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Q59.

Are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place and are these oversight mechanisms active and transparent?

59a. Independence

Score

SCORE: 0/100

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59b. Effectiveness

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

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59c. Transparency

Score

SCORE: NA/100

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The procurement oversight institutions are mechanisms are Public Procurement Agency (PPA) and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) established under the LPP and the Competition Authority (CA).
The PPA has several competencies that include the preparation of standard tender documents and issuing of the instructions for the contracting authorities, verification of the implementation of public procurement and administration of sanctions in case of violations, the ban of companies from participation in public procurement in case of violations. The PPA reports to the prime minister and is funded through the state budget [1].
The PPC is a specific quasi-judicial body that can conduct administrative reviews of procurement procedures triggered by a complaint, and it provides the final verdict within the administrative system. The PCC is composed of five members appointed by the parliament, upon nomination by the Council of Ministers, for a five-year term. The organisational structure and the number of personnel are also decided by parliament. The PCC files an annual report to the parliament [1]. Both the PPA and PPC have the competence to conduct administrative investigations (LPP, Chapter VIII). The affected entities by the CCP may file a lawsuit Administrative Court [1]. The CA has the mandate to conduct administrative investigations to ensure the market remains free from the abuse of dominant position and prohibited agreements among the operators. The CA has the competence to adopt bylaws, conduct sector enquiries, impose fines and remedies if competition rules are breached, authorise or prohibit mergers, issue opinions and recommendations on draft laws that may affect competition [2]. The Competition Committee is composed of five members and is the CA’s decision making body. The members of the Competition Committee are elected by the parliament for a five-year term. One member is nominated by the President of the Republic, two members are nominated by the Council of Ministers and two members are nominated by the parliament. The parliament also elects the chairman of the committee. The CA annually reports to the parliament [2].
Although independence provisions are in place, different reports have pointed out the lack of transparency in public procurement and poor enforcement of contracts and favouring of politically connected companies [3]. In 2015, the PPC received complaints on 24.27% of the public procurements published [4], in 2016 the number of complaints decreased to 14% [5]. The credibility of the PPC, which is the key institution in overseeing the procurements, has also suffered from corruption charges. In 2018, the SSAI filed a request to the Prosecution Office to initiate a criminal investigation into the former chairman of the PPC and two of its former members, as well as two sitting members on charges of favouring or unduly disqualifying economic operators from tendering procedures [6].

Except for the SSAI, the PPA, PPC and CA have no jurisdiction over exempted procurements that are conducted under the national defence and security clauses [1, 2]. The SSAI audits all procurements, including the procurements conducted under defence and security clauses. However, the SSAI reports are not followed up by prosecution investigations and the parliament has failed to follow up on SSAI reports [3, 4].

The PPA, CPP and CA decisions are published in their websites [1, 2, 3].
Since 2010, the PPA has published the annual procurement plans, and since 2017 the executed procurements also [4, 5]. Regarding the procurements conducted in line with the LPP exemptions on defence and security clauses, evidence of the audit of procurements is made public through SSAI reports [6].

There are formal control mechanisms, but legislation is sometimes vague and exemptions are made for the armed forces, which allow them to influence oversights. The 2016 Public Procurement Law is comprehensive in addressing oversight for public contracts however, Art. 168 of the Public Procurement Law provides exemptions for the Ministry of Defence. The a priori control of public contracts of the Ministry of Defence is the exclusive responsibility of the commissions under the Ministry of Defence that determines its compositions and powers (1). Thus, external and independent control of the Ministry of Defence is not possible.

According to the 2016 Public Procurement Law, public contracts should be subject to controls which are carried out in the form of internal control, external control, and supervisory control (Art. 156). The law specifies the regulations for the different control mechanisms (Art. 159-168). For example, regarding internal control mechanisms, the contracting authority sets up standing committees, which are responsible for the tendering process. Art. 159 states that the legal provisions applicable to internal controls are done in accordance with the texts relating to the organization and statutes of the various contracting departments (1). No information on statutes on the Defence Ministry could be found on the Ministry of Defence website (2).

With regards to external control mechanisms, Art. 163 states that the purpose of external control is to verify the compliance of public contracts. External audits should check whether the contracting department’s commitment corresponds to a regularly scheduled action (1). No further information was given about the external audit authority, which could be the Court of Auditors. As has been noted in previous questions, the Court of Auditors has only limited scope to oversee the military and the government (3), (4). Moreover, Art. 164 stipulates that the purpose of the supervisory control is to verify the conformity of the contracts awarded by the contracting authority with the objectives of efficiency and economy, and to ensure that the operation falls within the scope of the programs and priorities assigned to the sector. According to Art. 165, there are additional external bodies which control public procurement a priori. Besides external audits, which control the procurement within its limits, the Council of the Nation and the ANP should also control public procurement per the rules laid down in their internal regulations (1). Internal regulations published on the website of the APN do not provide any information about regulations (5).

No information could be found on whether the formalised procurement oversight mechanisms are active in the 2016 Public Procurement Law (1). No information could be found on the website of the Defence Ministry (2), the Court of Auditors (3), the ANP (4), or the Council of the Nation (5).

No evidence was found that procurement oversight mechanisms in the defence sector are made publicly available. The 2016 Public Procurement Law does not require the defence sector to make reports public. According to Art. 164, the contracting authority should write an evaluation report that is sent to the head of the public institution, the minister, the wali or the president of the municipal popular assembly concerned and the competent external audit body. A copy of this report should also be sent to the regulatory authority for public procurement and public service delegation (1). Reports of the external audit body, which could be the Court of Auditors, are not made public on its website, as mentioned in previous answers (2). According to the constitution, annual reports are sent to the President of the Republic, the President of the Council of the Nation, the President of the APN and the Prime Minister (3).

Formalised procurement oversight mechanisms exist in the audit court; within the Ministry of Defense, the armed forces, and the inspectors-general and within the Finance Ministry, the National Public Contracting Service and Parliament. They also apply to the defence sector. However, the public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

Oversight mechanisms are active, but not sufficiently transparent to allow scrutiny on their effectiveness. The public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

Evidence of activity is rarely made public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions and the content is missing key information.

The public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

The mechanism of supervision of procurement and contracting corresponds to the internal level of the General Directorate of Integrity, Transparency, and Institutional Strengthening and the Internal Audit Unit. There is also supervision within the Armed Forces through the General Inspection of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the General Inspection of each Force. Outside the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, supervision is the power of the General Union of the Nation (SIGEN) [1] which is an autonomous entity that depends on the Presidency of the Nation, the General Audit Office of the Nation (AGN), [2] an autarkic entity under the National Congress, and the Office of Anti-Corruption with the rank of secretariat, [3] under the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. The mechanisms for the supervision of procurement and contracting are formalised, but with the exception of an agency, these operate internally, and therefore subject to variation depending on the government in office. [4]

There is Not Enough Information to score this indicator. According to Administrative Decision 546/2016 of the Ministry of Defence, there are a series of entities within the Ministry itself that are in charge of auditing in general, such as the Internal Audit Unit and The General Directorate of Institutional Transparency. [1] Specific oversight over procurement is undertaken by the Director General of Administration, who has to validate the trimestral plan for acquisition of goods and services and approve procurement management reports. The Director General for Logistics Administration supervises the operational management of procurement and monitors the procurement of weapons systems. [2] [3] No information could be found on the activities of these units or their effectiveness as oversight mechanisms.

The oversight mechanisms corresponding to the defence jurisdiction are not very active. The websites of the Armed Forces and the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not offer access to the audit reports carried out by the corresponding General Inspections. SIGEN and AGN make available on their web portals all the surveys carried out. [1] [2] [3] However, the details of the report cannot be accessed in many of them. In the specific matter of procurement and contracting of the national government, the COMPR.AR, CONTRA.AR, and Open Budget web portals stand out, which allow access to information that can be analysed. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Supervision over the procurement process can be divided into two main directions: internal and external. Internal control mechanism is implemented through the Internal Audit Department of the MoD and the MoD Control Department. The RA Audit Chamber and the RA State Supervision Service may exercise external control over the observance of procedures in the RA MoD [2].

The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly of Armenia provide a detailed outline of the budget oversight that directly is linked to the procurement. Clause 2 of Article 114 of the Rule of Procedure stresses the control of the National Assembly over the budget implementation and the effective use of foreign loans and grants. In addition to that, the designated standing committees may discuss the conclusions by the Audit Chamber upon which they may gather a meeting of the committees [2].

The Audit Chamber is the designated body that scrutinizes procurement made under the state budget (Clause 1 of Article 5 of the Law on Audit Chamber) [1]. In this regard, the Chamber applies mechanisms it is authorized to make recommendations. The reports on defence procurement are not publicly available to be able to conclude that the recommendations are followed by the MoD.
One of the mechanisms to measure the effectiveness of the control over the defence procurement is the “blacklists” of those vendors that did not fulfil contract requirements. This is an effective tool to prevent possible corruptive behaviours and misuse of public finance. TIAC’s Corruption Risks Assessment in Defence Sector suggests that those “blacklists” include not only local vendors but also international ones to avoid misconduct while making international contracts [2]. The “black list” is a common, international mechnism of Eurasian Economic Union. [3].

The vast majority of defence procurement (except of classified ones) is made via electronic portals. The announcement and requests for bids and price quotations are being made public through the electronic systems. The two main issues are identified here: first, there is information on procurement oversight that is unavailable to the public justified by the fact of its confidentiality (the Law on Audit Chamber provides that it is authorized to provide oversight on the budget spending within the state budget, but the reports are not available publicly). Second, the overall information of defence procurement is not consolidated in one place, and while searching all the relevant sources there is an opportunity either missing the data or having it double [1].

All defence procurement can be subject to external audit by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), though only a small portion procurements are audited, usually large-scale, expensive, and complex procurements. The ANAO works under the direction of the Auditor-General, who is an independent officer of Parliament, as per the Auditor-General Act 1997 [1]. As such, the Auditor-General uses their own discretion to determine which audits will be pursued, in what manner and where the priority should lie [1, s. 8(4)]; though the Auditor-General “must have regard to the audit priorities of Parliament” as determined by the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) [1, s. 10, 2]. The performance audit process is standardised to ensure consistency and high-quality audits. The ANAO selects subjects for audit based on previous audits of procurement activities, and risks associated with new investments [3] The Auditor-General is appointed by the Prime Minister, subject to approval by the Governor-General and the consent of the JCPAA. However, the actual selection process is not laid out in the legislation. The lack of transparency in the selection process has opened government to criticism that the Auditor-General may not be independent [4, 5]. A JCPAA inquiry into the Auditor-General Act 1997 ultimately dismissed this criticism, arguing that it receives “advice on the applications received and a briefing on the reasoning behind the recommended appointment”, and that only highly qualified individuals are recruited after an intensive process [6]. Defence also has its own Audit and Fraud Control Division (AFCD), which is lead by the First Assistant Secretary Audit, who directly reports to the highest ranking civilian in the Department of Defence, the Secretary of Defence. The AFCD completes its own internal audits and is meant to provide “objective assessment” and “assurance” that processes are being conducted efficiently, effectively and ethically, but AFCD is not independent of or external to Defence [7]. The Department of Defence as well as the Capabilities Acquisitions and Sustainment Group both have an audit committee and an internal audit function, but these are also not independent of or external to Defence [8].

Defence procurement oversight is active but has been criticised for being superficial. External auditors have historically had trouble getting defence to follow recommendations and they lack the authority to cancel troubled projects. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has the authority to and regularly does question witnesses, compel document production, and visit premises in the course of audits [1]. The most valuable regular external audit of defence procurement is the annual Major Project Report (MPR) carried out by the ANAO. However, the selection criteria which determine the projects that will be audited in the MPR must be approved by the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). In the most recent MPR, the strict adherence to these selection criteria [2] led to the exclusion of the future submarine project, which is slated to be the biggest single public procurement in Australian history and has already seen over AU$2.2 billion spent, making it more costly already than 16 of the 26 projects audited in the MPR. Moreover, the MPR was criticised for being opaque and superficial [3]. The recommendations offered by the ANAO tend not to be acted on with urgency. A 2013 ANAO audit of defence’s implementation of audit recommendations, while acknowledging that defence had robust systems in place for tracking audit recommendations, implementation of recommendations tended not to be timely – averaging 175 days later than first estimated completion date out of 400 days to completion total – or complete, with roughly half of audited audit recommendations which were reported as completely implemented by defence not being adequately implemented [4]. No similar audit has been undertaken more recently, but a more recent audit of defence administration of travel allowances for public servants found that defence had again reported fully implementing previous audit recommendations when it, in fact, had not [5, 6]. Defence shortcomings in following up audit recommendations identified in 2013 appear, therefore, to still be occurring. External auditors also lack the authority to cancel projects, or even place projects on an official list of Projects of Concern, usually the only path by which major projects can be cancelled if deemed irrecoverable. Moreover, the decision to place projects on the Projects of Concern list is opaque and inconsistent, and ANAO has been highly critical of the administration and evaluation of this process, including a recent reduction in transparency and ministerial oversight [7].

While reports from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) are readily available online, the level of information they provide to the public is not always presented in a complete way, in particular for the Major Projects Report [1]. This is because, while Defence is obliged to give ANAO information if requested, even if the information is classified, the public reports ANAO release must “be prepared in such a way as to allow for unclassified publication” [2]. In an environment where “Defence has come to view disclosure of information about its operations, policies, projects and directions as just creating risk, and so is reluctant to release anything not required by law” [3], information publicly released by ANAO on defence procurement will be minimal. Parliamentarians and analysts alike have complained that “The public, and even parliamentarians, must rely on promotional releases or leaked details for information about major programs” [4, 5]. Internal audits carried out by the Defence Audit and Fraud Control Division and other defence audit bodies are not publicly released. While they may be made publicly available through Freedom of Information requests, they are often so heavily redacted as to be rendered nearly unreadable [6]. In a recent case, the Auditor-General was forced to censor some of a performance audit on the Thales Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicle after the Attorney-General of Australia invoked for the first time the power to redact the report on national security or “commercial in confidence” grounds [7]. Reports indicated that Thales put pressure on the Australian government to censor the report after discovering that it included unflattering cost comparisons to other light armoured vehicle possibilities, among other criticisms [8]. By comparison, the defence acquisition budgets of similar countries, such as the United States [9], are far more comprehensive. This occasionally means that Australia’s foreign partners acquisition disclosures can contain more information about Australian defence procurement than information made public by the Australian government [10].

The main procurement agency in Azerbaijan is the State Service for Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights Protection under the Ministry of Economy (1). Procurement controls are formally available but are not implemented. Chamber of Accounts, State Service for Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights Protection’s activities in this direction is unclear. There are no reports or surveys on procurement. Natig Jafarli is convinced that there is an interference by the ruling family, certain political ambitions, and other businessmen in military procurement. Procurement in the military is often done as “state secrets” and control over it is heavily restricted. Parliamentary oversight is generally not visible (2).

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable. Defence procurement control mechanisms are almost non-functioning. There are no reports on the defence procurement the official websites of the Chamber of Accounts, the State Service for Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights Protection, or the parliament’s official websites. This issue is generally not discussed at parliamentary sessions (1, 2).

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable. Currently, in Azerbaijan, there is limited access to information on procurement by civil society organizations and the media (1). Large amounts of purchases are hidden from the public. The public is not informed about the winning bidders. Experts believe that over the past ten years, it has become almost impossible to hold tenders transparently. As the budget expenditures increase, the law on tender has begun to form a formal character as the investment projects become more numerous. After 2005, the implementation of the articles of this law almost was not possible; often, it was formal (2).
Ismayil Alakbarov, founder and head of Neuron Technologies, one of the well-known IT companies in Azerbaijan, has accused the Azerbaijani government of holding tenders illegally and allowing serious misconduct in this area. The entrepreneur said that winners in 90% of public procurement were previously announced: “The State Tender Bidding Commissions award tenders to the companies they have previously defined” (3).

There is no internal or external oversight mechanism over procurement. There is, however, a committee (Procurement Oversight Committee) that is activated once a year to conduct an annual check on the procurement financial reports and stock balance. However, the committee – its members from the financial administration department of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – has reportedly not conducted any checks in the last three years [1, 2]. The committees are formed from the procurement department and Ministry of Finance (MoF) itself. Following a search of the websites of the Parliament, the MoD, MoF, the government and other media sources, and verified by interviews, there is no more information on this topic.

As outlined in 59A, there is no oversight over defence procurement and, as such, this indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’ [1, 2].

As outlined in 59A, there is no oversight over defence procurement and, as such, this indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’ [1, 2].

The Defence Audit Directorate (DAD) is responsible for conducting audits of all offices under the Ministry of Defence, including all units and formations under the Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, Directorate General Defence Purchase (DGDP), Inter-services departments, offices under the Controller General of Defence Finance and government commercial organisations run by the Army, Navy and Air Force [1]. By law, the DAD is mandated to operate independently. However, occurrences of undue influence cannot be ruled out [2]. The DAD’s report is placed before Parliament through the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG). The 2009-2010 Annual Audit Report on the accounts of the Ministry of Defence and the Army, Navy and Air Force was discussed by the Public Accounts Committee in June 2015 [3].

There is not enough information to score this indicator. Without access to the official proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee [1], it is not possible to ascertain the effectiveness of procurement oversight mechanisms.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are entirely non-transparent about their activities. An online search for media reports or official documents regarding public announcements of contract cancellations yielded no results [1,2].

At the beginning of each legislature, the House appoints from among its members, in accordance with Articles 157 and 158, thirteen effective members who will compose the Military Purchases and Sales Committee [1]. The committee determines the modalities of its functioning in internal regulations. It concludes with the ministers responsible for military purchases and sales an administrative protocol regulating the relations between the latter and the commission. It deliberates in accordance with the rules laid down in the present by-laws and in its internal regulations.

There is no evidence of undue influence by parliament, military, industry or individuals. The Court of Auditors is an independent body which reports to the Chamber of Representatives and scrutinises the budgetary side of the entire procurement procedure a posteriori [2]. Moreover, it can do a posteriori performance audits of the procured material.

Within the framework of its control mission, the Parliamentary Special Committee for Military Procurement and Sales has the following prerogatives [1]:

(1) A right to information on the progress of the procedures. When the committee makes use of its right to information, the Minister of Defense sends a progress report on the selected files when he considers it appropriate, and at least every six months. In these notes, the Minister gives a brief overview of the progress of the files. Unless the chairman of the commission advises otherwise during the selection of the files, the procedure is continued;
(2) A right of consultation of the purchase and sale files at the various stages of the procedure, including receipt, access to purchase files, and including delivery, for sale files, and at the explicit request of the commission. The Ministry of Defense needs to send the selected file without delay to the secretariat of the commission (of defence), which transmits the file to the members of the commission. If a member of the commission deems there is enough reason to cancel a project, this can be brought up to the government, which will decide in unanimity.

The Court of Auditors has full insight into all documents pertaining to the procurement process. The reports of the Court of Auditors are available to the public [1]. In accordance with the law on military and security procurement, a contract notice is published for each individual procurement when the procurement process is initiated and a contract award notice containing the results of the procurement process (including cancellation) is published after the award decision has been made, unless in some specific and limited cases [2]. Economic operators involved in the procurement must by law be informed of the status of their tender and of the reasons why they are not accepted [3].

The Policy on Internal Control System defines the operations internal control system within the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the armed forces and sets out principles to which civil servants must comply with when carrying out financial-material operations and using resources of the MoD and the armed forces [1]. The internal accounting control determines whether the procurement of goods, delivery of services and execution of works have been carried out following the Law on Public Procurement (PPL) and whether decisions complied with the directives for application of specific clauses from this law and other internal acts of the MoD and the armed forces. Results of internal oversight are not available to the public [1].

Moreover, according to the government reviewer, the MoD has developed an internal control system primarily through the work of the Internal Audit Office. All civil servants are instructed to cooperate with the Internal Audit Office, which if there are any, regularly reviews procurement procedures through the provision of comments. The Audit Office of the Institutions of BiH also regularly monitors procurement procedures in the MoD and AFBiH. All comments are submitted to the MoD and are handled. The Complaints Review Office (JRC) is another monitoring mechanism that the MA must act on.

External oversight is exercised by the Public Procurement Agency and the Appeals Office, the Audit Office of the Institutions of BiH (yearly audit), as well as the parliament especially through the Joint Committee on Defence and Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina [2] and the parliamentary military commissioner [3].

The internal control is carried out in three ways: as preventive control, exposing control and as corrective control, all in such a way that they exercise control over the internal legality of documents, control of financial documents, control of material documents [1].
The Public Procurement Agency (PPA) and the Procurement Review Body (PRB) exercise their oversight only in regards of statistical data or on an ad hoc basis (in giving opinions, answering parliamentary questions or deciding upon appeal) [2]. Audit reports of the Ministry of Defence for the years 2016 [3], 2017 [4] and 2018 [5] state that there is need for a detailed analysis of weaknesses and to improve internal system control related to the public procurement [6]. The state auditors have full access to all financial documentation [7] and in their reports, they also analyse the institutional system. The Audit Office of the Institutions of BiH conducted and published a Performance audit report on Timeliness of Public Procurement Procedures in BiH Institutions [8]. The Joint Committee on Defence and Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (JC) reports to both houses of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH on security-related matters and has the authority to summon the minister of defence (or any other official of the MoD or the armed forces) to answer to questions of the members of the JC, the oversight exercised in regards of public procurements has been ad hoc depending on specific issues being raised [9]. The parliamentary military commissioner has no direct authority to conduct oversight of the procurements, but through the exercising the rights such as the right to visit military units, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH) and organizational units of the MoD, at any moment and without prior notice, allows the commissioner to indirectly exercise control of the execution of the procurement contract (such as poor nutrition, lack of equipment, etc.) [10].

Audit reports of the institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are publicly available. Annual reports of the PPA are publicly available, but they do not go in the details when it comes to the security sector [1, 2]. Decisions of the PRB are published on the public procurement portal [3]. The documents of the parliament bodies are publicly available on the website of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH [4].

According to the government reviewer, all procurement procedures are carried out transparently, in accordance with the Law on Public Procurement No. 39/14, respectively in accordance with the Rulebook on the Procedure of Awarding Contracts in the Field of Defence and Security No. 60/15, as well as the Rulebook on the Planning, Organization and Execution of Logistic Needs in MoD and AF BiH no: 11-02-3-3759-58/16 dated 19.02.2018.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are largely independent, formalised processes. They may be subject to occasional undue influence from parliament, the military, business or politically well-connected individuals, but there is little evidence in practice. Paragraph 3.4 of the Operations Manual provides that Either the PPADB, or its Committees, or the Auditors (technical audits), will formally monitor the procurement and disposal activities and procurement practises or project implementation [1]. The monitoring will be carried out at regular intervals and at least once annually by compliance teams of the PPADB. The Procurement Unit of a Procuring Entity will record all the management information concerning the procurement activities, which will, at least, include the number, nature and value of contracts awarded and the procurement method used for each contract [2]. Such procurement information will be recorded in a Procurement Register or a computer database. The Procurement Unit shall collate and compile all information relating to procurement in the organisation and its agencies. The monitoring system shall be consistent with the PPADB’s monitoring framework [2]. There are no reported cases of undue influence on oversight. It is important to note that the Committee only has oversight to the BDF procurement that is not classified in terms of the law. This means that any other BDF’s procurement outside the legally classified procurement, the Committee can access.

There are no robust procurement oversight mechanisms evidenced by the lack of sound reports by the DCEC and PPADB on their oversight work within BDF procurement processes [1]. This was reflected in the purchase of aircraft where the Minister of Finance was questioned on that particular procurement that exposed the ineffectiveness of the oversight mechanisms [1]. The Minister of Finance said he is not in a position to explain the purchase of the Gripen aircraft or any other defence equipment with the Swedish government. This is due to the BDF still considering options for a fighter aircraft that will meet its needs in terms of the design philosophy of the aircraft, multi-role capability, technical superiority and interoperability [2]. He confirmed however that the Gripen aircraft is one of the many platforms currently under consideration; noting that others include the Russian Yak 130 and Mig 29, the Korean T/FA 50, the French Mirage 2000-5, the American F16 and the Brazilian Super Tucano.

As explained in 59B, the lack of reports to support the actual oversight activities demonstrates the lack of transparency and effectiveness of these oversight institutions [338]. This happens despite the existence of a sound legal framework to support the oversight mechanisms [1]. Again, the aircraft purchase when a Member of Parliament, Dithapelo Keorapetse, of Selebi Phikwe West had asked the minister to explain “the intended purchase of Gripen JAS 39 C/D sub-frames by the BDF”.[2] He also requested the minister to declare the companies and their directors, who will be handling the purchase, sale contracts, negotiations and the delivery between the BDF and the Swedish government [2]. In addition, he had also wanted to know the percentage commission that the BDF is prepared to pay as a management fee or successful contract negotiation or delivery fee to such a company in Botswana [2].

There is the oversight mechanism of the Court of Auditors (TCU), but it only regularly provides oversight for the execution of the annual budget. Procurement can be audited by the TCU; however, it only happens when a third party requests it, or when information on whistleblowing comes to light. As already mentioned in this assessment, even when the TCU identifies fraud and fines the responsible party/parties, recollection of these amounts is very low [1]. The Federal General Comptroller (CGU) is not responsible for auditing the Ministry of Defence; the Secretariat for Internal Control (CISET) is the responsible body, according to the Ministry of Defence Integrity Plan [2], and also an information request [3]. This secretariat communicates with the CGU when necessary, with no clear subordination. The assessor found no clear evidence of undue influence in these procurement oversight mechanisms [1, 2].

The mechanisms described in question 59A seem to work fine, and some restructuring of the single forces internal controls occurred between 2010 and 2013. In the Army, the control system turned into an auxiliary entity to the Army Commander, making it easier to promote the oversight of purchases of each military organization. All oversight mechanisms cited in the rubric are present in Brazil’s procurement processes [1]. However, according to an article published in 2016 [2], within the health military system, there is evidence that fraud can happen by forging documents, so it looks like long and complex bureaucratic procurement processes are being faithfully followed, when they may not be.

The TCU is regularly in the media due to its investigations of frauds in public acquisitions [1, 2, 3, 4]. These investigations are very detailed. The assessor asked for information on a report on the Army’s Project GUARANI and, despite the classification of many parts of the document, they sent a link in a cloud storage website filled with declassified documents that composed the report [5]. Legislative committees only overlook the defence budget; there is no evidence of them debating and investigating acquisitions. The TCU’s investigations are comprehensive.

Articles 84 and 127 of the Constitution provide the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution with the power to scrutinize government institutions, including the MoD. Additionally, the ASCE-LC, whose power and rights were recently constitutionalized can now directly investigate and prosecute cases of corruption (1). Another public procurement and contracting oversight institution is the regulatory authority for government tenders (ARMP). However, most of the time the government influences the decision of these institutions (1). The government appoints and removes the Heads of both the ASCE-LC and ARMP. Consequently, oversight mechanisms by the Parliament, the Supreme Audit Institutions, completing the work of the ASCE-LC and the ARMP remain weak (2), (3).
However, Article 6 of Law N° 039 (2016) does not apply to contracts for works, supplies and services and public service delegations, where they relate to the needs of defence and national security that require secrecy or for which protection essential interests of the State is incompatible with publicity measures. A decree issued by the Council of Ministers specifies the nature and modalities acquisition of the goods and services concerned by this exclusion (4). Therefore the regulatory authority for procurement, the ARMP has no authority over defence procurement as per article 6 of the law.

The provisions of Article 6 (1) of Law No. 039, exclude some items from being publicized for national defence and security purposes, this does not enable effective oversight of defence procurement (1), (2), (3).

The provisions of Article 6 (1) of Law No. 039, exclude some items from being publicized for national defence and security purposes, this does not enable effective oversight of defence procurement or transparency (1), (2), (3).

There is no evidence that defence procurement oversight exists. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1].

There is no evidence that procurement oversight mechanisms exist, as defence and security procurement is specifically exempt from oversight by the Procurement Code. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1]. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no evidence that procurement oversight mechanisms exist for the defence and security establishment, as defence and security procurement is specifically exempt from oversight by the Procurement Code. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1]. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, various Parliamentary Standing Committees, the Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition, and the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman all provide additional checks on the independence and integrity of the process and ensure this is maintained and upheld. There is a strict legislative and regulatory framework governing: military need prioritisation; funding approval from cabinet; approval of a Statement of Requirements (SOR); translating SORs into specific technical requirements. [1] [2].

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, various Parliamentary Standing Committees, and the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman all provide additional checks on the independence and integrity of the process and ensure this is maintained and upheld. [1] More specifically, the CITT has relevant powers, including to “subpoena witnesses and require parties to submit information”.[2] The House of Commons has several rights and powers including the “right to institute inquiries and to call witnesses and demand papers”, and the “power to discipline”. [3] There is also significant media attention paid to these issues in Canada, which limits the willingness of political actors to intervene or overstep through the procurement process. [4] As the last available Annual Report to the Minister of National Defence from the Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition (IRPDA), which challenges the requirements for and reviews “projects with a total estimated cost of $100M or more calculated in budget year dollars (exclusive of taxes)” was 2017-18 [5], more clarity on its current status/recent activity may benefit public interests.

There is evidence of procurement activities made available to the public through the government Buy and Sell website, as well as through reports put out by the Department of National Defence that provide statistical information and financial disclosures for the department. [1] [2] Evidence of activity of the IRPDA, as referred in 59B, is no longer published. [3]

There are internal and external procurement oversight mechanisms. Internally, the Ministry of National Defence (MDN) is responsible for oversight of the investment of resources assigned to the organisms, services, and institutions of the defence sector [1]. However, the independence of the MDN in its supervisory role may be affected by political cycles (minister of defence is a political office designed by the president) and by military chief and commands.

Externally, the oversight function is assigned, to Congress, through a Defence Committee and the General Comptroller (CGR). Actions of the Defence Committee are related to oversight of financial planning, projects of acquisitions and defence investments that may be affected by politics. However, the General Comptroller’s Office is an autonomous and politically isolated body.

The institutions of defence have been working on the development of an overall framework to rationalise investment and procurement based on the concept of “capacities” [1]. This system of planning represents an attempt to formalise and give coherence to the procurement cycle. The system integrates superior political goals, both in the short and long term, the preparation of strategic plans, the evaluation of investment projects, and the allocation of resources. In the Handbook of National Defence, a “System of Planning, Programming and Budgeting” has been proposed (Ch. XVII), with the identification of actors and actions involved in the development of institutional plans of defence agencies. There are also guidelines for the procurement cycle, connecting the existent sources of funding with broadly defined allocations in investment, maintenance, and operation. The budgeting process encompasses stages of preparation/formulation, approval, execution, and evaluation. The cycle of investment is executed in stages of pre-investment, investment, operation, and disposal. Investment projects follow a decisional flow that goes from the chiefs of the armed forces to the minister of defence, and it must identify the problem to be addressed, its diagnostic, alternatives, and analysis. Projects for maintenance and reposition of war materials must be accompanied by Expenses Justification Forms (Fichas de Fundamento de Gasto), which are elaborated by the corresponding institution and the Estado Mayor Conjunto (EMCO). Notwithstanding the apparent complexity of this framework, there is evidence of important shortcomings in its functioning [2]. The funds of the Restricted Law of Copper are assigned through quotas of authorised expenditures, and not all of these resources are executed as part of a planning system. The Special Commission to investigate irregularities in the procurement in the army identified independent accounting systems in each of the branches of the armed forces, lacking uniformity in the management of procurement and registry. The variety of different procurement processes will likely persist until the system is fully developed, integrated, and implemented.

The transparency and publicity of oversight for procurement are highly unequal. There is no transparency relating to the internal oversight mechanisms in the armed forces, neither are reports publicly available from the MDN, such as the result of its oversight control. On the external side, procurement and investment projects are analyzed in an aggregate and summary form in secret sessions with the Defence Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, with no information of possible observations and controls exercised during these instances. The unique information available is the final reports made by special committees of inquiry in cases of alleged irregularities, being administrative or political in nature. In the CGR, there is a lack of information about the acts of auditing acquisitions made through reserved funds, which can only be performed and communicated in a restricted way [1, 2].

Οversight mechanisms are internal, under the CMC hierarchy, not independent. After the CMC reorganisation in 2016, these include the CMC Equipment Development Department (responsible for the management of procurement) and the CMC Audit Office (responsible for audits in the entire PLA). Procurement oversight has been identified by the CMC leadership and external researchers as an area of concern and a priority for future anticorruption efforts. [1,2,3] The new structure has not been tested yet but given the absence of independent oversight and past experience with high levels of corruption within the CMC departments, the risk of undue influence remains high.

No publicly available reports on the effectiveness of oversight mechanisms in procurement appear to be available on the MoD and CMC websites, or via Military Daily. The CCP leadership is particularly concerned about the effectiveness of procurement oversight and for this reason in 2012 it established an auditing group to improve the auditing of procurement among other things. [1] A key measure was the introduction of the plap.cn and weain.mil.cn online platforms for procurement but there is no further information regarding oversight mechanisms. However, procurement oversight has been identified as key issue in the CMC restructuring announced in 2016. [2] Given the lack of available information on the oversight mechanisms, this indicator is marked ‘Not Enough Information’.

Οversight mechanisms in the procurement process are not transparent at all. Their operation methods and effectiveness are unknown.

There is no specific body with defence-wide jurisdiction. The Comptroller General has control offices within the defence sector, and specific entities like the Action Group for Institutional Transparency (GRATI) operates within certain military branches, but, unlike the Comptroller, it does not have functional independence. The function of GRATI is to collect information from the processes advanced by the different units of the Ministry in the field of contracting and management of resources, to conduct checks and assessments on recruitment and execution of resources, and to create controls on contractual and financial processes.

Each entity attached to the Ministry and each Armed Force, has a monitoring manual which defines, inter alia, the duties and rights of supervisors and auditors and in which it is considered an undue practice to request and/or receive, for personal uses or for a third party, favours or any kind of benefit from the procuring entity or contractor. [3, 4] The process of supervision of contracting and procurement is formalised in the Anti-Corruption Statute, Law 1474 of 2011: [1] all entities of the State must carry out supervisory or intervention actions. External audits for the fiscal control are carried out by the Comptroller General, in which financial, compliance, and performance aspects of public appeals are assessed. [2] From 2016-2018, 20 audits were released and published to the entities that make up the defence sector. While the Comptroller appears to have independence on paper, this is limited in practice. [3] It is not possible to demonstrate a coherent practice in the development of supervisory activity, as there have been multiple cases of administrative corruption in procurement in recent years.

The Comptroller General has issued a report addressing in part the state of defence procurement, but in such a way that it remains unclear if procurement oversight mechanisms are active and transparent. [1] The effectiveness of the supervision model is especially unclear, given administrative corruption in public procurement, which has been found in recent years within the Military Forces and the Police. According to Transparency for Colombia, 46% of the acts of administrative corruption are associated with public procurement, 29% refer to the irregular awarding or celebration of contracts, 17% to the violation of the principles of transparency, suitability, and responsibility in state contracting, 8% abuse of direct contracting, 8% capital loss for breach of contract, 6% illegal appropriation of resources in contracts, and 6% on costs for irregularities in the conclusion of contracts. [2] Given the lack of available evidence on procurement oversight activity, this indicator is not scored and is marked ‘Not Enough Information’.

The advertising and transparency of contracts concluded by the defence sector are characterised by the type of procurement-related expenditure. Contracts concluded with reserved expenses are not supervised by the procuring entity of the Ministry of Defence or Armed Forces and Police, but by the Comptroller General of the Republic. [1] The Comptroller General has issued a report addressing, in part, the state of defence procurement, but without full details. [2] The monitoring of fiscal management and control of the results of the resources allocated to reserved expenses falls to the delegated Comptroller for Defence, Justice, and Security. Audit, surveillance, and control reports have a legal reservation, and therefore such information is not publishable within 20 years and only competent authorities have access to this report. [1] Not all contracts are subjected to this reservation. According to Decree 1082 of 2015, [3] all state entities are required to publish all documents related to the procurement process in the SECOP, including studies and previous documents; the notice of call; specifications or invitation; the contract amendments; the offer; the evaluation report; the contract; information regarding the performance of contracts; and approvals, authorisations, requirements, or reports of the Supervisor or the Controller that approve the execution of the contract. In some cases, however, information related to contractual processes are not found on the SECOP site, especially with regard to the supervisory process.

Some oversight mechanisms are specific to defence and security operations and administration. Though no evidence of their independence given their lack of transparency. The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces (Inspection Générale des Armées, IGA) and the General Control of the Administration and Defence Finance (Contrôle Général de l’Administration et des Finances de la Défense, CGAFD) are oversight bodies specific to defence and security operations and administration. The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces, under the authority of the minister of defence, is nominally tasked with operational oversight of the armed forces, as per Decree No. 2016-257 (3rd May 2016) (Portant Organisation du Ministere de la Défense), published in the Official Journal on May 23, 2016 (1).

The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces’ mandate is to serve as an oversight body for the armed forces and to inform about operational capacities. It can undertake its own studies or inquiries autonomously. However, there is little evidence that the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces is particularly active or subject to any type of NA scrutiny. (1) The General Control at the MoD monitors the proper functioning of departments and agencies. It is tasked with oversight of administrative, financial and technical issues, among others. This structure, like the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces, is under the direct authority of the minister of defence (1).

In addition, there is a Finance Branch (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 (current expenditure) (1).

The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces and the Comptroller General (CGAFD) oversee defence procurement contracts. But the effectiveness of these institutions is difficult to gauge given their total lack of transparency.

There is strong evidence that the executive can disburse special funds to procure military equipment bypassing the oversight mechanisms mentioned above. This was the case after the terrorist attack at Grand Bassam on March 13, 2016. Laurent Touchard, in an excerpt from his book on African Armed Forces, described the disbursement of USD 137.8 million as follows:

“A month after the attack on Grand-Bassam, President Alassane Ouattara announces the disbursement of 137.8 million dollars. The fund is intended especially for the purchase of equipment dedicated to counterterrorism, including electronic sensors, ballistic protections and vehicles” (1).

In 2015, while Côte d’Ivoire was still under the UN arms embargo (UN Security Council Resolution 2153 of April 29, 2014), a dispatch from the Cotonou (Benin) head office of France’s DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) was leaked indicating that President Ouattara had ordered military equipment via Benin’s President Yayi Boni valued at USD 120 million. The dispatch reads as follows:

“President Ouattara, who felt a real need to equip his army, faced a double threat inside and outside, and opened [a back channel] at the beginning of January 2015 to his Benin counterpart to obtain from him a paid support for an extrabudgetary acquisition of military equipment (weapons of war and military equipment subject to UN embargo)… With regard to this Beninois arms purchase project, while his country is still under UN embargo… a first meeting was held on April 13, 2014 in Abidjan and recorded as a pre-secret agreement sealed between the Minister of National Defense of Benin Théophile Yarou and his Ivorian counterpart Paul Koffi Koffi for the extrabudgetary acquisition of weapons and military equipment personally covered by President Yayi Boni for a total amount of $ 120,000,000 for the benefit of the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI)” (2).

There is no evidence in open sources that the General Inspectorate or General Control General of the Armed Forces cancelled any defence procurement contracts or carried out any of the oversight activities outlined in the criteria.

The oversight roles of the General Inspectorate and General Control of the Armed Forces in monitoring defence procurement projects are fully opaque.

Defence procurement is subject to different forms and degrees of oversight. As the Ministry of Defence Internal Audit Office and the Danish National Audit Office audit the Defence, these offices also function as an oversight mechanism. The Danish National Audit Office has for instance been actively engaged in reviewing the acquisition procedures [1, 2]. As the Defence Agreement includes major acquisitions and is a political agreement, Parliament is involved in the oversight of acquisition planning. As the Defence Committee (can) scrutinise every aspect of the defence policy, the committee is also involved in the oversight of acquisition [3]. The Defence Material Board (“Forsvarets Materielnævn”) has an advisory rather than scrutinising role: among other tasks, the Board follows the Defence’s planning activities on material development and procurement, advises on standardisation, and is instrumental in bringing about cooperation between the Defence and civilian industry [4]. In the Ministry of Defence, the Office of Programmes and Investments (“Program- og Investeringsafdelingen”) acts as the ministerial resort office for DALO and is responsible for the strategic planning, steering and supervision of the material procurements and operation [5]. As such, defence procurement is also subject to internal ministerial oversight, however this cannot be said to be independent. Finally, by way of the parliamentary Finance Committee, there are financial oversight mechanisms in place according to the following rules [6]: 1) All material procurements of more than 70 million DKK in value must be presented to the Finance Committee. 2) Changes in procurement programmes must be presented to the Finance Committee if the increase in the total expense constitutes at least 10% of the total expense of the project. 3) Changes are not to be presented to the Finance Committee if the total expense is less than 70 million DKK. 4) If a project is launched without presentation to the Finance Committee, and the total expense exceeds 70 million DKK at a later time, the Finance Committee must then be oriented. Material acquisitions that are not already included in the Finance Act and that requires political financial approval must be presented as an application for funding (“aktstykke”) by the Minister of Defence to the Finance Committee who will then consider the motion [7, 8]. The Finance Committee is a parliamentary committee with 17 members. Each party is represented according to the party’s size (i.e. number of seats) in parliament [9].
Moreover, DALO also seeks permission from the MoD in cases where single procurements exceeds 20 mio DKK or in instanses where procurements under framework agreements exceeds 20 mio DKK.[10].

Research found it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the above mentioned oversight mechanisms. Most obvious and demonstrable is the effectiveness of the Danish National Audit Office where audit reports called “beretninger” are publicly accessible on the DNAO website [1]. For instance, the DNAO review of the ministerial background material made available for the political decision (“beslutningsgrundlag”) to procure 27 F-35 fighter jets aimed some criticism at some procedures which were then remedied by the ministry [2]. As reports of or information on the activities and procedures of the Defence Internal Audit is not publicly available, its effectiveness is impossible to assess in this regard. By way of financial control, the Finance Commitee posses the de facto right to reject new or amended projects that are valued at more than 70 million DKK (see Q59A) and not already included in the Finance Act. Research indicates that the Finance Committee has not rejected such applications between 2016-2020 [3]. There is evidence that the Defence Committee sometimes, but not often, scrutinises questions of procurement [4]. The decision to procure the new F-35s made in 2016 was subject to a large degree of public debate and parliamentary scrutiny [5].

As reported in Q17C, audit reports (“beretninger”) and comments (“notater”) by the Danish National Audit Office are released to the public and they are available on the DNAO website when the meeting of the Public Accountant Committee ends [1]. However, the office also report to stakeholders through a variety of ongoing communications, e.g. so-called management letters about the ongoing financial revision [2] (these are not public), which may be relevant for procurement. Activities and documents of the Defence Committee and Finance Committee are made public on the Danish Parliament website [3]. As such, the parliamentary oversight is publicly available. There is no publicly available evidence of activity by the Defence Internal Audit, the Defence Material Board or the Ministry of Defence Office of Programmes and Investments, if we count these as some kind of oversight mechanisms [4, 5, 6].

Law no. 182 (2018), provides wide discretionary powers to the MoD and the MMP to make procurement processes closed, limited or by direct order with no bidding process (1). With regards to arms procurement, it is always secret and is not subject to any form of monitoring by the MOF or the CAA as stipulated by Law no. 204 (1957) (2). This combined with limited external oversight, and the increased attack on the independence of the CAA (3) makes it very difficult for any external oversight mechanism to be independent.

According to our sources, there is no active oversight mechanism within the MoD. The financial and auditing units have no real power or authority to scrutinize or oversee the procurement process (1), (2), (3), (4). For the same reasons listed in 59A, it is very difficult for an external oversight mechanism that lacks the needed independence to be effective (5).

Due to the broad exceptions granted to the MoD and the MMP, disclosing information about the procurement process in the defence sector becomes almost a voluntary and not a binding act. On the e-tenders portal of the Egyptian government (which acts as a database for “all” public tenders) there are some tenders related to the MMP, but they are mostly small tenders (1). On the MMP website, there is a section for tenders linked to the MMP (2). However, these are mostly voluntarily disclosed, and it is worth noting that the MoD does not feature anything at all in the e-tenders portal, nor does it have a section for tenders on its website.

The Head of the Infrastructure Department and the Head of the Procurement Department at the Centre for Defence Investments are responsible for developing and implementing procurement plans, as well as communication concerning contracts. [1] The Audit and Development Department at the Ministry of Defence (since 2017, the department has consisted of only one person [2]) oversees whether and how the procurement procedure is followed. [3] In addition, the National Audit Office, an independent institution acting in the interests of the Estonian taxpayers, regularly exercises oversight of the procurement procedure. [4] The Ministry of Finance generally conducts annual inspections based on the supervision schedule, and usually two officials attend the inspection. [5] The Ministry of Finance has the right to start the procedure of oversight when there is enough evidence to do so. [6] Many of the key decisions are taken according to political interests, rather than military, a former flag officer stated in an interview. [7]

There have been some suspicions of political influence reported by the media. [8] There has also been criticism towards an unfair procurement project, preferring one company over others.

In the latter case, in 2014 the Ministry of Defence sent different possible tenderers a document describing what is the government would like to acquire, for which reason and what are the general criteria. Various interested companies responded. The procedure requires the ministry to send out another, more detailed information after receiving answers from the companies. The Ministry of Defence failed to do that. There were no further announcements. In half a year the Minister of Defence signed a contract with a Norwegian company. The critics say that there were cheaper offers and the government didn’t follow the procedure. Therefore, for some reason, one specific company was preferred from the beginning of the procurement procedure. It was one of the biggest procurement cases in the defence field in Estonia, involving 138 million euros. The ministrty’s explanation was that it wasn’a a “typical” open procurement. Based on the example, the National Audit Office admitted that they cannot do a thorough auditing of defence procurement. Even though they scrutinice defence procurement, they lack specialists who could do an in-depth analysis in such a specific field. Therefore, the National Audit Office is not able to say whether this procurement was done correctly and reasonably or not. [9, 10]

The highest audit institution in Estonia, the National Audit Office, exercises oversight every year. The Office has the right to request any type of information necessary and permit making copies and transcripts of and extracts from documents. Not all the projects are scrutinised, but a sample is chosen. [1]

An auditee is required to give written or oral explanations concerning issues specified by the National Audit Office. [2] An audit report may contain observations, assessments and recommendations. [3]

In accordance with the Public Procurement Act, a Review Committee which is appointed by the Government, has the right to cancel public procurement projects. A Review Committee is independent and takes decisions solely on the basis of laws, other legislation and international legally binding agreements. [4]

The National Audit Office regularly publishes summaries of reports about its activities and the budget overviews for the public. [1] Overviews of the use of public money are also submitted to Parliament. The National Audit Office also writes public reports about the annual bookkeeping in government institutions, including the Ministry of Defence. The media often covers the activities of the National Audit Office as well as the Centre for Defence Investments. [2] In his article [3] and speech in front of Riigikogu, [4] the Auditor General Janar Holm emphasised the importance of transparency and also the need to pay more attention to the defence sector.

Procurement oversight takes place at a number of levels. Inter alia, (1) Compliance and internal audit are organised in each unit making procurement decisions.;(2) The Ministry of Defence oversees the expenditure of the Defence Forces; (3) The National Audit Office inspects the Annual Central Government Accounts and also conducts special inspections independently according to its own inspection schedule; (4) The Parliamentary Committees discuss procurement, for example when the Parliament is making decisions about the State budget, discussing Government reports or other initiatives that require the Parliament’s approval, and/or making decisions concerning the acceptance or rejection of major defence procurements [1]. Influencing attempts from the outside do take place, such as lobbying, but they do not have a remarkable impact on oversight.

Only the Parliament has the power to reject planned and prepared defence procurement, if it has been accepted and is recommended by the Defence Forces, the Ministry of Defence and the Government. When making such estimations, the Parliamentary Committees are active in summoning witness and documents, demanding explanations, and issuing recommendations or conclusions that need to be followed or implemented. The National Audit Office has the right to investigate defence procurement projects, as it has done recently with regard to the HX Fighter acquisition project. [1] It also carries out inspections on how well its earlier recommendations have been followed.

The documentation of Parliamentary Committees is made publicly available on the committees’ websites by default, unless (1) the Committee itself decides to conceal some of its documentation based on the requirements of the law or (2) the matter has been discussed in the Intelligence Oversight Committee, which documentation is concealed by default (the Committee can choose to disclose some of its documetation by itself). [1] Inspection reports of the National Audit Office are available on its website, excluding the parts that may have been disclosed e.g. for national security reasons. [2] Compliance documentation and internal audit reports are not publicly available, but both the Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence provide press briefings on procurement as well. [3]

The “Sapin 2” law of 2016 [1] created the French Anti-corruption Agency (AFA) whose purpose is “to help the competent authorities and the persons who are confronted with it to prevent and detect acts of corruption, trading in influence, extortion, illegal interest taking, misappropriation of public funds and favouritism”.
In the context of public procurement, the creation of this agency is part of an objective to strengthen controls on public purchasers, in order to guarantee the transparency of the procedures and the respect of the principles of freedom of access and equal treatment of candidates. [2] AFA is headed by “special judge” (juge d’instruction) Charles Duchaîne, who, despite being nominated by the President of the Republic, has a strong reputation for independence from undue influence. The agency can transmit a case to the judicial authorities, like PNF for instance, following its own agenda and without authorisation from any outside body.
One can add the oversight role of traditional counter-powers, such as the Cour des comptes and Parliament, flagging mismanagement, like in the ICS case, [3] or logistical subcontracting deals on Barkhane operation. [4] [5]

With the AFA only becoming operational in 2018, its efficiency cannot be fully evaluated. Early indications have been positive and it has conducted a number of investigations against both private companies and public entities in the past two years [1]. However, it is yet to conduct any defence-related investigations or audits and its work focusses more on general compliance and assessing the effectiveness of procedures than conducting systematic oversight of public procurement [2]. Equally, though it has a Sanctions Committee that can impose fines on private entities and compel them to update policies and procedures, AFA audits of public entities and ministries does not give rise to administrative sanctions. All the AFA can do in these cases is forward the report to responsible authorities for investigation [3].
Aside from the AFA, the Court des Comptes [4] and Parliament [5] have both been active in raising concerns over defence procurement issues in the past with limited results. The Court des Comptes for instance, first raised the issue of favouritism and undue influence in the military’s dealings with contractor ICS in a report handed to the Ministry of Defence but no action was taken [4]. This case, along with various examples of mismanagement in tenders and procurement for Operation Barkhane in the Sahel underline how procurement oversight mechanisms are not wholly effective in investigating abuses and having their recommendations implemented [6] [7] [8].

Oversight institutions publish comprehensive evidence of their activity. The AFA publishes annual reports that give an overview of its yearly activities [1] and regularly issues recommendations and press releases [2], although to date, none have touched on defence procurement. The AFA has also conducted public consultations to inform its work and feed into the formulation of its recommendations [3]. The Court des Comptes is also active in publishing annual reports that cover defence finances and some procurement issues, although coverage lacks significant details [4]. Similarly, the National Assembly publishes detailed ‘information reports’ on defence-related issues that are publicly accessible and contain specific recommendations to the MoD, some of which touch on procurement, such as the 2020 report on the procurement of non-kinetic, civil use items for the armed forces [5] and the 2018 report into the implementation of the 2014-19 military programming law [6].
However, these reports rarely reveal details of procurement-related corruption and no evidence could be found of procurement procedures cancelled as a result of these investigations, which largely occur retroactively. Recent cases that have been publicised about irregularities in public procurement in the Defense sector, such as the Balard case, [7] ICS case, [8] and the logistical subcontracting deals of the Ministry of the Armed Forces (MOAF) for operation Barkhane in the Sahel, [9] are the result of media reporting on judicial investigations rather than a direct result of transparency in the work of oversight bodies. For instance, the ICS investigation didn’t stem from an oversight public institution, but from an anonymous denunciation. Letters were sent to the press, the MOAF and to competitors, which then ended up on the PNF judge’s desk.
The work of an NGO serving a journalistic purpose, Disclose, is interesting in this respect: by publishing classified military information, the NGO has brought to light certain irregularities in the course of action of the MOAF. [10] As a result, its editors were questioned by French intelligence services, undermining the secrecy of their sources, scaring actual and potential whistleblowers, and threatening the freedom of the press in general. [11]

Germany has two oversight mechanisms in place for defence procurement. First, parliamentary scrutiny, especially by the Defence Committee and the Budget Committee, and second, independent oversight by the Federal Audit Office (FAO). The Ministry of Defence must specifically submit procurements of more than EUR 25 million, procurements with a cost increase, discontinued projects with financial implications exceeding EUR 25 million and reports requested by parliamentarians. This is defined in the Customer Product Management document (CPM) [1].

The Federal Audit Office can request reports and it also monitors the overall budget and financial management of the Ministry of Defence. Reports requested by the Federal Audit Office have been heavily discussed in the media, especially because the FAO has criticised the transparency of large procurement projects on more than one occasion. However, due to a change in the legal basis during the past year, the FAO can now deny requests for reports from the public more easily, which could lead to a severe decrease in transparency [2].

However, in general, procurement oversight mechanisms are independent, formalised and apolitical processes in Germany. Their activity is consistent across changes in government. Parliament, the military, businesses and politically well-connected individuals have no undue influence on their implementation. ‘Procurement by the military is subject to audits by the Ministry of Defence. Non-military procurement is subject to audits by the supervisory authority, usually the Ministry of the Interior. Procurement at the ministerial level is subject to internal audits by the ministry itself. In all cases, procurement is subject to audit by the Federal Court of Auditors or the relevant state court of auditors’ [3]. Sometimes, external, independent auditors and consultants are also involved in the monitoring processes, which seems to be a growing market [4,5].

Lately, there has been an increased demand for consulting services (procurement of services) that are geared towards developing solutions and managing change in the public defence sector. Fast-paced restructuring, digitalisation, reforms and procurement, as well as a lack of in-house expertise and capacity, has resulted in an increase in the defence budget, which has led to concerns regarding procurement, checks and balances on the input provided by external advisors, and questions as to who is performing the sovereign duties of the government. The dependence on external consultants is controversial in Germany (see the aforementioned ‘Berateraffäre’ scandal). According to the media, a considerable number of these services were procured through the direct award of contracts or the questionable reassignment of funds. Furthermore, the numbers and volumes of non-tendered contracts are publicly unavailable and, in a response to a parliamentary inquiry regarding consulting services directly procured since 2012, the government said that they cannot be made public without the prior consent of the contractor [6].

The Federal Audit Office reviewed these practices in a confidential report in 2018, which stated that ‘in over 80% of cases, the armed forces did not substantiate the need for external services’ and ‘in virtually none of the procurements [of consulting services] reviewed by the Federal Audit Office had there been a cost-effectiveness check conducted.’ Contracts were often ‘directly issued, without a competitive procedure’ with ‘not always convincing’ justifications. The report concluded that the ‘Ministry of Defence is lacking a comprehensive overview of contracts with external consultants’ [7]. A Committee of Inquiry of the German Bundestag was established and conducted an investigation from January 2019 until September 2020. On the back of its report, the BMVg established a central office to manage the contracting of consulting services and committed to strengthening is procurement regulations for the contracting of consulting services [8]. This case demonstrates gaps in the Ministry of Defence’s ability and understanding of the need to justify, structure and monitor the influx of ideas from external consultants in order to keep any undue influence on policy and procurement processes in check [9].

Germany has two oversight mechanisms in place for defence procurement. First, parliamentary scrutiny, especially by the Defence Committee and the Budget Committee, and second, independent oversight by the Federal Audit Office (FAO) [1].

As defined in the Customer Product Management document (CPM), the Federal Ministry of Defence must specifically submit procurements of more than EUR 25 million, procurements with a cost increase, discontinued projects with financial implications exceeding EUR 25 million and reports requested by parliamentarians [2]. However, the Committee does not have the direct power to cancel procurement projects.

The Federal Audit Office can request reports and it also monitors the overall budget and financial management of the Ministry of Defence. Reports for the Federal Audit Office have been heavily discussed in the media, especially because the FAO has criticised the transparency of large procurement projects on more than one occasion. However, due to a change in the legal basis during the past year, the FAO can now deny requests for reports from the public more easily, which could lead to a severe decrease in transparency. Equally, the FAO only has ‘naming and shaming’ powers and does not have the authority to cancel procurement projects that it deems to be unfit for purpose [3].

Procurement oversight mechanisms are highly active in summoning witnesses and documents, demanding explanations and issuing recommendations or conclusions [4]. The Federal Audit Office audits, assesses and criticises the Ministry of Defence on a regular basis [5]. In general, ‘the procurement system is also highly decentralised and often quite complex due to Germany’s federal system. It is subject to a dispersed regulatory framework that comprises delegated acts, such as ordinances and rules by non-governmental bodies, and allows for a substantial level of autonomy to the German federal states. According to estimates, some 58% of all procurement activity is done at the municipal level, and 30% at the level of the federal states, leaving just 12% of procurement to be distributed federally. Irregularities in procurement are not considered to be a major concern due to strong administrative capacity on the one hand, and to adequate measures for preventing corruption on the other hand. Germany’s effective anti-corruption framework is reflected in the low perception of corruption in public procurement compared to the EU average. Nevertheless, Germany does publish a disproportionately low number of tenders at EU level, which is a concern particularly given the size of government spend’ [6].

Evidence of activity (e.g. reports, press announcements of the cancellation of procurement programmes, the release of financial information) is made available to the public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions, such as the Federal Audit Office [1], but content is sometimes limited to the justification or rejection of the procurement, which is also due to security issues [2]. Furthermore, Germany has committed to improving transparency and openness in public procurement procedures, including by making e-procurement obligatory. It is also committed to introducing timely and reliable statistics on the award of public contracts and to examining how more usable, open data on public contracting activities can be provided [3].

Oversight on procurement is performed by the Parliamentary Selected Committee on Defence and Interior, the Public Account Committee, the Audit and Tender Committees in the MOD and GAF. In addition, the Public Procurement Authority implements and enforces compliance of the MOD and GAF to the procurement laws, regulations, manuals, and guidelines (1). For instance, its board approves the MOD or the GAF use of the single-source procurement method (which can be used if national security concerns are raised) (2). Also, the Audit-Service has the power of examination over the accounts of the MOD and GAF.

Furthermore, the Defence Tender Committee reviews and approves annual procurement plans, confirms the range of acceptable costs and ensures adherence to the Public Procurement Act. Public opinion is that the committee is biased since it is made up of only NDC members from the Volta region (3), (4). Individuals and businesses are believed to get away with violations depending on whether their political party is in power or not (5), (6), (7).

The Parliamentary committees are considered ineffective and lack resources and staff (1). Similar concerns have also been raised with regards to the Audit Service (2).

There is also evidence that suggests bias within the DTC that undermines its effectiveness. Procurement oversight mechanisms are somewhat active concerning the procurement of non-hardware items, rather than those of hardware which often involved political influence from top politicians and military cliques (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8).

The Tender and Audit Committee within the MOD and GAF is entirely non-transparent about its activities, in so far as no information on their activities is made publicly available. It is the same with the parliamentary committees, which do not publish the outcomes of their investigations or report on their activities. What is more, the MOD is not mentioned in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments, and Other Agencies (MDAs) for the year ending on December 31, 2017 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5).

The Greek Court of Audit must approve defence procurement contracts. Parliament and ministers cannot exercise any influence on expenditures which exceed the amount of 1,000,000 euros [1]. In addition, the Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority (HSPPA) has functioned as an independent oversight mechanism for small-scale procurements for the police [2]. However, HSPPA does not have the capacity to control contracts in the field of defence that fall within the scope of Law 3978/2011. Finally, the Committee on Armaments Programmes and Contracts of the Hellenic Parliament plays a limited role in oversight for defence procurement, but only if the contracts are significant [3]. There is no evidence that undue influence is present in oversight processes.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are active but they do not consistently engage in best practice activities including: summoning witness and documents, demanding explanations, issuing recommendations or conclusions that are being followed or implemented, and they can exercise their ability to cancel projects. [1, 2]. The Court of Audit would usually monitor big contracts (e.g. prior-information notices, contract notices, award notices and annual lists of contractors).The Committee on Armament Programmes and Contracts is responsible for the prior examination and monitoring of the implementation of armament programs and contracts. In practice, the committee does not always examine contracts thoroughly enough due to a lack of resources.

Evidence of activity is occasionally made public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions but content is either completely aggregated or missing key information. For example, decisions by the Court of Audit are made public [1, 2].

There is zero oversight on major military procurements and opposition members of the Defence Committee claim that they are also not informed on the details and costs [1]. Open procurements are subject of oversight by the Public Procurement Authority of Hungary [2], the State Audit Office [3] and the Government Control Office [4].
As there is no transparency all interviewed sources suggested they believe there is an undue influence but not by the military or parliament but some strongmen of political parties and some other oligarchs. Sources mentioned a minister as a highly influencing person related to military procurements [5, 6].

This indicator has been scored Not Applicable. While the oversight is non-existing for closed procurements (that is larger for 2018 then the military budget itself), in the case of open procurements criticism is constant [1]. According to the EU: “application of the law varies substantially across contracting authorities nationwide, and corruption remains a significant concern” [2].

This indicator has been scored Not Applicable. The Budapest based Corruption Research Center ranked the Hungarian system as 38 out of the 61 countries they have monitored regarding the transparency of procurement oversight [1]. In the past few years, very few cases become public when oversight bodies stopped public procurements [2]. The low number of cases should suggest the system is transparent; however, as the aforementioned report suggests there is no effective oversight and major purchases are not subject to public procurement.

The DPP-2016 states that the acquisition process for the five categories of procurement under the ‘Buy’ and ‘Buy & Make’ schemes will involve the following processes:-

(a) Request for Information (RFI).

(b) Services Qualitative Requirements (SQRs).

(c) Acceptance of Necessity (AoN).

(d) Solicitation of offers.

(e) Evaluation of Technical offers by Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC).

(f) Field Evaluation.

(g) Staff Evaluation.

(h) Oversight by Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), if required.

(j) Commercial negotiations by Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC).

(k) Approval of the Competent Financial Authority (CFA).

(l) Award of contract/Supply Order (SO).

(m) Contract Administration and Post-Contract Management.

TOC when constituted must provide expert oversight over the technical evaluation process. The DG (Acquisition) may constitute a TOC for acquisition cases in excess of Rs 300 Crores and for any other case recommended by the Defence Secretary/DPB/DAC. The oversight committee will check whether the process of Fast Track Procedure (FTP) as per DPP has been followed and bring out deviations, if any. The committee will also review and bring out the status of grievances or complaints in the case. The Committee will submit the report to Defence Secretary within 10 days of its constitution (1)(2).

In addition to the aforementioned, the Acquisition Wing is mandated with oversight. Further oversight comes from the Standing Committee on Defence, CVC, CAG and at times PAC (3)(4). Procurement oversight mechanisms are thus formalised. These mechanisms are autonomous with regular activity. It is unclear if their activity is immune from changes in government or Parliament.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are robustly active. They engage in demanding explanations, issuing recommendations or conclusions that are being followed or implemented [1][2][3].

There is evidence of active oversight activity by way of reports, announcements in the press of the cancellation of procurement programmes and the release of financial information by oversight institutions and the material is publicly available [1][2][3][4][5]. As alluded to in Q.32, no 2018 CAG reports have been uploaded to the CAG website but some of the findings have been mentioned in media reports.

The internal supervision mechanism for arms procurement is implemented by the supervisory body within the Ministry of Defence, namely the Office of the Inspectorate General. In accordance with Article 64 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014 [1], reports on supervision in the procurement process are regularly submitted by the Commitment Making Officer (Penjabat Pembuat Komitmen/PPK) to the Minister of Defence as a Budget User (Pengguna Anggaran/PA) or to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence/Commander/Chief of Staff as the Power of Budget User (KPA). Meanwhile, in accordance with Article 65 of the same regulation, the supervision of the PPK and Procurement Committee is carried out by the Office of the Inspectorate General of the Ministry of Defence through audits [1], namely: • a pre-audit of the offer evaluation results of the audit object, especially of the evaluation of qualifications, evaluation of bids, negotiations and readiness to carry out the TEP session and • a pre-audit before signing the contract with the audit object, especially of the fairness of the price, conformity of technical specifications and completeness/accuracy of the contract clause. The mechanism for arms procurement is a formal mechanism based on the Government Goods/Services Procurement rules [2]. Nevertheless, it is not independent because it still comes from the Ministry of Defence and the TNI. Meanwhile, external supervision of the arms procurement process is carried out by the DPR at the beginning and the end of the process (see Articles 6 and 53 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014) [1]. The DPR approves the Work Plan and Budget of the Ministry of Defence and TNI before the procurement process begins and at the end, when the funds are disbursed for defence procurement using Foreign Loan facilities (Pinjaman Luar Negeri/PLN). Article 52 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014 states that, in long-term contracts, Users must carry out periodic evaluations at least once a year, which are then reported to the KKIP and passed on to the DPR. However, the external supervision conducted by the DPR is limited by a number of things: 1) confidentiality in procurement. Article 69 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014 states that confidential arms procurement must continue to meet the principles of efficiency, effectiveness and accountability but it does not outline the mechanism for proving accountability in procurement processes of a confidential nature; 2) when approving the Work Plan and Budget, the DPR cannot access the ‘Third Unit’ (Satuan Tiga), a budget document that contains programme descriptions and details of the allocation of the budget ceiling per programme [3]. This means that the DPR only supervises and approves overall programmes such as ‘the enhancement of war capacity’, with the information on budgetary needs provided in bulk. Approval of the procurement and the budget ceiling is granted by the executive authority, namely the Minister of Defence [4].

According to Article 19 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014 [1], the Head of ULP has the duty and authority to ‘oversee all goods/services procurement activities in the ULP and report any deviations and/or indications of irregularities’. Article 56 of the same regulation discusses the follow-up of the report [1] and states that the PPK can unilaterally terminate the contract if: a) ‘providers of goods/services are proven to have engaged in collusion, corruption or nepotism (KKN), fraud and/or forgery during the procurement process, decided upon by the relevant agency, and/or b) complaints about procedural irregularities, alleged KKN and/or violations of fair competition in the implementation of goods/services procurement are declared true by the relevant authority’ (see Article 56 of Minister of Defence Regulation No. 17/2014) [1]. Meanwhile, there are seven techniques issued by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Defence for the PPK and Arms Procurement Committees, which are stipulated in more detail in the Regulation of the Inspector General (Per Irjen) No. 8/2016 [2], from making an inquiry to monitoring. When handling reports of deviations/indications of irregularities in arms procurement to date, the objects of investigation must separated into civilian and TNI personnel. A member of civilian personnel who becomes the person of interest in a case of deviation/indications of irregularities in arms procurement can be handed over to the KPK, while TNI personnel can only be handled by the TNI in accordance with the Law on Military Court [3]. In particular, the KPK has never been formally involved in arms procurement process to carry out anti-corruption functions, but only to process received reports of deviations/indications of irregularities. This is related to their duty and authority to coordinate and supervise agencies that are authorised to eradicate corruption and to coordinate preliminary and full investigations and prosecution of corruption. If there is a case of deviations/indications of irregularities in arms procurement involving civilian and military personnel who have already been handed over to the KPK, it will call witnesses and collect relevant documents and/or evidence in coordination with the TNI Military Police Centre (Puspom) [4]. In addition to the purchasing process, there is further potential for corruption in the arms sector of the TNI, from the planning and budgeting process, to the procurement of military defence services, to maintenance. Corruption in the arms sector of the TNI arguably takes many forms, including the mark-up of purchase prices, purchase of defence equipment that is under-specification and trimming maintenance costs.

Internal supervision of the arms procurement process is conducted by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Defence, the PPK and the Procurement Committee, while external supervision is conducted by the DPR. Due to the limited supervision carried out by the DPR in arms procurement (see indicator 59A), routine supervision of the process and implementation of arms procurement is carried out by the Office of the Inspectorate General of the Ministry of Defence. Afterwards, they provide a suggestions or recommendations report to the PA/KPA and PPK to be followed up accordingly. The internal supervision process for arms procurement is not required to be made accessible to the public. The National Public Procurement Agency (NPPA/ LKPP), the public goods/service procurement institution, requires ministries/agencies/regions/institutions to use Electronic Procurement Services (Layanan Pengadaan Secara Elektronik/LPSE) to make the plan, process and progress of public procurement accessible to the public [1,2]. Even though the Ministry of Defence has formed an LPSE organisation unit, it is only implemented for the procurement of non-defence equipment. To date, the implementers of arms procurement have not published the process or results of routine arms procurement programmes. In fact, the implementation of the LPSE makes it possible for internal government supervisors, law enforcement officials and the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BPK) to use the auditor’s ID for the purpose of audits, preliminary and full investigations and/or legal efforts. Finally, the KPK has also used big data from the LPSE to establish an early warning system in the form of procurement corruption risk index at the central and regional governments [3]. To date, there has not been any firm discussion as to whether or not arms procurement will be included in the LPSE.

There are no formal procurement oversight mechanisms. The Tender Law provides for a Tenders Committee to examine bids, and a complaints committee, which is addressed in Q68 [1].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as there are no formal procurement oversight mechanisms [1].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as there are no formal procurement oversight mechanisms [1].

Procurement processes in Iraq have suffered from underdevelopment (1), and in the absence of a mature acquisitions system, procurement oversight is not transparent. The overall procedure has been politicized, as representatives belonging to the most powerful political blocs, in competition against each other (2) guide these processes, rather than federal legislation. A military source interviewed for the assessment unpacks this further. “Iraqi parties lack a legislative framework that defines inter-party conflicts and relations or their interaction with Baghdad or codifies penalties to deter unproductive competition (3).

Agencies charged with oversight are numerous; inspector generals, the CoI and FBSA, and the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council, but their mandate is limited to monitoring ministerial behaviour and activities since they fall firmly under ministerial control against statutory law (4). In cases where deals are secretly signed/negotiated, employees of these bodies may either lack knowledge or facts of such transactions or fear the consequences of exposing powerful actors within Iraq’s political scene. An additional barrier in the way of oversight includes reliance on Iraqi ministers, and their reluctance to collaborate with the inspector’s (4). The work carried out by IG’s ought to align with ministerial efforts according to their mandate. As for the FBSA, this independent auditing body follows the trail of cash, when it has been received and outgoing payments, and are responsible for carrying out performance evaluations. Similarly, Iraq’s Integrity Commission investigates cases of corruption. The law endows it with executive rights but has been increasing censored by local writers and analysts (5), (6) for falling short of its mandate. Examples given include salary payments and promotions (5). The Law for the Implementation of Government Contracts (7), states that contracting bodies must take into account controls issued by the department of public contracts in the MoP in coordination with relevant parties. The military source interviewed argues that these rules do not apply to defence institutions”.

To summarise, independence of the bodies is compromised by politicking. As a member of the CoI revealed to Iraqi press sources “financial corruption is fuelled by political corruption which can be challenged by powerful blocs in high positions in the state” [180]. Procurement as another report raises attention to is a process “clouded by red tape”, regulations are “contradictory “not well advertised or enforces, leading to the prevalence of unlawful practices” (8).

Investigations or calls for investigations are often obstructed or inconclusive due to political pressure or threats (1), (2), (3). In other cases, investigations have been snubbed, as a letter written by the COI Investigation Office addressing members of Iraq’s High Electoral Commission, shows (4). The COI warned members against evading hearings to discuss the alleged manipulation of the electronic voting system (4).

While mechanisms exist, they do not translate into a regulatory framework adhered to by political officials and members of the special committee formed to investigate high-profile corruption files. Officials often flea the country, to evade legal action. Arrest warrants have not been effective in preventing guilty officials from fleeing, with the help of parties with whom they have colluded with (1).

Overall in Israel, the system is independent because there are many inspectors and bureaucracy. There is a body of laws that regulated procurement process and the information is online available. There is a tender committee which is changing (there is one representative of the public; the director of general is selecting the involved persons; thousands of tenders are published in the two main newspapers; every couple of days a long list of tenders of Ministry of Defence is published which is considered as one option to fight against corruption (1) (2). Additionally, there is an oversight unit within the administration of procurement, in charge of the supervision of the procurement process, during the tender process as well as after it. As part of its role, this unit is in charge of replying to complaints regarding tenders and of revealing the winning bid to the tender participants. Each participant in an MOD tender may request to view the final decision of the tender committee in accordance with Regulation 17(13), and may file a petition before the District Administrative Court in Israel against decisions of the tender committee (2). Furthermore, the State Comptroller oversees the entire procurement process and in addition there are committees and sub-committees in The Knesset that are responsible for oversight. Yet, the parliament, for instance, can only ask questions, but can’t interfere if it wants to (6). In addition to two mentioned bodies, there is also an internal comptroller of the Ministry of Defence and an internal comptroller from the Army and the National Security Council (3). The submarines investigation against the Prime Minister is only one example of political/buisness interference (4) but overall procurement oversight mechanisms are independent. Still, the Prime Minister has a lot of influence, as the submarine affair illustrates. In Channel 12, Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Dan Harel, a former director general of the Ministry of Defence, testified that Netanyahu had applied unusual pressure to buy a seventh submarine from ThyssenKrupp, allegedly “pounding his fist on the table” to demand that the sale go through (5).

Though procurement oversight mechanism in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are active and detailed, (1) (2) (3) there are some loopholes that limit their effectiveness as illustrated by the submarine scandal (4). The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has also been compared to a “rubber stamp” for arms procurement decisions, as the committee often only receives word of such deals when they are in their final stages and there is no real space for “discussion, examination of priorities, operational need and possible alternatives” (5). Major procurement deals often only come to the committee for approval on the eve of signing of the agreement, leaving the committee very little time to conduct proper scrutiny and making it difficult for the committee to disagree with the government (5).

While decisions of tender committees are made public, including decisions to exempt procurements from tenders, this is not the case in relation to classified and sensitive acquisitions, including weapons purchases (1). While the Comptroller and Pariament also have oversight powers, they rarely release reports concerning defence procurement issues and there has been criticism of the parliament in particular as a mere rubber-stamp for weapons imports and exports (2). There are only a few public debates on it in the local economic and financial media. However, there are several procurements that are classified and can not be transparent for national security reasons (3) (4).

Procurement oversight mechanism are regulated by legislative decree 123/2011 [1] and law 20/1994 [2]. They are performed by the department of general accountancy of the State. Being the department composed by magistrates and being part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance ensures the independence of the oversight mechanism. In addition, the fact that there are reports against the public administration (see below) suggests the absence of undue influence on oversight mechanisms.

The department of general accountancy of the State has the ability to collect information and requests explanations when necessary. It can also reject putting contracts in place [1] and provide recommendations or conclusions on the procedures followed by the Ministry of Defence. One can find evidence of the effectiveness of its powers in its resolution of 4 June 2020 where information on the summoned documents are also available [2]. In addition, while their recommendations are not binding, it is relevant to recall that the relevant parliamentary committes have the right to oversee acquisitions of armaments. [3]

The activities of the oversight organs are published on the respective websites through reports. Reports can be on specific procurements – in this case, besides financial informations, one can find legal and factual considerations [1] – or on the entire management of the procurement mechanisms, where it is possible to access an overall evaluation of the procedures [2] [3]. In case of recusal of the authorisation to proceed with the procurement, public notice is given on the website of the oversight body [4].

Japan’s procurement oversight institutions have a legally and organisationally founded independent status, and they follow formalised processes in their work. This protects them from the undue influence of powerful actors. The Inspector General’s Office of Legal Compliance (IGO) is not in the chain of command of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but under the direct supervision of the Minister of Defence. [1] The Board of Audit Act guarantees the Board of Audit’s independence from the Cabinet. [2] The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) was established to enforce the Antimonopoly Act. It is an external bureau of the Cabinet Office and is not directed or supervised by other organs. [3] The members of the commission are appointed by the Prime Minister with the consent of Parliament. [4] The Defence Procurement Council is not a decision making body, but a council that assesses the operation of procurement and reports its results to the Commissioner of ATLA. [5] Its members are scholars, public accountants and lawyers. [6]

IGO’s mandate includes annual inspections that assess the efforts by defence institutions to prevent collusion. Its report of the annual inspection in 2018 suggested measures to increase competition by increasing the number of bidders and to ensure fairness by not disclosing the assessments of the defence authorities to potential bidders. [1] The Board of Audit released an audit report in 2019 on defence procurement through FMS that had been requested by the Diet. [2] This was the eighth report by the Board on FMS since 1997. [2] The Board suggested that the Government of Japan should discuss with the Government of the US how the US could deliver equipment and pay back the excess money that Japan has paid in advance for its orders more quickly. [2] The JFTC can, with a mandate from the Antimonopoly Act, investigate businesses suspected of collusion and conduct on-site inspections of such businesses. If it finds that collusion has taken place, it can order the companies to cease and desist from such acts and order companies that have benefited from the acts to pay a surcharge. [3] Only one case of suspected collusive bidding on a tender that ATLA had called for was found in the mainstream newspapers Asahi Shimbun [4] or Yomiuri Shimbun [5] or the English press releases of the Japan Fair Trade Commission [6] within the timeframe of this research. In March 2017, the JFTC found that two bidders for a vinylon product tender were guilty of collusion. It ordered the two bidders to cease and desist from this and ordered one of them to pay a surcharge. [7] The Defence Procurement Council is not a third party council that inspects whether procurement decisions are just. Its mandate is to review defence procurement and suggest policies that can make it more effective. [8]

IGO’s activity is evident in its annual reports, which can be downloaded from its website. The report of the 2018 regular inspection of bidding practice presented the results of 12 on-site inspections at defence institutions, including the Joint Staff, ATLA Aircraft Equipment Research Institute and Maizuru MSDF district command. [1] The Board of Audit has an accessible homepage from which its annual audit reports of the government ministries can be downloaded. [2] A special audit report on FMS that it published in 2019 can also be downloaded from its website. [3] The content of this report was reported in the press, including by the Asahi Shimbun [4] and the Japan Times. [5] The Japan Fair Trade Commission has an oversight function over the Japanese economy as a whole, and its press statements deal with a broad range of issues. [6] In the timeframe of this research, it issued one order to bidders for a defence tender to cease and desist collusion, that was reported in a press release in English. [7] The Defence Procurement Council has a webpage with the agenda for its meetings from which the proceedings of its meetings can be downloaded. [8]

It has been established already that the defence sector is subject to little oversight, if any. There is no evidence that there are oversight mechanisms over defence in general. For example, the list of audited entities by the Jordanian Audit Bureau excludes the Ministry of Defence, the armed forces and all commercial entities associated with the armed forces such as the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) [1]. In addition to that, defence sector income is not declared or included in the final governmental financial annual accounts [2], nor do the accounts include a breakdown of spending. Media and news reporting sporadically mention instances of defence sales or purchases, but no oversight has been identified [3, 4]. Neither the Audit Bureau, nor the Ministry of Finance, or any other entity is authorised to provide oversight over defence procurement. In addition to that, the authority of entities such as the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Committee, the Financial Committee and the Jordanian Audit Bureau remain questionable, especially as most matters of defence remain under the authority of the King, according to the Constitution, who can overrule all Parliamentary decisions [5].

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since no information is available or disclosed about actual procurement cycles, and there is no evidence to support that procurement procedures are followed [1,2]. An assessment of their effectiveness is irrelevant in this context.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since no information is available or disclosed about actual procurement cycles and there is no evidence to support that procurement procedures are followed [1,2].

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has the oversight role in the procurement activities of all government ministries including the Ministry of Defence. The Authority is an independent entity that has the power to make decisions without consulting parliament. However, the procurement process within the MOD is not entirely exclusive from undue influence especially from the military and influential individuals in the government. Questions have continuously been raised about the secrecy and limited scrutiny of military procurement activities that have resulted in millions of shillings lost or stolen through shady procurement activities. [1]

Part IV of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (PPADA) stipulates the ‘Powers to ensure compliance’, which the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) exercises for all public procurement. [1] The effectiveness and transparency of the mechanisms of procurement oversight, especially over defence/security organs, has been in question and some experts aver that it is in-effective. [2] The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is among the security organs whose some of their procurement plans were exempt from oversight mechanisms. [3] This means that MOD could execute procurement plans own its dicretion, and the PPRA could not fully exercise its oversight role. The new regulations under the Kenya Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Regulations, 2020, however have repealed this and made provisions for instance for the PPRA to monitor procurement processes within national security organs. In addition, the regulations have also put provisions for specially permitted procurement procedures where the National Treasury will monitor tender processes that are in public interest or the interest of national security.

Evidence of activity related to procurement in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is hardly available. However, this depends on the goods or services being procured. MOD does issue tender notices on its website, via local press and the recently established Public Procurement Information Portal. Past tender notices from MOD reviewed some of the items intended for procurement, including supply of mosquito nets, assorted furniture, uniform linen, among others. [1] The tender notice also indicates which awards are intended for special groups according to the Access to Government Procurement opportunities (AGPO).

The tender notice also provides information of where the tenders should be deposited, implying most of them have to be done physically rather than online. The notice also gives a date, location and time of when the tender will be opened and reviewed. Other tenders also include preliminary but detailed information memorandum for the project. [2] Nevertheless, for highly specialised or huge tenders there is limited information. The lack of information can be attributed to the fact that procurement activities related to state security and defence are considered presidential privilege, and thus are not subjected to significant scrutiny. Kenya’s military spending is above 1.2 per cent of GDP and receives a significant budgetary allocations every financial year, which is not sufficiently audited. The autonomy given to the MOD in procurement laws allows for opportunities for corruption. [3]

There are no specific oversight mechanisms that are specifically focused on defence procurements; however, there are mechanisms that oversee all public procurement activities in the country, including defence procurement activities.
Based on the Law No. 04/L-042 on Public Procurement in Republic of Kosovo, the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission (PPRC) is responsible for the overall development, operation and supervision of the public procurement system in Kosovo [1]. This regulatory agency is independent and no public official may exert or attempt to exert any influence over the PPRC for any specific operational or regulatory decision or action [2]. As a public authority, this regulatory agency is subject to all applicable provisions of national legislation, to the same extent as any other public authority [2]. More information on the work and scope of the PPRC can be found on its web page [3].
Another overseeing body is the Procurement Review Body (PRB). According to the Law No. 04/L-042 on Public Procurement in Republic of Kosovo, this is an independent administrative review body [4]. The law stipulates that no person or public official may exert or attempt to exert any political or illicit influence over the PRB or any of its employees [4]. Similarly, this body is also a public authority so it is subject to the same applicable provisions as any other public authority [4]. The PRB is responsible for implementing the procurement review procedures [5] and to assess and review complaints from involved parties surrounding allegations of violations of procurement legislation [5]. The Law No. 04/L-042 on Public Procurement in Republic of Kosovo has delegated a number of powers and responsibilities to the PRB, and more information on the work and scope of this body can be found on its website [6].
During the first half of 2019, the PRB addressed a letter to the Kosovo Assembly’s Capacity Building Facility, expressing concerns about external pressures posed on its institution. The PRB alerted its members to the pressures imposed by Parliament, which requested to see all relevant information [7].

Based on the Law No. 04/L-042 on Public Procurement in Republic of Kosovo, the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission (PPRC) has the authority and responsibility to monitor and supervise the implementation of the provisions of Kosovo’s legislation on public procurement, including laws and rules issues by the PPRC [1]. In doing so, this Commission has developed and operates an appropriate reporting mechanism, supported by an electronic management information system, that will enable the Commission to: (i) monitor the implementation of the Law on Public Procurement; (ii) produce output and performance reports identifying strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of the Law on Public Procurement and the procurement system; (iii) identify those areas that are in need of improvement and development; (iv) produce annual reports required by the law in a manner that provides a general but accurate assessment of the state of the national procurement system and specific assessments of the degree of compliance (or lack thereof) by individual contracting authorities; and (v) make appropriate recommendations for changes to the primary and secondary procurement legislation [1]. In practice, this Commission prepares annual reports on Kosovo’s procurement activities and submits these to the Government and the Assembly. The annual reports analyse public procurement activities in Kosovo and provide recommendations for improving the public procurement system [2]. The PPRC is legally required to establish and maintain a website that provides the public with unrestricted access to all information concerning public procurement in Kosovo [3], and consequently the electronic information-management system is now in place [4]. Since January 2019, the electronic submission of bids is mandatory for all procurement types and values, and hard-copy submissions are no longer permitted [5].
The Procurement Review Body (PRB) has been largely criticised in the past few years due to claims that its former Chairman of the Board was prosecuted for being suspected of abusing his official duty, including relating to procurement activities (tenders) in Kosovo. Following investigations conducted by the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo, the former Chairman of the Board, Mr. Hysni Hoxha, resigned from his duty in January 2016 [6]. In his resignation letter, he stated that he had to leave the office due to health reasons and workload [7]. However, he denied that his resignation was related to the charges he was under [6]. In the first indictment, he was accused of abusing official position and authority in co-perpetration. However the Pristina Basic Court, and subsequently the Court of Appeals of Kosovo, acquitted him in 2018 as innocent as there was no proof that he had committed any offence [8]. The second indictment accused him of abusing official position during a procurement activity linked to the Kosovo Electricity Transmission, System and Market Operator J.S.C. [9]. In late 2016, the Pristina Basic Court sentenced him to three years imprisonment; however, the Court of Appeals of Kosovo acquitted him before this charge was imposed [9].
A further two members of the PRB’s Board were suspended on recommendation by a former Speaker within the Kosovo Assembly in July 2017 [10]. They are still under investigation for an $8mn tender of the then Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces (now the Ministry of Defence) for supplying food to the Ministry kitchens [11]. The prosecution concluded that the two Board members abused their powers [12]. According to the indictment, a number of companies expressed their interest and applied for this tender, however one of the economic operators (Florenti & Korabi) submitted a complaint to the PRB for unjust procedures [13]. The investigations on this case are still ongoing within the relevant prosecution bodies.
The suspension of these two members of the Board impacted on the work of the PRB. Currently, this body has limited operational capacity with only three current members of the Board out of the normal five [14]. The European Commission recommended that the Board address these staff capacity limitations [5] and criticised the institution’s decisions for lacking consistent reasoning [5]. The Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo monitoring this institution have also criticised that the understaffed Board is causing delays in the decision-making process of the institution for examining complaints with respect to procurement activities and procedures [15]. In April 2019, the Kosovo Government established a selection committee for nominating new members to the Board of the PRB [16]. The Government also invited the British Embassy in Kosovo to monitor this selection process [16]. Based on the Law No. 05/L -092 on Amending and Supplementing the Law No. 04/L-042 on Public Procurement in the Republic of Kosovo (amended and supplemented by the Law No. 04/L-237 and the Law No. 05/L-068), the PRB’s Board should comprise five members appointed for a term of five years without the right of re-appointment [16]. The Government proposes therefore that the Assembly should nominate at least two candidates for each vacant position for recommendation by an independent selection body that will interview, evaluate and rank by points the candidates; and the candidates with the highest points are then appointed by the Assembly [17]. However, there is no available information to prove if the selection committee has conducted any selection process for these vacant positions of Board members.
In its 2019 Kosovo Report, the European Commission recommended that all procurement institutions in Kosovo should increase their capacities and cooperation in order to ensure consistent implementation of the public procurement regulatory framework [5].

The Public Procurement Regulatory Commission (PPRC) publishes full annual reports on its webpage [1] and on the electronic procurement platform maintained by this Commission [2]. There are published annual reports from 2006 to 2018. The PPRC’s webpage contains a section for all the following published notices: contract notices, indicative notices, awarded notices, cancellation notices, design contest notices, awarded notice of design contest, request for expressions of interest, design contest notice, and opening of financial offers, and archive [3]. However, some of the reports that the PPRC conducts are not regularly published online, such as monthly reports, quarterly reports, and the reports prepared by the Supervising and Monitoring Department of this Commission [4].
The Procurement Review Body (PRB) examines all allegations of breaches of the Law on Public Procurement and publishes its decisions on its website [5]. However, its database is not user-friendly [6]: criticism from non-state actors suggests that the electronic format is hardly legible or searchable [7]. This Body also publishes complaints online about the procurement activities in Kosovo, as well as notices for contracting authorities and economic operators [8]. There is a lack of transparency due to the fact that only the first two pages are published in electronic format on the Body’s website, excluding the Economic Operator’s appeal claims [7]. On the other hand, a positive step towards increasing transparency of the PRB is the launch of a live broadcasting of open sessions through the support of an-USAID funded project [7]. It is important to note that the Civil Society Organisations, which regularly scrutinise this body, have expressed their criticisms that they are not allowed to attend internal meetings of the PRB despite having agreed a mutual Memorandum of Understanding [7]. However, open sessions can be attended by the Civil Society Organisations, media, public/citizens, and other relevant parties [7].

Oversight mechanisms are formalised (6) but all auditors are subject to undue political interference by the Emir and his loyalists, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

They are often stonewalled or given misleading information, and the executive branch and Parliament, which is entitled to scrutinise all Government spending but is full of Government supporters (6), does not step in to hold these ministries accountable, the sources said.

This has created an environment in which auditors believe that there is no real desire to fight corruption and that they should neglect their duties or at least not antagonise the security agencies since they clearly have the full support of the Emir.

As a result, their work tends to be shallow and inconsistent.

The oversight mechanisms are inconsistently active but they do demand witnesses and documents, activists said (1,2). Questioning goes nowhere, however. There appears to be no evidence that they have cancelled projects, but they do issue recommendations once they are done working on a particular case in a timely fashion.

The oversight bodies including Parliament, do make some developments related to defence procurement public, but they do so inconsistently. Most of the news reports about these matters are informal leaks from the Government or formal announcements of investigations from the auditing bodies, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). These announcements usually include the total cost of the deal but they almost never have key information about the officials involved, the wrongdoing they are suspecting or the reasons behind the deal.

External procurement oversight mechanisms – the State Audit Office, Procurement Monitoring Bureau and Competition Council and the processes they run – are independent and formalised. They are apolitical (the State auditor/head of the State Audit Office is appointed by the parliament for a term of 4 years, limited to 2 terms [1], while the head of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau [2] and Competition Council [3] are appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers). They are consistently active across different spheres of their competence.
There is no evidence to suggest that third parties (parliament, the military, business, or politically well-connected individuals) have undue influence on their performance.

Procurement oversight mechanisms/institutions mentioned in the previous sub-indicator are active in summoning witnesses and documents, demanding explanations, and issuing recommendations and conclusions that have to be followed by the legislation. However, examples of stopping or cancelling running projects that are outside the scope of public procurements (Public procurement law [1]) are not known. The latest known example of identifying and punishing a cartel in defence procurement dates back to 2013, [2] while the Competition Council admits the risks in the sector remain high. [3] Recently, there has been an extensive audit regarding acquisition planning and procurements, which found no breach of law in the procurements analysed. [4]

There is comprehensive evidence of activity of the overseeing state instiutions, in particular of the State Audit Office. Reports of the external audits, including ones related to procurement, are published online proactively. Reports are detailed and comprehensive. Audits since 2001 are available on the website of the State Audit Office. [1] The State Audit Office explains the findings in the public sphere, either via news releases or public discussions. At the same time, given the specifics of the military sector, not all information is released, though the State Audit Office has access to all information. [2]

Procurement oversight does exist according to Decree no. 11573. According to Article 36, the LAF’s General Directorate of Administration is responsible for the project being implemented contracts with a national or foreign institution or company to monitor the implementation of maps, designs, or work (1). LAF’s GDA is not independent; it reports to the LAF (2).
Undue influence and corruption are widespread in public procurement with bribes, favouritism, and clientelist political connections play a fundamental role (3). For example, contracts are frequently awarded based on mutual agreement, without open bidding clear process, between companies and government administrations (3). However, it is important to note that most of LAF’s assistance is tied to external military assistance (4). In almost all cases, foreign assistance to procure capabilities, training, and resources for the LAF, is spent in the donor country, mitigating the potential for corruption. This is the case for the US’s Foreign Military Sales (4). If Lebanon had the funds to procure items through direct commercial sales, the risk of corruption would have been greater (4), (5).

It is unclear how effective are the LAF procurement oversight mechanisms since reports related to procurement are not made available (1). According to Decree no. 11573, the GDA oversees the procurement implementation (2). Furthermore, the LAF’s DoO indicated that it follows the procurement procedures and reports to the CoA (3). The audit bodies have praised the level of transparency and effectiveness in implementation (4). On the other hand, as most assistance is tied to external military assistance, oversight is relatively straightforward because donors expect a high level of transparency and accountability from the LAF (5), (6).

Procurement oversight mechanisms are entirely non-transparent because they are not publically available (1).

As stated in the Law on Public Procurement in the Defence Sector, the Public Procurement Office (PPO) examines cases of administrative law violations; collects and analyses information on procurement; concludes procurement contracts; and publishes results of their implementation. The Office also advises contracting authorities and suppliers on procurement issues and has the right to independently choose the subject of inspection, the method, scope and time to do it. If the PPO suspects any law violations, it can force the contracting authority to suspend or even terminate procurement procedures [1]. The National Audit Office of Lithuania is a supreme public audit institution in Lithuania, accountable to the Lithuanian Parliament and – amongst its other activities – carries out public procurement system audits [2]. In 2017, the National Audit Office prepared a public procurement within the national defence system audit [3]. The Special Investigations Service (SIS) also evaluates corruption risks in various sectors and institutions, including defence procurements. From their recent evaluation in 2017, the SIS stated that reforms in the defence procurement field should create more efficient and transparent practice, however also emphasised that defence institutions tend to react to audits or evaluation-based recommendations too slowly [3]. From desk research (based on media coverage), there is no evidence showing allegations of undue influence made in regards to the PPO and National Audit Office work during the last few years. They are apolitical and their activity is consistent across changes in government.

Mechanisms for overseeing procurement (through the Public Procurement Office (PPO) and the National Audit Office (NAO)) are in place and active. The National Audit Office, after carrying out the auditing, mainly provides recommendations and monitors whether its recommendations have been implemented [1,2,3]. In 2017, the National Audit Office issued a public audit report on public procurement in the national defence system that also included conclusions and recommendations for the Ministry of National Defence [4]. The Public Procurement Office publishes quarterly and yearly information on public procurement in the defence sector, yearly reports to the European Commission on defence purchases, conclusions of procurement assessments as well as the administrative penalties or warnings issued by the PPO for infringements on public procurement law [5,6]. The PPO reviews around 3 percent of all public procurements in the country, and the NAO does not conduct audits on defence procurement regularly. However, the PPO may force a procuring entity to cancel the procurement or stop the procedures. For instance, in 2018, the PPO decided 1,3 million EUR procurement in a former military zone should be cancelled due to limited specifications [7].

Comprehensive evidence of activity within the Public Procurement Office (PPO) and the National Audit Office (NAO) is made available to the public. All documents mentioned in the previous sub-indicator (59B) are available online and for free, including National Audit reports with recommendations and yearly reports on procurement in the defence sector by the PPO. Some of these documents are accompanied with visuals such as charts or press releases [1,2,3,4,5]. Opinions and responses provided by overseeing bodies can also be found online [6].

Procurement oversight mechanisms are a formalised process. A parliamentary Special Committee, chaired by the Defence Minister, is set up for the process. The committee members are the Secretary General of the Defence Ministry, a representative from Ministry of Finance, the Chief of Defence Forces or a representative, and/or a representative of the Chiefs of the respective services concerned. [1] [2] The involvement of Minister of Defence as chairman may cast doubt over the independence of the committee from political influences. According to Dennis Ignatius, former Malaysian ambassador, for years defense procurement was linked to the cronies of the ruling parties. He gave examples of the “shoddy workmanship and cost overruns which pushed the final price tag of acquiring Royal Malaysian Navy’s patroll vessels to RM6.75 billion.” In another example, “the government signed an agreement in 2013 with a local shipyard to supply six littoral combat ships (LCS). The first vessels were to have been delivered in December 2014 (…) RM6 billion has already been paid but there’s still no sign of the ships. Delivery has now apparently been pushed back to 2023.” [3]

Although procurement oversight mechanisms exist where guidelines are publicly available on Ministry of Finance website, the process can be circumvented by an interested party. According to Shariman Lockman, a defence analyst, Malaysia generally has a very systematic procurement procedure. Whether the procedure is strictly followed however, is yet to be ascertained. [1] The case of the helicopter procurement is a classic example of how the process went against the normal procedures issued by the Ministry of Finance. The procurement’s “terms of the purchase agreement did not safeguard the interests of the government. […] The approval for the purchase of the military assets in November 2015 was also not done according to set procedures [and] the contract was done via direct negotiation with the agency, while many terms of the contract were not favourable to the government. For example, the contract was approved without any military specifications, a mandatory requirement in the purchase of military assets.” [2] [3] No specific information regarding the activities of the procurement oversight mechanisms could be found.

There is evidence of activity of procurement oversight mechanisms (e.g. reports, announcements in the press of the cancellation of procurement programmes, the release of financial information), [1] [2] but only available to the parliamentary committee or the Auditor General’s Office (AG). Although a process is in place, members of the public do not have access to information on the procurement process due to its sensitivity. [2] [3]

Auditing mechanisms are formalised and operational, but their levels of activity and ability to do their job are heavily compromised by the military and the government.
The BVG publishes annual reports evaluating the government’s various spending programmes. Meanwhile, it is the AMDS’s job to regulate public sector contracts and spending. However, defence finances have generally not been subject to audits or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the 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 ministry.1 Moreover, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.2 The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities.
As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.3,4 When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.5
Nevertheless, the BVG’s report showed strong signs of independence as it openly criticised the actions of the former defence minister and the minister for the economy (see Q29C).

Auditing mechanisms are effective when they are active, but their levels of activity are infrequent largely because of the military and the government. The BVG publishes annual reports evaluating the government’s various spending programmes. Meanwhile, it is the AMDS’s job to regulate public sector contracts and spending. However, defence finances have generally not been subject to audit or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the 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 ministry.⁴ Moreover, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.⁵ The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities. As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.⁶ ⁷
When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.⁸ Nevertheless, the BVG’s report showed strong signs of independence as it openly criticised the actions of the former defence minister and the minister for the economy (see Q29C). In addition, the IMF notes that the military’s use of exceptional expenditure accounts enables defence officials to circumnavigate scrutiny of procurement contracts:
“The execution of exceptional expenditures is subject to very minimal controls considering the amounts involved. In general, funds are released without prior proofs and receipts. The payment of the advance is subject to simplified controls, focusing primarily on the identity of the payment authorisation officer and the amount of the advance. Control of the compliance of the expenditure being carried out, based on supporting documentation for the payment, takes place after the actual disbursement of the funds to a supplier or service provider”.⁹ The IMF also states that there are numerous deficiencies in the controls carried out, “particularly with respect to the imprest accounts of the defence and security forces in Mali”.⁹ It adds that “some imprest accounts receive quite substantial advances that go well beyond their original purpose of ‘minor operating expenditures’. For example, the special imprest account of the Ministry of Defence carries out monthly expenditures exceeding 2.3 billion CFA”.⁹

Auditing bodies can disclose information when they are active and permitted, but their levels of activity are infrequent largely because of the military and the government.
Defence finances have generally not been subject to audits or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the 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 ministry.⁴ In April 2018, opposition party Parena claimed to have gained access to an unpublished BVG report, which identifies numerous cases of overspending and dubious activity in military procurement.¹⁰ Parena maintains that the report shows that the government bought one of the Super Pumas from a subsidiary of Airbus in Ireland, paying 3.5 billion CFA for the used helicopter in cash. The audit also reportedly shows that the second Super Puma, bought directly from Airbus, cost 3.9 billion CFA, although the terms and conditions of the contract are opaque, according to the auditors.¹⁰ The fact that this audit remains unpublished indicates that the BVG and the ARMDS are likely more active than their number of publications would suggest.
Indeed, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.⁵ The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities. As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.⁶ ⁷
When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.⁸

The mechanisms for the supervision of defence acquisitions and contracts rest with the ASF (specialised technical body belonging to the Chamber of Deputies), which perform general reviews on budget for the government. The ASF would review, for example, the expenses that were incurred in acquisitions, leases, and contracts, in this case those of SEDENA and SEMAR. [1] The SFP (dependency of the Federal Executive branch) is also in charge of supervising that the dependencies comply with the norms regarding contracting of acquisitions, leases, financial leasing, services, etc. [2]

It is important to note that although these bodies must adhere to the principles of impartiality and independence, they may be subject to undue influence in performing their duties. In fact, civil society organisations and the SNA themselves, through their Citizen Participation Committee, have sent proposals to demand greater transparency and accountability in the processes of appointment of auditors and in the fight against corruption. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Additionally, according further research reveals report of a “network of officials and former officials from the ASF that offer, through a private office in Jalisco, to fix detected irregularities.” [8]

The ASF is the audit mechanism and it can summon individuals and documents. It also does issue a report, however it should be noted that this is not an entity focused solely on procurement. Rather, it audits the entire state, and the execution of the entire budget of the state. The chances that it will detect one single case in a specific procurement process is slim. This is, in itself, a problem. So while it is an entity that is active, it is not very effective. [1]

There is no other agency to perform audits. [2]

The ASF makes the reports of the dependency audits available to the public on its official site. “In each audit report you will find the name of the institution or body or program audited, the type of audit carried out, the selection criteria applied, the objective, scope, and results of the audit process. This last section details the procedures followed, the findings, and the arguments made. Finally, the actions and observations recommended by the ASF are indicated, as well as the audit opinion and various annexes.” [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised but the European Commission underlined that checks on the overall public procurement cycle remain a cause for concern. [1]The Inspection for public procurements, the State commission for public procurements and the State Audit Institution are only formally independent, but they are mainly selected on the basis of political affiliations, enabling undue influence. [2][3]

According to the MoD reviewer, control of procurement procedures is managed by the Inspection for public procurements (article 147 of the Law) and The State Commission for the Control of Public Procurement Procedures. They control violations referred to the Article 134 of the Law on Public Procurement. Significant violations of the Law on Public Procurement are: 1) conducting the public procurement procedure without publishing or submitting tender documentation; 2) implementation of the public procurement procedure referred to in Art. 24 and 25 of this Law, without the prior consent of the competent authority referred to in Article 31 of this Law; 3) non-compliance of the tender documentation with the law, which could have led to discrimination of interested persons or to restrictions of market competition or led to discrimination of bidders or to restrictions of market competition. (Article 134 of the Law on Public Procurement)

Moreover, the State Commission: 1) consider and decide on appeals filed in public procurement procedures; 2) examine in the appellate procedure the regularity of the application of this Law and propose and take measures for the elimination of irregularities in public procurement procedures; 3) decide on the requests of procuring entities for the continuation of the public procurement procedure when an appeal has been filed in accordance with this Law; 4) decide on the requirements regarding the costs of the procedure; 5) monitor the implementation of decisions in accordance with Article 132, paragraph 5 of this Law and take measures in accordance with the law; 6) cooperates and exchanges information in the field of public procurement with the competent authorities of other states; 7) adopt rules of procedure; 8) perform other tasks in accordance with this Law. (Article 139 of the Law)

Inspection supervision over the implementation of this Law and regulations adopted on the basis of this Law is performed by the Public Procurement Inspector. (Article 147 of the Law) [4][5][6]

The EU Commission progress report pointed out that the capacity of institutions to monitor contract awards and verify contract implementation needs to be further strengthened. [1]

The Inspection for public procurements is seriously understaffed and inefficient, many decisions of the State commission for public procurements are only related to procedural matters, while the State Audit Institution does not monitor the implementation of its recommendations. [2]

All decisions of the State commission for public procurements are available on their website, [1] but they are usually posted with some delay.[2] The Commission publishes annual reports and submits them to Parliament for review. [3]

No article was found on the websites and organisations that should be the main reference sources on the topic of procurement oversight mechanisms (1)(2)(3). There is no mention of procurement oversight mechanisms in the main relevant pieces of legislation and the ones available online (4)(5). Interviewees could not confirm the presence of formal procurement oversight mechanisms (6)(7). Nothing indicates therefore that procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised. There may be persistent undue influence.

As procurement oversight mechanisms do not appear to exist, this sub-indicator is marked as non applicable.

As procurement oversight mechanisms do not appear to exist, this sub-indicator is marked as non applicable.

The Office of the Auditor General under the Ministry of Defence acts as an internal oversight mechanism [1]. However, in the absence of democratic oversight, the Tatmadaw’s Director of Procurement, who is also a board member of MEC, benefits from his public post although he is supposed to act with independence and integrity [2]. There is no external oversight mechanism and the military has independent dominance over the procurement process.

The Office of the Auditor General under the Ministry of Defence is tasked with acting as an internal oversight mechanism [1]. The Office of the Auditor General and the Anti-Corruption Commission do not have any oversight authority with regard to the military [2]. Even MPs never receive any reports relating to specific spending or the procedure for defence procurement [3].

As Myanmar’s military normally handles its affairs internally, the procedures and processes of the Office of the Auditor General as an oversight mechanism lack transparency [1]. The Ministry of Defence usually provides explanations of its defence procurement to Parliament, but not in detail [2].

There are three oversight mechanisms for the defence procurement cycle. The first is the formal political cycle, as parliamentary approval is required for acquisitions above 25 million euros and Parliament must also approve the annual defence budget, which contains all procurement projects [1]. Parliament is therefore informed about the progress of procurement processes via letters from the MoD, the annual Defence Projects Overview, the annual budget and the annual report [2,3,4,5]. The second oversight mechanism is an audit conducted by the Central Government Audit Service [6]. These departmental audit services are considered by law to be independent and not subject to undue influence. Third, the Court of Audit is tasked with the overall audit of all government departments and scrutinises any project under the Defence Materiel Process, such as the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft replacement project, and can inquire into other procurement projects if there is reason to suspect irregularities [7,8,9,10,11,12]. The Netherlands Court of Audit is a High Council of State and is an independent institution separate from the government and Parliament [12,13].

The material for each project in the annual Defence Projects Overview includes a list of parliamentary briefings and consultations that have been conducted in association with it, including questions answered and studies discussed with MPs [1]. Parliamentary oversight is demonstrated through parliamentary papers and reports that reference questions, documents, recommendations and extensive discussions [2,3,4,5,6,7]. The Parliamentary Committee on Defence can, in its oversight capacity, enter into oral or written consultation with a minister, hold roundtable talks and hearings, conduct working visits, obtain information from an advisory body, call in external experts, appoint rapporteurs and propose to the House the designation of a major project [8].

Several reports by the Central Government Audit Service and the Netherlands Court of Audit demonstrate effective oversight of procurement through interviews with Defence Materiel Organisation personnel, the study of (financial) documents and the issuing of recommendations [9,10,11]. However, a recent Court of Audit report stipulated that a more transparent administration and expense system is needed for the defence sector so that the Minister of Defence and Parliament can more effectively exercise oversight of procurement [12,13].

Parliamentary papers detailing discussions on procurement are available to the public, as well as commission reports by the Parliamentary Committee on Defence [1,2]. The Netherlands Court of Audit publicly releases reports and news releases regarding procurement, which detail extensive findings on procurement procedure and the status of projects [3,4,5]. Additionally, the annual Defence Projects Overview is released to the public by the Defence Materiel Organisation of the Ministry of Defence [6]. In July 2016, a government-wide policy was instated to disclose reports by the Central Government Audit Service (ADR) [7]. Every six months, the Minister of Finance publishes a list of titles of reports issued by the ADR. For defence procurement, these reports include topics such as the F-35 acquisition and the Groundbreaking IT project, as well as the annual audit report for defence [8,9,10].

According to the 2018 Defence Procurement Review and its Follow-up Review, internal procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised, and remain within the realm of the Ministry of Defence and other Executives, albeit with a strong emphasis on clear policies, processes, professionalism, and risk management [1, 2]. Disaggregated procurement is an item of the Internal Audit work plan, a body independent from the procurement process. Within the annual planning process, the audit universe is informed by external and internal factors, which lead to risk-based prioritised audit universe delineated into emerging, high-priority, and low-priority risk areas. These lead to an audit strategy and finally the audit work plan. The Chief Internal Auditor, under which the process falls, reports primarily to the VCDF, however the plan retains independence requirements by maintaining multiple reporting lines to the CDF and Chief Defence Strategy & Management [3]. External oversight is conducted by the FADTC, which can inquire on any matter, though on financial issues relating to procurement it normally differs to the Auditor-General [4, 5, 6]. However, there is no FADTC sub-committee with the specific mandate of procurement oversight. No undue influence has been found within this research. This would be unlikely given that the FADTC’s members are drawn from across the political spectrum, including some parties whose stance could be considered anti-military. For details on the OAG see Q11C.

The FADTC calls witnesses before it every year, including Service Chiefs and the senior Executives of the Ministry of Defence, and this includes the demanding of explanations (first in written form and then oral) [1, 2, 3, 4]. This oversight mechanism is active, the FADTC does not have the power to cancel projects outright but it may insist on the implementation of significant changes. Once a report is submitted to Parliament, the Government must respond to it though it is not obliged to adhere to the recommendations. The final deciding factor is the House, whose members could pass a vote, however this would be unlikely as the ruling party may have a majority [5, 6]. The Government’s independent auditor, the OAG, does not have the power to cancel projects though it can recommend that the Select Committee make a report to parliament recommending as much [7] Of course, this does not deny that recommendations are incorporated by Defence, but they are relatively minor [8]. Perhaps importantly for this score indicator, the OAG previously identified “deficiencies with expenditure systems and control” within the NZDF, and not all issues were corrected by the time of the OAG’s 2018/19 Review [9].

The FADTC regularly releases information relating to procurement, though some information is collated by the MoD and NZDF and not the FADTC itself. This includes 163 pieces of advice and submission over the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2020 relating to “defence”. Likewise, 110 reports with containing the keyword “defence” have been released by the FADTC in the same period [1, 2, 3]. In particular, matters relating to procurement are present in submissions and advice, as well as in the FADTC’s two main annual ‘reports’: the Estimates of Appropriation, and the Annual Reviews. For each of these, additional support and evidence is provided, include responses to written questions, Hansard transcripts, responses to post-hearing questions, responses to additional written questions, standard estimate questionnaires, responses to standard supplementary questions, and others [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. In addition, financial information, especially related to procurements can be found within the OAG’s Briefing Papers to the FADTC. The 2018/19 iteration highlighted and explained reasons for increases in Vote Defence Appropriations, which signals that oversight has been undertaken [4]. Financial information is also released within MoD and NZDF Annual Reports, which contain independently audited reports and financial statements [5, 6]. The MoD and NZDF also release semi-annual Major Project Reports that detail and update the public on procurement [7].

The procurement oversight mechanism is a formalised process. According to art. 71 of the 2013 Decree on public procurement regarding defence and security: “without prejudice to controls that may be carried out by the State Inspectorate General (Inspection Générale d’Etat), contracts concluded under this decree are subject to a semester inspection by the Inspector General of the Army (Inspecteur General des Armés) or his counterpart for the other corps (1). This control is accompanied by a detailed and confidential report sent to the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister” (1). According to an interviewee, since 2016, there was no control conducted by the Inspector General of the Army (2) which demonstrates inconsistencies in terms of oversight. The Regulatory Agency on Public Procurements (Agence de régulation des marchés publics) also plays the role of a formal oversight mechanism at least regarding the procurement process covered by the 2016 Decree (3). The Court of Accounts can also investigate irregularities within the public procurement process. Regardless of the existence of formalised oversight procedures, its activity is inconsistent (the last recorded activity by the Inspector General of the Army took place in 2016). However, there is no evidence to evaluate the extent to which the “parliament, the military, business or politically well-connected individuals may exercise undue influence on their performance”.

The last audit was carried out by the State Inspectorate General in 2016 (1), who responds directly to the President and exercises oversight over public and state entities. The procurement process covering both pieces of legislation is also controlled on a rolling basis by the General Department of the Public Procurement Control and Financial engagements of the Ministry of Finance (1). According to an interviewee, the procedure is efficient and contributes to improving the formal procurement process (1). However, it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the oversight mechanism given the confidentiality of the procurement procedures mentioned in Art. 2 of the 2013 Decree.
Nevertheless, it should also be noted that the Director of the Department of Public Procurement is a civil servant and not a military position. This is indirect evidence showing that even though there may be some undue influence on behalf of the military on the oversight mechanism, it may be limited.

Given the confidential dimension of the procurement process (1), formal oversight mechanisms are no ttransparent. According to Art. 71 of the 2013 Decree, the report of the Inspector General of the Army (IGA) is strictly confidential, and it is forwarded only to the president and prime minister of Niger (1). 

The National Security Strategy makes some reference to procurement. However, there is no legal or regulatory framework which encompasses the numerous security agencies and the defence institutions. There are no transparent rules accessible to the public on the procedures within the numerous defence agencies and security agencies. Political interference with procurement processes is a well-documented fact. The certification of “No Objection” issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement is usually obtained with civilian purchases. The Tender Board of the MOD also plays a role in procurement. However, the extent to which the 2007 PPA is followed concerning weapons procured is difficult to ascertain. The National Assembly plays a residual role in terms of its general oversight functions. The Bureau of Public Procurement also plays a role (1).

There is some evidence of increased oversight activity; however, there has been no change to the ambiguity over the abridged procurement processes which deviate from the requirements of the PPA 2007. A recent example of this involves the discovery of millions of dollars in an IKOYI flat in Lagos involving the Director of the National Intelligence Agency. Large sums of money were taken from the Central Bank belonging to a National Agency connected to the national oil industry. The money was allegedly released for “covert operations” by presidential approval with no reference to any outside oversight agencies. An explanation given was that covert operations are listed in the budget under disguised heads of expenditure. However, there are no objective means to verify such claims. There exist Tender Boards that deal with procurement as well as other committees within the MOD that work together with other public organizations like the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). Formal oversight processes also exist. The BPP, for example, issues a “No Objection” Certification for acquisitions (1)

There is some evidence of increased oversight activity. The publication of the CADEP report does suggest more activity (1). The oversight of the Defence Procurement Tender Boards and the involvement of the Bureau of Public Procurement Board in terms of the “No Objection” certification scheme also would suggest that there is a degree of transparency in relation to procurement oversight (2). The NASS defence committees and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also have oversight functions. The National Security Strategy makes some reference to procurement.

However, there is no legal or regulatory framework which encompasses the numerous security agencies and defence institutions. There are no transparent rules accessible to the public on how oversight powers are exercised over procurement in the defence and security sector (1). This is particularly the case with off-budget expenditure which does not require the NASS’s approval. The assessment must also be cognizant of the fact that weapons and their likes are excluded from these processes. Despite the formal mechanisms, significant operational lapses do occur regularly. For example, the Audit Office failed to submit reports for many years. There are also capacity issues which reduce the effectiveness of parliamentary oversight such as their inability to gain access to critical information like technical specifications of weapon systems or agreed terms for the purchase of weapons. Overall, there has been little change to the ambiguity over the abridged defence procurement processes which deviate from the requirements of the PPA 2007 (1).

There are two layers of control and oversight mechanisms for defence and security procurements. One is outlined in the Law on Public Procurement [1] through the establishment of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPC) and the State Appeal Commission (SAC); the other is instigated by internal and external audit processes which are executed by the Ministry of Defence’s Internal Audit Department and State Audit Office respectively; with Parliament overseeing the process through the Committee on Defence and Security.
With regards to the first layer of control, the BPC is the central body responsible for coordinating and monitoring the public procurement system in the North Macedonia. Formally, the BPC lies within the Ministry of Finance, but it maintains an independent legal status. The BPC is financed by the state budget and by its own revenues (Article 12/12a) [1]. The Bureau’s monitoring function, as stated in Article 14 [1], is to directly supervise the legality of all public procurement procedures, including the defence-related ones. The SAC, on the other hand, is a fully independent body whose basic functions to objectively and efficiently legally protect the procedures when these are made public (Article 200) [1].
The Internal Audit Office is an independent body within the Ministry of Defence but lies outside of the Ministry’s chain of command and directly reports to the Minister of Defence. This Office operates according to strategic and annual plans to be audited, on the basis of objective risk assessments and established priorities, determine organisational structures, programs, activities and processes within the Ministry of Defence and the Army of the North Macedonia [2]. Externally, the State Audit Office, also an independent institution that reviews the defence procurements in accordance with a three-year strategic plan. Unscheduled audits may be performed and are normally requested by a senior official [3]. Lastly, The Parliament is involved and the Committee on Defence and Security is entitled to oversee the annual defence procurements. Its focus however is on the overall aspects of the plans rather than their specific details related to budgetary, procurement and financial matters [4]. There is no evidence of the influence on these oversight bodies through either chains of superiority or other channels.

In 2016, The Bureau for Public Procurement (BPC) canceled 2881 public procurement procedures [1]. In 814 of these cases, the cancellation was due to fact that no bidding offers were submitted; for 343 cases, the relating tender documentation was incomplete; in 319 cases, the offered price was inappropriate; and for 119 cases, the cancellation was linked to an annulment of the procedure by the State Appeal Commission (SAC). The latter annulment cases follow the stipulations from the Rulebook and is paralleled with the right to summon witnesses, demand explanations and issue recommendations [2]. For instance, in 2015, the SAC received 610 appeals out of which 238 were accepted while 61 were rejected and 269 annulled [3]. The decisions of both the BPC and SAC are legally binding, therefore compulsory; and they are being followed.
The Internal Audit Office is tasked with verifying that the conditions for the implementation of the procurement (such as internal capacity and individual procurement procedures) are fulfilled [4]. The SAO on the other hand, focuses on financial reports and compliance audits [5]. The reports on the revised processes, including the procurements, with related findings and recommendations, are submitted to the Minister of Defence and the organisational units to which these findings and recommendations apply [6]. The Ministry of Defence is obliged to (and does) respond to the findings and recommendations of the SAO. The Department of Finance within the Ministry of Defence submits findings from the external audit to the organisational units/departments to which those findings and recommendations refer and develops an Action Plan on the findings and recommendations of the external audit adopted by the Minister of Defence [7]. However, the decision-making process relating to the cancellation of projects is undisclosed to the public.
The parliamentary Committee on Defence snd Security, as seen from the minutes of its meetings between 2016-2018, has neither debated defence procurements nor issued related recommendations [8].

The Electronic System for Public Procurement operated by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPC) does not file non-transparent purchases [1]. The system contains a 2-year archive of the procurement calls and contracts concluded by each institution. Anyone can see what type and how many types of calls and contracts have been concluded, and they are categorised according to the value of the contract (EUR 20,000) [2]. The BPC and the State Appeal Commission (SAC), in accordance with the Law on Public Procurement, produce detailed annual reports and submit them to the Government and the Parliament respectively. The Bureau deals with the numbers and values of concluded contracts; the categorisation of contracts by types, by subject and by the country issuing the procurement Aarticle 12) [3]. The Commission deals with the numbers of accepted, rejected and annulled appeals as well as annulled procurement procedures. Both reports are available on the BPC and SAC websites. However, there is no evidence in the press relating to the cancellation of procurement programmes, or the release of relevant financial information.
The Internal Audit Office revisions are cyclical and internal, thus not available to the public [4]. The SAO, on the other hand, undergoes its process three times a year and produces the relevant audit reports which it makes available on its own website and on that of the Ministry of Defence [5].

In addition to internal auditing of defence procurements by the Internal Auditor Unit and the Contract Audit section [1], external auditing is conducted by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The OAG may initiate in-depth investigations of the defence sector, including different aspects of planning and procurement. For instance, in 2018 the OAG published a report based on the investigation of the procurement of the NH90 maritime helicopters and their implementation for the Norwegian Army [2]. The Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs is responsible for reviewing reports from the Office of the Auditor General [3]. The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is an audit agency directly subordinate to the Norwegian Parliament. According to the Act on the Office of the Auditor General, the OAG shall not be subject to undue influence but shall be independent and decide by itself how to organise and perform its tasks [4]. A source from the OAG has confirmed that they have not experienced any undue influence from the Ministry of Defence or the Armed Forces [5]. Further, media research does not indicate that such undue influence has occurred.

According to the Act on the Office of the Auditor General, the OAG can summon witnesses, request documents and demand explanations in order to fulfil its oversight activity [1]. The Acquisition Regulations for the Defence Sector specify that the OAG shall be granted access to the same confidential business information as the internal Contract Audit section [2]. The OAG issues recommendations but does not have the authority to cancel projects. The OAG submits its reports to the Norwegian Parliament and the Parliament in plenary may make a decision about initiating an investigation of the particular project. The OAG’s reports are often followed by hearings conducted by the Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. The committee may call in representatives from ministries and organisations, experts or private individuals to hearings for the purpose of obtaining further information [3]. For example, after the OAG submitted in 2018 a report based on the investigation of the procurement of the NH90 maritime helicopters and their implementation for the Norwegian Army [4], the Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs decided in 2019 to call in several witnesses for public hearings. Among the witnesses were current and former Ministers of Defence, current and former Chiefs of Defence, the Director and Heads of Research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and the Directors of the Defence Materiel Agency and Defence Logistics Organisation [5]. The OAG’s report and the hearings provided a basis for the committee’s recommendations to Parliament [6].

The OAG’s reports on defence procurement are usually made available to the public [1]. Some of the reports may however be either fully or partially classified in accordance with the National Security Act. The Recommendation by the Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs and minutes from the parliamentary debate on the OAG’s reports are also made available to the public [2].

There is a lack of independent oversight mechanisms for the defence and security sectors in general and with procurement in particular. However, there is an internal auditing unit as part of the procurement and financial department, but it has no oversight over defence procurements (1), (2). Neither the al-Shura or the al-Dawla are mandated with oversight over issues on defence and security policy (3). The independent Tender Board does not oversee the Ministry of Defence or the Royal Oman Police, both of which have their own internal tender boards (4), (5). The secretary-general of the Ministry of Defence website, lists the Secretariat of the Tender Board under “About Us” but no link or further information is provided about the activities of the board (6). There is also no evidence to suggest that the parliament or the military influence defence procurement.

There is no oversight mechanism over procurement in place (see Q59A); therefore, this sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no oversight mechanism over procurement in place (see Q59A); therefore, this sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are formalized within the SBAAC and the military, financial auditing department within the MoF (1). However, their activity is inconsistent across the different heads of the security agency, the government, and the finance minister. Politically well-connected individuals may exercise undue influence. Additionally, due to the politicised defence and security industry in Palestine, the level of independence in the decision-making process is hampered. For instance, officers or individuals who are engaged in corruption or misused their positions cannot be prosecuted or sanctioned if they are politically connected to senior officials, which is evidence that the oversight mechanism is inconsistent (2).

Procurement oversight mechanisms exist, however, not all activities mentioned in score four are present, and sometimes the mechanism is avoided because of political influence (1). The missing activities include explanations, issuing recommendations or conclusions that are being followed or implemented. In the majority of corruption reports by the ACC and the SBAAC, there is little evidence that both organizations conducted a thorough oversight over any of the security agencies (2).

Evidence of oversight, scrutiny, and monitoring are rarely made public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions, and when information is released, the content is missing essential information. Further, no one has access to information or reports, including journalists and CSOs. In the history of the PA, there has not been a case to make the annual procurement reports or data available for the public. The MoF and the security agencies consider the data confidential.

The power of Congress to conduct investigation is recognized by the 1987 Constitution under Section 21, Article VI. Both Senate and House committees on National Defence and Security, as well as the Committee on Finance have the authority to conduct investigations related to military acquisition independently [1]. To oversee the implementation of the AFP Modernization Program, Republic Act 10340 stipulated that a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Defense Acquisition is to be created to monitor the procurement cycle [2]. The Committee is composed of six members from the Senate and six members from the House of Representatives with the Chair of the Committees on National Defence and Security of both Houses as Joint Chairs [2, 3]. They are at times subject to undue influence, particularly with respect to politicisation [4]. Another body that is mandated to audit acquisition projects is the Commission on Audit [5].

While the Congressional Oversight Committee on Defense Acquisitions, referred to in 59A, has not been created in the current 18th Congress [1], inquiry related to military acquisition has been conducted by the Senate Committee on National Defence and Security [2]. In 2018, prompted by media reports that carried a leaked document linking the president’s special assistant to a frigate acquisition project, a senate investigation was conducted where witnesses and documents were subpoenaed [3]. While the probe shed light on the cause of the issue, the Senate did not probe deeper nor demanded explanations [4]. Regarding a review on the AFP Modernisation Programme, feelers have been put forwarded but have not been actively engaged [5, 6]. Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit also has the power to summon parties to a case, it rarely does so, but actively issues recommendations in its annual report [7, 8].

The Commission on Audit (COA) has been effective in its reporting of procurement audit and has questioned the defence department about some of its acquisitions [1,2]. These findings, along with observations and recommendations, are published annually in its website and have been used by Congress in its investigations [3]. However, evidence of activity content is still limited as revealed during the 2021 military budget hearing where the Senate Finance Committee does not have a clear picture of the status of the AFP odernisation Programme. [4] One of the Senators had to ask the Defence Secretary for a detailed breakdown of the projects completed since the start of the programme in 2012 [4].

Procurement oversight is carried out outside the chain of command by the Anti-Corruption Procedures Unit in the minister’s office, Military Police and the Military Counterintelligence Agency [1]. They are relatively independent as they are not affiliated with the deputy minister in charge of procurements, however, they are still subordinate to the defence minister.
From 2006 to 2017 the anti-corruption procedures unit had the highest level of independence within the MoD structure as a separate Anti-corruption Procedures Bureau answering directly to the minister. The bureau was disbanded in 2018. Its oversight tasks and personnel have been transferred to the minister’s office where the Anti-Corruption Procedures Unit was created. Consequently, the level of its independence has been downgraded [2]. The personnel of the Anti-Corruption Procedures Unit consists only of civil servants to reduce the risk of undue influence by military personnel (as former colleagues or high ranking officers). [1]
In the chain of command, the procurement oversight is performed by the deputy minister in charge of modernisation of armed forces and his staff. He directly supervises the acquisition departments and the Inspectorate of Armaments [3]. The Ministry of National Defence, however, lacks an external, comprehensive, formal and described process of supervision over orders [4]. There are reporting mechanisms carried out both within procurement units in writing or verbally (generally weekly) and information provided to a management representative (Secretary of State responsible for technical modernization of the armed forces) in principle. These may take the form of written and oral presentations during cyclical meetings presented by the management of the procurement unit (e.g. Inspectorate of Armaments). In procurement units, there are also internal control and audit departments [5].
Other supervision mechanisms include the obligation by law to submit draft contracts worth more than PLN 100 million to the General Counsel to the Republic of Poland, which is independent from the defence establishments [6].

The Anti-Corruption Procedures Unit has the task of monitoring procurement procedures [1]. From January 2018 to April 2019 the unit provided general monitoring on 130 procurements, reviewing selected documents and issuing opinions. In the timeframe, the unit provided in-depth, direct monitoring of over a dozen procurements. That included risk analysis and the issuing of recommendations at the beginning of the process, reviews of all documentation, participation in tender board meetings and requests for explanations [2]. Standard overview in the chain of command is performed by the relevant deputy minister. Military Police and the Military Counterintelligence Service may direct their observers to the tender boards [3].

Usually, the reports and recommendations of the oversight bodies are classified (restricted), and consequently, they are not public. From time to time, the defence minister informs the public on the results of oversight [1].

Oversight over defence and security procurement is carried out through the Court of Accounts (CA) (as the SAI), the Inspectorate-General of Finance (IGF) (as a specialist auditing agency) and the Inspectorate-General of National Defence (IGND) (as the defence sector auditor). An independent review found the CA operates independently [1, 2, 3], and there is substantial evidence of appropriate exertion of its rights and duties as per the extent of public agencies and processes audited throughout a given year [4]. The IGF also publishes extensive reports of its activities which are suggestive of independence [5].

There is some evidence of increased effectiveness by the CA in recent years, measured via several audits, financial amounts audited and the number of open procedures [1]. The defence and security sector is regularly audited according to the CA’s annual reports [2, 3, 4, 5]. There is less clear evidence of the IGND performing its duties as evinced in the Tancos affair and subsequent parliamentary inquiries [6], but a comparative survey of recent activity by high-level audit agencies across the public sector suggests high effectiveness by the IGND [7]. However, oversight mechanisms (external and internal) do not call witnesses, nor do they require responses by audited entities.

There is some public evidence of CA performing auditing work to the extent of its capacities, according to the Open Budget Survey [1]. With regard to defence procurement and institutions, CA audits encompass work on the Military Programming Act which include comments on procurement [2], monitoring of remaining offsets contracts [3], ex-ante contract review [4] and generalized audit reports [5, 6, 7] The IGF self-assessed its performance as satisfactory, but there is no external audit of these results [8]. There is some evidence of the IGND fulfilling its role, but its consistency and capacity in the defence sector have been called into question [9, 10].

The defence and security institutions in Qatar do not have any oversight mechanisms. Oversight mechanisms are almost non-existent in the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence. There is an auditing unit within the Ministry, and there is a member from the MoF within the procurement committee, however, they have no right to intervene or report on any event. [1,2,3] In relation to procurement, there is no evidence of regulations or laws that define a procurement cycle. Defence institutions are exempted from Audit Law No. 11 (2016) and the Tender Law No. 24 (2015). [4] It has also become clear that defence institutions are not subject to oversight or scrutiny, as they fall under the direct authority of the Emir.

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable as there are no procurement oversight mechanisms (see Q59A).

The oversight mechanisms are vague, basic, and inefficient, particularly since defence procurement is exempted from state laws on procurement. Internal oversight is superficial and external oversight is non-existent [1,2].

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable as there are no procurement oversight mechanisms (see Q59A).

There are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is exempted from state laws on procurement. The procurement unit itself report their activities to the relevant departments and commanders, without external validation or oversight [1,2].

According to Government Decree No. 728, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is appointed to implement state control over defence procurement [1]. Section 5.1 ‘On state control over state defence order’ of Federal Law No. 275 ‘On State Defence Orders’ stipulates oversight mechanisms for defence procurement [2].

According to Article 15.2 of Federal Law No. 275, in order to control all public procurement (except secret items), the FAS can carry out scheduled and unscheduled inspections, place administrative charges, initiate active search measures and revise pricing methodology [2]. The FAS is formally independent from the military or other interested parties.

In addition, the General Prosecutor’s Office [3], the Accounts Chamber [3] and the Federal Agency for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring) [4] provide interdepartmental oversight of state procurement. According to Interviewee 1, the FAS and the General Prosecutor’s Office with its military department are the only fully independent oversight structures [5]. The Accounts Chamber practically lost its power to control or review the military sector five to six years ago due to an increased level of secrecy in the military budget [5]. There is no available way to prove that RosFinMonitoring is not subject to undue influence from military, business or political structures.

According to the work reports, the federal services for control are quite active in carrying out their oversight functions (although, most often the reports are presented in a general, aggregated form without specifying any activities related to defence procurement).

In 2018, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) issued 21,828 orders to rectify uncovered violations in procurement [1].

The General Prosecutor’s Office discovered 150,000 violations in procurement, with 6% of them being corruption crimes [2]. It also initiated 275 criminal cases and took disciplinary and criminal action against 2,500 people [2]. The Accounts Chamber reported procurement violations worth 294.6 billion rubes [2]. The findings of the Federal Agency for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring) in 2018 served as the grounds for 170 criminal cases for state procurement violations [3].

There is no information as to whether the oversight services use their capacity to cancel projects.

The federal services’ work reports on procurement oversight are published on the official webpages but are limited to general, aggregated information [1,2,3]. In addition, Article 15.10 of Federal Law No. 275 ‘On State Defence Orders’ forbids oversight agencies to publish classified information uncovered during oversight procedures [4]. So, information about the procurement of secret items is classified and data on non-secret items is presented without details.

Oversight mechanisms are not formalised and active. According to a source, there a minimal oversight on delivery of purchases, which includes signing papers, but not checking the quality. There is an internal unit which is responsible for auditing, but it lies under the same chain of command as the procurement department. Some employees visit the MoD, MoF, the General Auditing Bureau, but just as members of committees (tender committees) (1), (2), (3).

According to Saudi Arabia’s Basic Law of Governance of 1992, each government agency is subject to an internal auditing process (4). The relevant bodies that, in theory, perform these functions include the Internal Audit unit at the Ministry of Defence, the General Auditing Bureau, and the Consultative Council’s Committee on Security Affairs. However, there is little publicly available information on the activities and mandates of the committees, and it is unlikely that they would have meaningful oversight powers over procurement deals, deals which would ultimately be initiated and undertaken by the ministry’s executive, Minister of Defence and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Furthermore, defence policy does not fall within the stated mandate of the Committee on Security Affairs; the Consultative Council’s has a primarily consultative role and does not exercise either formal or informal influence or oversight over policy (5). Though the GAB reportedly has a dedicated department for military sector auditing (6), in practice it also has no actual leverage over defence procurement processes, which, like all other functions in the military and security sectors, are highly centralized under the authority of Mohammed bin Salman.

The Ministry of Defence’s website publishes details on its updated organizational structure. It states that the MoD has a procurement division named the Ministry of Armaments Procurement Agency (MAPA) which falls under the ultimate purview of the office of the minister of defence. According to a diagram published on the website, the MoD has an Audit and Inspections unit that falls under a separate branch of the MoD’s organizational structure – under the Military Court (7).

According to a consultant who works with the Saudi defence sector, the General Authority for Military Industries will act as an industry supervisor and regulator of procurement/contracts. The consultant stated, however, that the crown prince is the ultimate authority behind both SAMI and GAMI and the procurement process as a whole (8).

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms.

As mentioned above, GAMI’s role in the new defence architecture entails supervising procurement processes. There is a serious lack of an effective oversight mechanism. In theory, there are defined structures and processes, but in reality, there are none (1), (2), (3).

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms.

The research found that there is no transparency, with regards to the procurement cycle oversight mechanism. No information is published, and no one except the individuals involved in any procurement operation knows about other operation (1), (2).

The external procurement oversight bodies are the Public Procurement Office, the State Audit Institution (SAI) and the Commission for Protection of Rights in the Public Procurement Procedure (hereafter Commission). The first one is an independent agency, whose head is appointed by the government and the latter two are independent state bodies, accountable to the National Assembly, which appoints heads/members of these institutions [1, 2, 3]. Annual procurement plans and quarterly reports on implemented procurement are submitted to the Public Procurement Office (PPO), which is the main body overseeing the implementation of the Public Procurement Law (PPL). If the PPO establishes irregularities in a public procurement procedure, it is obliged to report them to SAI and budgetary inspection under Ministry of Finance [4]. The Commission decides upon complaints about violations of procurement procedures and decides in the first instance about charges for minor offences sanctioned under PPL [5]. When in 2015 the Chair of the Commission resigned, there was speculation in public that he did so due to pressure on the Commission from participants in tendering [6], which he denied [7]. The Commission’s work was further hampered by the fact that the competent parliamentary committee (Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending; hereafter Committee on Finance) did not consider his resignation for five weeks [8] and it took further 4.5 months before the National Assembly appointed a new chairwoman and filled two more vacancies in the Commission [9]. According to an account by the current chair of the Commission, its work suffered significantly in 2015 and 2016 due to leadership and staff turnover [10]. In the first quarter of 2016, an average decision-making period rose from 20-30 days [11] to 74 days [10]. This episode also exposed weaknesses of parliamentary appointment of heads of independent state institutions. Namely, the Committee on Finance recommended after testing and interviews with candidates for chair and members of the Commission that the National Assembly voted for the current Chair of the Commission although she had scored worse in the test than another candidate [12]. Thereby the Committee on Finance decided by voting and without previous discussion; moreover, the report from the said Committee’s session does not entail any explanation why the recommended candidate was the best one [13].
It ought to be noted that PPO does not have jurisdiction over public procurement in the field of defence and security (Article 127 of PPL) and procurement in the field of defence and security exempt from the Law (Article 128 of PPL). In these two cases, the primary oversight mechanisms are the Government and the National Assembly i.e. Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, with the role of the latter being to consider annual reports [14]. On the other hand, SAI does have a possibility to audit procurement in these two categories. Nonetheless, its role is limited to post festum scrutiny and with around 300 staff [15] responsible for over 11,000 subjects of audit [16] it is unlikely to regularly review procurement in the defence sector. Even though there are no legislative provisions strictly prohibiting bidders from submitting complaints to the Commission in cases of public procurement in the field of defence and security, this has not occurred in practice so far.
In short, there are legal mechanisms of procurement oversight, but they are only related to public procurements. In the shadow, completely outside of oversight, are the largest procurements of weapons, which are financed through confidential direct contracts from budget reserves and partly from the state budget, but for already signed contracts that have begun to be realized, or rather for there are assumptions that advance payments have been paid. The analysis of the Fiscal Council entitled “Basic Findings From the Final Accounts for the period 2002-2018 and the Assessment of the Final Account of the Budget for 2018” shows that the Ministry of Defence is a large user of the current budget reserve. An example from December 2016 shows that nine billion dinars were transferred from the reserve to the defence department, which is a quarter of the consumption of current reserves in 2016 [17].

The Public Procurement Office (PPO) oversight competencies are rather ʻsoftʼ and in practice mostly limited to data collection (reporting) and issuing recommendations [1]. It is also consulted by contracting authorities before they initiate negotiation procedures without an invitation to bid. Although its opinion is not binding, the PPO assessed that the introduction of an obligation for contracting authorities to consult it before proceeding to negotiation procedure without an invitation to bid had led to a decrease in the use of this type of procedure [2]. Additionally, the PPO maintains Public Procurement Portal and provides open data [3]. The Commission for Protection of Rights in the Public Procurement Procedure reached 55 decisions on requests for protection of rights in public procurement when the contracting authority was MoD in the period January 2016-March 2018. In 28 cases, the Commission decided in favour of plaintiffs (bidders) and partially or entirely annulled the public procurement procedures in question [4]. The State Audit Institution has not reviewed the MoD’s full financial reports since the one for 2010 and has not specifically audited procurement in the field of defence and security. However, it did scrutinise procurement in the field of defence and security exempt from the law while auditing Security-Information Agency’s (BIA) annual financial report for 2016 [5]. The BIA is a civilian security and intelligence service organised as an independent government agency. Still, this audit was important as the first audit examining procurement exempt from the law, which is also not monitored by the PPO and does not fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction, so that oversight mechanisms are generally weaker. All institutions that conduct procurement in the field of defence and security are requested to submit annual reports on both implemented public procurement in the field of defence and security and procurement in the field of defence and security exempt from the Law to competent National Assembly committees [6]. So far, the BIA regularly submitted such annual reports to the Security Services Control Committee, but these reports did not include all types of procurement defined in Articles 127 and 128 of the PPL [7]. On the other hand, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior have not submitted any such reports to Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, whose staff does not have ʻany knowledge if these reports have ever been submitted to the National Assemblyʼ [7]. Several of the MoD’s procurement procedures were monitored by civil supervisors. Civil supervisors do not have the power to cancel procurement, but they can submit requests for protection of rights to the Commission and are obliged to inform the authorities and public if they have any doubts about the lawfulness of the procedure. [8] None of the civil supervisors who oversee the MoD’s procurement has raised any concerns in public so far.

The PPO, SAI and the Commission are legally required to prepare annual activity reports. PPO and SAI regularly publish their annual reports online [1, 2]. The SAI’s audit reports are all available on its website [3]. On the other hand, the last Commission’s annual activity report available online as of June 26, 2018, is the one for 2015 [4]. The report for 2016 was presented to the Committee on Finance in July 2017 [5]. In September 2017, the BCSP requested this report from the Commission through the free access to information mechanism. The Commission rejected this request citing the legislative provision that it was accountable for its work to the National Assembly and was thus not authorised to make the report publicly available before it is adopted by the National Assembly at a plenary session [6]. The Commission does publish its decisions upon requests for protection of rights in public procurement procedures with detailed elaborations of each case. National Assembly committees do publish regular information about the held meetings, but the level of detail is inconsistent depending on the committee and convocation. Quarterly reports submitted by the MoD to the Defence and Internal Committee (DIAC) are neither published by the MoD nor by the National Assembly. The earlier reports were possible to obtain by the later through free access to information mechanism. However, since the last reports were deliberated in DIAC at a closed session [7], it can be concluded that they are classified.

There is a clear separation of powers between the executive and other organs of state in order to prevent undue influence and maintain a robust set of checks and balances [1]. Moreover, Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) expenditures are externally audited by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO), and they are scrutinised by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), although the exact processes are not fully transparent [2, 3, 4]. Lapses in procurement processes, when detected, have in the past been revealed to the public via accessible parliamentary reports or the media [5, 6]. There is no evidence suggesting undue influence from highly placed individuals or organisations on defence procurement; all procurement activities are considered on their value proposition and performance [7]. The defence procurement process is scrutinised internally by the MINDEF’s Internal Audit Department (IAD).

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has demonstrated an ability to access contracting documents and relevant information to investigate any anomalies within the defence procurement system and has surfaced several instances for the past year alone [1]. Members of parliament and the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs (GPC-DFA) committee have also actively tabled discussions on defence spending and procurement activities [2] for the defence minister to address in public, although there is no evidence to suggest that these oversight measures are willing or have been able to overturn/cancel projects.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) publicly reveals anomalies within the defence procurement system via its reports and has announced several instances of malpractice for public consumption in recent years. Details of these occurrences often include pertinent information such as damages [1, 2].

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) legislation and Joint Standing Committee on Defence – which is an oversight mechanism including the PFMA – largely take the lead in procurement and acquisitions oversight [1, 2]. Moreover, given that the committee is a multi-party composition entity, scrutiny and independence are largely assured. As procurement oversight is flagged and investigated, much of this process is independent or not strictly tied to the defence or even the executive itself. The pursuit of prosecutions by the Public Prosecutor, for example, is largely disconnected and independent of the Department of Defence (DoD) [3].

Procurement oversight pursues a rigorous process in investigating irregularities. The Joint Standing Committee Defence (JSCD) is able to summon expert witnesses, documents and files relating to procurement and acquisitions. In addition, they are expected to publish recommendations based on answers received when interviewing relevant experts and officials [1, 2].

Activity is published by the relevant state organs, civil society watchdogs, and the media. No interference in these activities is evident. The minutes of JSCD meetings are regularly made available through official channels, including supporting, unclassified documents such as presentations and media [1].

The Ministry of National Defence (MND), the Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) oversee the defence procurement process through their audit departments. The inspection Bureau within the MND monitors potential corruption risks in defence procurement. [1] [2] [3] The DAPA has two internal oversight mechanisms: the Inspector General and the Special Inspector General for Defence Acquisition. Both are responsible for inspecting the defence procurement and acquisition process. The Special Inspector General for Defence Acquisition has senior prosecutors who are not procurement officers, allowing them to work independently. [1] The Department of Defence Inspection within the BAI also oversees overall defence procurement. While the departments within the MND and the DAPA operate under defence institutions, the BAI acts independently as a constitutional institution, in theory. [3] However, the independence and fairness of the BAI’s oversight mechanism have been questioned by the media and academics. As the BAI is under the direct jurisdiction of the Presidential office, the possibility of political influence remains. [4]

Section 3 of the Board of Audit and Inspection Act outlines the scope of inspection of duties. The BAI can summon witnesses involved in the matters subject to inspection to appear in the audit. In addition, the BAI has the right to request documents and certificates, as well as other pertinent papers. The BAI can seal warehouses, money safes, papers and books in order to inspect them thoroughly when necessary. [1] While oversight mechanisms mentioned above are formalised and empowered to oversee malpractice in procurement, the effectiveness of the mechanisms has been criticised by defence experts. During interviews, four defence experts agreed that the current oversight mechanisms are ineffective because multiple oversight systems focus on the misconduct of procurement officers and contractors, rather than investigating systemic corruption and malpractice in the procurement process. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

While evidence of activity is made public through the oversight institutions’ websites, the full detail of the activities is rarely disclosed publicly. [1] In a recent example in May 2019, the BAI conducted a two-year inspection over an F-35A purchase made in 2013. Although malpractice and unlawful behaviour of procurement officers were identified during the inspection, the BAI decided not to disclose them due to national security concerns. [2]

Procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised but the extent to which they are independent is something that is yet to be established (eg. by an external firm contracted to evaluate service providers). [1] The Ministry also has an internal audit unit and a directorate of oversight. [2] The role of the former is to conduct “unrestricted audits,” establish procedures and guidelines, conduct internal audits, and endorse payments. [3] The latter is not even mentioned in the Procurement Act or in the Public Financial Management and Accountability Act. Nevertheless, both mechanisms are described as having “little visibility or leverage for oversight of the large-scale transactions that most need auditing and are at greatest risk for graft and waste.” [2] However, the lack of public access to scrutinise how procurement occurs makes it difficult to assess the independence of the mechanisms.

A review of South Sudanese media coverage shows there is no evidence of such processes taking place so far, which is an indication of these mechanisms’ inactivity. [1] Sources contacted have not responded to requests for information.

There is no information that procurement oversight mechanisms inform the public about their activities. Subsequently, finding evidence of information that these mechanisms help the public is difficult.

The internal control of the economic and financial management of the state public sector is carried out in Spain through the General Intervention of the State Administration (Intervención General de la Administración del Estado) (IGAE). It is responsible for the internal control of the economic-financial management of the state public sector in accordance with the provisions of Article 140.2 of Law 47/2003, of 26 November, on General Budgetary (LGP). The internal control modalities that it can exercise are the auditing function, permanent financial control, and public auditing. Article 143 of the LGP establishes that in the scope of the Ministry of Defence, control will be exercised through the General Defence Intervention, functionally dependent, for these purposes, on the IGAE [1, 2]. Article 332.11 of Law 9/2017, of 8 November, on Public Sector Contracts (LCSP), establishes that: “the General Intervention of the State Administration, and the equivalent bodies at the regional and local level, they will send annually to the Independent Office for Regulation and Supervision of Procurement (OIRESCON) a global report, which will be made public within the month following its receipt, with the most significant results of their control activity in public procurement” [3]. This report represents a new and interesting mechanism of supervision and includes a specific section about the General Intervention of the Defence sector.

The external control is carried out by the Court of Audits. This is the supreme body that supervises the accounts and the economic management of the State and the public sector, as stated in Article 140 of Law 47/2003, of 26 November, on General Budgetary (LGP) [1]. The Court of Audits, a key instrument in Spain to detect corruption, has been accused of a lack of independence. The Supreme Tribunal, the highest court in Spain, also criticised the composition of the Court of Audits in 2013, saying that there were more public workers appointed by political parties than by impartial procedures among its members, which translates into a risk of politicisation. Importantly, no relevant changes have occurred since [4]. Nepotism is also a problem in Spain, as almost one hundred out of 700 workers are relatives of the higher-up and former higher-up in the Audit Court, while an additional ten per cent had links to individuals in positions with high and medium relevance [5]. Most of the members of the tribunal to select new incorporations are from within the institution [5]. In any case, the Court of Audits analyses the performance in contracts with a significant delay (up to several years), a fact that may hamper any real oversight functions.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised, but they may be subject to undue influence. No objective way has been found to determine whether undue pressure has been the norm or exception in this case. Probably undue influence by the military has been limited, but the risk of policitisation is clear as explained above. Oversight reports are scarce: only five reports regarding Defence by the Court of Audits (see previous explanations). There is not a parliamentary committee that reviews procurement.

As stated by the secretary of state for defence, “’there is a lack of awareness [in the Ministry] about the need to manage in a systematic and professional way, since there is a lack of a program management culture in the organization’ while admitting that anyone can manage large procurement projects, basing important decisions on ‘shallow documentary milestones’” [1]. This situation has improved with the recent imposition of the global report to be sent to the OIRESCON. However, this oversight mechanism is not very active. It is very delayed, and by the time of publication, contracts under oversight may have been finalised. Additionally, it is not comprehensive: in 2018, the only year with public figures available so far, the contractual activity of the Ministry of Defence was worth €3.404.2M [2]. According to the Contracting General Sub-direction of the Ministry of Defence, contracts worth only €566M were the object of control in the report by the Independent Office that offered the main results of such control [3]. This is only 16.6 per cent of the total volume of contracts awarded.

The Independent Office for Contracting Regulation and Supervision was created by Law 9/2017 in late 2017, and only the 2018 report has been published [1]. The report for 2019 has not been published yet, but it is expected that it will be published yearly.

As per the search engine on the Court of Audits website, there are only five reports on “Armed Forces”, “Ministry of Defence” or, simply, “Defence” since the year 2000: one on economic issues of military operations abroad (2009-2010), one on the Social Institute of the Armed Forces (2002-2003), one on real estate alienations carried out by the Institute for Housing of the Armed Forces (2003-2005), one on the management and control of pharmaceutical benefits by the Social Institute of the Armed Forces (2015), and one on the Special Programmes of Armament Modernisation (2012-2014) [2].

The Public Procurement, Contracting and Disposal of Public Assets Act of the Republic of Sudan, 2010 [1], outlines general procurement processes, but there is no evidence that there is any independent oversight mechanism actually functioning to verify that procurement processes are implemented in accordance with the Act. According to the Sudan National Audit Chambers Act, 2015 [2], no government unit is exempt from the Chamber’s authority to review processes and activities – but the Auditor General and deputies are appointed by the President of the Republic, therefore it is not independent. GAN Integrity’s Sudan report, published on its Risk and Compliance Portal, summarises as follows: ‘Public procurement in Sudan presents companies with a very high risk of corruption. A system of patronage, cronyism and nepotism distorts the market competition’ [3]. Although the National Audit Chamber is mandated to address issues in all units of all branches of government, there is no evidence that it has engaged defence and security sector entities in its efforts to execute its mission during the last five years [4]. Independent experts on Sudan’s defence sector verified that there is no evidence that an effectively independent defence procurement oversight mechanism exists for public sector defence and security activities [5,6].

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’, given that a thorough review of internet sources and interviews with two experts on Sudan’s security sector yielded no evidence that Sudan’s defence procurement activities were, in practice, subject to oversight mechanisms during the Bashir regime [1,2]. While the National Audit Chamber may have conducted audits of any government body’s activities, according to the Sudan National Audit Chambers Act of 2015 [3], it is not evident that any reports were ever conducted for defence or security sector procurements, that any reports on such procurements were delivered to Parliament, or any other government entity, or that any action of remediation was ever taken by a defence or security sector institution in response to the Chamber’s findings or recommendations. It is worth noting that the Auditor General and deputies in Sudan are directly appointed by the President [3]. Additionally, since the Act was passed ‘in accordance with the provisions of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of the Sudan, 2005’, it is not evident that the Act remains legally enforceable since the adoption of the 2019 transitional Constitution. The International Budget Partnership’s 2017 Open Budget Survey for Sudan scored Sudan’s transparency 2 out of 100, its public participation 0 out of 100 and its budget oversight 31 out of 100 [4]. Its security and defence activities are exceptionally secret and opaque. GAN Integrity’s Sudan report, published on its Risk and Compliance Portal, summarises as follows: ‘Public procurement in Sudan presents companies with a very high risk of corruption. A system of patronage, cronyism and nepotism distorts the market competition’ [5].

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ because, since there is no evidence that Sudan’s defence procurement activities are, in practice, subject to oversight mechanisms [1,2], it is not possible to assess the extent to which such mechanisms are successful. The International Budget Partnership’s 2017 Open Budget Survey for Sudan scored Sudan’s transparency 2 out of 100, its public participation 0 out of 100 and its budget oversight 31 out of 100 [3]. Sudan’s security and defence activities are exceptionally secret and opaque.

Chapter 18 of the Law on Procurement in the Defence and Security Area [1] specifies the relevant oversight mechanisms for the SAF’s and Swedish Defence Material Administration Agency’s (FMV) procurements. Contracts subject to confidentiality are procured in accordance with the general Law on Public Procurement [2]. Oversight is enforced by the Swedish Competition Authority (KKV), which is independent from parliament, and ensures a standardised application of national procurement rules as well as promotes compliance among actors.

The procurement oversight agency KKV is active in the sense that they, in addition to conducting routine inspections of public procurement, may also initiate investigations on their own of certain procurement agencies as a ‘preventive measure’ [1]. KKV advise law makers on reforms to strengthen procurement mechanisms, and also fund research on public procurement. However, no evidence can be found that KKV has the mandate to cancel ongoing procurement projects, as their main objective seems to be to work preventively and to audit completed procurements and, if necessary, issue warnings or publish ‘criticism’ [2].

KKV makes comprehensive evidence of their activities publicly available online, including press releases, a detailed record of investigations of illegal procurements in the past, and cases where agencies have been obliged to pay ‘compensations for procurement damage’ [1].

The parliamentarian oversight is well-established. There are the Control Committees [1], the Finance Committees [2] and the Security Policy Committee (SPC) [3]. There are also the Control Delegation (CDel) [4] and the Financial Delegation (FinDel) [5] as subcommittees with access to all classified information. The internal audit, although technically within the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), fulfils its role autonomously and is independent. Last, but not least, there is the work by the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO), which is independent and has issued reports on procurement decisions in the past [6, 7]. The main challenge is that most of these oversight mechanisms come in after the fact, and are most of the time not proactive.

The procurement oversight bodies are active but typically intervene late in the process, often after the fact [1]. Reports by the SFAO are shared with the Parliament and the Federal Council (Article 14.1, FKG). The recommendations have to be implemented within the timeframe set by the SFAO. The SFAO will report on the state of implementation (Article 14.2bis) [2]. The SFAO can produce follow-up reports to verify the implementation of the recommendations, and will report annually on the state of implementation in a public report (Article 14.3) [2, 3]. The SFAO, as well as the internal audit of the DDPS, appear to regularly review procurements [4, 5]. The direct democratic nature of the Swiss system also provides a form of oversight, mainly for large procurement projects. The procurement of new fighter jets was stopped due to the rejection by the Swiss voters in 2014 [6].

All oversight bodies produce reports on their activities that are publicly available. The SFAO does produce an annual report mandated by law (Article 14.1, FKG) to be public [1, 2]. The control committees (CCs) also report on their annual activities [3]. The parliamentarian oversight committees produce reports for their respective chamber (Article 44.2 ParlA) [4] on specific activities [5]. The internal audit of the DDPS also produces reports and publishes some of them on the website of the DDPS [6].

The five external and internal defence procurement oversight mechanisms are stated as following:
(1) National Audit Office: NAO audits defence procurement by Article 109 of Government Procurement Act and other audit related laws.[1]
(2) Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan: LY reviews budgets of defence procurement and Control Yuan inspects procurement cases reported by personnel or media. [2,3]
(3) Procurement control unit: A procurement control unit may monitor and supervise procurement of the procuring entities by the “Regulations Governing the Operation of Procurement Control Units”. [4,5]
(4) Superior entity supervision: For special situations, cases shall be approved and supervised by superior entity. Those situations are the most advantageous tender (Article 56 of the Government Procurement Act), an acceptance with price reduction (Article 72), the termination of the contract is against public interests (Article 50 and 64), the entity does not agree with the resolution recommendation proposes by Compliant Board for Government Procurement (Article 85-3), procurement from the supplier who has been banned and published on the Government Procurement Gazette (Article 103). [6]
(5)Comptroller (accounting) and Inspection units: All military procurement shall be supervised by Comptroller Bureau, Ethics Office and Inspector General’s Office. [7]

However, following the logic of defence policy, military strategy, and defence procurement, policies, strategies, and procurements are heavily influenced by the Minister of National Defence [8,9].

Procurement oversight mechanisms are active. They include demanding documents and explanations, issuing recommendations or and conclusions that are being followed or implemented.

In some cases they can exercise their ability to cancel projects.
In 2018 procurement control unit asks bidding entity to stop the bidding of a project “Rebuild Track and Field Stadium and Comprehensive Stadium Project of Air Force Institute of Technology”. According to the recommendation, the institution cancelled the project and published a notice of no award on the Government e-procurement System.[1,2]
Another example is the procurement of special vehicle in 2019. The Foreign and National Defence Committee of the LY reviewed the budget of procuring special vehicles. Questions about functions, supplier, equipment, procurement procedure, and budget were discussed in the meetings. As a result, the committee decided to cut the budget because of overlapped functions, incomplete planning, and over-estimated budget.[3,4,5] However some legislators feel they have little impact on procurement projects. [7,8]

Evidence of activity of external overseeing is generally public.
The procurement supervision statements of LY and Control Yuan are published on their website. For example, The Foreign and National Defence Committee of LY reviewed the budget of procuring special news vehicle and decided to cut the budget because of overlapped functions, incomplete planning, and over-estimated budget. The supervision information was published on the Gazette of LY and reported by media. [1,2,3]
The Public Construction Commission, which acts as the procurement authority, collects case information from all the procurement control units, including the MND supervision unit, and publishes them in “Defect Cases: Collection of Government Procurement Supervision”, which is public. However, it concerns selected cases from various public entities, only. [4]

With regard to internal oversight mechanisms, some information are made public.
The MND publishes the results of procurement supervision on the “Reporting Meeting of Ethics”. For example, in the 59th meeting minutes, summary of discovered malpractices of the national military’s procurement system was published. It was based on 309 bidding cases, 302 military investment cases, 113 procurement budgets, and 137 procurement plans reviewed by the Comptroller Bureau, Inspector General’s Office, and Ethics Office from January to June 2020 [5].

There are procurement oversight mechanisms, but they are dependent on the executive, and discouraged from rigorous oversight of the military in particular. The Controller and Auditor General is appointed by the President, and is dependent on the executive for their budget. The Public Procurement Regularly Authority’s Chief Executive is also appointed by the President and dependent on the executive for their budget. [1] [2]

There are mechanisms in place but they are very weak. The Annual Performance Evaluation Report of the Public Procurement Authority report for the year 2018-19, the most recent, and for the preceding year, make no mention of procurement by any defence or security organ. Very limited information is available in the reports of the Controller and Auditor General. [1] [2]

The Annual Performance Evaluation Report of the Public Procurement Authority report for the year 2018-19, the most recent, and for the preceding year, make no mention of procurement by any defence or security organ. Very limited information is available in reports of the Controller and Auditor General. [1]

The Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act 2017, Section 4, details a number of formalised procurement oversight mechanisms, such as the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Policy Commission, the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Ruling Committee, the Committee in charge of focal prices and registration of business operators, the Anti-Corruption Co-operation Committee and the Committee in charge of considering appeals and complaints [1]. However, it is a requirement that the Committee for Public Procurement must consist of representatives selected from various government agencies and relevant public procurement units, which often leads to conflicts of interest between parties and, ultimately, disrupts the policy and regulatory framework [2].

It should be noted that the regulatory framework for public procurement in Thailand is considered weak, fragmented and does not reflect international legislative practices [3]. Even though procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised, they are dominated by undue influence. For example, some officials still defended the GT200 scandal; Surasak Kirivichien, a member of the Anti-Corruption Commission investigating officials involved in the procurement of the GT200, claimed that the device has psychological value just like the amulets many Buddhist Thais wear as lucky charms [4].

According to Kitivichaya Watcharothai (2018), public procurement corruption arises throughout the operation of the Thai public procurement process due to gaps in the Government Procurement and Supplies Management Act B.E.2560, as well as weak enforcement by oversight mechanisms such as the Committee for Public Procurement.

According to the interviews with experts in the aforementioned study, there are problems in the following areas: the monitoring process, the complaints system and complaint management, the operation of public procurement corruption prevention and suppression, investigation and relevant follow-ups, public procurement operation and e-procurement practice, chain of command, fact-finding in public procurement corruption offences, witness protection, administrative hearings and criminal trials and public participation and involvement in monitoring the public procurement process. For instance, even though the government regulations allow bidders to make complaints to the public procurement unit directly through the Committee for Public Procurement, the reports and decisions from this committee are considered to only provide recommendations for the public procurement units [1].

As reported by Ukrist Pathmanand and Michael K. Connors (2019), the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has also been slow to act against suspicious procurement under both elected and military-appointed governments [2]. According to Interviewee 1, a political scientist, within the Ministry of Defence and within each security service, there are senior and mid-level officials who are tasked with monitoring defence procurement and/or the procurement of each service. Under the Prayuth Chanocha government (2019-Present), a major problem has been that civilian defence officials (e.g. Prayuth himself is Minister of Defence) share the same interests as active-duty military officials. Neither these civilians nor active-duty personnel would benefit from overseeing defence procurement in a way that is active, independent, effective and transparent.

Meanwhile, regarding the parliamentary committees in the Senate, since the Senators were chosen by the 2014-2019 junta, it is not in their interest to act in opposition to the current Prayuth government. Thus, only the Lower House committees could try to monitor defence procurement, but their lack of expertise and intense lack of cooperation from the defence establishment has prevented that from happening [3].

It should be noted that the Public Procurement and Supplies Administration Act 2017 focusses on preventing corruption and anti-competitive behaviour with an enhanced level of transparency and monitoring, by which a limited form of public participation is allowed in the monitoring process [1]. However, despite the introduction of the E-procurement system, whose main purpose is to increase and control transparency in all public procurement units’ bidding processes and qualified bidder selection, the design of the E-Auction and Cost-Estimation System is not comprehensive [2].

Moreover, even though procurement oversight agencies, such as the Anti-Corruption Co-operation Committee (ACC), are obliged to prepare reports on the assessment of procurement projects and submit them to the Policy Commission at least once a year, they are not required to make the reports public [3]. In addition, procurement oversight mechanisms can be assumed to be entirely non-transparent about their activities, as demonstrated in the GT200 scandal where officials defended the fraudulent purchase of fake bomb detectors with no real grounds [4].

According to our sources, there are oversight mechanisms (oversight units and defined procedures) designed by law to monitor and have oversight over the military procurement. However, these mechanisms are not independent and can be exploited by the executive, which affect their credibility in many cases. For example, the formation of the committees is based on patrimonialism(1,2). Specific oversight mechanisms are provided for defence procurement by Decree n° 88-36, dated 12 January 1988, on the special procedure of control of the expenditure of the Ministries of Defence and Interior. This decree established a Special Committee in each of these two ministries that oversee even sensitive items. However, these committees can not be considered as truly independent because they are chaired by the concerned minister or his representative. Moreover, they are only subject to a limited audit by the expenditures audit services (Art 8 of the decree). (3) The Decree n° 2878-2012, dated 19 November 2012, obliges to submit these types of expenses to its control before ratification and execution (4).

According to our sources, there are oversight bodies which have the capacity to issue reports, however, their reports do not include recommendations and they have no power to have a say on project or procurements. They issue reports and send it to the highest administrative office/ minister in MoD or the armed forces(1,2). Procurement committees within the Ministry of Defence issued 164 evaluation reports and studied 375 files in 2016 (3). However, information about whether their recommendations are followed could not be found.

General information about the activities of the special committees of control of expenditures can be found in the annual reports of the High Committee of control of public expenditures (total number of files, the percentage, and the total amounts approved by these committees). Information about the procurement of the Ministry of Defence could also be found in these reports (1). According to our sources, these reports miss key information such as justifications of procurement and detailed explanations of the process, M and E or delivering of the procurement(2,3).

As explained above, the absence of any legislative nominal/formal oversight mechanisms, such as parliamentary commissions that theoretically conduct oversight of procurement, or civil society monitoring mechanisms, has been the case for years in Turkey [1]. However, open-source research shows that the number of reports and pieces criticising the absence of legislative oversight and civil society monitoring mechanisms has comparatively increased in the past two years, covering Erdogan’s super presidency [2,3,4,5].

All interviewees unanimously suggested that, under the executive presidency, it is impossible to establish and run executive oversight mechanisms for major and political procurements [6,7,8,9,10,11]. As emphasised in the ‘Political Risk’ section, the power of parliament has been dramatically reduced under the new system of executive presidency.

Therefore, if a procurement is small in terms of budget and not politicised, Interviewees 3 and 4 suggested that there may be some executive and/or internal oversight mechanisms within the Ministry of Defence and auditing during the procurement (particuarly in the contracting phase) [8,9], but Interviewee 3 says that ‘if the procurement is major in terms of budget and directly managed at the presidential level, then I do not think that a government employee can risk his/her professional career for more oversight and monitoring’ [8].

It should be noted that, as emphasised in Q2, Turkish parliament has two commissions related to the defence and intelligence sectors and these commissions have well-established norms and procedures for conducting legislative oversight in defence procurement. However, due to the general functioning problems of parliament under Erdogan’s super presidency, these commissions now seem to be ill-functioning and highly inactive. [1] Furthermore, under the new presidental system, the Presidency of Defense Industries, or SSB, the defence procurement agency, which previously reported to the Minister of Defence, now reports solely to President Erdogan under a new ‘presidential department’, the Defence Industry Executive of the Presidency [2].

All interviewees unanimously suggested that there are no legislative procurement oversight mechanisms that could force the presidential palace and the Ministry of Defence to be more transparent in defence procurement and that the executive mechanisms, which could be useful for creating more transparency, such as the Presidential Supervisory Board or the Ministry of Defence’s Financial Audit Department, are entirely inactive and non-transparent about their activities [1,2,3,4,5,6].

There are formalised independent oversight bodies which oversee procurement activities in the ministry of Defence. The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority has powers to stop any procurement which is deemed not to have followed the outlined procedures as stipulated in the PPDA Act of 2003 [1]. The Auditor General [2] also has an oversight role and is mandated by the constitution to carry out procurement oversight. This is done annually and the report is submitted to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, or Defence and Internal Security committee for futher scrutiny and actions based on the Auditor General recommendations. TheIinspector General of Government (IGG) is also another oversight entity.

The defence procurement oversight mechanisms fall under the mandates of the inspector general of government (IGG), The Office of the Auditor General, The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PDDA), and the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, and public accounts committees [1]. They can summon witness and documents, demand explanations, issue recommendations or conclusions that are being followed or implemented but they cannot exercise their ability to cancel classified projects. For example, the IGG is an independent institution charged with the responsibility of eliminating corruption, abuse of authority and of public office. The powers as enshrined in the Constitution and the IG Act include to; investigate or cause investigation, arrest or cause arrest, prosecute or cause prosecution, make orders and give directions during investigations; access and search – enter and inspect premises or property or search a person or bank account or safe deposit box among others [2]. IGG has intervened in procurement cases where the ministry was forced to restart the bidding process after allegations of unfairness to some bidders. The Auditor General Report to Parliament [3, 4], the PPDA [5] submits its annual reports to Parliament for debate, while the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs [6] provide its report on the ministerial policy statements and budget estimates annually.

According to one MP, defence procurement is “above scrutiny,” therefore, one should not expect any transparency in their deals [1]. Another MP noted that the role of Parliament has been reduced to the “politics of patronage,” so Parliament has failed in its oversight roles [2]. However, the IGG has intervened in procurement cases [3] where the MoDVA was forced to restart the bidding process after allegations of unfairness to some bidders.

Internal oversight of procurement is conducted by the Internal Audit Department, an internal unit auditing the financial and material resources of the MoD and preventing their illegal and ineffective use [1]. The Internal Audit Department conducts the audit according to formal processes which are subject to the review of the Ministry of Finance [2,3]. The department is directly subordinate to the minister [1], and there is no evidence of undue influence over its activities. External oversight is conducted by the State Audit Service (on behalf of the Government) [1], and the Accounting Chamber (on behalf of the VRU) [2]. The State Audit Service carries out external financial control on behalf of the government and is subordinate to the CMU (the CMU also appoints its Head), thus the Service cannot be seen as an independent body in this case [4]. Independence of the Accounting Chamber is provided by both the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law On the Accounting Chamber [5, 6]. The legislation stipulates that the Accounting Chamber carries on its activities independently, regardless of any other state bodies, it is only accountable to the VRU [6]. As such, the Accounting Chamber is de-jure independent. At the same time, the head of the Accounting Chamber, as well as its members, are appointed by the VRU [7] which makes the Accounting Chamber vulnerable to the VRU’s majority influence [8].

With 64 bn. UAH in the MoD budget for 2017 [1], the MoD Internal Audit Department managed to audit 81 bn. UAH worth of assets in the same year as well as identify violations worth of 466 mln. UAH. It also reimbursed losses in the amount of 102 mln. UAH and prevented violations in the amount of 60 mln. UAH [2]. There is no information, however, on the specific issues which have been objects of these audits, even if MoD officials claim they conducted more than 500 audits per year which also include sensitive issues [4]. According to the 2016 White Book, the Internal Audit Department`s recommendations are considered by the MoD [3]. Both the State Audit Service [5] and the Accounting Chamber [6] proactively publish updates on the state of implementation of their recommendations including both positive examples and examples of the executive unduly implementing the corresponding recommendations. There is evidence that the MoD implements the Accounting Chamber`s recommendations [7,8,9], although the Accounting Chamber does not provide any statistics on either the implemented or non-implemented recommendations. In principle, procurement oversight mechanisms have also the ability to cancel projects. There is no evidence to prove this mandate has been exercised in the past.

Ukrainian legislation does not stipulate that audit reports are to be published. However, the Internal Audit Department provides non-redacted audit reports at MPs’ request [1]. Both the State Audit Service [2] and the Accounting Chamber [3] publish some of their findings, including activity reports [4, 5] as well as their planned activities [6, 7] online. Some reports are classified [5].

It has been established throughout this assessment that the defence sector in the UAE is not subject to any form of oversight. Federal Resolution No. 43 of 2016 on governmental procurement processes explicitly excludes the defence sector from its mandate and highlights that the defence sector has its own procurement regulations (1). Evidence has shown that so far defence procurement attained most of its procurements through the state-owned private limited liability company Tawazun; which runs the Tawazun Economic Council, which in turn manages defence procurement (2), (3). Tawazun discloses no information about procurement oversight mechanisms and does not provide a procurement procedure on its websites. There are a few entities within the government that can provide oversight for defence procurement if mandated; for example, the Competition Regulation Committee and the State Audit Institute. As it now stands, the Competition Regulation Committee, established in 2018 as part of the Ministry of Economy, is expected to provide an effective and conducive environment for commercial establishments, to maintain and practice key efficiency, competitiveness, and be more consumer-focused. These are considered essential drivers in the efforts to achieve sustainable development (4). This committee is not tasked with oversight over the defence sector and its work focuses on the commercial sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as with the lack of oversight mechanisms overseeing defence procurement, an assessment of its effectiveness is irrelevant in this context.

There is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is managed privately and federal regulations around procurement do not apply to defence and national security purchases (1), (2).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as with the lack of oversight mechanisms overseeing defence, an assessment of its transparency is irrelevant in this context.

No evidence supports there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is managed privately and federal regulations around procurement do not apply to defence and national security purchases (1), (2).

Defence procurement oversight is undertaken by the Investment Approval Committee (IAC), the National Audit Office (NAO) and, in part, the Public Accounts Committee. The NAO is independent from the government [1]. The IAC was judged to be largely ‘authoritative’ and independent by a 2013 NAO report, however the same report indicated that ‘there are risks arising from perceived conflicts of interest’ [2]. Research has not identified any subsequent reports evaluating the IAC conducted by the NAO since 2013.

Within Defence there is also the Defence Equipment and Support organisation which publishes its Annual Report and Accounts (the latter checked by the National Audit Office), with transparency of its full range of Key Performance Indicators, governance and activities [3]. The MOD’s Cost Assurance and Analysis Service (CAAS) also provides independent cost management advice to aid in budget-setting and investment decision-making, challenging technical assumptions. CAAS supports the Department’s quarterly review process through its independent view of procurement costs and schedules. It also conducts investigations into proposals from industry to identify potential areas of cost reduction, over-estimates, inefficiencies and double-counting, and assists with NAO follow-up audits [4].

The IAC has the power to cancel or approve spending projects, whilst the NAO publishes regular reports on defence spending, issuing reccommendations [1]. The Public Accounts Committee also publishes reports and has the power to summon witnesses and documents, a recent example being their Defence Nuclear Infrastructure inquiry [2].

Comprehensive evidence of activity is available for the NAO and Public Accounts Committee [1][2]. The Major Projects Report also contains detailed information on majro investments and is published annually [3]. The DE&S also publishes its annual report and accounts which is presented to parliament [4]. However, there is less transparency with regards to the IAC. The only publicly available information is contained in the Annual Reports & Accounts Committee report, which summarises the key topics IAC has overseen but without providing further details [5].

Various bodies, both internal and external, perform oversight of DoD acquisitions. The internal bodies are the DoD Defence Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and the DoD Inspector General (DoD IG) and the external bodies are both the HASC and SASC, as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The DCAA only has a mandate to audit contractors in terms of contract costs, both pre-award and after contract award [1]. According to the DCAA’s 2018 report to Congress, they saved the DoD $3.2 billion in that year [2]. The DoD IG has oversight over the entire operations of the DoD, including the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisitions and Sustainment (USD(A&S)) [3]. External to the DoD, the Senate Committee on Armed Services has a subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, which is responsible for contracting and acquisition policy, including oversight of the USD(A&S) [4]. The House Committee on Armed Services does not have a specific committee for acquisition oversight, however, the two subcommittees on ‘Tactical Air and Land’ and ‘Seapower and Project Forces’ each have some jurisdiction relating to procurement for those services, while the subcommittee on ‘Strategic Forces’ also provides oversight of nuclear and missile defence acquisition matters [5,6,7].

With regard to independence, the external oversight mechanisms are independent from the military and the executive. However, the DoD is providing the military with more oversight powers by granting services milestone decision authority, which approves entry of a programme into the subsequent phase of the acquisition process [8,9]. This has implications for external oversight undertaken by Office of the Secretary of Defense and congressional bodies, and could lead to the transfer of information and procedural transparency being compromised if the military services decide to reduce their engagement with due oversight mechanisms. Furthermore, with regard to independence, the two Armed Services Committees, as well as the DoD itself, are under the influence of the defence industry by way of the military-industrial complex. The revolving door between industry and government expounds conflicts of interest and leads to such instances as a 2019 letter by former military officers advocating for additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, many of whom would have benefited due to their close financial ties to the programme via the defence industry [10]. The revolving door is a significant pathway to influence between the defence industry and the government, which undermines the independence of defence acquisitions [11].

The DoD IG has 237 open recommendations regarding acquisition programmes, which suggests a fairly active oversight function [1]. The fact that these recommendations remain open, some for over 5 years, suggests a poor response from the DoD. Congressional oversight is criticised on two accounts. First, a lack of resources and time given to the two armed services committees means that attention is largely devoted to high-profile acquisitions, leaving lower-visibility programmes without critical oversight [2]. Additionally, long-term investigations are difficult given that the average tenure of a staff member on the SASC, for example, is only 3.5 years [2]. The GAO produces an annual assessment of the DoD’s major weapon system acquistions, which has been on the GAO high risk list since 1990 and remained there in 2020 [3,4]. Although reports on DoD acquisition processes are frequently published by the GAO, reforms by the DoD are carried out at a slow pace [5,6]. In 2018, the Navy Secretary asked Congress to slow down on reforms, as they could not be implemented effectively at the rate required [7]. The DoD IG recently evaluated the audit findings and reporting of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and found that, in 14 out of 30 of the DCMA audit reports, the DCMA contracting officers did not comply with FAR when they settled DCAA audit reports associated with two of the largest DoD contractors. The result of this misaction may have resulted in incorrectly reimbursing DoD contractors up to $97 million [7].

It is not clear whether these oversight bodies can cancel procurement, however, there was a case of the House prohibiting the US Air Force from cancelling their JSTARS recap programme in 2018 [8]. Furthermore, in 2016, Congress removed funding for the Army’s blimp programme, effecitvely cancelling it [9]. Overall, there is minimal evidence of oversight bodies cancelling procurements, oversight does not appear to be systematic, particularly for smaller programmes, and recommendations are only partially followed/implemented.

The vast majority of GAO and DoD OIG reports relating to defence acquisitions are published publicly on their websites. This includes reviews and reports both on specific acquisition programmes and acquisition processes [1,2]. Financial audits of acquisition programmes are published by the DoD OIG, for example [3]. As noted in 59B, there is little evidence of the oversight bodies cancelling procurements.

There are a number of external internal mechanisms that have the function of overseeing defence procurement and contracting. However, recent judicial decisions have limited the action of external mechanisms, giving exclusive control power to internal bodies – which are not independent of the military sector, and are affected by the politicisation that affects the armed forces due involvement in positions of power.

Contracts must initially be supervised and managed by the Defence Sector Procurement Committee (CCSD), which must submit audit reports to the the Office of the Comptroller General of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (CONGEFANB) [1]. These internal controls are not independent of the interests of the sector, given that the boards of both entities are composed of military officers. According to the law of the Office of the Comptroller General, internal control of the CONGEFANB does not preclude external oversight from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR), nor does it preclude the legislative oversight of National Assembly (AN). However, through a Supreme Court decision the CONGEFANB has come to be understood as the exclusive control entity, limiting actions of external oversight [2, 3]. Moreover, the politicisation of the defence sector, within the context of the current political crisis, has blocked the AN’s parliamentary oversight functions, and it does not receive information on procurements by the Ministry of the People’s Power for Defence (MPPD) [4].

It is not possible to determine the effectiveness of formal controls, since assesments are not made public for either the internal control conducted by the CONGEFANB or the external oversight exercised by the CGR. It is therefore not possible to assess their evaluations.

These mechanisms currently contravene what is established in the constitution, deny public access to information on the fiscal control of defence sector entities [1], and hinder the operation of other monitoring mechanisms established under the law. It can therefore be concluded that they are ineffective.

There is evidence of actions carried out by CONGEFANB in recent years [2], but most of these actions are focused around announcements on training activies, political lobbying, technical visits, and the circulation of messages promoting political ideals. As a result, it is not possible to track the effectiveness of the procurement oversight work that these entities are supposed to conduct [3]. Similarly, the CGR has not submitted information on audits of defence sector entities in recent years.

The audits that CONGEFANB is responsible for are not made available to the public; the lack of transparency has worsened as a result of a judicial decision restricting oversight of the defence sector to its internal comptroller alone, preventing other entities from accessing information on fiscal management [1].

A lack of transparency is also reflected in the lack of accountability of the MPPD to the AN [2]. Moreover, there are no reports of debates in the Constituent National Assembly (ANC) – which would be the legislative power recognised by this ministry – that mention the CONGEFANB submitting audits or the MPPD reporting its management, including acquisitions and procurements in recent fiscal years. Recent CONGEFANB activity before the ANC includes the submission of proposals to the assembly’s Defence Committee seeking to include reforms to the constitution that would strengthen CONGEFANB’s oversight [3].

Civil organisations have condemned discretionary control of the defence sector’s finances, as well as the lack of information on administrative management of the defence sector, especially in the procurement of armaments and military equipment [4].

The Procurement Directorate in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces submits its work for approval to the commanders of the military. The Public Procurement and Disposal Act demands that there be reports to the Procurement Board, which in turn, will be tabled before parliament. In principle, the independence of Parliamentary oversight is provided in the statute; however, the power of the military and its intricacy with Zimbabwean civilian politics makes it difficult to guarantee any independence [1, 2]. The Ministry of Defence also has a Procurement Department that supervises compliance to procurement procedures [3].

According to the law, Parliament can scrutinise reports submitted to it on all procurement [1]. Scrutiny includes calling witnesses and requesting supporting documents, which can help demonstrate to legislators that procedures were followed or not. However, in practice, the Parliament in Zimbabwe is not effective when it comes to providing oversight to the defence sector [2]. This is largely due to the significant political influence of the military and the opaque nature of its operations [2, 3].

Parliamentary reports in recent times have not included procurement transactions from Defence Forces. This is due to the political power which the Zimbabwean military wields. Even the Office of the Auditor General Zimbabwe’s reports, which also touch on procurement issues, have no detailed information on procurement done within the Zimbabwe Defence Forces [1, 2, 3].

Country Sort by Country 59a. Independence Sort By Subindicator 59b. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator 59c. Transparency Sort By Subindicator
Albania 50 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100
Algeria 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Argentina 75 / 100 NEI 25 / 100
Armenia 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Australia 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Azerbaijan 0 / 100 NA NA
Bahrain 0 / 100 NA NA
Bangladesh 75 / 100 NEI 0 / 100
Belgium 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Bosnia and Herzegovina 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Botswana 100 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Brazil 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Burkina Faso 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA NA
Canada 100 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Chile 75 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
China 25 / 100 NEI 0 / 100
Colombia 75 / 100 NEI 25 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Denmark 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Egypt 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Estonia 75 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Finland 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
France 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Germany 75 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Greece 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Hungary 0 / 100 NA NA
India 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Indonesia 75 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Iran 0 / 100 NA NA
Iraq 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Israel 50 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Italy 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Japan 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA NA
Kenya 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Kosovo 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Kuwait 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Latvia 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Lithuania 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Malaysia 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Mali 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Mexico 50 / 100 25 / 100 75 / 100
Montenegro 75 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 NA NA
Myanmar 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Netherlands 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
New Zealand 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Niger 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
North Macedonia 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Norway 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA NA
Palestine 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Philippines 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Poland 75 / 100 75 / 100 0 / 100
Portugal 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 NA NA
Russia 50 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 NA NA
Serbia 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Singapore 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
South Africa 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
South Korea 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
South Sudan 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Spain 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Sudan 0 / 100 NA NA
Sweden 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Switzerland 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Taiwan 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Tanzania 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Thailand 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Turkey 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Uganda 75 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Ukraine 75 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA NA
United Kingdom 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
United States 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Venezuela 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Zimbabwe 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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