Democratic Security Sector Governance

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Ministries of Interior carry the responsibility for a broad range of law enforcement services from community police through to investigations, border management and penitentiary management. Large ministries of this type often face a variety of management challenges. Interior ministries must furthermore align their service providers with the needs of the criminal justice system.

Internal Management of Law Enforcement Institutions

All law enforcement institutions require robust internal management systems to ensure the effective delivery of services, prevent corruption and the waste of limited financial and human resources.

Human Resources Management

Transparent and effective human resources management provides a robust means for enhancing professionalism among law enforcement personnel, including their civilian management and civilian staff. Encouraging effective human resources management by the ministry and its directorates includes the development of transparent salary, promotion, and professional development policies; the creation of comprehensive databases for personnel management; the establishment of merit-based recruitment and performance evaluation systems; and the development of an effective salary payment system. Efforts should be made to increase the participation of women in the security sector, as well as facilitate their retention and promotion.

Financial Resources Management

Financial resources management is based on the premise that the law enforcement sector is subject to the same principles of public sector management as other sectors. Budget policies need to be transparent in order to ensure they are affordable, and to ensure they complement other government priorities and strategies. Financial resources management should be supported through the development of transparent and accountable procurement systems; the development of efficient auditing systems; and enhancing financial planning and management not only within ministries but also within the management units of security sector institutions themselves.

Anti-Corruption and Building Integrity

A key issue uniting approaches to human and financial resources management is the need for a strong anti-corruption framework. Transparency and corruption challenges in the defence sphere often affect not only transition states but also established democracies. Building Integrity programming provides a variety of best practices and anti-corruption measures. [1]

Institutional and Programme Management

Within the interior ministry, administrative and programme management enhances accountability and encourages adherence to professional rules and regulations. For effective institutional management at the level of management units, directorates and ministries should be encouraged through policy and planning cycles that reflect national priorities and available resources; developing mechanisms for dealing with abuse of power; and setting up anti-corruption mechanisms and disciplinary measures. Internal accountability mechanisms should be established and enforced.

Rules and Procedures

Interior ministries need to ensure that each law enforcement agency has a clear set of enforceable rules and procedures to govern its personnel’s behaviour. Whilst all security personnel remain subject to the jurisdiction of criminal and civil courts, internal regulations provide a way for the management to enforce discipline internally for misdemeanours or failure to adhere to internal regulations.

Codes of Conduct

Interior ministries need to ensure that each law enforcement agency adheres to codes of conduct formulated at national and international levels. A variety of codes of conduct have an impact on the work of security sector institutions, covering issues such as integrity and anti-corruption; codes of ethics for law enforcement and intelligence personnel. Whilst codes of conduct are not a substitute for the enforcement of rules, procedures, or civil and criminal law, they can engender greater transparency and accountability, as well as a highly developed understanding of and sensitivity to the obligations and duties of a professional working in the security field. Codes of conduct must also be clear and understandable for the general public.


OSCE, Police Reform within the Framework of Criminal Justice Reform, OSCE TNT/SPMU/Publication Series Vol 11, 2013.

OSCE, The Role of Capacity Building in Police Reform, 2006.

UNODC, Handbook on Police Accountability, Oversight and Integrity, UNODC, 2011.

Pierre Aepli (ed.), Toolkit on Police Integrity, DCAF, 2012.

Security Sector members Ukraine

Civil society and NGOs Ukraine

Government members Ukraine

[1] See Pierre Aepli (ed.), Toolkit on Police Integrity, DCAF, 2012.

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