Audit /assessment of the Inspectorate General of Public Security in Burundi

01/11/2013 - 10/05/2014

Target country

Mandator

To carry out an analysis of the Inspector General of the Police in Burundi in cooperation with the Belgian Police in order to define recommendations on how the organisation, the structure and the functioning of the IG can be improved including defining the prioritised needs of the IG, while taking into account the limited budgetary means of Burundi as a country and its Police.

The Burundian Police agreed on an audit / evaluation of the IG and there was agreement reached that the recommendations of the audit will be taken into account while preparing and executing the 3rd  and 4th phase of the SSD program which started mid 2014. 

Mandating organisation / agency / department / ministry

Target organisation type(s)

Mandate outputs / products

This analysis could include the following four components:

Analysis of the present organisation/ structure of the IG and defining its shortcomings/ weaknesses/ threads through a SWOT analysis. This activity should be done with extended participation of Burundian police officers;

Defining the strong points and opportunities through the same SWOT analysis;

Analysis of the consequences of the new Loi Organique in relation to the IG;

Elaboration/ renewal of mission statement of the IG;

Defining recommendations on all parts of the IG (human resources, structure, organisation, relation with the Director General of the Police, relation with the Ministry of Security, logistics);

Mapping of actors’ past and present support to the IG; identification of input gaps;

Defining the place if the IG within the structure of the other inspector generals within Burundi.

 

Presentation of preliminary results at the end of the evaluation in Burundi.

Elaboration of the report and presentation of the report in Burundi.

 

There where possible the audit should be executed while being accompanied by Burundian police officers (training on the job).

Outcome objectives of mandate

The audit will contribute to the decisions making process regarding the contents of the 3rd and 4th phase of the SSD program.

The audit will reinforce the position of the IG within the police force and will reopen the discussion on its importance and necessity.

The audit will reinforce the integrity and internal control of/ within the Burundian Police as the major recommendations will be part of the 3rd and 4th phase of the SSD program.

Start date

01/11/2013

End date

10/05/2014

Summary

Lessons identified for improving the chances of success:

  • Recommendations can be discussed with local stakeholders in a way that allows for some knowledge transfer on programme design, in the case restricted to the elaboration of an action plan for ‘quick-wins’. Such an exercise can bridge recommendations with whichever projects that SSD decides to carry forward following the review.
  • SSD needs to act on the audit in terms of pushing to have some of the recommendations followed on; this implies that the Programme has to keep representing to the Burundian authorities that crucial decisions have to be taken and operationalised soon to have IGSP fulfilling its important role.

Lessons identified for future audits:

  • Civil society organisations are usually keen to engage in discussions about internal control mechanisms of police services. Such occasions offer entry-points to bring-in external stakeholders, otherwise kept fairly outside relevant processes and activities, as it happened this time, in spite of clear demands from ISSAT for such opening from the Burundian authorities.
  • Training in internal control and democratic oversight, linking up internal audit bodies with the role of external stakeholders (Parliament, Ombudsman, etc.), are the natural and crucial follow-up of this mandate. These activities can be a contribution from ISSAT to pursue support in areas identified as major capacity gaps, and keeping the momentum for a reinforcement of the SSD Governance pillar. It’s worth reminding that “Internal Control” goes on being  one of the focus areas under the action plan for ‘Police’ pillar of SDD Phase III.
  • Dedicate the first day of the team in the field to set up interviews and organise agenda, since gaps in pre-arranging interviews are recurrent and almost unavoidable in such contexts.

Other Comments

Innovative approaches

  • The mandate implied an appraisal of actual mechanisms to build accountability of a police service in a post-conflict context; for ISSAT, this broadened and nuanced the focus areas that have to be considered when working in police and justice reform.
  • Workshops included in the mission,  focusing on the use of analytical tools and project design, even if kept at an introductory level, can provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and build a sense of ownership from local stakeholders, while not substantially raising the overall budget of the mandate.

Specific Lessons Identified

Outputs and Outcomes

This mandate fully delivered the expected outputs, including an audit report with recommendations in accordance to the mandator’s needs. The recommendations were taken already in consideration and two subsequent missions from Polfed to Burundi worked on how to implement some of them. The reaction to the recommendations was immediate and positive also from the IGSP, which already took suggested points of action in consideration and welcomes the clarification of roles and responsibilities between the Inspectorate and SSD. During the mandate, the position of Inspector-general was vacant but the new head of IGSP took office in the same day of the end of the field mission. A working group was set up just after the restitution session to discuss a set of activities aimed at obtaining quick-wins on the recommendations and that ISSAT proposed to be carried out until Q4 2014.

To this date, the IGSP still didn’t act on most of these actions and further steps depend on the completion of the new legal framework for the IGSP. The Organic Law and the Internal Statute of the IGSP have been drafted and provide finally a legal framework for organising  the work of the Inspectorate, although a decree on the function of internal audit is still to be drafted. Until the legal framework is approved and fully in effect, the scope of activities of IGSP  is nonetheless very limited, specially when it comes to investigations and filing of cases.

The extent to which recommendations are fully implemented will need to be checked in one or two years, since a previous audit to IGSP was basically left in the drawer in terms of acting on suggested points. The review report delivered by the team provides a strong base for the design of SSD projects in support of the IGSP but it also implies and needs that the mandator follows up on the results by pushing for tangible actions (see below).

Throughout the report, attention is given to technical and procedural notions that help unpack the concept of internal control and that lay out a comprehensive set of principles, mechanisms and tools. This corpus can be easily taken as part of training materials for IGSP staff and the PNB overall, as acknowledged by the SSD/MSP coach visiting ISSAT in October to discuss further areas of collaboration related to training in police integrity.

As part of the second/main field mission, in March 2014, a one-day workshop was organised by the team in Bujumbura to conduct a SWOT analysis of the IGSP with a group of fifteen staff of the Inspectorate. The SWOT exercise was considered to provide simple yet powerful analytical tools, with gains in terms of ownership of the review itself.

The evaluation team was assisted in Burundi by two members from IGSP that facilitated contacts and participated in several meetings. Future will tell what will result  from this exposure of IGSP staff to ISSAT’s evaluation methodology and to intense discussions that articulated the principles of internal control with the realities on the ground and the political and social context in Burundi.

For ISSAT, the fact that the evaluation team included two experts working actually in police internal control in their own country provided an opportunity to gain a more technical view of the questions involved. It is considered a relevant gain of capacity for future reviews and an important enhancement of existing in-house knowledge on police reform, integrity and responsibility.

It is the perception of the IGSP that the mandate resulted in opening some doors to potential collaboration of the institution with civil society organisations.

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Success factors

  • A good preparation of the mandate, starting with a one-day meeting in Geneva aligning approaches and planning work among Polfed and ISSAT experts on team, starting from scratch and designing the mission.
  • Scoping visit from the team leader to Burundi.
  • Wealth of local/contextual knowledge in the team.
  • Mixed team composition bringing complementary skills and approaches to democratic control mechanisms: technical/Polfed and SSR/ISSAT.
  • Trust build over time between ISSAT and SSD in Burundi.
  • Good local interaction between SSD, CTB (Belgian development agency) and GIZ (German aid agency).
  • ISSAT methodology.
  • Facilitation from IGSP staff.

Lessons identified for improving the chances of success:

    • Recommendations can be discussed with local stakeholders in a way that allows for some knowledge transfer on programme design, in the case restricted to the elaboration of an action plan for ‘quick-wins’. Such an exercise can bridge recommendations with whichever projects that SSD decides to carry forward following the review.
    • SSD needs to act on the audit in terms of pushing to have some of the recommendations followed on; this implies that the Programme has to keep representing to the Burundian authorities that crucial decisions have to be taken and operationalised soon to have IGSP fulfilling its important role.

Tags

Main challenges

Concepts and processes– Uneven understanding among different stakeholders, within the IGSP and across the MSP of the role, importance and mechanisms entailed by internal control in a functioning democracy.

Political engagement– As noticed in the AAR, even the most immediate quick-win activities recommended in the report need that IGSP has a legal framework in place, but political commitment from Burundian Government to move forward on this has been vague, in fact compromising IGSP critical role.

Programme support– The audit sets clear directions and suggests an action plan to address fundamental gaps in internal control, but any progress on this depends on a robust and immediate support from SSD to democratic oversight and accountability.

Programme overstretch– SSD is a complex, far-reaching SSR programme spanning for eight years and supporting the main security institutions in Burundi (Police and Defence Forces), but there is the risk that whatever is not included or prioritised and funded under SSD is not purposely sustained by the Burundian counterparts.

Uneven and unused capacity– IGSP badly lacks capacity across the board when it comes to main and secondary/procedural functions of an internal control body, from legal expertise to strategic management, while some of the actual existing capacity among staff is lost by the way IGSP functions.

Lessons identified:

  • Civil society organisations are usually keen to engage in discussions about internal control mechanisms of police services. Such occasions offer entry-points to bring-in external stakeholders, otherwise kept fairly outside relevant processes and activities, as it happened this time, in spite of clear demands from ISSAT for such opening from the Burundian authorities.
  • Training in internal control and democratic oversight, linking up internal audit bodies with the role of external stakeholders (Parliament, Ombudsman, etc.), are the natural and crucial follow-up of this mandate. These activities can be a contribution from ISSAT to pursue support in areas identified as major capacity gaps, and keeping the momentum for a reinforcement of the SSD Governance pillar. It’s worth reminding that “Internal Control” goes on being  one of the focus areas under the action plan for ‘Police’ pillar of SDD Phase III.
  • Dedicate the first day of the team in the field to set up interviews and organise agenda, since gaps in pre-arranging interviews are recurrent and almost unavoidable in such contexts.

Tags