Enhancing public accountability through stronger internal control mechanisms

As part of the Mission’s strategic advice to the Ministry of Justice, its Rule of Law Section has completed a two-day workshop to support and capacitate the Internal Control Units of the Ministry and other Palestinian institutions.

The aim of the workshop was to contribute to more effective and coherent systems and procedures for internal control, thus increasing the capacity and credibility of the internal control mechanisms – and ultimately enhancing the institutions’ accountability to the Palestinian people. Internal Control Units are responsible for ensuring that internal control mechanisms are in place to warrant compliance with laws and regulations, and with financial, technical and administrative procedures.

These units can be regarded as a management tool to safeguard the accountability obligations of the institution. In many cases, they are also responsible for verifying systems for planning, risk-assessment, follow-up and evaluation, as well as measuring performance. A number of presentations provided an ample introduction for the lively workshop deliberations of the 17 participants, representing several institutions including the Ministry of Justice. They discussed obstacles, best practices and improvements in an effort to agree on a set universal recommendations for Internal Control Units.

The participants also draw attention to the sensitivity of drafting reports criticizing practices within their own Ministry or institution. The workshop, organized by the Mission’s Ministerial Strategic and Policy Expert Anders Cedhagen and Ministerial Legal and Administration Expert Lennart Gune, was concluded with a handful recommendations on Standard Operations Procedures, organization and training.

Top Photo: The workshop participants also debated how Internal Control Units best contribute to safeguarding resources against loss, misuse and damage. 
Bottom Photo 1: The Mission’s Ministerial Strategic and Policy Expert Anders Cedhagen welcomed the participants to the workshop, which took place in Bethlehem on 9 and 10 January 2018. 
Bottom Photo 2: The recommendations of the 2014 report on comprehensive evaluation of internal control functions, was discussed by the participants.