Are procurement requirements derived from a national defence and security strategy, and are procurement decisions well-audited? Are defence purchases based on clearly identified and quantified requirements?
63a. Procurement requirements
Iraq score: 0/100
It is impossible to assess whether procurement requirements derive from a national defence and security strategy, even if a national strategy exists. There is no formal procedure in place for defining purchase requirements. Or the defence strategy may be secret so it is impossible to verify how procurement requirements are derived.
Procurement requirements are in theory formally derived from a national defence and security strategy. The strategy is likely to be weak, vague or insufficient to derive procurement requirements.
Procurement requirements are in part derived from a national defence and security strategy. If the strategy is weak, vague or not sufficient to derive procurement requirements, work to quantify the need for significant purchases is occasionally conducted.
Procurement requirements are derived from a national defence and security strategy, but there may be occasions where procurements are not justified based on the national strategy.
Procurement requirements are derived from a national defence and security strategy, and there is logical flow down from strategy to individual procurement with no exceptions.
Iraq’s existing NSS, the contents of which are discussed but not publicly available, does not appear to inform procurement requirements. An anti-corruption roadmap is to be presented by the anti-corruption council whose formation was ordered by Abdel-Mahdi in late January 2019 (1). The outcome of this was the resuscitation of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council which has been active in making court referrals but comparatively silent on pre-contractual fraud. The work it conducts lacks transparency at this stage (2), (3), while others state that their activation contravenes with constitutional law’ (2). A legal integrity framework should have been set up months after it’s re-inauguration but no signs of its development are available. No coverage interrogates subsequent steps on the issue by the newly elected council. The level of institutional malfeasance by MoD officials demonstrates that decisions are not always consistent with national needs (4), (5), (6). Despite assurances by former Iraqi prime minister Abadi that defence purchases over the past year would be investigated, little confidence that “clearly identified and quantified requirements” exists. Investigations into corrupt and inflated deals signed with the knowledge of former Iraqi PM, Nouri al Maliki, were never concluded (6). Findings did, however, reveal misallocation of equipment, and cases in which purchases were made not in response to legitimate security needs but to profit opportunities including the resale of military equipment on the black market at inflated costs (7). The MoD, under both Maliki and Abadi’s administration, has been accused of clearing enormous commissions and kickback payments (6), (7). Although the MoD General Directorate of Contract and Sales coordinates military sales, this has not ruled out inconsistencies in procurement decision-making. Conflicting remarks from the Iraqi government concerning deals with Iran (8), neither confirming nor denying the signing of contracts, in violation of UNSC 1747 is one case in point. Decisions rest with the MoD tender committee, as the specialist agency, on paper only, whereas in reality, procurement requirements are not derived from a national security policy. Defence planning over the past 5 years has largely focused on the defeat of the ISG and more recently, securing a lasting defeat against them.
1. “Iraq Prime Minister orders formation of anti-corruption council,” Prime Minister’s Office, January 29, 2019.
2. “Iraqi PM Forms New Anti-Corruption Council,” Asharq al Awsaat, January 2, 2019.
3. “Iraq Prime Minister orders formation of anti-corruption council,” Prime Minister’s Office, January 29, 2019.
4. “Allegations of corruption surround deals hit Iraq’s Ministry of Defence,” Al Hayat, September 9, 2017, https://bit.ly/2r4BtB2.
5. “Parliamentary Integrity Committee reveals corrupt ministry of defence contracts,” Al Ghad Press, January 21, 2016, https://bit.ly/32dn9Df620.
6. “Nasseef: I asked for the defence IG to investigate the director of armaments and contracts Hadi Adab,” Al Sumaria News, September 26, 2016, .https://bit.ly/2NwWmwo
7. “Iraq’s Parliament launches investigation into 10 defence arms contracts on suspicion of corruption,” Rudaw, January 4, 2017, http://www.rudaw.net/arabic/middleeast/iraq/040120178.
Iraq score: 0/100
There is no scrutiny of actual purchases.
Scrutiny is occasionally conducted by a number of legally or constitutionally mandated oversight mechanisms (e.g. the parliamentary oversight committee, the inspector general, or the national audit office) to confirm that procurement is done in line with national security strategy or that work is undertaken to quantify the need for purchases.
There is active scrutiny conducted by a number of legally or constitutionally mandated oversight mechanisms (e.g. the parliamentary oversight committee, the inspector general, or the national audit office) to confirm that procurement is in line with national security strategy or that work is undertaken to quantify the need for purchases.
Scrutiny is a right which is exercised by IG offices tied to the respective ministry, who ought to preside over the procurement cycle and defence spending. Ministries are the legally sanctioned entities that are granted powers to approve military sales. Scrutiny of sales has been voiced by members of the Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee (1), (2), (3) lacking, however, the legal standing to undertake secret inspections/audits in absence of a collaborative will between ministries and IG’s. Furthermore, the autonomy afforded to anti-graft bodies has been curbed as anti-graft employees are subject to direct cabinet oversight (4), (5). A former military advisor warned that while statutory bodies exist they exist within institutional fiefdoms wherein procurement exchanges are used to fasten or undue existing alliances (6). By and large, decisions are not publicly disclosed, but scrutiny over them is unlikely in the absence of procedures. In September of this year, head of Rusafa;s Integrity and Money Laundering Court released a statement that testifies to the existence of a whopping 3,000 cases of corruption over the past year; “220 cases of embezzlement, 487 cases of wastage of public money, 81 cases of bribery and 386 cases of employment breaches 132 cases of theft of State funds” (7). Talk of combating corruption has been in tune with the contents of provisions on anti-corruption across Iraqi laws, whereas the reality speaks to ineffective reforms to deal with acute corruption. Contractual fraud represents a grave area of concern for the GOI but coverage of the latest Mitsubishi deal overseen by the IG placed in the MoI reveals scrutiny to be a double edge sword, exercised often after the act, to evade proper scrutiny, a matter which an Iraqi lawyer (8) explains to TI, “is made impossible due to the devolution of power within these ministries. Political connections continue to influence managerial and procurement decision making”. PM AHH vocalised in March of this year The Supreme Anti-Corruption has developed a clear policy”, but no evidence of this is publicly accessible in spite of increased demands from the people for the government to put a stop to the haemorrhaging of public funds”.
1. “Iraq prime minister says protesters calls to end corruption ‘correct’,” Middle East Online, October 4, 2019.
2. “PUKmedia reveals evidence of corrupt Iraqi weapons contracts,” PUKMedia, May 23, 2017, https://www.pukmedia.com/AR_Direje.aspx?Jimare=95961.
3. “Controversy and chaos inside Iraqi Parliamentary session following accusations of corruption levelled and Jubouri and others,” Shafaqna News, August 1, 2016.
4. “Conflict of control over Iraq’s Integrity Commission: the legacy left by the Dawa Party,” Mawazin Net, November 12, 2018, https://www.mawazin.net/Details.aspx?jimare=19706&fbclid=IwAR01KaCF8GMsgcQRhBKVVQOdxGazd94sjUIGdwqLVrI7XpGux_AX0e62-04.
5. “Head of Iraq’s Integrity Commission resigns in protest over obstruction of oversight,” Rudaw May 9, 2018, http://www.rudaw.net/arabic/middleeast/iraq/0905201813?fbclid=IwAR3GA6OO-lrnL5PZjuYh-LQFysSjPD4hdT5_8ASd4VLTvEvR1PwV80LOiLs.
6. Interview with a retired military officer, London, October 8, 2018.
7. “3000 cases of corruption including Mitsubishi deal, Court of Integrity stated,” INA, September 5, 2019.
8. Interview with an Iraqi Lawyer, October 7, 2019.
Iraq score: 0/100
Purchases often are outside of the national strategy and appear to be opportunistic in nature.
The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces base at least their major purchases on the clearly identified requirements, but there are opportunistic and unplanned purchases.
The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces systematically base all purchases on clearly identified and quantified requirements.
The core expenditure of both the Ministry of Defence and Interior is determined by annual budget allocations and the degree of military engagement and required operational activities. In absence of forward planning and the fragility of security in Iraq, procurement and military spending unfolds along with an ad-hoc approach, for which there is no national defence strategy in place to inform procurement requirements. No legal or written evidence shows that decision-making procurement decisions are formalised, which increases the likelihood of opportunistic purchases. Iraq’s potential purchase of a Russian S400 air defence system last year prompted a wide discussion of procurement decision-making by Iraqi officials. Former chair of parliamentary security and defence committee, Hakim al Zamili implied-then that requirements are balanced in the framework of national security, arguing that “Iraq has the right to own cutting-edge weapons to defend its territory and air space” (1). Government spokesman Saad Hadithi has similarly contended that (2) decisions are “subject to the requirements and needs to strengthen the capabilities of Iraqi forces”. In response to US objections against the purchase of the Russian arms deal, Hadithi stressed that the decision was borne not out of political, but rather military and technical considerations. The scandal surrounding the capture of America’s M1 Abrams tanks by Iran-aligned Iraqi militias, caused America to withdraw crucial technical military support (3), pushing Iraq in search of new suppliers, most notably Russia stands out as a preferred bidder due to Iraq’s historical relies of Russian military supplies (4), (5). These above-mentioned cases offer mounting evidence that points to opportunistic purchases. Another crucial detail these cases expose is Iraq’s reliance on foreign allies and their procurement preferences as the ongoing toing and froing of Iraq’s acquisition of the Russian air defence system makes clear.
1. “Iraq needs S-400 air defense systems to defend against air attacks — MP,” TASS World, February 25, 2018, http://tass.com/world/991466.
2. “Iraq: The purchase of an air defence system is a military affair,” New Sabah, February 26, 2018, http://newsabah.com/newspaper/149156.
3. “American Tanks Fall Into Enemy Hands,” The Trumpet, February 14, 2018.
4. “Russia’s Role as an Arms Exporter The Strategic and Economic Importance of Arms Exports for Russia,” Chatham House, March 2017.
5. “Iraq Reconsiders Its Military Equipment Suppliers,” Medium, April 29, 2017, https://medium.com/dfrlab/putinatwar-iraq-reconsiders-its-military-equipment-suppliers-214d5d188d23.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||63a. Procurement requirements||63b. Scrutiny||63c. Purchases|
|Albania||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Algeria||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Angola||25 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Argentina||0 / 100||0 / 100||NEI|
|Armenia||0 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Australia||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||25 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Bahrain||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Bangladesh||50 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Belgium||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||0 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Botswana||0 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Brazil||25 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Canada||100 / 100||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Chile||0 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|China||25 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Colombia||0 / 100||25 / 100||NEI|
|Cote d'Ivoire||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Denmark||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Estonia||100 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|France||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Germany||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Ghana||0 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Greece||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Hungary||25 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|India||0 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Indonesia||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Iran||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Iraq||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Israel||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Italy||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Japan||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Kenya||25 / 100||25 / 100||NEI|
|Kosovo||0 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Kuwait||25 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Latvia||75 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Lebanon||25 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Lithuania||25 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Malaysia||25 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Mali||0 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Mexico||50 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Montenegro||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Morocco||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Myanmar||0 / 100||0 / 100||NEI|
|Netherlands||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|New Zealand||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Niger||0 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Nigeria||0 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|North Macedonia||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Norway||75 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Palestine||25 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Philippines||75 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Poland||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Portugal||25 / 100||25 / 100||100 / 100|
|Qatar||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Russia||25 / 100||0 / 100||75 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Serbia||0 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Singapore||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|South Africa||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|South Korea||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|South Sudan||0 / 100||NEI||50 / 100|
|Spain||25 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Sweden||75 / 100||100 / 100||50 / 100|
|Switzerland||100 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Taiwan||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Tanzania||0 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Thailand||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||0 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Turkey||0 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Uganda||0 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Ukraine||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||25 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|United Kingdom||100 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|United States||75 / 100||25 / 100||NEI|
|Venezuela||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Zimbabwe||0 / 100||25 / 100||NEI|