Are potential defence purchases made public?

60a. Policies


SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

60b. Notice of planned purchases


SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

Compare scores by country

Please view this page on a larger screen for the full stats.

Relevant comparisons

No information could be found on planning for potential purchases. There is also no evidence that a strategic defence review or a white paper exists, at least not publicly, for example on the website of the Defence Ministry (1) or in the military magazine (2). In public, Vice-Defence Minister Salah has broadly addressed this issue and stated that it had to be ensured that the armed forces were optimally equipped and armed (3). He did not say anything more specific about potential defence purchases. As has also been noted by the country’s last assessment (4), and answered in previous questions, sensitive information on defence issues including procurement is subject to secrecy.

No information could be found on forward purchase plans of the Ministry of Defence, either on their website or their monthly magazine (1), (2). In an article, the military noted that its modernization and development process is proceeding according to carefully considered and detailed planning (3), but no further information was provided. As has also been noted by the country’s last assessor and expanded upon in previous answers, sensitive information on defence procurement is subject to secrecy.

The government has not produced a published white paper, though one has been written, it is not published yet. National Development Plans (the last for 2018-2022) contain strategic objectives for defence and security, though no financial information is provided. Defence purchases are not made public, in detail, in advance before being approved by the president (1), (2).

While arms and military logistics procurement is exempted from the 2016 Public Procurement Law, presidential approvals for other defence procurement contracts need to be published in the official gazette. Additionally, the state budget law published every year on the Ministry of Finance website, requires the president to submit contracts above the value of 26 million USD (as for Jan. 2018) to audit court pre-review (2).

For instance, the purchase of six helicopters from Augusta Westland SA in 2014, approved by the president in 2015 (by presidential dispatch 83/15 of October 13, published in the official gazette), went through an audit court review (being one of the few public court records regarding defence purchases). Nevertheless, recent media reports allege that eventually different, cheaper models were delivered than the helicopters stipulated in the contract, raising suspicions that the then chief of the President’s Security Bureau exerted his influence to misappropriate the price difference (1), (3), (4) (5).

However, confirmation on the purchase and delivery of 18 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets (all second-hand and refurbished), a deal initiated in 2013, embedded in a broader cooperation agreement with Russia, was mainly provided by Russian sources. No detail of the contracts was made public and there is no record of a contract pre-review by the audit court (6).

In 2017, the MoD got the National Assembly to pass a law, the new law is known as the Law of Military Programming, for the implementation of a 2018-2022 Strategic Reform Plan (1). According to a member of the Defence and Security Committee, 725 billion CFA francs will be allocated every year for the implementation of the plan (2). However, there is no breakdown of that amount, nor the activities included in the amount (2). Usually, the military of Burkina Faso does not initiate planning of purchases or defence procurements or contracting as a whole. According to Article 6 of Law No. 039, some defence items are labelled secret and are therefore not made public (3).

The 2017 Law of Military Programming provides some information on forward purchase plans by indicating the amount to be allocated every year, as well as a timeframe (five years). According to Diallo, the passing of this law will allow the government to provide the military with comprehensive resources to effectively fulfil its mission (1). However, it is regrettable that the law does not provide any details on the items that will be purchased. The law does not provide much information on how the military will use the money or on their intended procurement and contracting processes (2), (3).

Due to the lack of transparency surrounding defence and security procurement [1], potential defence purchases are not made public. There is no evidence of forward planning for potential purchases, or of any strategic defence review or white paper.

Information on military procurement usually only filters through supplying organisations and media outlets when purchases have been made [1]. There is no information available in the existing literature that was made public while defence purchases were being planned. Military donations made to the government of Cameroon are however aired on state media outlets [2]. The rise of the Boko Haram sect has increased this trend as the government of Cameroon receives more and more military support in the form of training, logistics and weaponry [3].

The adoption of the five-year Military Planning Act (Loi de Programmation Militaire, LPM) 2016-2020 serves as a general roadmap for potential purchases through 2020. The LPM 2016-2020 has allocated a total of 2.254 billion FCFA (about USD 745 million per year) to the different military budgets through 2020. The reason for the increase in expenditure, according to the MoD, is the need to reequip the armed forces, to strengthen border controls (especially in the unstable western and northern regions) and to fight against terrorism from jihadists. The LPM 2016-2020 was approved by the National Assembly Security and Defence Committee (Commission de Sécurité et Défense, CDS) on January 4, 2016. It has been presented by the MoD as a reform bill that lays down the main policy guidelines related to defence and security, including personnel management, equipment and operations of the armed forces, Gendarmerie Nationale and National Police. The LPM seeks to reduce the number of soldiers to save on personnel expenditure and to degrade the capacity of former rebel leaders to destabilize the country (1), (2), (3), (4).

The annual draft Budget Law shows highly aggregated figures for potential defence expenditure. For example, the draft Budget Law for 2018, published in October 2017, provided the planned expenditure across broad functions. Table 5 (p. 17) shows the key spending elements affecting defence as follows: Defence and security: 516.8 billion FCFA, of which 252.8 billion FCFA was projected for Army Services (services des armées), 174.3 billion FCFA allocated to the police forces and 79.3 billion FCFA to the Gendarmerie Nationale (5). The draft Budget Law for 2018 also indicates the level of projected expenditure for fuel destined to the armed forces (13.8 billion FCFA), operational costs at the Conseil National de Sécurité (CNS) (10 billion FCFA) and a global figure of 617.9 billion FCFA across other functions (5). Forward planning for potential purchases extends less than 5 years in advance) under both the LPM and the annual drat Budget Law provide highly aggregate expenditure figures for 2016-2020, but no evidence of any strategic defence review.

Highly aggregate figures have been published by Ivorian media about the planned defence investments in equipment and infrastructure, based on the LPM 2016-2020. The information is lacking in detail and incomplete. In a February 2017 article, Le Point Afrique stated that the LPM 2016-2020 was the vehicle chosen by the authorities in Côte d’Ivoire to modernize the armed forces with EUR 1.2 billion in planned purchases for the 5 years (1).

In a June 2016 report by the Groupe de Recherche et d’Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité (GRIP), Georges Berghezan stated that the Ivorian Government had committed 2.254 billion FCFA (about USD 745 million per year) on military expenditure to modernize the armed forces, as per LPM 2016-2020. The report also noted that the LPM 2016-2020 did not include planned purchases for internal security, which are the subject of a different law (2). In a February 2017 article in Global Voices, the reporter characterizes the LPM 2016-2020 as a Marshall Plan and the first Military Planning Act in the country’s history. In this article, the aggregate figure of 2 trillion FCFA (EUR 3.8 billion) was said to be budgeted through 2020 for planned purchases of equipment. The article also stated that 90% of the budget allocated to the armed forces at that time covered personnel costs and not equipment. The Minister of Defence Alain-Pierre Donwahi described the need to invert the pyramid so that more money would be channelled to equipment and infrastructure (3). There is inconsistency in the aggregate figures for the LPM 2016-2020.

It is difficult to determine whether there is a strategic defence review or white paper that includes forward planning for potential defence purchases. Interviewee 2 says he had never heard of such a document, but he knows there is a degree of forward planning for potential purchases that is needs and capability driven, especially for smaller arms and equipment (1). He thinks that some of the more major purchases are sometimes improvised and is driven by political, rather than need or capability, considerations. There seems to be an agreement among many experts that the purchase of the Rafale military aircraft and Mistral air carriers is an example of unplanned political contracts (2), (3), (4).

There are several legal provisions the allow and even encourage the secrecy of defence purchases. Examples are the Public Authorities Contracts’ Law which allows the MOD and MMP to make procurement processes closed, limited or by direct order with no bidding process. As regards to arms procurement, it is not subject to any form of monitoring by the MOF or the CAA as per Law 204 (1957) (1). Moreover, Law no. 14 (1967) prohibits the publishing or broadcasting of any information or news about the Armed Forces and its formations, movement, armaments and personnel, and everything related to the military and strategic aspects except after obtaining written approval from the director of the military intelligence department (2). Therefore, when some information makes it to the public domain, it usually comes from foreign sources (e.g. the selling country) or is the information that the MOD chooses to disclose to the media without obligation (3).

According to Section 21 of the Public Procurement Act, the MOD shall submit its procurement plan to its tender committee no later than one month from the end of the financial year for approval (1). Additionally, the MOD shall submit an update of the procurement plan to the Tender Committee after approval of the budget and at quarterly intervals. However, these procurement plans have never been made publicly available by the MOD or the Tender Committee. Furthermore, despite the fact that defence spending is forecasted to rise by 2.56 per cent, eventually, reaching USD 213.8 million in 2021, the MOD doesn’t have a defence review or white paper where forward planning for purchases is published (2).

There is hardly any forward planning for potential purchases that goes beyond 5 years. There is no strategic defence review or white paper. However, OPTRALOG – Operations, Training and Logistics, primarily designed by the military, look at some security projections and make plans for preparations (3), (4), (5).

There is no information made publicly available by the MOD or the GAF on planned purchases (1), (2), (3).

Needs are not outlined beneath a comprehensive strategy. Iraq’s parliamentary and defence committee discuss its advisory and capacity to support defence purchases in round table discussions with interior and defence high-ranking figures (1), (2). Emphasis is placed on the need to diversify purchases and ensuring fairly allocations, as well as pressing security concerns – the most recent of which have been the attacks on PMF Shuhada base (3). Forward planning may happen based on the available evidence of frequent meetings — but is kept out of public sight. Forward planning exists but not within the bounds of a known strategy, but is, the UN notes, undercut by political in-fighting and the system of spoils known as Muhasasa (sectarian apportionment) (4), (5). The perceived sectarian bias, as one report provides evidence for, eroded the potentiality for interagency cooperation (5). The UN has emphasised the need for robust planning to halt the return of the ISG following the renewal of its Assistance Mission to Iraq, till May 31, 2020 (6), (7).

There is rarely any data about future purchase plans unless the information is leaked from inside the MoD. This was the case back in February 2018, when Iraq considered the purchase of a Russian air-defence system. Coverage centred around comments and disclosures made by a member of Iraq’s parliamentary Committee on Security and Defence (1).

There is planning within the armed forces. This planning is less than five years or every two years. The planning is meant to serve as a document for international donors (mainly the US army) who provide the Jordanian Defence Forces with arms. In other cases, such as food, logistics equipment, uniforms and vehicles, forward planning extends to less than one year [1,2,3].

There is no publicly available information on forward purchase plans for the defence sector. As discussed in the previous sub-indicator, there is no evidence to support the idea that forward planning takes place. Additionally, a plan, as part of U.S. military assistance to Jordan, might exist, but this plan is not publicly available [1]. Some information about potential purchases can be found through the Directorate of Defence Procurement for the Jordanian Armed Forces, which posts tenders and calls for proposals [2]. Other information is available through the Government Tenders Directorate [3]. However, this information is only relevant to tenders and bids and not aimed at informing the public of planned purchases, and they also do not prove that the defence sector had forward planned these tenders [4].

The Government does not announce potential defence purchases. The public only learns of them when an officials leaks the news to the press or if the company they are buying from announces it or leaks it to the press, officials said (1, 2 and 3).

There is no information available on forward plans.

Lebanon created a 5-year Capabilities Development Plan (CDP), which assesses critical mission areas, capabilities, and professionalization targets linking it to budgeting and future funding and weapons procurement (1). Both CDPs 2013-2017 (1) and 2018-2022 (2), respectively, were the closest documents to a white paper, prepared by the LAF command, with limited political buy-in (1). Neither documents are publically available, so its content and comprehensiveness cannot be assessed (3). A source indicated that the CDP 2 information was not presented to the Parliamentary Committee for National Defence, Interior, and Municipalities until the committee requested (4). While a former MP indicated that only one session was dedicated to presenting the CDP 1 (5).

In general, the LAF does not purchase weapons, with the promised $3bn aid to the LAF from Saudi being earmarked for weapons purchases. Instead, it receives weapons in the form of military assistance by foreign countries. The CDP which outlines arms procurement is superficially outlined with its details being restricted (1). However, some information about military assistance from foreign countries is published online. For example, the $3bn Saudi aid to the Lebanese Army, which was later halted, in 2015 was going to be used to purchase weapons and equipment from France. Some of the information about the list of purchases were published online via media outlets (2).

The LOPM, which passed into law in February 2015, provides for USD 2.3 billion of investment in the armed forces until 2019. The document specified that the military intended to recruit an additional 10,000 soldiers over the next five years to plug the major gaps in the armed forces.1 The LOPM also included plans to purchase helicopters, aeroplanes and uniforms.⁶ Since 2015, the Malian government has gone on to buy two used helicopters (Super Puma S 332 L) from Airbus and two helicopters from Russia. 2,3 Furthermore, the LOPM outlined plans to purchase fighter jets, combat helicopters and various intelligence gathering equipment. There is, however, no defence plan in place for beyond 2019.

There is no information made publicly available by the government on forward purchase plans. In February 2016, Airbus announced it had received an order for a C295W from the Malian government, the first public record of this contract.¹ The aircraft was delivered in December 2016, indicating that the release of information related to a quick purchase rather than strategic forward planning.² It is noteworthy that it was Airbus rather than the Malian government who made the announcement, highlighting the MDAC’s general reluctance to disclose information.
Similarly, MDAC’s purchase of Russian attack helicopters in September 2016 was not revealed by the government, but was reported in November 2016 thanks to a source within the Russian company Rosoboronexport.⁴ The company delivered two attack helicopters to Bamako in October 2017, again indicating that news of such purchases only relates to immediate acquisitions, rather than long-term planning.⁵ This is understandable given the FAMa’s clear need to rebuild and re-equip quickly in the wake of its collapse in 2012.
Another major defence purchase was reported in June 2015. Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security announced that Mali had ordered six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes.⁶ An unpublished report by the BVG notes that the Malian government agreed to pay USD 88.7 million (51.7 billion CFA) for the six planes.⁶ The BVG shows that the Malian state had paid two of the three instalments of the contract by 2016 (the third was scheduled for 2017), but Embraer is now set to deliver only four of the six planes.⁶ In none of the cases above has the government publicly revealed what it has paid for the aircraft.¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷
A defence attaché working in Bamako said that the Brazilian aircraft were displayed at an air show in Paris.⁸ At the time, it was known that the Malian government were planning to buy them, although the contracts had not been signed at that point.⁸

Publishing of potential purchases for the Moroccan armed forces extends less than 5 years in advance (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8). No evidence of the existence of a strategic defence review or white paper was found. The potential budget is not disclosed in detail. According to the 2018 budget law (N°68-17), an amount of 10 800 000 000 dirhams had been allocated for the acquisition and repair of Royal Armed Forces material (code, and 5 871 510 000 dirhams to National defence administration/ material and various spending (code The budget law showed allocations for potential purchases for one year. As articles 38 and 22 of the 2018 Budget Law show, sums allocated and extra numbers of staff planned are given in aggregated form. The report is the same in the budget: sums are given in aggregated form, and concern mainly paramilitary establishments (teledetection centre, military hospitals, surgery centres, storage units).

The local and international press regularly report major defence purchases with foreign nations. Given that the budget for armed forces is not published in detail it is unclear whether or not these purchases are taken into account in the budget. As explained in the previous questions, the King has the final decision over defence purchases, and is often the one suggesting these purchases in the first place.

There is no information in the sources surveyed about detailed planned purchases for the armed forces.

The government has a process in place for acquisition planning as a result of the programming act of the Ministry of Defence. According to Art. 20 of the 2013 decree on defence and security procurement, there is an annual acquisition plan. It is drawn from the needs identified by relevant technical departments of the Ministry of Defence. The plan must be drawn up no later than the end of January of the current budget year, but it is flexible and regularly updated (1). Decree No. 2013/570/PRN/PM, Chapter V, Article 20, states that all forward planning for potential purchases cannot be disclosed and is strictly confidential. The plan is not available to the public and is classified as top secret (1).

Article 20 states:

“The competent technical departments identify the needs and prepare market research relevant to this Decree and which constitute an annual acquisition forecast plan. This plan is classified as a top-secret defence matter… This plan is not to be published, and any correspondence regarding acquisitions is to be strictly confidential” (1).
(Consultant translation French to English)

The Nigerien government does not disclose information on planned defence purchases (1).

There is no forward planning as far as potential defence expenditure is concerned. The priorities shift from year to year. What is clear is that the defence budget is consistently one of the top four expenditure items each year. There is a lack of long-term planning for military acquisitions, primarily because of the lack of a defence policy (1). Moreover, very few details are provided on even the smallest programmes. The lack of information on how many well-known military activities are funded is a major source of concern to those who deal with the military, not least the National Assembly and Civil Society. “The National Assembly’s major criticism of the budget is the absence of the kind of detail that would facilitate the process of authorization and monitoring” (1). In discussions with a public official, it was stated that the National Defence Policy (NDP) has been reviewed and is being followed although information from the press contradicted this statement. The official stated that the NDP had been reviewed since 2016 (1). Under the 2007 Regulations to the PPA, there is a requirement for advanced planning by the procuring entity (2), but it does not apply to defence purchases.

Recurrent expenditure may be subject to planned purchases as these appear in the budget from year to year. However, capital expenditures in the defence sector for things like purchases of weapons systems are not subject to disclosure in a systematic manner. There is a lack of long-term planning for military acquisitions, primarily because of the lack of a defence policy (1). Moreover, very little detail is provided on even the minimal programme that exists. The lack of information on how many well-known military activities are funded is a major source of concern to those who deal with the military, not least the National Assembly and civil society. “The National Assembly’s major criticism of the budget is the absence of the kind of detail that would facilitate the process of authorization and monitoring” (2). In discussions with a source, it was stated that defence purchases are a matter of national security and therefore are not subject to disclosure.

There is no forward planning for potential purchases and procurement with exception to normal logistical needs such as uniforms, and food supplies (1), (2). Furthermore, the e-Government website, the Ministry of Defence and Secretary of the Ministry of Defence websites were consulted, no information was found on forward planning for potential defence purchases (3), (4), (5). Oman releases very little information about its defence sector, its budgets, purchases, procurement, and expenditures. This lack of information demonstrates that Oman treats defence information, including potential purchases as classified information (6), (7).

As defence purchases are not subject to forward planning in Oman, there is no information available to be published. With a lack of forward planning in purchases an assessment of notices of planned purchases is irrelevant in this context.

There is no planning for potential purchases within the PA or its national forces. Preparation for purchases usually happens within months, or in less than a year in advance of purchase (1), (2). There is no strategic national forces or security review. The researcher checked the websites for the MoF and the security apparatuses; there is no evidence of a review or strategy. However, it is also true the PA forces share their needs assessment with the donor community on what do they need in terms of defence purchases for the donor planning purposes (3).

There is no information available about purchase planning. According to the MoF and the military department at the MoF, this data is not available (1). The researcher asked about the possibility of finding out what the purchasing plan for the next few months was; however, the concerned department denied any knowledge of purchase plans (3). They only know about bids and purchases already made. Information on purchases is not readily accessible or available, however, the sectoral plans of the PA ministries (in this case the MoI), and through its strategic affairs department, list the future needs (with the help/leadership/priorities of the donor community) (2). These sectoral plans are normally associated with action plans that spell out further details and set some operational objectives (although not quantified or linked with clear deadlines and timelines), but these are not publicly available (3).

Although Qatar does not release much information about the defence sector, our sources confirm that the MoD has a strategic unit that assesses its needs and plans future purchases. [1,2,3] Forward planning is a major issue within the armed forces, as it requires expansions and training for personnel, particularly when the purchases are strategic weapons such as tanks or planes. Sometimes, however, impromptu strategic purchases are made. The only information available about Qatari defence purchases is through foreign media platforms that announce arms deals and acquisitions. This all supports the idea that forward planning in relation to defence purchases is limited.

There is no public information available on planned purchases. However, strategic purchases such as jets and tanks are made public as a part of power show in the region [1,2,3].

According to our sources, there is a forward planning process in place, in terms of the government’s strategic defence purchases, which is usually between 3-5 years. (1), (2). However, such planning is politically motivated and linked to strategic allies or defence cooperation with other countries (3). “It’s clear that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is centralizing power, although whether he is controlling money more tightly is harder to determine. It’s far from clear that what’s being done is having any real impact on the quality of forwarding defence planning” (4).

Sources have said, the MoD does not publicly announce expected purchases. Purchases remain secret until the final days unless they are leaked by another party. However, in logistics and strategic purchases, forward planning exists, and bidders are informed one year before the actual purchase (1), (2). According to the Government Tenders and Procurement Law of 2006, government authorities are required to announce the results of public tenders and government procurements that exceed one SAR 100,000. Nonetheless, military equipment and other defence-related purchases are exempted from this rule (3). In practice, the government does not announce forward purchase plans, rather military and defence acquisitions are typically made public after the fact, most often through foreign media sources though also covered locally. According to Anthony Cordesman, the Saudi defence budget has “no meaningful transparency” (4).

According to our sources, there is a some publication of small military purchases. These purchases are usually logistics, food, uniform, benzin, and similar items(1,2).

The availability of defensive procurement is mainly due to the application of the provisions of Ordinance No. 36 of 1988, on the control of some of the expenses of the Ministries of National Defence and Interior, and revised by Government Order No. 842 of 2017, dated 26 July 2017, which defines the general principles of procurement in the field of defence(3).

According to our sources, there are rare times when forward planning purchases are made public. They usually advertise for procurement a few months before the actual purchases(1,2). Some information about forwarding planning is available. However, this information lacks detail (3).

According to our sources, there is clear and well-established planning for defence purchases in the UAE. This can extend to up to five years of planning in some cases. In some cases, the UAE defence purchases are politically motivated and/or are reactions to regional turmoils (1), (2), (3).

There is no information available for the public or other sectors within the state. Plans are restricted to the Office of the Crown Prince (1), (2), (3).

Country Sort by Country 60a. Policies Sort By Subindicator 60b. Notice of planned purchases Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 25 / 100
Burkina Faso 25 / 100 25 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 50 / 100 25 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 25 / 100 0 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100 25 / 100
Jordan 25 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 0 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 50 / 100 25 / 100
Mali 50 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco 25 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 0 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 0 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 25 / 100 0 / 100
Saudi Arabia 25 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 0 / 100 25 / 100
United Arab Emirates 50 / 100 0 / 100

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.

Transparency International Defence & Security is a global programme of Transparency International based within Transparency International UK.

Privacy Policy

UK Charity Number 1112842

All rights reserved Transparency International Defence & Security 2020