8th November 2016, London – India must put in place strong safeguards to ensure effective anti-corruption mechanisms are built into any coming defence deals between the UK and India, according to Transparency International Defence and Security (TI-DSP).
During Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India it was announced that “the UK and India are committed to further strengthening their strategic partnership in defence.” India is the largest importer of arms in the world but scored a ‘D’ in TI-DSP’s 2015 Defence Corruption Index, meaning vast sums of vital public funding is at a high risk of corruption.
India must ensure that the new blacklisting policy remains a robust sanction while allowing India to procure the technology that meets its security needs. Blacklisting is a vital tool sending a strong message to Indian and international suppliers that corruption will not be tolerated, and protects India’s public funds from misuse. The new policy should replace mandatory minimum penalties with a debarment system that weighs mitigating factors, and allows for shorter sentences in the event of strong remediation actions taken by the company.
Katherine Dixon, Director Transparency International Defence and Security, said:
“As India is one of the largest defence markets in the world, the UK Government is naturally extremely keen to cultivate deals. But unless India has in place strong anti-corruption mechanisms, public funds will continue to be at risk, while poor procurement practices contribute to military shortages and undermine public trust.”
“Recent allegations that a major British defence company paid bribes to win contracts only further underlines the risks that weak procurement systems are at serious risk of being exploited by unscrupulous suppliers or their agents.”
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