Internal control, risk management and audit in the public sector

A robust control system, comprising effective internal control, risk management and audit, is fundamental to better governance, safeguarding of taxpayers’ money, and to preserving public trust.

Entities across all branches of government play a role, including ministries, internal audit functions, supreme audit institutions, and the Centre of GovernmentCitizens, the media and non-governmental organisations are also critical partners in a well-functioning control system.

By adopting a risk-based approach to integrity, including systematic risk assessments and implementing targeted controls, governments can demonstrate to citizens that they are using public funds in line with the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.

Internal control

Internal control refers to the processes used within organisations to ensure that operations are efficient, effective and in line with established laws and policy objectives.

Risk management

Integrity risk management consists of assessing risks of fraud, corruption, waste and abuse for better decision-making


Audit is about the independent and objective assessment of whether public resources are being managed effectively and in compliance with laws and regulations. There are generally 2 audit functions:

How does the OECD contribute?

The OECD supports its member countries, key partners and non-member countries to strengthen their internal control systems, risk management and auditing practices.

Through comparative analysis, technical assistance and global platforms for exchange, the OECD supports the wide range of entities involved, including ministries, audit bodies and others.

Going beyond policies, the OECD also assists entities to overcome implementation challenges with targeted tools and practical approaches for managing risks and enhancing audits.

OECD Auditors Alliance

The Auditors Alliance is a unique forum for public sector internal and external auditors to share insights and expertise on their audit practices.

Key publications

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The research

See our country reports, comparative evidence and analysis of international practices:

All resources on the topic

Contact us

Contact the public sector integrity division at: