exists. This system should include a set of independent and effective judiciary institutions; prosecution and sanction mechanisms; reporting, monitoring, and oversight schemes, along with a strong and active civil society.

accountability 2

Why is it important?

Accountability goes hand-in-hand with transparency as the inseparable elements of good security sector governance. Accountability as a virtue provides legitimacy to officials and organisations. Accountability as a mechanism is crucial for preventing corruption and ensuring good governance. Transparency and accountability via legal and administrative channels, such as courts, forums, auditors, ombudsmen, inspectors, and controllers also provide for checks and balances.[4]

How does it work?

Decision-makers in the government, security sector, private sector, and civil society organisations are all accountable to the public, as well as to institutional stakeholders.[5] Accountability can take several different shapes: in the form of information accessible to the public, auditing and monitoring committees, and inspectors; consultations through parliamentarians and other representatives of the public during the decision-making process; direct sanctions as a consequence of certain decisions, such as penalties, fines, prosecution, etc.; and indirect consequences due to certain actions, such as lesser budget assignation, leadership and human resources, restructuration, negative public perception and deterioration of defence and security sector professionals’ reputation.

Who is involved in accountability?

Accountability applies to all levels of the Defence and Security sector organisations. Leadership, military, and civilian personnel are all accountable for their actions before the government, law and justice, competent auditing/monitoring institutions and above all, the public. They ought to provide access to information relevant to their monitoring and control, as well as report their activities in a transparent and consistent manner to the authorities. They must submit to relevant trials and the resulting sanctions and penalties.

Resources

Bovens Mark (2010), “Two Concepts of Accountability: accountability as a virtue and as a mechanism”. West European Politics, 33:5, pp 946-967. Available here.

Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) (2002), Voice and accountability in the security sector. Paper 21.

Born Hans, Wills Aidan, DCAF-Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (2012), Overseeing Intelligence Services: a Toolkit.

Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (2015) Criteria for good governance in the defence sector. International standards and principles (2015)

Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector: Guides to Good Governance

Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector. Integrity Action Plan. A handbook for practitioners in defence establishments (2014).

DCAF (2015) International Standards of Financial Oversight in the Security Sector. 7.2 Toolkit- Legislating for the Security Sector.

DCAF (2008), National Security Policy Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2009), Defence Reform. Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2009), Police Reform. Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2009), Security Sector Governance and Reform Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2009), Security Sector Reform and Intergovernmental Organisations. Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2006) Parliament’s role in Defence Procurement. DCAF Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2006) Parliament’s role in Defence Budgeting. DCAF Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2006) Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Services. DCAF Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2006) Parliamentary Committees on Defence and Security. DCAF Backgrounder. New edition available here.

DCAF (2015), Parliamentary Brief: Building Integrity in Defence.

DCAF – UNDP (2008) Public Oversight of the Security Sector. A Handbook for Civil Society Organizations.

DCAF (2009), Defence Management: an Introduction. Security and Defence Management Series No. 1.

IISS Military Balance

Ivanov Tilcho, « Transparency of Defence Policy in Progress », Information and Security. An International Journal. Vol. 11, 2003. pp 55-72.

NATO-DCAF, (2010). Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Defence. A Compendium of Best Practices.

NATO (2012) Building Integrity Programme

Nicolas Masson, Lena Andersson, Mohammed Slah Aldin, DCAF (2013) Strengthening Financial Oversight in the Security Sector.

OECD (2002) Best Practices for Budget Transparency

OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico- Military Aspects of Security

SIPRI Arms Transfer Database

Transparency International (2013) Watchdogs ? The quality of legislative oversight of defence in 82 countries. Government Defence and-corruption index.

Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

Transparency International. International Defence and Security Programme.

The World Bank (1988), Public Expenditure Management Handbook.

Transparency International (2012). Building Integrity and Countering Corruption In Defence and Security. 20 Practical Reforms.

Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

Transparency International. International Defence and Security Programme.

United Nations SSR task force, Security Sector Reform Integrated Technical Guidance Notes. 2012.

UN Instrument for Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures.

 

 

[1] Source: CIDS (2015), Integrity Action Plan: a handbook for practitioners in defence establishments. p 8.

[2] Bovens Mark (2010), “Two Concepts of Accountability: accountability as a virtue and as a mechanism”. West European Politics, 33:5, pp 946-967. Available here.

[3] Ibid. p 959.

[4] Ibid., p 955.

[5] Valeri Ratchev, « Governance, Management, Command, Leadership: setting the context for studies of defence management » in DCAF (2009), Defence Management: an Introduction.

Guides to Good Governance: Access to Information and Limits to Public Transparency

“Guides to Good Governance” is a series of small booklets each of which discusses a particular topic of importance to good governance in the defence sector. The main reason for promoting integrity in a systematic way is to reduce the risk of corruption … read more

Global Anti-Corruption Initiative (GAIN)

The objectives of GAIN are to integrate anti-corruption solutions in service delivery to contribute to Millennium Development Goals acceleration and post-2015 development goals; to strengthen state/institutional capacity to implement UNCAC and prevent … read more

Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying

The OECD Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying help decision-makers address concerns raised by lobbying practices. These are the only international principles addressing concerns raised by lobbying and providing guidance on how to meet … read more

Overseeing Intelligence Services Toolkit

DCAF’s toolkit on overseeing intelligence services is a compendium of booklets (tools) that provides policy-relevant information on the establishment and consolidation of independent bodies to oversee state organisations involved in the collection, ana … read more

Handbook on Police Accountability, Oversight and Integrity

This Handbook is one of the practical tools developed by UNODC to support countries in the implementation of the rule of law and the development of criminal justice reform. It aims to assist countries in their efforts to develop effective systems of ov … read more

Legislating for the Security Sector Toolkit: Strengthening Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

The toolkit contains a number of booklets in English, French, and Arabic that provide norms and standards, guidebooks, and practical examples of model laws in various areas of security sector legislation. Some specific publications within the Toolkit d … read more

Parliamentary Oversight of Security and Intelligence Agencies in the European Union

This study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised, non-parliamentary oversight bodies with a view to identifying good practices that inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengtheni … read more

Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics and Compliance

This Good Practice Guidance is addressed to companies for establishing and ensuring the effectiveness of internal controls, ethics, and compliance programmes or measures for preventing and detecting the bribery of foreign public officials in their inte … read more

Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency

This Code of Good Practices illustrates the degree of transparency to which governments and their fiscal institutions ought to achieve. The code explains the clarity of roles and responsibilities, open-budget processes, public availability of informati … read more

Making Intelligence Accountable: Legal Standards and Best Practice for Oversight of Intelligence Agencies

This publication classifies and evaluates the legal standards that currently exist regarding the democratic accountability of intelligence services. The publication also identifies and recommends best practices applicable to both transition countries a … read more

Public Expenditure Management Handbook

This handbook provides a framework for thinking about how governments can attain sound budget performance and gives guidance on the key elements of a well-performing public expenditure management (PEM) system. For any reform agenda, the handbook highli … read more

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