Q45.

Are chains of command separate from chains of payment?

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SCORE: 50/100

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There is no evidence confirming whether chains of command are separate from chains of payments; see the last country assessment (1). The Statute of Military Personnel presents, on the one hand, the hierarchical structure of the military (2) and stipulates on the other that soldiers are entitled to remunerations and benefits (2). No information could be found on whether chains of command are separate from chains of payment. Also, Presidential Decree No. 07-304, which regulates the salary index grid and the compensation scheme for civil servants does not provide any information on the civil service (3).

Salary payments should be made via the electronic Integral System of State Financial Management (SIGFE) that was created in 2004 to be rolled out by 2008. However, it’s unclear when the rollout was completed in the defence sector. There are indications that from 2016, in response to the deepening financial crisis, the government has stepped up efforts to update the salary database to weed out ghost public servants (1). In August 2018, President Lourenço in Presidential Decree No. 173/18 ordered the end of cash payments to public servants, though it remains to be seen how successfully the measures are implemented (2), (3).

There have been recurring media reports over the last few years on cases of illegal cash salary payments to soldiers that are employed by the president’s Security Office. According to a media report in September 2017, soldiers employed by the president’s Security Bureau have been threatened with imprisonment for complaining about salary delays and salary payments in cash, contrary to established procedures (4).

The chain of command is completely different from the chain of payment (1). According to Article 19 (1) of Law No. 038 (2016) states, “the personnel of the Armed Forces have the right to remuneration while performing their duties and responsibilities” (2). The actual — “Intendance Militaire — is responsible for all payment, and supplies in the defence ministry. Besides, Article 19 (4) “any measure of broader purpose affecting the remuneration the employees of State civil service is, except necessary adaptation measures, applied with simultaneous effect to the personnel of the Armed Forces.” In the gendarmerie or the armed forces, the chain of command inspects departments and units, and each commanding officer performs an inspection at his or her own level of command, based on pre-established annual timetables, or without any notice, to ensure that every man or woman is on duty (3). However, under some circumstances, the remuneration of the personnel takes place within the unit. This often happens, especially for newly enrolled personnel, living in dormitories within the unit they belong to. To this end, Article 27 says that “the personnel of the Armed Forces have right to their unit-based housing,” and a little sum is taken from their salary for housing fees.

The chains of payment are separated from the chain of command given that the chain of payment is directly under the Ministry of Finance, which manages the salaries of all civil servants. However, the Presidential guards, who are civil servants, that have been co-opted from the different security services to serve the President of the Republic have certain privileges and allowances that come from the budget of the Presidency [1] [2] [3] [4].

The official chain of command (chaîne de commandement) at the MoD is separate from the chain of payment (chaîne de paiement) for civil servants (fonctionnaires publics). There is evidence of exceptions to this rule in the aftermath of the soldier uprisings of January and May 2017. The Directorate General of the Treasury (Direction Générale du Trésor) is generally tasked with paying civil servants. This is known in French as the “masse salariale de la fonction publique”. The Treasury deposits the money in banking institutions. For example, in April 2018, a tranche of the wage arrears and salaries promised to military officers was disbursed via the Caisse générale de retraite des agents de l’Etat (CGRAE) (1). In addition to the Directorate General of the Treasury, the Directorate of the Office of the Armed Forces has a significant role in the calculation of the pays and allowances serviced to the members of the armed forces. This service although headed by a general directly falls under the authority and command of the chief of staff of the army. Hence, there is hardly any delineation between these two chains of action.

As per Law No. 2016-1109 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of 16 February 2016, Chapter 3 (Solde, avantages divers, garanties et protection), Articles 32-37, address the allowances provided to members of the military. For example, Article 33 refers to the different types of remuneration: basic salary, special compensation, residence allowances, family benefits and other bonus payments. Article 35 refers to per diem payments to cover transportation and lodging. Article 37 covers paid annual leave of 45 calendar days. But there is no provision specifying the payment channel (chain of payment) (2). Law No. 2016-1109 provides for a special remuneration regime for higher-ranking military officers such as marshals and generals. Title 3 (Dispositions particulières à certaines catégories de militaires), Chapter 1 (Maréchaux et officiers généraux), Articles 114-120 outline this special remuneration regime. There is no provision specifying the payment channel (2). In November 2012, there were instances in which certain soldiers were being paid their salaries in cash. The news aggregator Koaci.com reported that a source had revealed the different places where soldiers were secretly being paid to avoid long lines at banking institutions. According to the source, this alternative payment method was adopted by President Ouattara shortly after coming to power (3).

In January 2017, the opposition daily “Aujourd’hui” revealed the salary levels (grilles salariales) of members of the military according to their rank. The leaked information was not confirmed by the Army Chiefs of Staff. However, the source did not state what entity was tasked with paying the salaries. (4)

In May 2018, France’s La Tribune said the second phase of wage arrears payments had been completed as part of the government’s early retirement scheme for members of the armed forces (FACI). There was an official ceremony in Akouédo (Abidjan) to celebrate the measure, aimed at retiring 4,000 military officers by 2020. During the ceremony, Minister of Defence Hamed Bakayoko several officers were symbolically provided with checks valued at about USD 30,000 (15 million FCFA). No details were provided as to how the wage arrears had been disbursed (5). In November 2018, Koaci.com reported that Minister of Defence Hamed Bakayoko had addressed the NA Commission on Security and Defence (Commission de la Sécurité et de la Défense, CSD) regarding the draft legislation for Order No. 2018-515 (Ordonnance No. 2018-515 Portant Sanctions Administratives Applicables aux Militaires) of May 30, 2018. The draft, adopted unanimously by the CSD, confirmed the administrative penalties that apply to members of the armed forces. Minister Bakayoko stated that the State was responsible for paying salaries and allowances of the members of the armed forces and that all the outstanding arrears claimed by the soldiers had been paid by November 2018 (6).

Based on the examples above, it can be said that the chains of command are “generally” separated at the MoD.

According to our sources, the chains of commands and chains of payments are not separate, evidence shows that commanders punish lower officers and soldiers by deducting and reducing their salaries for a month or more (1), (2), (3).

Chains of command are separated from chains of payment (3), (4), (5). The Forces Pay Regiment (FPR), which operates under the Support Services Brigade Group, processes the payments in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) (1), (2). However, there is a lack of transparency, in so far as the payment system is not published, and therefore it cannot be excluded that for certain areas exceptions might be in place.

Section 214 (c) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana empowers the Chief of Defence Staff to make regulations in respect to the control and administration of the services of the Armed Forces and the conditions of service. These include those relating to the enrolment, salaries, pensions, gratuities and other allowances of officers and men of each service and deductions from them. The Regulations on Administration and Discipline further elaborate on the laws (6).

The armed forces are considered the largest public sector employer in the country [1]. There is evidence from local news reports that suggest that payments to all public sector employees are made electronically, thus meaning that they are separate from chains of command [2]. There is no evidence to support that chains of command are linked to chains of payment in any way, or to suggest that there are exceptions in the separation between chains of command and chains of payment. However, there are exceptions where the commander-in-chief has authority over things such as bonuses and expenditures related to critical operations [6,7].

Chains of command are not separated from the chains of payment. Article 24 of the police law and 27 of the military law gives both ministers the power to allocate the funds given to them by the central Government as they see fit, and it is their job to set up their own system of auditing and regulations to make sure no money is stolen (1 and 2).

The chain of command and the chains of payment are not separate. The Finance Unit under the Directorate for Financial and Administrative Affairs handles payments funding for soldiers (1). The Directorate is linked to the Chief of Staff through Decree No. 3771/81 Article 9 (2).
Although the Directorate for Financial and Administrative Affairs handles the monetary funds, the Quartermaster Directorate is responsible for the allocation of the personal salaries of every single MoD employee; it is completely separate from the chain of command (3).

The weak budgetary system and heterogeneity of management methods does not facilitate optimal allocation of maintenance funds. Allocations are often channelled to other uses, as highlighted by the embezzlement of military bonuses.³ 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.² 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 Bertelsmann Foundation remarks that steps to improve Mali’s institutional framework returned to the agenda in 2014 and 2015.⁴ It cited a “transformation linking spending systems at the central and local levels, to improve budget documentation and provide up-to-date information on budget execution”. Moreover, medium-term expenditure frameworks have been extended, to translate into budgetary terms the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper’s sectorial strategies. But it cautions that “cultivating professionalism among auditors, however, remains a long-term process” in a system that is rife with corruption, informality and unclear delineations of responsibilities.⁴
Accounting practices for non-salary related funds are also open to abuse. In 2017, it was revealed that four gendarmes had allegedly been skimming off 5,000 CFA each month from payments made to gendarmes from the institution’s housing cooperative.⁵ This scam continued from 2004 until 2014, allowing the four gendarmes to amass an estimated fortune of 2.3 billion CFA.⁵
The World Bank notes that “the main risks affecting the payment of wages in the military are at the local level and involve potentially unjustified, and in fact completely irregular, siphoning off in units by supervisors”.⁶

Chains of command are arguably separate from chains of payment. According to an interviewee, the human resources and financial division work together to send information (a list of paid military personnel) regarding salary payments to the Treasury that has an account at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO); it is the chief of fefence (Etat Major) that ensures payment through bank transfers to military personnel, and in some rare cases he also pays in cash (1).
This demonstrates that there is no direct de jure link between the management of human resources and the actual payment of wages. However, de facto it returns to military (chief of defence) to provide the final payment.

Chains of command are separated from chains of payment. The National Defence Policy 2006 posits a change of command for planning and conduct of military operations – from National Defence Council, Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, to Service Chiefs or Commander of the Joint Taskforce. The government has concluded arrangements to begin the enrolment of all military personnel on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) July 30, 2018. This aim at integrating all personnel within the system of payment (1), (2).

Following the introduction of the IPPIS, the stated aim is to capture “all” personnel within the system so any exceptions are anomalous given the stated aim (2).

As military personnel are not all yet captured on the Payroll Information System (IPPIS), most payments still flow through the regular military command structure (2).

There is no separation between the chains of command and the chains of payment. They are connected, and commanders can affect the payments of the soldiers or junior officers (1). Defence institution websites do not publish chains of command or salary grades (2), (3). Wage Protection Systems were put in place in 2017, by the Ministry of Manpower (equivalent to the Ministry of Labour); however, reforms are aimed at the private sector (4), (5). The Employment Law, RD 35/2003 sets out rules around salaries, Article Two states that it does not apply to the armed forces (6). There is no evidence to suggest that chains of command are separate from chains of payment.

IGenerally, the chain of command is separated from the chain of payments (2). However, the commanders influence the chain of payments within their units, agencies or offices. According to the Military Service Law, commanders have power over some financial matters (1), (2).

The chair of the command is separated from the payment system. However, the command can intervene in some cases such as fining, punishment or the increase of bonuses. The general idea is that they are separated and work independently from one another. [1,2]

The Saudi government does not publish details relating to its payment processes in the military or government ministries, except for occasional announcements of bonuses for military and other personnel (1). According to a Gulf affairs expert, chains of command are not separated from chains of payment (2). Three other sources have also highlighted that the payment chains are not separated from the chains of command. They are well connected, and commands can alter the payment of personnel through their authority (3), (4), (5).

The system of personnel payment appears routine throughout most of the government. Many Saudi ministries employ multinational government services firms to design systems for payroll processing and other administrative functions. The Ministry of Interior contracted with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), which utilizes the well-known Oracle E-Business Suite of applications to administer payroll and other personnel management tasks (6).

However, according to information published by the Ministry of Defence, under its new organizational structure, the military chain of command is separated from support service functions. For example, strategic affairs, technical and administrative services, and procurement units are separate (7). The literature does not refer to the chains of payment of salaries.

According to our sources, there is a strong separation between the financial and administrative command and the operation commands within the MoD, however, they all work under the Minister of Defence(1,2). In accordance with article 13 of Decree n° 79-735, dated 22 August 1979, on the organisation of the Ministry of National Defence, the General Directorate of Administrative and Financial Affairs is responsible for mandating or authorising the expenditure of personnel, or the administrative and financial affairs of the personnel of the Ministry of Defence. The Directorate of Personnel and Training is responsible for other aspects of military personnel management (Article 18 of the same Decree) (3).In its response to GI 2015, the Ministry of Defence affirms that the General Directorate of Administrative and Financial Affairs is responsible for mandating or authorising the expenditure of personnel, and for the administrative and financial affairs of the personnel of the Ministry of Defence. The directorate is not included in the chain of military command and refers directly to the Minister of National Defence (4). Despite extensive research, no other sources related to this issue, such as reports from the media, or civil society, could be found (5).

Research has revealed that the chains of command are strictly separated from chains of payment throughout the ministry of defence and armed forces. The UAE government has put in place a Wages Protection System (WPS), developed by the Central Bank of the UAE, which allows the Ministry of Labour to create a database that records wage payments to guarantee the timely and full payment of agreed-upon wages (1). The WPS is activated at all institutions registered with the Ministry of Labour across all sectors and industries, and the system also guarantees that payment is processed independently from the chain of command in all sectors, including the defence sector (2), (3).

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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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