Governments fall short in fighting defence corruption: survey

BRUSSELS Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:20pm IST

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan in Suchetgarh, southwest of Jammu January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

A Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan in Suchetgarh, southwest of Jammu January 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mukesh Gupta

Related Topics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - More than two-thirds of countries, including many of the world's largest arms traders, have inadequate safeguards to prevent corruption in their defence sectors, a survey by an anti-corruption watchdog said on Tuesday.

Germany and Australia are the only countries out of 82 surveyed by Transparency International UK with strong anti-corruption mechanisms, according to what the watchdog says is the first index measuring how governments counter corruption in defence.

Fifty-seven of the countries, almost 70 percent, had poor controls against corruption, according to the survey, which rated governments by criteria such as the strength of parliamentary oversight of defence policy and the standards expected of defence firms.

The 82 countries surveyed account for 94 per cent of global military expenditure in 2011, worth $1.6 trillion, while the global cost of corruption in the defence sector is estimated to be at least $20 billion a year, the watchdog said.

Mark Pyman, director of Transparency International UK's Defence and Security Programme, said he hoped the survey would lead governments to improve anti-corruption policies.

Corruption was dangerous, because troops "may well have equipment that doesn't work", and it was wasteful, he said.

"Particularly at times of austerity, the idea that it is somehow acceptable that there should be corruption in defence because it has always been so is just an outrageous suggestion," he told Reuters.

Countries with poor anti-corruption controls included two-thirds of the largest arms importers assessed in the survey and half of the biggest arms exporters, Transparency International said.

HIGH-RISK

China, Russia and Israel, all leading arms exporters, were considered to be at high risk of corruption in their defence sectors. Among top arms importers, India, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey were in the high-risk category.

Nine countries - Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Syria and Yemen - are at "critical risk" of corruption in their defence sector, lacking basic accountability measures, the survey said.

Countries classed as being at "very high risk" of corruption include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. The United States, Britain, Sweden and South Korea were among countries judged to be at low risk, while France, Spain, Italy and Poland were in the moderate-risk group.

The survey looked not only at the potential for corruption in defence contracts, but also at the risk of abuse of defence budgets and the risk of corruption in the armed forces.

Governments surveyed were given the chance to review Transparency International's findings.

Pyman said a "shocking" result of the survey was that in half of the countries surveyed, the defence budget was either not public or it contained no breakdown of defence spending.

Only 12 percent of countries surveyed had "highly effective" parliamentary scrutiny of defence policy and only a handful protected whistleblowers who reported defence corruption.

Europe has been swept by a wave of high-profile cases of alleged corruption in defence deals in recent years.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has been charged with bribery over a now-abandoned 2006 deal to buy armoured vehicles. He has denied wrongdoing.

European aerospace and defence group EADS EAD.PA, facing investigations in Austria, Britain and Germany, has launched an external review of its anti-corruption rules.

(Editing by Jon Hemming)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
CommunalAward wrote:
Caste = Corrupt by birth.

Anti-corruption is a cheap tool/trick used by FORWARD CASTE people to promote their Hegemony over BC/SC/ST/MC people in India.

90% of corrupt money ($2 trillion) is with FORWARD CASTE people and 10 of them also evaded $100 billion to Banks in India. Their population in India is less than 15%.

* IGI Airport scam = $32 billion(FC)
* Coal Mining Scam = $213 billion(FC)
* Karnataka Wakf Board Land Scam = $39 billion(FC)
* Andhra Pradesh land scam = $20 billion(FC)
* Service Tax and Central Excise Duty fraud = $3.82 billion(FC)
* Gujarat PSU financial irregularities = $3.39 billion(FC)
* Maharashtra stamp duty scam = $126 million(FC)
* Highway scam = $13.97 million(FC)
* Ministry of External Affairs gift scam = $100,000(FC)
* Himachal Pradesh pulse scam = $200,000/month(FC)
* Flying Club fraud = $38 million(FC)
* Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam = $10 million (MC)
* Punjab paddy scam = $3.59 million(FC)
* Arvind Joshi and Tinu Joshi = $50 million(FC)
* Uttar Pradesh seed scam = $9.98 million(FC)
* Obsolete French Fighter Jets = $11 billion(FC)
* NHRM = $2 billion(BC)
* Goa mining scam = $700 million(FC)
* Noida Corporation farm land scandal = $40 million(SC)
* Bellary mines scandal = $3.2 billion(FC)
* BL Kashyap EPFO Scam = $118 million(FC)
* Hasan Ali Khan = $8 billion(MC)
* ISRO-Devas = $300 million(FC)
* Cash-for-votes = $715,000(FC)
* 2G spectrum scam/Radia Tapes = $6.9 billion(BC)
* Adarsh Housing Society(FC)
* Commonwealth Games = $15.5 billion(FC)
* LIC Housing Loan scam = $200 million(FC)
* Belekeri port = $12 billion(FC)
* Lavasa = $80 million(FC)
* Uttar Pradesh Food Grain = $44 billion(BC)
* APIIIC = $2 billion(FC)
* IPL Cricket = $8 billion(FC)
* Madhu Koda = $800 million(SC)
* UIDAI = $1 billion(FC)
* Vasundhara Raje land scam = $4.4 billion(FC)
* Satyam = $1 billion(FC)
* Scorpene Deal = $10 million(FC)
* Oil-for-food programme (Natwar Singh) = $10 billion(FC)
* Gegong Apang PDS = $200 million(ST)
* Taj corridor = $44 million(SC)
* Ketan Parekh = $200 million(FC)
* Barak Missile = $200 million(FC)
* Calcutta Stock Exchange = $2 million(FC)
* Cobbler scam = $214 million(FC)
* Sukh Ram = $5 million(FC)
* SNC Lavalin = $10 million(FC)
* Advani Hawala = $18 million(FC)
* Bihar fodder = $211 million(BC)
* C R Bhansali = $200 million(FC)
* Pickle bribes = $20,000(FC)
* Telgi scam = $4.46 billion(MC)
* JMM bribes = $59,000(FC)
* Sugar import = $130 miillion(MC)
* Harshad Mehta = $800 million(FC)
* Indian Bank = $260 million(FC)
* Bofors = $400 million(FC)
* HDW commissions = $4 million(FC)
* Antulay = $6 million(FC)
* Nagarwala = $1 million(FC)
* Haridas Mundhra = $10 million(FC)
* Kuo oil scandal = $440,000(FC)
* Teja loans = $5 million(FC)
* BHU = $100,000(FC)
* Jeep scandal = $160,000(FC)

Jan 29, 2013 7:30pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Waning Enthusiasm

Waning Enthusiasm

Markets' post-election enthusiasm lost on consumers.  Full Article 

Global Growth

Global Growth

IMF cuts outlook, warns of stagnation risk in rich nations  Full Article 

Monsoon Revives

Monsoon Revives

Monsoon revival keeps rain above average   Full Article 

Wipro Results

Wipro Results

Firm sees strong sales growth, eyes Europe deals   Full Article 

Scourge of Inflation

Scourge of Inflation

Markets' post-election enthusiasm lost on consumers  Full Article 

Just Not Enough

Just Not Enough

Amazon's smartphone fails to kindle a "Fire" among reviewers.  Full Article 

Rising Market Value

Rising Market Value

Facebook goes express to mega-cap status  Full Article 

Mining Roadblock

Mining Roadblock

Coal India's plans for 20 mines hit by land, environment delays  Full Article 

Power Jolt

Power Jolt

UAE's TAQA pulls out of India power plant deal with Jaiprakash  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage