Thu 7 Jun 18 // Accountable Defence Sectors
6th June 2018, London – New allegations made by Corruption Watch U.K. that British intermediaries took corrupt payments from an Italian defence company, to secure defence contracts in South Korea, must be fully examined by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and where wrong-doing is established prosecutions should follow.
Robert Barrington, Executive Director Transparency International UK, said:
“’These are strong and long standing allegations about significant crimes having been committed, and need to be properly examined by the authorities in the jurisdictions concerned, which means the Serious Fraud Office in the UK. We also encourage UK MoD to fully consider the use of their procurement exclusion powers and whether the company should be temporarily suspended from MoD bidding while these matters are investigated. If wrongdoing is found to have occurred, the full weight of the law should be used against the individuals involved, any senior officers of the company who were complicit, and the company itself.”
“The use of third parties in defence deals has long presented a significant corruption risk and this case demonstrates the need for more consistent transparency requirements in export policies around the use of payment of agents.”
Transparency International’s. “Licence to Bribe? Reducing corruption risks around the use of agents in defence procurement” highlighted the profound risks of using middlemen in defence deals and showed that 90% of companies assessed by TI, fail to provide evidence of regular due diligence over the use of agents.
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Transparency International Defence and Security has launched a new project “Strengthening CSO Engagement with Defence Institutions to Reduce Corruption and Strengthen Accountability in Mali”, funded by The United Nations Democracy Fund.
The project seeks to build civil society’s ability to advocate for accountability and transparency in the Malian defence sector and to open a space for them to do so. It aims to be a first step in strengthening the links between national civil society, the defence institutions and the democratic bodies charged with oversight of defence in Mali. Over the next 18 months, TI-DS will support national civil society organizations to identify specific institutional reforms that are needed to reduce corruption risk and offer technical expertise to support civil society in holding constructive dialogue with defence.
The project will run from April 2018 to September 2019 and will be jointly delivered with CRI-2002, the national contact for Transparency International in Mali.
TI Defence & Security
Fri 23 Mar 18 // Accountable Defence Sectors
23rd March 2017 – Western states and arms companies have contributed to the Egyptian military’s consolidation of political power by providing aid and security assistance with few strings attached, according to a new report “The Officers’ Republic” by Transparency International Defence & Security.
This report comes as Egyptians prepare to take to the polls in a widely discredited election, in which the military General, President el-Sisi, is expected to secure another four years of power. Meanwhile the intensity of state violence and human rights abuses continues to soar.
Whilst the Egyptian military has, since the protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak in 2011, cemented its political power and expanded its economic ambitions, it has remained a largely opaque and unaccountable institution. Its pursuit of economic and political interests have meanwhile left it struggling to confront the security challenges faced by the country, with a detrimental effect on both local and regional stability.
Details of Egypt’s defence budget, an estimated $4.4billion per year, are treated as a state secret. Egypt’s institutions provide little scrutiny of the military’s finances. Meanwhile the US provides approximately $1.3 billion a year to the government in foreign military assistance.
At the same time western defence companies – with approval from their governments – have continued to do business as usual with a military force riddled with corruption risk and lacking in any form of meaningful transparency. Egypt was the third largest arms importer in the world over the last five years. In March 2015 the US reinstated delivery of major weapons systems to Egypt, having halted them after the 2013 coup, despite little evidence of reform progress.
James Lynch, Deputy Director Transparency International Defence & Security, said:
“The Egyptian people have a military that does everything but keep the country secure. Its concern with building its economic and political power has hugely frustrated its efforts to deal with the security challenges it faces in the Sinai and other places. This is a military that may very well be the architect of its own security crisis.”
“Egypt’s armed forces have under President el-Sisi expanded their privileged position in the country’s economy, have grabbed full control over the political system and yet they are not under any meaningful scrutiny. Western states, who could do much to influence this situation, are meanwhile failing to demand serious reform and instead carrying on with business as usual, while mistakenly still considering Egypt a trusted partner for security in stability in the region.”
“As Egyptians take to the polls the outcome is highly unlikely to bring about any result other than the continued dominance of the military. The international community must understand that not only is it doing a major disservice to the people of Egypt by providing support to the armed forces with few strings attached, it is also contributing to the security crisis the country and region is facing.”
Transparency International Defence & Security recommends that the international community:
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Fri 22 Sep 17 // Accountable Defence Sectors
22nd September 2017, London – Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s Defence Minister, should respond to legitimate questions over his purchase of a 205,000 euro property with transparency.
In December 2015 Serbia’s Anti-Corruption Agency sent a report to the prosecutor’s office after Vulin bought a 205,000 Euro property that did not appear to match with his declared income. Since then, media reports have suggested that the Serbian police have refused to investigate the matter, despite the involvement of the Anti-Corruption Agency.
So far, Vulin has failed to provide any substantive response to the allegation, but has instead made disparaging comments about journalists reporting on this case.
Katherine Dixon, Director Transparency International Defence & Security, said:
“Denigrating journalists who are working to expose corruption is not the answer to awkward questions. The only acceptable response by a senior government figure to questions of this nature is transparency.”
“It is vital for the maintenance of public trust in both the government and its institutions that Defence Minister Vulin now responds constructively to legitimate issues raised by the country’s Anti-Corruption Agency. Integrity in the defence sector is vital for national security and the Defence Minister should be setting a strong tone from the top, by acting with transparency and supporting the role of the anti-corruption agency.”
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May 24 2017 | Kyiv
International security assistance to Ukraine is not always used effectively, according to new research on corruption risks in security assistance by the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee. The report identifies improvements in how assistance is monitored, but calls for improved regulation and oversight of security assistance, and greater transparency of key strategic planning documents like the State Defense Order and defence budget. The report also called on donor countries to use international aid as a leverage to push for systemic anti-corruption reform in the Ukrainian defense sector.
Corruption in Nigerian defence sector benefitting Boko Haram
18th May, London – Deep-rooted corruption in the defence sector is crippling the Nigerian military in the fight against Boko Haram, according to a new report by Transparency International. To effectively combat Boko Haram, Nigeria’s international partners must build anti-corruption measures into all defence deals.
Increase transparency in the security sector to defeat corruption.
18th May, Abuja – An opaque and secretive security sector will jeopardize President Buhari’s ambitious anti-corruption drive and is derailing the fight against Boko Haram, according to a new report by Transparency International.