Q16.

Is there an effective internal audit process for defence ministry expenditure (that is, for example, transparent, conducted by appropriately skilled individuals, and subject to parliamentary oversight)?

16a. Activity

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

16b. Enabling oversight

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

16c. External scrutiny

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

16d. Institutional outcomes

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

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No information could be found on whether the Defence Ministry audits its expenditures internally, which was also the result of the country’s last assessment (5). No information could be found on the Ministry of Defence website (1). Also, no further information could be found in a review of decrees issued by the Ministry of Defence published in the official gazette (2). As has been outlined before, the defence sector generally operates in an opaque way and even the civilian audit unit, the Court of Auditors, has a very limited possibility to audit the defence expenditure. The Ministry of National Defence, for example, has not been very cooperative in providing information to the auditors (3), see a detailed answer in question 17. The Open Budget Survey of 2017 confirms that the Court of Auditors is weak in overseeing the budget (4).

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because no information could be found on whether the defence ministry audits its expenditures internally, i.e., on the Defence Ministry website (1), or in decrees issued by the Ministry of Defence (2). The Court of Auditors has a very limited possibility to audit the defence expenditure. The Ministry of National Defence has, for example, not been very cooperative in providing information to the auditors (3, see a detailed answer in question 17). The Open Budget Survey of 2017 confirms that the Court of Auditors is weak in overseeing the budget (4).

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because no information could be found on whether the defence ministry audits its expenditures internally, i.e., on the Defence Ministry website (1), or in decrees issued by the Ministry of Defence (2). The Court of Auditors has a very limited possibility to audit the defence expenditure. The Ministry of National Defence has, for example, not been very cooperative in providing information to the auditors (3, see a detailed answer in question 17). The Open Budget Survey of 2017 confirms that the Court of Auditors is weak in overseeing the budget (4). In light of this, it is not possible to assess the question and it is scored “Not Applicable”.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because no information could be found on whether the defence ministry audits its expenditures internally, i.e., on the Defence Ministry website (1), or in decrees issued by the Ministry of Defence (2). The Court of Auditors has a very limited possibility to audit the defence expenditure. The Ministry of National Defence has, for example, not been very cooperative in providing information to the auditors (3, see a detailed answer in question 17). The Open Budget Survey of 2017 confirms that the Court of Auditors is weak in overseeing the budget (4). In light of this, it is not possible to assess the question and it is scored “Not Applicable”.

There is no evidence of any internal audits having ever been carried out in Angola’s defence sector. According to the 2010 State Budget Framework Law, Parliament and the Audit Court are responsible for the external controls, and the presidency for the internal control of the state budget (Law 15/10, Art. 63) (1). However, the presidency does not release detailed and disaggregated information on the budget of the president’s auxiliary bodies, including the President’s Security Office, the presidential guards, nor does the Ministry of Defence.

In March 2018, UNITA’s parliamentary group submitted a formal request for a parliamentary audit into the public debt, the first since 2003, which was denied by the parliament’s president for being unfounded (2), (3), (4).

There is no evidence of any internal audits having ever been carried out in Angola’s defence sector. Thus, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

According to the 2010 State Budget Framework Law, Parliament and the Audit Court are responsible for the external controls, and the presidency for the internal control of the state budget (Law 15/10, Art. 63) (1). However, the presidency does not release detailed and disaggregated information on the budget of the president’s auxiliary bodies, including the President’s Security Office, the presidential guards, nor does the Ministry of Defence.

In March 2018, UNITA’s parliamentary group submitted a formal request for a parliamentary audit into the public debt, the first since 2003, which was denied by the parliament’s president for being unfounded (2), (3), (4).

There is no evidence of any internal audits having ever been carried out in Angola’s defence sector. Thus, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

According to the 2010 State Budget Framework Law, Parliament and the Audit Court are responsible for the external controls, and the presidency for the internal control of the state budget (Law 15/10, Art. 63) (1). However, the presidency does not release detailed and disaggregated information on the budget of the president’s auxiliary bodies, including the President’s Security Office, the presidential guards, nor does the Ministry of Defence.

In March 2018, UNITA’s parliamentary group submitted a formal request for a parliamentary audit into the public debt, the first since 2003, which was denied by the parliament’s president for being unfounded (2), (3), (4).

There is no public record of audits having been carried out in the defence sector as such nothing can be ascertained about whether findings were addressed by the ministry. Thus, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

As state media reported in 2017, the Audit Court conducted 44 audits and six investigations though no details were provided as to whether military defence expenditure was subject to any audit (1).

There is no formal internal audit process in the defence ministry expenditure. According to the Constitution, the audit of government institutions, including the Ministry of Defence, falls under the duties and responsibilities of the Court of Accounts (1). The ASCE-LC has just been granted a constitutional right to investigate and prosecute by performing regular audit of government institutions but has not yet carried out such work in the defence sector (2). The last two annual reports it issued did not concern the MoD (3). In any case, the defence sector’s budgets have remained out of control (4).

Because there is no formal internal audit process of defence ministry expenditure, this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

Because there is no formal internal audit process of defence ministry expenditure, this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

Because there is no formal internal audit process of defence ministry expenditure, this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

According to the Open Budget Survey (Jan 2018) “The legislature and supreme audit institution in Cameroon provide weak oversight of the budget” [1]. There is no evidence that the defence and security sectors in Cameroon are subject to internal audits [2] [3]. This is because the Constitution places matters of defence and security under the purview of the government, and scrutiny of these institutions is at the government’s discretion (Article 35 of the Constitution) [4].

There is no evidence that an internal audit process exists within the defence ministry [1]. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no evidence that an internal audit process exists within the defence ministry [1]. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no evidence that an internal audit process exists within the defence ministry [1]. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The Comptroller General at MoD (Contrôle Général de l’Administration et des Finances de la Défense, CGAFD) monitors the proper functioning of departments and agencies within MoD. It is tasked with oversight of administrative, financial and technical issues, among others. This structure, like the IGA, is under the direct authority of the MoD (1).

Additionally, there is a Direction des Finances (Article 13 of Decree No. 2016-257), but it is not tasked with auditing or oversight. Instead, its mandate is to prepare and execute the defence budget, including the payment of salaries and services (2).

The IGA mandate is to serve as an oversight body for the armed forces and to inform about operational capacities. It can undertake its studies or inquiries autonomously. However, there is little evidence that the IGA is particularly active or subject to any type of NA scrutiny (1), (2).

On July 26, 2016, the Ivorian Press Agency (AIP) reported that Brigadier General Detoh Letoh (also spelt Letho) had been appointed the head of the IGA by the Minister of Defense Alain-Richard Donwahl. In statements to local media, the Brigadier General said he would contribute to the government’s modernization effort of the Armed Forces by bolstering the IGA’s powers. The position of IGA director had been empty for 10 years, according to AbidjanTV.net (3), (4).

In October 2016, the AIP reported on a meeting between State Inspector General (Inspecteur Général d’Etat) Gnamien N’Goran and the newly appointed IGA director Detoh Letoh in which they discussed how to train IGA personnel so their auditing tasks were more efficient. The state inspector general is attached to the presidency and the IGA, as mentioned, is part of MoD. The meeting suggested that IGA agents may not be appropriately skilled and require training (5), (6).

As per Decree No. 2016-257 (Portant Organisation du Ministère de la Défense) of May 3, 2016, there is no evidence that the IGA, CGAFD or the Direction des Finances are subject to the enabling oversight of NA committees such as the Commission de Sécurité et de Défense (CSD).

According to their mandates in Articles 4 and 6 of Decree No. 2016-257, neither the IGA nor the CGAFD is required to provide reports of any kind to enabling oversight bodies (1).

IGA, CGAFD and Direction des Finances internal audits are not subject to external audit bodies, including anti-corruption organizations. The mandates of these internal audit mechanisms, as per Articles 4, 6 and 13 of Decree No. 2016-257, do not mention any external scrutiny requirements. The IGA and CGFAD are directly attached to the cabinet of the Minister of Defense (1). In terms of the IGA, the Ivorian Press Agency (AIP) reported in October 2016 about a meeting between the State Inspector General (Inspecteur Général d’Etat) Gnamien N’GORAN and IGA director Brigadier General Detoh Letoh, who had been appointed to his post by the Council of Ministers in July 2016. Colonel Adam Seka, who also attended the meeting, described the IGA’s mission and stated that a new position of ombudsman was being considered (2).

There is no evidence in open sources of the existence of IGA, CGAFD or Direction des Finances audit reports being forwarded to the minister of defence, perhaps because they are considered highly confidential (secret defence) and only circulate within MoD.

Since the appointment of Hamed Bakayoko, as minister of defence on July 19, 2017, there is no evidence that Bakayoko has addressed audit findings submitted by the IGA or CGAFD.

For example, there is no mention that the decision by the Ministry of Defence to reduce the number of soldiers to 4,000 by 2020 as part of an early retirement program was based on the findings of IGA or the CGAFD. Instead, the decision was part of the Loi de Programmation Militaire (LPM) 2016-2020. On May 6, 2018, La Tribune Afrique reported the Bakayoko had handed out checks worth USD 30,000 to individual soldiers as part of the early retirement program (2).

The early retirement program was conceived as a way for the Ministry of Defence, and by extension, the administration of President Ouattara, to get rid of former rebel leaders who pose a threat to political stability. However, the amount of money the former rebel leaders were offered also convinced numerous lower-ranking officers to opt for early retirement, thus undermining the Ministry’s plans. At no point in either the IGA or CGAFD mentioned as proposing the early retirement plan (3).

The Financial Authority of the Armed Forces is formally entrusted with auditing the defence ministry expenditure, but there is very little information or evidence as to whether this process is effective (1). There is also an internal unit within the MoD and the intelligence agency. Although these units exist, their role is minimal and not effective. It is bureaucratic routine work without a serious mission, when they do internal auditing, it is superficial (2), (3), (4). There is also a unit called the Inspection Authority of the Armed Forces, which has the formal power to scrutinize public expenditure. However, relevant laws, academic studies and media reports barely mention these authorities (5).

Having reviewed relevant legal and non-legal sources and consulted relevant experts, there is no evidence that oversight bodies, namely the parliamentary committee, are provided with any reports about internal audit functions of defence expenditures (1).

The two bodies that might have some formal oversight powers over the military are the Parliament and the CAA. This Parliament has very limited powers compared to the National Defence Council (1), (2). This Parliament has never summoned the minister of defence for questioning despite summoning most of the other ministers including the minister of interior (3). As for the CAA, it is very unclear the extent to which internal defence audits are subject to external audits, but the complaints of the former chief auditor Hisham Geneina shows that whatever formal legal powers the CAA might have over the defence sector, it does not translate to real power. Geneina in April 2013 before the military power takeover said: “the economic projects, companies, social clubs and hospital of the ‘sovereign entities’ are not subject to the scrutiny of the CAA.” (4). This statement was indeed given in 2013 before the current reporting period, but all the developments since indicate that the CAA has fewer powers in auditing military defence expenditure, especially with the increasing power of the president and the executive over the CAA, which manifested in the law passed by al-Sisi granting himself the power to remove the head of the CAA (5).

According to our sources, there are no auditing reports to view. Therefore, there are no recommendations, and that is why the MoD cannot address something that does not exist (1), (2).

The MOD’s Audit Committee was established in August 2017 and it is composed of five members. Three members are appointed by the Internal Audit Agency (IAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and two by the Principal Account Holder (1). The Audit Committee prepares annual statements showing the implementation status of recommendations contained in internal audit reports, parliamentary decisions, and the Auditor-General’s recommendations. In 2016 and 2017 respectively, two Audit Committee meetings were held; in the future, the MOD plans to hold quarterly meetings (2).

The MOD has established an Internal Audit Unit (IAU) in compliance with the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) (3). According to Act 921, the IAU “shall appraise and report on the application of system of controls, evaluate effectiveness of risk management, provide assurance on the efficiency, effeteness, and economy in the administration, and evaluate compliance” (Art. 83.3), and “prepare the annual audit work plan of the activities” (Art. 83.4). The annual work plan is submitted within 30 days after the beginning of the FY and is followed by quarterly reports on its execution. The unit is in the Department of Plans and Programmes and reports to the Principal Spending Officer as well as the Audit Committee. Its staff receives the consultancy services of the IAA, which provides its expertise in the set-up of the unit. The IAA was established by the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658) (4) and has powers of coordination, facilitation, and supervision of the IAUs activities in MDAs and MMDAs.

However, there is a concern that internal auditors are generally ineffective because they are easily intimidated by management and/or political superiors. In some cases, they are suspected of participating in financial malfeasance (5), (6).

The PSCDI and the PAC are responsible for oversight of the MOD’s activities, including defence military expenditure. According to Standing Order 184 (1), the committee “shall examine all questions relating to defence and internal affairs”. However, the effectiveness and concrete impact of the committees has been questioned. The PSCDI does not engage in robust and regular debates or reviews of major defence policies and decisions. When they do debate defence budgets, it is almost without exception to ask for more funds for the armed forces; not to debate, at least openly, on accountability and transparency of how funds are used (2), (3), (4), (5).

While the PSCDI has the legal mandate to scrutinise defence expenditure, information on critical expenses is not available to all members (6), (7).

As mandated by the Public Financial Management Act (1), the activities of the IAU are coordinated, facilitated and supervised by the IAA which provides external scrutiny of the internal audit function. However, information on the effective implementation of the Public Financial Management Act as well as the effectiveness of both the IAU and IAA is very limited (2), (3).

Since the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament started subjecting the management of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to a high level of scrutiny, MDAs have started incorporating audit findings into its practices (1), (2). However, the Ministry of Defence has not addressed audit findings. According to the last publicly available Report of the Auditor-General on the Liabilities of Ministries Departments and Agencies from December 2016 (3), the MOD’s management had failed to respond to 16 out of 20 audits.

As stipulated within the republic of Iraq’s Internal Audit Guide (FBSA) the objective of reducing administrative and financial corruption is contingent on the processes of the internal audit and their effectiveness (1). This is a question widely debated among universities and Iraqi PhD candidates but rarely in the context of Iraq’s security and defence institutions, possibly due to the impossibility of obtaining audit files on defence expenditure. Spending has increased over the years in response to expanding security threats (2), few activities covered online offer evidence of effective internal audits. Political push-back from powerful parliamentary blocs and militias many of whom have come-up in local investigations covered by press outlets as beneficiaries of the climate of corruption that harms defence performance hamper internal audits. IG offices have now been assigned to the Popular Mobilization Forces Commission while little evidence of collaboration between the PMF and FBSA makes it unlikely to be effective (3). One source raises concerns over potential foul play behind the appointment of a former militia commander as the PMF IG stating that the figure in question “has no previous administrative or military experience in the Ministry of Defence”.

FBSA Audit findings must be approved before they can be distributed among associated agencies and the COI (4). This erodes the IG’s audit capabilities regardless of their undertaking and strips their independence. While Iraq’s international partners have assisted Iraq in the formation of risk management systems, no evidence exists to enable a comment of their effectiveness. The MoD’s Directorate of Central Audit plays a major role in auditing and monitoring military contracts (5), (6). In addition to the IG, the MoD’s Central Audit Branch is said to compile annual inventories and spot-checks on army units and departments. The effectiveness of this agency is undermined by non-transparent arrangements and the diversion of government funds earmarked for defence expenditures. Internal audit agencies, while they exist, have a limited capacity to trace expenditures and collect reliable data.

Iraq’s Central auditing body, The Federal Board of Supreme Audit, is responsible for reporting on expenditure budgets and also deliberates on emergency expenditure (1), (2). The MoF disburses funds allocated for defence expenditures as specified in the federal budget, but spending more than the amount specified is prohibited. According to the Iraqi Parliament’s Rules of Procedure (3), the Committee on Security and Defence is not tasked with oversight of the internal audit function.

External scrutiny is exercised by Iraq’s oldest auditory body — the FBSA — and while some performance reports are delayed or unavailable, those which are accessible on the watchdog’s official website, underscore economic malfeasance in the form of inflated costs versus real operational costs, lack of transparent use of money earmarked for major, yet anonymised defence projects (1). Speeches delivered during parliamentary hearings (2) by the PM and Commander-in-Chief of Iraq’s armed security forces, which includes quasi-state actors backed by Iran, acknowledge that bigger threats of corruption or malfeasance arise from large budgets and contracts but has fallen short, as far as accessible parliamentary minutes indicate, of the aim of fighting corruption for private/personal gain. As far as parliamentary scrutiny is concerned, legislative debates have not debated specific findings raised within FBSA’s auditory findings. Attempts to challenge, scrutinise or raise wider objections to findings that expose rampant violations, whether in the form of price-fixing or contractual fraud, are non-existent within parliamentary settings. AAM proposed in a recent parliamentary session the formation of a centralised contracts committee inside ministries at great risk of corruption including the ministries of defence and interior among others. “Elected members”, the PM emphasised, must be ‘qualified and competent’, listing oversight and scrutiny as the twin objectives of this committee, but this does not address the fact that the proposal itself overlaps with the jurisdictions of other intergovernmental and external auditory bodies (1). This raises doubts over the extent to which parliament, and by extension, the commander-in-chief, are able and committed to support the FBSA in its mandate and place security and military forces under scrutiny and issue customary penalties. The evasion of scrutiny and resistance to it also points to a culture of impunity which protects security actors especially those that made enormous strides in recent elections, namely Iran-backed groups (3). As one analyst writes (4) AAM “need[s] to appease Iraq’s different centres of power to avoid renewed violence could come at the expense of real policy change”.

Audit findings, as available MoD content online shows, are managed by the ministry’s ‘Meera’ division — that is attached to the Central Audit Directorate; the body overseeing defence spending. Coverage is void of critical findings (1). Fraud detected by Iraq’s Parliamentary Integrity Committee has resulted in little more than admonishments (2). No evidence exists suggests that the findings of internal auditory bodies embedded within the MoD lead directly to prosecution or other institutional outcomes. Some arrest warrants have been issued, but the officials in question have walked away free. Coverage further underscores, the absence of audit reforms (3), and professionally trained auditors; which makes any positive correlation between audit findings and institutional outcomes the less likely. Annual reports could not be referenced in support of the above assertion, but widely circulated reports (4), (5), the evidence they present depicts a security ministry plagued by corruption and financial irregularities punished by institutional outcomes that reflect a broader mission or vision to incorporate these findings.

There is an internal audit within the Ministry of Defence and in the office of the commander in chief. They edit, albeit irregularly, all financial and expenditure records. They have a structure and defined processes for auditing expenditures and assets [1,2,3].

The Jordanian military expenditures are audited by the Jordanian Armed Forces internal auditors, and by personnel of the Ministry of Finance. In addition, the Audit Bureau has 13 auditors permanently stationed at the General Headquarters of JAF where they monitor financial accounts and report any irregularities to the General Staff stationed at the General Headquarters [1,2,3]. There is no enabling oversight of the parliament over internal audits of military expenditure.

There are no external bodies that scrutinize and oversee the armed forces expenditures. Although the Ministry of Finance have permanent auditors in the JAF HQ, they do not submit detailed reports to the Ministry of Finance or other external bodies [1,2,3].

This sub-indicator has been marked as not applicable for several reasons: (1) there are no comprehensive audit reports, whether external or internal, around defence expenditures, (2) the majority of reporting on defence expenditure is descriptive financial reporting and does not include sections on recommendations or best practices, and (3) most importantly, due to the lack of an effectual defence ministry, even if recommendations and best practices were made available, there is no actual entity that could potentially be responsible for addressing the findings and putting the recommendations into practice [1,2].

In compliance with article 76 and 147 of the PIL, the internal auditing process is subject to parliamentary oversight, which is not particularly comforting in Kuwait’s case given that the Parliament is filled with Government supporters, activists said (1, 2, 3 and 4). Also, the staff in these departments can often lack the accounting and law degrees they need to effectively do the job, according to a senior official from the CSC, which oversees salary payments and hiring decisions, among other things, in all Government agencies (5). “They are usually not qualified or interested enough to do their work and no one cares about the reports they file,” the official said (5).

Since article 24 of the police law (6) and article 27 of the military law (7) enable the ministers to determine exactly how the funds of these organisations will be spent, monitored and retrieved or ignored if they get lost or stolen, these units tend to be weak. They are not allowed to build up their own work program. They simply implement the system that the minister arbitrarily chooses.

As a result, their work tends to be fairly superficial and their findings are not valued by auditing agencies or by the minister, the senior official from the CSC and other auditors said (5, 8 and 9).

These departments only provide oversight bodies with summary reports, Kuwaiti auditing officials said (1,2,3). In order to get more details, auditors or lawmakers would have to pressure the minister himself into releasing it — which rarely happens. Many auditors and lawmakers fear the security agencies too much to raise the alarm when they refuse to provide information or comply with Kuwaiti’s anti-corruption laws. The security agencies are the military arms of the Emir, who does not view fighting corruption on a large scale as a priority, officials say, because he does not take punitive actions against these measures (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).

Some auditors and lawmakers are themselves abusing the powers afforded to them, so they do not have much interest in cracking down on activities that they themselves engage in. They sometimes even threaten to use their oversight powers to extort favours out of officials in these ministries, a member of the royal family said (7).

Internal audit reports are conducted every month and sent to state auditors at the SAB, in compliance with article 41 of Law no. 31 of 1978 for the general budget, officials said (1, 2 and 3). These reports are always in summary form, despite the SAB’s request for more details. SAB auditors do not follow up on their own requests, however.

Officials and a royal say there are three reasons for this (2, 3 and 4): 1) Some auditors fear upsetting these ministers and other leaders of the executive branch, who might retaliate (by firing the auditor, accusing him/her of some vague crime like undermining national security, or by pressuring the SAB into demoting the auditor or canceling plans for promotions and raises). 2) The auditors themselves are accepting payments or favours to look the other way. 3) Some auditors are incompetent or ambivalent about their jobs — since Government posts are well paid, especially in the SAB, sometimes they attract individuals who are more interested in enjoying the prestige that comes with the post than in actually carrying out their duties.

The Ministry regularly addresses minor internal or external audit findings but they do not comply with major findings. These minor changes include regrading the salaries of junior or mid-level staffers to match their qualifications, cracking down on unnecessary business trips or trips abroad for medical treatment which employees take regularly as a form of paid leave, state auditors said. However, larger issues that have to do with the legitimacy of their acquisition plans or travel expenses of their senior staffers are off the table.

The Directorate for Financial and Administrative Affairs audits expenditures related to the salaries of military personnel and civilians in the LAF (1). The Directorate for Financial and Administrative Affairs is currently directed by an officer with expertise in “defence resources management” (1). Although it might not be able to develop its own programme, according to a source, there is a strict oversight in expenditure and everything is documented (2).

The General Directorate of Administration (GDA) oversees the LAF spending (1). The Directorate for Financial and Administrative Affairs sends detailed reports of the spendings to the GDA and monthly reports to J5 (2). Moreover, the LAF generally provides the Ministry of Finance with budgets proposals that are more detailed and granular than the defence budget made public under the state budget. However, from a MoF perspective, there is more of an interest in controls of the overall budget size than an oversight. Thus, the LAF has marginal confidence in the MoF to offer credible and enabling oversight (3). On the other hand, the research found no evidence of the LAF sharing those reports with parliamentary committees (4).

It is unclear whether the LAF shares the audits with external bodies, although two interviewee’s (1), (2) indicated that the LAF shares information and coordinates with the CoA. Furthermore, the audit bodies have praised the high level of transparency in the LAF (3).

This sub-indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

It is unclear whether the Ministry of National Defence addresses audit findings due to the lack of information and the availability of reports (1). A source indicated the LAF has a strict audit process that operates efficiently (2). In 2019 the CoM debated over 20 sessions austerity measures for 2019 state budget (3). The minister of defence consulted the LAF command to reduce the defence budget (4).

According to the World Bank’s 2013 report on financial management in Mali’s security forces, Mali’s expenditure chain is highly formalised, but provides little autonomy to the technical directorates to exercise managerial authority. It is based on the French model, with a four-step procedure: expenditure commitment, validation, payment order, and payment.¹
In this system, only the public accountant can handle funds or securities. The public accountant is under the oversight of the Ministry of Finance and is personally and financially responsible for funds or securities missing from his or her till. The only senior account manager is the Minister of Finance; in the security sector, the only delegated secondary account manager is the director of the Finance and Equipment Directorate (DFM).
The SIPRI study indicates that each unit of the armed and security forces has a director of administration and finance who is directly responsible for the implementation of the unit’s budget. This role of the unit director is complemented by commanders of administrative centres in each military region, who are responsible for financial operations within their region.²
However, military accountants, unlike other public-sector accountants, are not appointed by or with the agreement of the Minister of Economy and Finance and do not take a professional oath (as is required by the 1996 public accounting act for all other public-sector accountants). They are thus not accountable to the Minister of Economy and Finance.²
Instead, the Minister of Defence is responsible for the authorisations made in the MDAC by all other officials and also for the actions of the accountants. These other officials are nonetheless subject to disciplinary, penal or civil procedures, so they do have an impetus to control the financial operations of the units for which they are responsible.²
The weak budgetary system and heterogeneity of management methods does not facilitate optimal allocation of maintenance funds. Allocations are often channelled to other uses, exacerbating the degradation of material. Overall, the inadequacy of follow-ups and funds for effective upkeep and maintenance threatens the usability and sustainability of new investments provided for in the Ministry of Defence’s budget request.¹
Another weakness of the accounting practice in the military sector is the lack of a division of accounting positions into principal and secondary accountants, as is the case in all other ministries. Instead, commanders of administrative centres have a dual role with implementation (fund authorisation) and accounting functions similar to those of principal accountants in civilian administration. Similarly, military accountants are not required to be accredited to an official with power to authorize payments. Thus, the principle of separation of authority between officials who authorize payment and those who oversee how money is spent is compromised, with the consequent implications for accountability.²
The World Bank study notes that the maintenance of a special account for operations in the country’s “Northern Zone” is a major source of vulnerability.¹ This account has no de facto spending ceiling, the purpose and operating conditions of the special account are not adhered to, budget charges display anomalies and lack transparency, and the controls performed on expenditures from the special account are less rigorous than the country’s normal budget procedures.¹

Officially, the authorities should exercise control on aspects of public administration related to the management of public resources. There are three categories of control: administrative, judicial and parliamentary.

Administrative control
The armed forces are nominally subject to the authority of the Director for the General Control of Public Service, who ensures that expenditure is kept within approved limits.

Judicial control
According to rules of the West African Economic and Monetary Union and national laws requiring good governance and transparency in the management of public administration, all public accounts must be collated by the Director of the National Budget and submitted to the Supreme Court for auditing.
The accounting division of the Supreme Court checks these accounts and authorises the annual auditing bill, called the projet de loi de règlement. The auditing bill certifies the accounts of the financial year and approves any variation from the original Finance Act. This bill forms the audited accounts of the government. It is required to be submitted to the National Assembly no later than one year after budget implementation. However, it can take several years to prepare and sometimes never gets to the National Assembly.

Parliamentary control
The National Assembly currently exercises control through its accounting division. When irregularities are noted in the report of the accounting division of the Supreme Court, the National Assembly can establish a commission of inquiry. When necessary, the National Assembly can invite witnesses, such as ministers, for oral and written questioning.

In practice though, this does not occur. According to the World Bank’s 2013 financial management assessment, Mali’s military and internal security forces are in practice not subject to external oversight. All of the external monitoring bodies avoid using their oversight powers for issues related to the security forces.

The World Bank stresses that the Bureau du Vérificateur Général (BVG), created in 2004, has never carried out a compliance verification with the Ministry of Defence, despite its large size and the fact that all other important departments have been subjected to such scrutiny.
The BVG publishes annual reports evaluating the government’s various spending programmes. The last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending.⁴ The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget highlights the lack of external oversight.
One year after the World Bank’s 2013 report, the BVG did conduct an audit of the controversial purchase of a new presidential jet, but only at the behest of the IMF. During this exceptional audit, the BVG determined the cost to be CFA19 billion (roughly USD40 million), of which CFA1.4 billion were commissions and fees paid to a broker linked to the president’s friend, Michel Tomi. Moreover, the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, highlighting the limited ability of independent and external audit bodies to perform their functions in the face of opposition from the executive. In 2016, Mali’s authority for regulating public sector contracts and spending (ARMDS) found that it was wholly unable to audit the Ministry of Defence’s finances for 2014 because of the lack of documents provided by the ministry⁶.

The absence of any meaningful or regular internal or external audits, as shown in 16A, 16B and 16C, indicates that the ministry is not responsive in this area.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

No information about internal audit of defence ministry expenditure is disclosed by the Moroccan authorities.(1)(2)(3)

Neither CSOs nor the media are given access to information about internal audit of defence ministry expenditure either directly/indirectly or officially/unofficially. (4)(5)(6)(7)

It is therefore unclear whether internal audit of defence ministry expenditure exists.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

There is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

There is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

There is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure.

The Defence Ministry’s internal oversight body is called the Office of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces (IGA/Inspection Générale des Services) (1). It is responsible for ensuring that all relevant administrative, financial and budgetary rules and standards are applied and respected and that public resources are managed in a transparent, efficient and cost-effective manner (see also question 8 for further details regarding IGA). However, the assessor found no information on the effective control of the defence ministry expenditure conducted by the IGA (1). Within the Ministry of Defence, there is also the Office of the Inspector General (IGS, Inspection Générale des Services), which acts as a control structure of internal administration of the Ministry (1). Its equivalent also exists in other ministries. However, the assessor found no information on the effectiveness of the control of the IGS.

There is no evidence on the effective control of the defence ministry expenditure conducted by the IGA. Therefore this indicator is marked Not Applicable.

The National Assembly’s standing committee on defence and security is responsible for overseeing the work of the ministries in charge of national defence and security policy (see question 2 for details) (1). According to conducted interviews, at least in the past three years, the committee was not provided with a detailed report of an internal oversight body that audited the Ministry of Defence’s expenditures (2). Committee members were provided with a report of the National Audit Office. However, it is not clear to what extent the report examined the Ministry of Defense expenditures (2) .

There is no evidence of the effective control of the defence ministry expenditure conducted by the IGA. Therefore this indicator is marked Not Applicable.

There is no evidence of the effective control of the defence ministry expenditure conducted by the IGA. Therefore this indicator is marked Not Applicable.

Although internal audit units exist, their operations are mired in secrecy. The Directorate of Finance and Administration is responsible for internal audits at the Ministry of Defence. Audits cover records of revenues and expenditure, cash and store, accounts kept by other units and formations of services, and the civil department of the MOD. The audit team are also tasked with detecting and identifying fraud and waste in the ministry (1). But no evidence of technical competency. There is a history of delay with the production of audit reports, is exacerbated by a large number of abandoned projects commenced each year and replaced by new projects in the following year (1).

The Office of the Auditor-General is an external oversight body. The AGO is the Audit Unit of the Ministry of Defence; it does not cooperate as it should; it does not comply with the requirements to submit an annual report to parliament. Reports have not been issued for several years (2).

The National Assembly does not play a key role in military expenditure, particularly defence expenditure concerning weapons procurement contracts (1). The NASS has a closer relationship with the Office of the Auditor-General (OAuGF) than with internal audit units of the MOD (2).

Given the infrequent nature of reports by oversight bodies such as the Office of the Auditor-General, the NASS is less inclined to have an interest in the internal audit process of the Ministry of Defence. Concerning the internal audit process, the Auditor-General’s Office acts as a buffer between the internal audit process and the parliamentary oversight institutions, although in theory, their powers extend to investigating the internal audit processes as well (2).

The auditor general’s report is in most instances released late. For example, the auditor general’s report for 2015 was submitted to the National Assembly in 2017 (1). The legal framework governing the office of the Auditor General of the Federation is inadequate. Although the law required report should be submitted by 31 May of the following year (2), (3), this is rarely observed in practice (1). The late delivery of the report indicates that there was no oversight or external scrutiny between 2015-2017 (4). Following the release of the report, there is little public debate or engagement with the content of the report.

Given the delay in the processes surrounding the report, there is little evidence of monitoring and evaluation results incorporated into the next budget cycle. Audit reports are incomplete and have not been submitted or available for many years before 2016 (1). The PLAC capacity assessment report noted that legislators identified deficiencies in the monitoring capacity of the NASS (2). These deficiencies include a lack of technical capacity in the NASS. The inefficient use of the committee system also contributes to the failure to adequately monitor audit bodies. This situation is further exacerbated by a lack of technical capacity within internal audit units in the Ministry of Defence.

There is an internal auditing unit within the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces (1). This unit reports to the financial department and engages in irregular and superficial auditing process with regards to delivery, procurement and also stock auditing. However, it has very limited, and in most case, no say in the expenditure auditing process or decision making (2), (3). No legislation has been passed since the 2015 GI report of Oman legislating on auditing of the Ministry of Defence expenditure. Furthermore, the State Audit Institution posts news items on audit training with various ministries, including the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior; however, there is no mention of similar training with the Ministry of Defence.

The internal auditing unit has no authority over MoD expenditures. It is solely a bureaucratic unit that delivers reports on deliveries and financial assets; it has no power to alter or even provide recommendations (1), (2), (3).

There is no external oversight over the internal auditing unit. These units (external) do not exist (1), (2), (3).

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable because the reports of the internal units do not include any recommendations. Therefore, there is no way to address something that does not exist (1), (2), (3).

The Internal Audit Unit engages in irregular and superficial reviews of national forces, security agencies, and intelligence expenditure (1). However, this process is symbolic and routinely conducted as a symbolic practise (2). The process and reports are not considered a reliable source of auditing.

There is little enabling oversight of the internal audit function of national forces expenditure (1). This is a requirement of the MoF, which need to submit their reports to international donors (1), (2).

There is the external audit from the MoF, and also the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (1). The internal reports are never released and not available to the public or other ministries and departments (2), (3).

In some cases, when grave issues are found, the armed forces and security agencies symbolically address the issue to distract the public or to uncover the mishandling of the case of corruption (1), (2), (3).

There is an internal auditing unit within the MoD and the armed forces. However, the unit is understaffed and mostly focuses on financial auditing with superficiality and irregularity [1,2]. The Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of State and Defence Affairs, and any matters related to security, defence and the armed forces are explicitly excluded from the State’s Audit Bureau’s [3].

The internal auditing unit has limited power and oversight. It works only with procurement and other minimal purchases that have no significance within the Ministry. Therefore, this unit has no significant oversight of the expenditure [1,2].

The internal Auditing Unit has no external scrutiny. It is an internal unit that is managed directly within the Ministry of Defence, and its work, reports, and briefs are not available outside of the unit and its officials [1,2].

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable because the internal Auditing Unit has no external scrutiny (see Q16C).

The internal unit does not make its reports public, and they are only superficial. These reports have no recommendations [1,2,3]. The defence sector in Qatar is not audited by the State Audit Bureau, and it is extremely difficult to assess institutional outcomes because the Qatari government does not reveal any information regarding the defence sector. The websites of the Ministry of Finance and the Government’s Communication’s Office include no information about defence expenditure and budgets, and there is not an official website for the Ministry of Defence in either English or in Arabic [4,5].

According to Saudi Arabia’s Basic Law of Governance of 1992, each government agency is subject to an internal auditing process (1). This includes the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence, the latter of which has a director-general of Internal Audit (2). Foreign defence contractors also appoint auditors such as PwC to comply with international standards and the laws of their host countries with regards to Saudi government contracts (3), (4). According to our source, there is an internal auditing unit and process but the unit conducts irregular and superficial reviews during audits; they are not effective (5).
Though internal auditing processes take place in the MoD, there is no evidence that these occur for arms sales. The MoD’s website publishes details of its updated organizational structure, outlining an audit and inspections unit that falls under the purview of the Military Court (6). No further details were published relating to the nature of the internal audit process, or whether the activities of this unit are subject to parliamentary oversight. Furthermore, auditing processes are likely to be superficial when it comes to sensitive areas of defence expenditure, and government staff responsible for auditing may only be active on civilian aviation projects. Nor does it appear that staff tasked with these auditing functions are appropriately skilled. For example, the former Director-General of Audit Bader bin Fahad al-Othman is a retired major and aviation pilot in the Saudi armed forces who later held senior appointments in military operations, but had no apparent experience in financial auditing (2), (7). That being said, the current Director-General Abdulaziz Abalkhail, in his position since October 2018, appears to have more relevant senior auditing experience at Saudi state-owned entities, according to his LinkedIn profile (8).
In July 2018, PwC was reportedly finalizing a contract with the Saudi government to transform the MoD. This included consulting on reshaping processes for recruitment, resourcing, performance management, and strategic workforce planning (9).

According to a Gulf scholar who focuses on the political economy of the GCC, “It is very possible that the government itself has itemized budgets for defence expenditure, but there are also special accounts for expenditure that may not be directly under the Ministry of Defense, but spread through other government bodies” (10). According to David Roberts, an expert on Gulf security and military strategy, “there almost certainly will be auditing procedures set up given [historical] the US and UK involvement in the Saudi military and Ministry of Defence. There’s a basic rubric for all these kinds of institutions which come from a Western template, but the question is whether they are effective. My assumption is yes the procedures are there, but they are also likely opaque and their effectiveness is open to question” (11).

There is no evidence that internal auditing takes place for sensitive or critical issues within military and defence expenditure. In the current administration, the MoD and its operations are highly centralized under the control of Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman, and this most likely extends to its defence expenditure (1). According to our sources, there is no enabling oversight over any of the MoD’s expenditures. As a financial officer claims, “oversight is superficial and never been exercised” (2). It is unlikely that auditors are given access to details of sensitive purchases or military arms sales, or that enabling oversight bodies such as the Consultative Council’s Committee on Security Affairs are provided with any reports of internal audits that do take place.

According to our sources, there is no externally enabled scrutiny mechanism or body that is mandated with oversight over the MoD expenditures, it does not exist.

Information regarding auditing processes and findings are not made publicly available. According to our sources, such findings are taken into account and addressed because of the political influence (executive or members of the royal family). As far as is clear from the public domain, Saudi government institutions do not have a tradition of implementing rigorous and thorough internal audits.

According to our sources, there are two types of internal auditing process: the general inspector of the armed forces, and the auditing unit of the armed forces. Both of these two institutions have a moderate level of expertise in auditing other than financial auditing(1,2). Since 2017, these two have been the target of training and human capacity advancement. Internal auditing is ensured by the General Inspection of armed forces. This inspection has independent auditors from other Organisms of the Armed Forces (3). The General Directorate of financial and administrative affairs also has an active service specialised in financial auditing (3,4).

According to our sources, there is a very limited oversight mechanism in place for sensitive data, and most of the active oversight is related to administrative and logistical financial auditing. Reports with abstract form and limited data are produced and sent to legislative and to the office of the First Minister. (1,2)

This indicator has not been assigned a scoe due to insufficient information or evidence.

According to our sources, there is a high probability (not yet realised) that the anti-corruption agency LIUCC has the mandate for oversight and to scrutinise these internal auditing units. (1,2) By law, the General Inspection of the Armed Forces is meant to submit annually the results of its administrative and financial inspections to the Supreme Authority for Administrative and Financial Control (3). However, neither this practice, nor its regularity, has been comfirmed. Therefore, there is no clear evidence of external auditing / oversight over internal auditing functions or reports.

According to our sources, the MoD tries to meet the recommendations and to change according to critique, but it is not always able to do that. (1,2)

There is an internal auditing unit within the defence sector. However, it conducts irregular, bureaucratic and superficial auditing and reviews of the expenditure. This unit is linked directly to the office of the crown prince and the commander in chief (the head of the state) (1), (2), (3).

The UAE armed forces do not allow any oversight or internal audits of defence ministry expenditures. The majority of employees in this department are civilian employees who are affiliated with the crown prince’s office (1), (2), (3).

There are no internal reports produced by an internal body, and there is no external body that has oversight power over the armed forces or its expenditure (1), (2), (3).

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because there has not been any internal report with recommendations on the risks of corruption. Therefore, one can say that there is a failure to address such issues seriously based on the fact that such reports do not exist (1), (2), (3).

Country Sort by Country 16a. Activity Sort By Subindicator 16b. Enabling oversight Sort By Subindicator 16c. External scrutiny Sort By Subindicator 16d. Institutional outcomes Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Angola 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Cote d'Ivoire 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Iraq 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Jordan 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Kuwait 50 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 75 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100 NEI
Mali 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco NEI NEI NEI NEI
Niger 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Nigeria 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Oman 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Palestine 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Saudi Arabia 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 75 / 100 0 / 100 NEI 25 / 100
United Arab Emirates 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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