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International Standards for Financial Oversight in the Security Sector

30 March, 2015


Good financial oversight in the security sector is crucial for ensuring that public funds allocated by the state for the security of the people are spent in a transparent and accountable manner. Moreover, when properly executed, financial oversight is one of the strongest tools civilian authorities have to manage and reform the security sector.

Internationally agreed upon principles can serve as a useful guide for states attempting to transition towards democracy. They can also help to address some of the main challenges of poor financial oversight in the security sector. These include opacity of security and defence budgets, lack of citizens’ and civil society’s access to information, and reduced authority, ability and capacity of existing financial oversight institutions.

This compilation provides readers with easy access to internationally adopted guiding principles, standards and best practices of financial oversight of security sector institutions. It allows readers to:

  • Access key international standards on budgeting and auditing in the security sector;
  • Compare existing practices and regulations in their countries with universally accepted budgeting and auditing principles;
  • Use the international standards as a basis for proposals to political leaders and members of parliament for reforming the prevailing financial oversight system in the security sectors of their countries;
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of financial accountability institutions against international best practice.

International Standards for Financial Oversight in the Security Sector is currently available in English and Arabic. It forms part of the part of the Legislating for the Security Sector toolkit series, which can be found at