In Palestine, good financial oversight of the security sector is crucial to enhancing accountability of the security forces, and guarding against corruption. However currently, financial oversight institutions and departments do not follow unified processes. Instead, these bodies have developed their own procedures and methods for implementing financial oversight. This can potentially open up opportunities for mismanagement and corruption. It also makes oversight of security forces by the Palestinian State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB – the Palestinian independent state audit institution) difficult and time consuming.
In 2013, DCAF and SAACB set about to assess the problems of financial oversight in Palestine, and the training needs of those working in financial oversight institutions. Together they formed a task force of representatives from key financial institutions that conducted several meetings and discussions. As a result, it identified a number of areas in which technical support needs to be provided to financial staffers in order to improve their capacities:
- The legal framework of financial oversight in the security sector;
- Budgetary processes concerning the security sector;
- Mechanisms and procedures for financial oversight in the security sector;
- The role of the donors;
- The capacities and professional development opportunities of financial oversight staffers.
DCAF and SAACB then set about addressing these findings though trainings, the supply of international expertise and legislative assistance.
The findings are detailed in Strengthening Financial Oversight Institutions in the Palestinian Security Sector: A Training Needs Assessment, which is currently available in English and Arabic. It can be found at www.dcaf.ch/publications.