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Does the public trust the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their establishments?



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This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No polls have been conducted specifically to target defence corruption. However, various polls on corruption perceptions include armed forces. According to the UNODC survey on bribery conducted in 2010, only 5.7% of the adult population surveyed considered that corruption practices occurred often or very often in the military [1]. According to the Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International in 2013, 33% of the respondents surveyed in Albania felt that the military was corrupt or extremely corrupt [2]. A poll conducted in 2016, that measured the level of transparency and perception on corruption, showed that in a scale 0 to 100 the Ministry of Defence scored 46 on transparency. Despite being low, this score was the highest compared to the score of the other institutions [3]. In a poll on the trust in the government institutions conducted in 2017, the military was the most trusted institution (Armed Forces 63%, Education system 63%, Healthcare 53%, State Police 53%, Prosecutor 22%, Courts 21%, and Political Parties 21%) [4].
The comparatively higher level of trust showed in the most recent poll may indicate that the public positively views the actions of the defence establishment in tackling corruption.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No specific polls on public trust in defence and security institutions are available. According to a 2017 confidential poll reportedly ordered by the presidency from the Brazilian company Sensus, Pesquisa e Consultoria on public perceptions on the MPLA government policies between 2012 and 2017, the bulk of the 9155 respondents all over the country find that Angolan government officials are corrupt, and see corruption, lack of ethics, and transparency as the root causes for the government’s failure to improve Angolans quality of life (1), (2). The document was leaked and published by civil society activists.

According to an Institute for Security Studies (ISS) (2017) report, “Incoming President Joao Lourenco will need to institute difficult economic reforms and restore the functioning of key state institutions. Reforming the security apparatus will be a challenge if Lourenco wants to streamline command and control and professionalise the sector … the fragility of the security apparatus needs to be addressed. Corruption and opaque arms procurement deals need to be curtailed; defence spending requires oversight.” (3). This indicates a lack of professionalism, continued corruption, and a lack of oversight or order in the sector.

Furthermore, the latest CPI score for Angola also underlines an almost complete breakdown in the trust of the people.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to the public, corruption is not sufficiently addressed within the existing measures, although there is an important distinction between corruption in the Armed Forces and in the Security Forces. A recent report by Transparency International [1] indicates that the Americas has not made any significant progress in the fight against corruption, with most of the countries in the region scoring on average 44 out of 100. The report notes that Argentina, with 40 points in 2018, improved by 8 points since 2015, showing significant improvement. However, the perception of citizenship, expressed in the latest Global Barometer of the Corruption of International Transparency in 2018 for Latin America and the Caribbean, highlights that 49% of those consulted in Argentina believe that corruption increased in the last year. This percentage increases considerably when referring to the opinion on the government’s anti-corruption action, with 93% of people considering it as a serious problem, placing Argentina in the top 3 positions. [2] [3] According to Latinobarómetro, the government bodies that the public considers most corrupt in Argentina are: 53% President and officials, 46% Parliamentarians, 43% Judges and magistrates, and 41% the Police. [4] For his part, Marcelo Bermolén of the Universidad Austral presented a report in 2018 based on data on the perception of corruption of different organisations including the World Bank, Transparency International, the World Economic Forum, the Latinbarometer Corporation, and the Inter-American Development Bank. He finds that Argentina continues to receive low scores in almost all series of measurement indicators regarding the perception of corruption or the effectiveness of public policies implemented for its fight or eradication. [5] With regard specifically to the Armed Forces and the defence jurisdiction in general, in the 2018 Latinobarometer Report, Argentina had a high degree of confidence in them, reaching 48%, only behind the Church. From the academic point of view, it is precisely because of this low negative view of the Armed Forces (greater confidence than political parties) that there has been a return to the debate about their place in society. [6] This generates debate in society and public opinion is divided regarding their roles. [7] [8]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There has traditionally been a very high rate of trust towards the military in Armenian society. The Caucasus Barometer survey provides yearly data that shows strong public trust towards the military [1]. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) itself through high ranking officials expound on the importance of increasing trust towards armed forces and the defence sector through addressing issues raised by the public, through mechanisms to make the sector more transparent and open [2]. Some experts share the opinion, that though the defence and security sector remains one of the least transparent, the traditional trust towards the military might be explained by its crucial role in Nagorno-Karabakh issue [3]. Still, the public might be sceptical towards the will within the sphere to decrease corruption risks.
The MoD tries to inform the public in a variety of ways about its commitment to combat bribery and fight against corruption. And for this purpose, it actively cooperates with interested NGOs, media and other civil society institutions. The work with NGOs and the media is coordinated by the Department of Information and Public Relations of the MoD, which combines its activities with the press secretary of the RA Ministry of Defense. Since 2011, the department has initiated a registration process of NGOs, the purpose of which is to create an information base for organizations and their activities and to use them in the appropriate direction. Partnerships with non-governmental organizations can be divided into three directions: educational support, civilian control, cooperation for supporting war veterans’ families, disabled people, freedom fighters and their families, and concerning issues of missing people and captives. There is a Public Council under the MoD, which includes public figures, NGO representatives, intellectuals and others. The Public Council involves non-governmental organizations or other stakeholders taking on the views and opinions of different layers of the society on the implementation of tasks and functions of the MoD. The Public Council considers applications of conscripts during recruitment. Naturally, mass media and NGOs often criticize the MoD. The activity of non-governmental organizations and mass media in the issues of good governance and corruption has also grown considerably recently. This is partly due to the public interest in corruption-related public events [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The public’s general trust in the Australian government, including with respect to their efforts to fight corruption, is poor compared to similar developed countries. However, trust appears to be significantly more robust for defence, though recent quantitative data is lacking. Australia has consistently ranked in the bottom half of 28 surveyed countries for trust in the government in the Edelman Trust Barometer, a comparative national trust survey, for the past 5 years [1]. In 2018, trust in government fell to a new low of 35%, though this bounced back to 42% in 2019 [2]. The Edelman Trust Barometer does not specifically address whether the public trusts the institutions of defence and security to tackle corruption-related issues. Other surveys also reflect this decline in trust in the past decade or more. The Australian Constitutional Values Survey found trust in government plummeted from 81.6% in 2008 to 49% in 2017 [3]. The Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer surveys found that, while the overall percentage of the public who said government was handling corruption well stayed steady at around 52% between 2016 and 2018, the number who said the government was handling corruption “very badly” jumped from 10% to around 15% [3, 4]. There are less sources elucidating the public perception of the military and particularly defence corruption. The most recent survey specifically querying defence corruption was the 2013 TI Global Corruption Barometer (in more recent iterations of the Barometer, the military is no longer one of the institutions asked about in the institutional corruption question.) In that survey, 25% of respondents felt that the military was “corrupt” or “extremely corrupt” [5]. The 2014 ANUpoll on Governance ranked defence as having the highest level of public confidence of any public institution by far, at 40% [6]. Generally, the qualitative view among defence officials and experts seems to be that the public has a high level of confidence and trust in defence generally [4, 7]. While there have been some recent headlines about defence corruption [8, 9], this has not appeared to have created a public view that broader defence institutions are corrupt. One expert on Defence procurement said his impression was that the public trusts the Defence force to be competent and honourable in their conduct generally, but there exists a deep cynicism towards Defence’s ability to spend money well. They claimed that this cynicism is fed by (sometimes unfair) critical media reports, but moreover by defence’s secretiveness, which doesn’t along the public to be “brought along” to understand rationales for spending and defence’s procurement shortcomings [10].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The defence and security sector has been infected with corruption and bribery, and the people’s trust and confidence in the military leadership are so low. The privacy of the information about the army, the lack of transparency, the lack of information about the deaths of the soldiers, the confidentiality of the military budget and so on. reduces confidence in the army in society. In such a situation, there is very little public trust in defence and security institutions to fight corruption (1).

In recent years, there have been no surveys or recherche in Azerbaijan regarding the public trust the institutions of defence and security. The last time a similar survey was conducted in 2013. According to the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC), those who fully trust the Azerbaijani military is 54 per cent (2).

After the appointment of a new minister of defence Zakir Hasanov (2013), some people are thought that he will begin serious steps against corruption in defence. But after 6 years there are not any strong achievements (3). Since the April 2016 escalation on the frontlines, public support for and trust in the army has increased, although in general, the public believes that corruption and bribery are insufficiently addressed by existing measures.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Since 2011, and the Shia uprising in Bahrain, the Royal Bahraini Army has been cracking down/oppressing Bahrain’s majority population. Reportedly, there is a lack of trust from the public towards the military. In general, they see it as politically corrupt. There is no mention of if it is financially corrupt tor engaged in bribery, but public trust is very low [1, 2, 3, 4]. Bahrain has not been surveyed by any institution as surveys are not allowed in the country without permission. Based on online and offline research, there are no traces of any information of this type.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

A 2020 Transparency International report found that some 4% of respondents surveyed in Bangladesh believed that most of the army leaders were corrupt [1]. The military’s reputation for tackling corruption within its own establishment nosedived when the military-backed caretaker government took over power in Bangladesh in 2007. Public trust on this issue has not been regained. Meanwhile, the military is allegedly involved in large-scale corruption through the military’s business empire [2]. Even a senior army official was allegedly involved in a corruption scandal in 2012 [3]. Public perception as it is reflected on social media indicates that people have a very low level of trust in defence institutes when it comes to tackling their own corruption and abuses of power.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In general, Belgians are not very interested in military issues and the military [1]; there is some level of acknowledgment of the military, but public engagement on issues related to budgets and potential bribery and corruption are not prioritised. Corruption in defence does not seem to be a central issue for the MOD either.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer 2016, 45% of Belgians think corruption in government is a big problem, yet this is not disaggregated per sector [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In 2015, the Centre for Security Studies conducted public opinion research on perception, attitudes and opinions of the citizens with regards to corruption in the security sector. The worrying fact derived from this research was that the respondents were rather sceptical about the true commitment of the defence institutions to fighting corruption. More precisely, the largest category of the respondents, 29.6% of all respondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29.6% of all respondents in the entity of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 29.8% of all respondents in the entity of the Republika Srpska, believed that the defence sector does not sufficiently address the fight against corruption [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The history of allegations of corruption in the Defence Sector appears to have created a sense of anxiety within the public. Despite the reported cases of corruption in the media, the government has been reluctant to hold those who were accused accountable [1,2]. Further, there is a perception that due to nepotism in the Defence Forces, it will be difficult for cases of corruption in the Defence Sector to be dealt with, especially those that involve procurement [1]. The trust to fight corruption is generally declining over time. It has been noted that the time for using euphemistic language is over; we need not equivocate and tell the truth as it is [2]. The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), which is under the Attorney General’s Chambers, is perceived not to be independent and appears susceptible to influence from the executive principals [2,3]. The DCEC has investigated lawyers, politicians, Directors of Government, Permanent Secretaries, Chief Executives Officers (CEO) of parastatals and Corporate Executives in the private sector. What has happened was that dockets are sent to the DPP and in some cases, the DPP refuses to prosecute [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The public has high confidence in the integrity of the armed forces, evidenced the repeatedly high scores on confidence, such as the ones shown by Latinobarometro 2018: the military is the second most trusted institution in Latin America [1]. Another confidence study cited in the 2015 GDI assessment, in which the assessor searched for updated results, showed the following data for the public confidence on the armed forces: 2015 – 63%; 2016 – 65%; 2017 – 68%; 2018 – 62%; 2019 – 69% [2]. Since President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the armed forces have been seen by many groups as one of the few trusted and stable institutions in the country, partially as a result of the process of democratic erosion that started with the Mensalão scandal. Corruption cases within the armed forces rarely appear in the public sphere, since there is an unwritten policy of solving problems internally and quietly, that might also be the case with the Military Justice and the Military Public Ministry (MPM). The Military Justice consists of mainly military officials – there are 15 members, only five of them are civilian judges [5]. Additionally, as a result of a comment from one of the reviewers – according to Fundação Getulio Vargas, a private university and research institution, an early survey on Perceptions of Trust in Institutions in Brazil (ICJBrasil), from 2013 to 2017 showed that the Armed Forces were ‘the’ most trustful institution in Brazil by the population [7].

The corruption cases within the armed forces that appeared on the news from 2015 to 2019 were: (a) in 2019, the embezzlement of weapons by a military inspector of the Army, who was prosecuted by the Military Public Ministry and arrested under the Military Justice jurisprudence [3]; (b) in 2019, the Military Public Ministry estimated the amount of money embezzled by corruption within the Armed Forces through a series of complaints, which were forwarded to the Court of Auditors (TCU) [4]; (c) the MPM accused 11 people, six military officials and five civilians, of diversion of resources [6]. According to additional comments of one of the reviewers, there is a common perception that Armed Forces are not as susceptible to corruption as civilian institutions – the press, however, has covered several cases of corruption within the military [8]. The most recent case that resulted in an impact on the trust in the military was the arrest of a Brazilian Air Force NCO in Spain with 39 Kg of cocaine. This NCO was a member of the presidential team [9].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is little mutual trust between the military and the public, though some confidence has been regained in the defence sector following the failed, September 16, 2016, coup of the PSR (1), (2), (3). Besides, the lack of willingness of the government to provide the public with access to its sensitive information (4), and its multiple cover-ups of some officials (United States Department of State), do not facilitate the establishment of an environment of public trust in the ability of the military to tackle the defence sector corruption (5).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

About 56% of Cameroonians believe that the police sector is the most corrupt in the country. Police and gendarmerie officers collect bribes from road users and the public believe that this is condoned at the highest levels of the state [1] [2]. Although the government has tried from time to time to win the hearts and minds of the public by broadcasting the names of some gendarmerie and police officers involved in corrupt practices over the National Radio and Television [2], one of the reasons that the population does not trust these institutions is that the government fails to provide details of those tried [3]. Only about 37% belief that, in general, the government is doing a good job of fighting corruption [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Scandals related to fighter jet procurement and the Norman prosecution have revealed profound inefficiencies and an institutional corruption in which political (rather than individual financial) interests are placed above operational or military considerations. [1] [2] [7] Gendered violence in the CAF remains a serious problem, which a leading Canadian academic argues is a form of moral, if not financial corruption. [4] [8] The institutional integrity of the CAF has become more flawed since the last iteration of the GDI was published in 2015. However, public trust may not have fallen correspondingly, since the withdrawal of almost all forces from conflicts in the Middle East has resulted in such low interest in the military that opinion polling does not ask Canadians about the institution. [3] [5] [6] A DND-commissioned public opinion survey found that the majority of Canadians had little awareness or knowledge of the CAF, did not know where they were deployed or had recently deployed, and assumed their equipment must be good because Canada is a first world country. Allan English, a military historian at Queen’s University, published an article in 2017 documenting the erosion of trust and the increase of corruption in the Canadian military. [4] However, he addressed corruption not related to public views of pecuniary abuses or peculation, but rather the corruption of values and integrity within the military. The widespread lack of interest in the CAF by most Canadians is reflected in the absence of any mention of the military or armed forces in surveys evaluating public trust in institutions, whether these surveys are public or private. Auditor General reports on fighter jet procurement and sexual harassment in the CAF concluded that the CAF and DND were not delivering on their obligations, but found causes linked to incompetence or lack of capacity rather than corruption or bribery. [8]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Public opinion on the defence sector’s commitment to combat bribery and corruption has been seriously undermined by a series of massive corruption scandals in the armed and security forces since at least 2014. These scandals have involved not only officials in charge of the acquisition and procurement process, but also senior officials and chiefs and commanders in the army. Accordingly, public trust in the armed forces and police have continually declined. According to the Bicentenary Survey, public trust in the armed forces has decreased from 49 per cent in 2011 to 26 per cent in 2015, and again to 18 per cent in 2018 [1]. A survey of CEOs and business executives in the country indicated that perceptions of corruption within the armed forces have increased, from four-point four (4.4) per cent in 2017 to five per cent in 2018 [2]. According to the 2014 Americas Barometer, 60.3 per cent of respondents trust the armed forces in Chile, which is around the regional median but behind Mexico and Brazil [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Accurate information on Chinese public opinion is difficult to obtain due to censorship and response bias. Although the problem of censorship is straightforward and well documented, the issue of response bias is more complex, affecting not only research carried out in China by local institutions but also by international actors and organisations. The relevant literature has identified two forms of bias that have an important impact on measurements of public opinion in China. The first is dissimulation bias, giving a “socially desirable response to self-report data”. [1] In the Chinese context, dissimulation takes the form of respondents giving the politically correct or least controversial answer. [2] The second is refusal bias, occurring when respondents refuse to take part in surveys for any number of reasons. However, in China such refusal also results from people with certain (negative) political attitudes towards the regime. [3] The exact impact of this bias is hard to measure, but existing studies place it between 6-8%. [2,3] Although there is no survey explicitly reporting on the Chinese public’s trust in the armed forces to handle corruption, the following available data can be used as an estimate: 1) World Value Survey 2013 [6], Confidence in Armed Forces: 33% “A great Deal”, 51% “Quite a lot”, 2) World Value Survey (2013), Confidence in Government: 37.7% “A great Deal”, 46.9% “Quite a lot” 3) China National Health Attitudes (CNHA), Peking University [3] : 86.2% of respondents say the trust the central government, 4) 2019 Edelman Trust barometer [4] : 86% Trust in government, 5) Global Corruption Barometer [5] : 73% reported that the overall level of corruption worsened in the last three years, 6) the TI Corruption Perceptions Index records very small changes in the public’s perception of corruption between 2015 and 2019 [7] that do not change the country’s ranking or the overall picture on public opinion’s mistrust.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to opinion polls conducted during the periods 2017-2019, there is a high level of institutional trust in the Armed Forces and Police. These results are related to military action to combat illegal armed groups and drug trafficking. In the 2017 surveys conducted by Gallup Colombia from October 2017, [1] 70% of Colombians had a favourable opinion of the military. Conversely, the National Police had only 42% favourable approval. In 2018, [2] Gallup Colombia found the percentage of institutional approval rose four points to 72% compared to the previous year, while Latinobarometer found the Armed Forces had only 56% institutional confidence. [3, 4]. In relation to the Police, approval went from 42% in the prior period to 49% in 2018. In contrast to these results, the Transparency Corruption Perception Index (IPC) of 2018 reported that in general terms Colombia fell from 37 to 6 points over 100, which places it in 99th place out of 180 countries. The most troubling issues were related to the “management of public resources, formalities, permits and contracting, as well as corruption by the judicial system.” [5] The Latinbarometer 2018 report [6] found that government approval in Colombia reached 32 points due to the number of cases of corruption scandals. Between 2017 and 2018, media outlets highlighted acts of corruption within the military, and 2018 saw a mobilization around the fight against corruption with the proposal of a plebiscite against corruption. This citizen effort did not prosper as it failed to pass the required vote threshold, although it obtained 12 million votes. Even though corruption was perceived to be unacceptable within society, “citizens consider that efforts to combat it have failed.” [7]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The defence establishment does not sanction bribery and corruption. The findings indicate that the anti-corruption measures of President Ouattara since 2013 (Plan National pour la Bonne Gouvernance et la Lutte contre la Corruption) have yielded mediocre results. A distinction should be made between public perception of petty, low-level bribery by police officers at illegal roadblocks or customs officials at the Port of Abidjan and the type of grand corruption of high-ranking military officials or former rebel leaders (COMZONES). The low salaries of police officials fuel petty bribery, while excessive bureaucracy opens the door to corruption for high-ranking military officials. According to the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Côte d’Ivoire scored 36 out of 100 in 2017. TI said it was an improvement over 2016 when the country scored 34 out of 100. It also showed a marked improvement from 2013, when the country score was 27. Therefore, the trend in recent years suggests improvements in transparency and accountability (1). In terms of citizens’ surveys, the 2016-2018 Afrobarometer survey for Côte d’Ivoire suggested mixed results: among 1,200 people surveyed, 24% said that corruption levels remained unchanged and 32% said that corruption had decreased. But a total of 47% admitted they had paid a bribe (pot-de-vin) to a government official to obtain a document in the last 12 months. The Afrobarometer also revealed that 68% of Ivorians feared reprisals or negative outcomes if they exposed the corrupt practices of government officials. However, those surveyed did not focus specifically on defence and security institutions (2).

According to a May 2018 briefing paper on Côte d’Ivoire by Transparency International’s Anti-Corruption Helpdesk, there are few examples of civil society criticizing the government or exposing corruption issues. And the public trust in institutions is influenced by their political affiliation to different groups in or out of power. The briefing also points to the centralist structure of the executive, a legacy of the post-colonial era, and the fact the client networks and political patronage were seen as vehicles for personal enrichment (1). Public confidence in the fight against corruption at defence institutions remains low. Agencies such as the SNRGC (Secrétariat national à la gouvernance et au renforcement des capacités) initially managed to alert the public about bribery and corruption. But the Haute Autorité pour la Bonne Gouvernance (HABG), which has taken over much of that awareness-raising activity, has led to a degree of public indifference, as reported by Safiatou Ouattara in Libre Afrique (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Denmark scores highly on Transparency International’s annual survey on corruption perception [1]. However, there is evidence that generally the Danish public has been shaken by a long list of cases of fraud, misuse, corruption and mismanagement within the public domain during the last couple of years. First, Denmark dropped on the perception index in 2019 [1]. Second, opinion polls show that nearly 75% of the population has developed more distrust towards the public authorities after cases of fraud within The Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT) and The National Board of Social Services (Socialstyrelsen) [2]. Third, other surveys reinforce this picture: there is a downward moving trend of public confidence in the Danish Parliament where almost 45% percent of population in 2017 mistrusted the Parliament [3]. A national “barometer of trust (“tillid”)” confirms this tendency by reporting a drop in the public trust/confidence in public institutions [4]. Specifically concerning the Defence, a recent pole indicates that the public trust in the Defence Command is very low. Compared to the institution with the most trust (the Police) with a score of 31, the Defence Command scores only 4 [7]. However, compared to the score of the Danish Customs and Tax Administration of -30, 4 seems less dire. In another survey, when asked about trust in specific staff groups of the public sphere, soldiers scored 3.64 out of 5 while civil servants scored 3 of 5 and politicians only 2.12 out of 5 (the lowest of all) [5]. All this indicates that there is a general lack of public trust/confidence in public institutions and this trend is worsening. This seems to be caused by the large number of recent cases of fraud and mismanagement within the public domain. The same is true specifically regarding the defence domain, where trust is low. However, soldiers still enjoy credibility, while politicans and civil servants are seen as far less credible. This can be interpreted as a general mistrust of the Defence as an institution and as a part of the larger public domain. As some cases of accusations of nepotism and fraud within the Defence are still being investigated, and more cases are expected to become exposed [6], we may predict a further drop in the public trust. However, in relation to the specific case of fraud in the Ministry of Defence Estate Agency, the Minister of Defence has acted instantly and rather assertively. The eventual outcome of this effort may influence how the public perceives the Defence’s ability to tackle issues of corruption, fraud and misuse of public funds. The fact that cases are being prosecuted may also help to improve the trust.

This is indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The recent episode and defection of one the military contractors (Mohamed Ali) (1) who has caused a storm in the MoD after broadcasting videos about the corruption within the army, has indicated that the public see the army indifferent and clearly corruption without any will from the government for reform (2), (3), (4). It is common for many people to distinguish between the armed forces and the police when it comes to bribery and financial corruption. The armed forces are generally perceived as “cleaner” and less corrupt compared to the police (5). The reason behind this might be because people experience the corruption of the police first hand and have more direct interaction with its personnel and institutions. The Arab Transformations Project polls show that 88% of Egyptian trust the Armed Forces (5), (6). However, Interviewee 1 who was close to this survey project, explains that this high figure might be distorted by fear of answering otherwise. Also, these surveys were conducted in 2014 at a time when the armed forces were seen by many as saving the country from chaos and conflict (7).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Twice a year the Ministry of Defence publishes results from a public poll that provides an overview of the level of trust that Estonians have in different institutions in the security and defence field. [1] These, by now quite standardised polls, do not include any questions on corruption or how corrupt individuals perceive defence-related institutions to be. However, they do measure the public trust towards these institutions.
The overall trust towards the Estonian Defence Forces and the Defence League is high. 78% of respondents state they trust the Defence Forces, 73% trust the Defence League. One in four thinks that defence expenses should be increased, according to the latest study published in March 2019. [1,2]
As trust towards these institutions is high it could be assumed that most people also trust defence-related institutions to be corruption-free. There is another study that explores how members of the Estonian Defence League (EDL) relate to this voluntary organisation. EDL is the largest military organisation in Estonia with around 26,000 voluntary members (and growing) and it has deep roots in Estonian society. The study shows that corruption is not a highlighted issue when the members talk about EDL. It was almost unmentioned by the volunteers (only two did). Some of them, however, pointed out responsibility, honesty and loyalty when talking about EDL. This shows that corruption is not an issue that needs to be highlighted amongst members of the EDL. [3]

And finally, in an annual report by the US embassy in Estonia, it is concluded that the government has effective methods to investigate corruption. There are no reports about the impunity of the Defence Forces. [4]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no specific surveys concerning public trust towards the institutions of defence and security to tackle bribery and corruption, but the general surveys of public trust towards defence and security institutions tend to score higher than the European average. For example, according to the standard Eurobarometer 90 (Autumn 2018) 95 per cent of Finnish people trust the Defence Forces, 90 per cent the Police and 84 per cent the Judicial system. [1]

In the preceeding survey (Autum 2017), the respective figures were 94 for the Defence Force, 92 for the Policy and 82 for the Judicial system. [2] The Finnish Press also reports on similar results in national surveys, for instance, according to Aamuset in a 2019 survey, 83 per cent of the respondents trust the Police and 79 per cent the Defence Forces. According to YLE in a 2016 survey conducted among the pupils on the 8th grade (generally either 14 or 15 years of age), the younger generations trust both the Police and the Defence Forces. [3, 4]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The public view is ambivalent: on the one hand, the French are attached to their armies. 84% of them say they gave a good opinion of their armed forces. [1] On the other hand, the French consider that corruption in general is increasing: 72% said corruption had increased over the past two years, and 19% of respondents felt that the military institution was corrupt or extremely corrupt. [2] In 2016, 23% of the French thought corruption was one of the three biggest problems facing the country, and 64% considered that the government was fighting corruption “badly”. [3]
This seems to show that the French, though largely supportive of their armies, consider that corruption in general, and in the army in particular, isn’t addressed seriously enough.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no data available that focusses specifically on this question. In general, 85% of German citizens trust the military, 91% appreciate soldiers for their service and 72% consider the armed forces an important social establishment [1]. However, other surveys have revealed some issues with public opinion of the Bundeswehr. According to Prof. Klaus Schweinsberg (Center for Strategy and Higher Leadership), only 22% consider the troops operational and well equipped, only 45% have confidence in the Bundeswehr and a clear majority rejects further investment in the military, possibly indicating an image problem [2]. In response to the question on the perceptions of corruption by an institution (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means not at all corrupt and 5 means extremely corrupt), the military was rated 2.9 [3]. The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer indicated that 25% of respondents in Germany felt that the military was corrupt/extremely corrupt [4].

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index in 2018, Germany is the 11th least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, which is comparatively low [5]. The score awarded is 80 out of 100 (where 0 means high levels of perceived corruption and 100 means very low levels of perceived corruption). Germany’s rank in this index averaged 14.13 between 1995 and 2018, reaching a record high of 20 in 2001 and a record low of 10 in 2015.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

With particular reference to the defence and security sectors, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) finds that the military is perceived as the most accountable public institution by 17.6 per cent of the respondents (1). It is considered to be the institution which is the most open in its operation, transparent about its financial accounts and meritocratic. This is also confirmed by Afrobarometer, which finds that 51 per cent of respondents put a high degree of trust in the Ghana Armed Forces (2), (3), (4), (5).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The Greek public tends to be sceptical of the MoD’s policy and procedures for the acquisition of weapon systems due to the series of major scandals that hit the country between 2000-2010. In 2000, for instance, an opinion poll showed that 56% of correspondents did not believe that weapon procument was transparent enough. In another opinion poll conducted in 2018, about 94% of correspondents identified the Costas Simitis Government (1996-2004) as the most corrupt since 1974 due to major defence scandals. Further examples include when, in October 2013, former Defence Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos was convicted and given a 20-year prison sentence for accepting millions of euros in bribes in relation to defence contracts agreed during his tenure from 1996-2001. Five years later, former Greek Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou was convicted of laundering money tied to bribes from a 2003 contract to upgrade six frigates. Both served under Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
However, in a recent public opinion survey conducted for and presented by the National Transparency Authority on 09.12.2020, the MoD was identified as one of the least corrupted sectors enjoying higher public acceptance than other public institutions. [5]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no studies available on bribery in the defence and security institutions. However, according to the latest studies available, public trust towards the military is the highest among the public institutions [1]. It is important to note that defence expenditure on a GDP basis was the lowest among NATO member states, it improved slightly by 2017 [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Indian public has traditionally had a deep reverence for its Armed Forces. It sees the Armed Forces as pillars of integrity and honour. Defence institutions are well-respected and are viewed as separate from the political apparatus [1][2].

According to a 2017-2019 study on Politics and Society between Elections by Azim Premji University and Lokniti (CSDS), 80% of people in India trust the military [3][4]. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer 74% trust the current government [5]. Transparency International’s 2017 Global Corruption Barometer stated 53% of people in India think the current government is doing well to tackle corruption despite India having a bribery rate of 69% [6].

Each branch of the Armed Forces is governed by an Act. All Acts state conflict of interests, acquiring goods (gifts), forms of hospitality, situations which constitute as bribery; the punishments of such offences and the judicial process [7][8][9]. The Armed Forces are viewed as being efficient and effective at tackling corruption when such incidences occur. The public view is that there is a clear, sincere and effective commitment from the Armed Forces that bribery and corruption are unacceptable and must be prosecuted [10][11][12][13].

Generally, corruption in India’s defence sector seems to have occurred more in defence procurement, where the government is responsible. There has been acknowledgement from the current government about this. In January 2020 Prime Minister Modi spoke out against the previous government and accused them of damaging India’s defence sector [14][15]. There is evidence of clear commitment to investigate cases of corruption [16][17][18].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No survey has been found that specifically measures public perception of the capacity of defence and security institutions to deal with corruption. Nevertheless, during the 2016-2018 period, the TNI consistently became one of the state institutions whose public perception is relatively positive. In a survey conducted by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC) in May 2017, the TNI, the President and the KPK became the institutions most trusted by the public. The survey showed that 90% of respondents agreed that the TNI had so far worked in accordance with the expectations of the community [1]. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by Kompas Research and Development, 94% of respondents rated the TNI as an institution with a good image. This represents an increase of 3.2% compared to a survey conducted the previous year [2]. In recent years, a number of high-profile investigations have also been conducted within the defence sector (See Q20), further improving the TNI’s public image. Meanwhile, the Global Corruption Barometer report released by Transparency International noted that most Indonesians think that the government has done quite well in combating corruption. Around 64% of respondents believe that the government’s efforts to eradicate corruption have been good enough [3]. The general public perception towards the military seems to have obscured public scrutiny of bribery and corruption practices in the defence sector. This issue, however, has gained attention from a limited community of commentators and civil society activists [4,5]. Some of them have pointed to the pending revision of the 1997 law on the military justice system as one of the reasons for the lack of effectiveness in investigating corruption cases in the defence sector. Under the 1997 law on the military justice system, military officers suspected of general crimes should be tried in military court rather than general court.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no surveys to answer this exact question, and Iran is not included in the Global Corruption Barometer. However, one study carried out by the Network for Public Policy Studies (NPPS), which describes itself as “an academic peer-reviewed website under the supervision of the Center for Strategic Studies” of the Office of the President of the Islamic Republic, looked at survey results from 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015 to get a comprehensive picture of how Iranians viewed corruption, and particularly how that view had changed in the last nine years.

Based on these surveys, Iranians rank the traffic police as the 7th most corrupt institutions. The 2009 survey shows that 27 per cent of Iranians believed the Revolutionary Guards to be tainted with corruption — and this number increased to 35 per cent in the 2010 survey. In both surveys, 18 per cent of Iranians believed that corruption existed in the armed forces. Compared to the numbers for the Revolutionary Guards, this number shows that Iranians have a more favourable view of the armed forces [1]. However, according to an opinion poll carried out in Iran by the University of Maryland, in collaboration with Iran poll, 85 per cent of respondents agreed that “[t]he government should do more to fight financial and bureaucratic corruption in Iran” [2].

Iraq’s fourth parliamentary elections held in March of this year drew the lowest voter turnout since elections were first held in 2005 (1)
Attracting a historically-low voter turnout of 44.5% is evidence of the lack of trust Iraqis hold of the existing political process. A partial manual recount remains underway. A public opinion poll published in 2016 by the Gallup Poll Briefing (2) suggests that Abadi’s popularity waned. Figures on which they base their findings were gathered in late 2015, discussing the hopes and expectations Iraqis hold of their prime minister, and “the public’s continued discontent about worsening corruption and poor government services.” “The high hopes that Iraqis had for PM Abadi when he first took office in 2014 have faded over the past year … Abadi’s approval ratings dropped from 72% in late 2015 … the PM’s current approval rating is about the same as the 50% rating that his predecessor Nouri al Maliki received before he was forced to resign in August 2014.”
Protesters latest attacks on government buildings and HQ’s belonging to political parties during the latest uprisings in southern Iraq (3), (4), have been understood as an expression of the betrayal felt by the masses in the absence of the most basic of services (1), (4). Relative calm has indeed been restored following victories against the ISG. However, this does not translate directly into greater trust in the defence sector’s commitment to cleaning up defence corruption across its institutions. Low levels of trust are seen by various opinion polls and ongoing of abuse of power among security actors, from corrupt defence deals to the harassment of civilians in former ISG territories (5), (6). Recent protests have led to greater promises of reform under the present and outgoing administration, but on various counts, the government has backpedalled on its proposed reforms. These reasons make public trust almost impossible to retain. As one analyst writes “Beyond rhetoric … the 2018 election cycle did not feature a genuine debate on issues” (7) on the implementation of anti-corruption reform. Another source identified “low trust in government institutions and low confidence in elections” as a key driver behind protests (8).
For these reasons, I do not agree with the proposed score change.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There isn’t any specific data on the perception of corruption in the military. Yet, Israeli society has in general a high level of trust in the army and security sector. For instance, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is the most trusted institution – 78% of the general public (89% among Jewish Israelis and 19.5% among Arab Israelis) (1). Furthemore, it would imply the “assumption that there is corruption”, and the majority of the public is still not convinced that corruption exists in the institutions. However, there are differences between Jewish and Arab Israelis. For example: “In assessing the extent of corruption, the most frequent response (32%) is that Israel’s leadership is midway between “very corrupt” and “not at all corrupt.” The share of the total sample who feel that it is corrupt (47%) far outstrips those who believe that it is not (19%), and Arab respondents view the country’s leadership as much more corrupt than Jewish respondents do. A comparison with previous years shows that, despite the ongoing investigations against high-level government figures, there has not been a rise in the perceived level of corruption in the country’s leadership. An interesting—though not surprising—finding is that a majority of opposition voters (66% of them) see Israel’s leaders as corrupt, as opposed to 26% of those who voted for coalition parties.” (2) These perceptions and attitudes might change after the submarine case (case 3000) which is related to corruption in the defence and security sector (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

It is not possible to assess public perception regarding the institutions of defence in the fight against corruption. Nonetheless, according to the 2019 country report of the OECD Government at a Glance 2019, there is general confidence and satisfaction in the police institutions (75%) [1]. However, there have been cases of corruption in the institutions of defence and security as reported in the 2019 Mapping Corruption Report from Transparency International [2], and in the media [3, 4]. All the same, it is cannot be establihsed how such reports have impacted public perceptions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. No public polls directly asking whether there is public trust in the ability of defence institutions to tackle bribery and corruption have been found. However, a Cabinet Office poll shows that overall public trust towards the Self-Defense Force (SDF) as an institution was quite high in 2015 and 2018. In January 2015, 41.4% had a positive view, 50.8% had a somewhat positive view, 4.1% had a somewhat negative view and 0.7% had a negative view. [1] In January 2018, the numbers were 36.7%, 53%, 4.9% and 0.7%, respectively. [2] One could argue that the high level of public trust in the SDF as a whole indicates that the population is positive about the actions taken by the SDF against corruption as well. The leadership of the Defence Ministry expresses strong commitment to anticorruption measures (see Q34). Defence of Japan 2016 explained that the establishment of ATLA should increase the fairness and transparency of procurement. [3] The establishment of this institution should contribute to avoiding new cases of collusive bidding at the initiative of government agencies in defence procurement as happened in 2006. [4] In 2007, a former administrative vice-minister of defence was indicted for accepting bribes in exchange for favours from a trading house in defence procurement, and later sentenced. [5] This case remains the focus of much attention in recent years. Furthermore, the public has become more concerned about government corruption due to several non defence-related corruption scandals during the Abe administration. One scandal involved the sale of state land to a private school owner at below market prices, [6] another involved favourable treatment of an Abe supporter in obtaining a license to establish a department of veterinary medicine at a university. [7] These factors indicate it is unreasonable that the public has full trust in the ability of the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issues of bribery and corruption.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to the Arab Barometer data from 2016-2017, 90% of Jordanians have ‘a great deal of trust’ in the armed forces [1]. According to the same data set, 79% of Jordanians believe that corruption is a large (42%), or medium (37%), problem within state agencies and institutions, and only 7% say that there is no corruption at all [1]. Additionally, the economic situation and corruption are flagged as their top two concerns. This suggest that while Jordanians trust the defence institutions to guarantee their security and safety, they still think that bribery and corruption are insufficiently addressed.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In the 2018 Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s National Ethics and Corruption Survey, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) ranked eighth amongst twenty goverment ministries where one is likely to experience corruption and unethical conduct in the year 2017. KDF on the other hand ranked tenth among twenty-five government departments where one is likely to encounter corrupt and unethical practices in the same year. [1]

The year 2017 was the worst performance so far for the MOD in the survey, having ranked 7.1 per cent compared to the previous year where the ministry ranked 3.8 per cent. Scholars have argued there is little trust in security institutions to carry out their mandate because widespread corruption in these institutions has compromised their ability to perform their roles effectively. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Kosovo Security Force has been ranked the most trusted institution in Kosovo by the public, according to the survey published in November 2018 by the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies. Around 77.7 percent of respondents stated that they trust this institution [1]. However, similar to previous surveys conducted in Kosovo, the public were not asked their opinion on the bribery and corruption risks within the Ministry of Defence or the Kosovo Security Force itself, nor whether they trust this institution to tackle specifically issues of bribery and corruption [2, 3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.
Activists, journalists, officials and academics say that despite establishing the ACA, issuing new laws to tackle corruption and encouraging whistleblowers to come forward by filing complaints through the Government’s ACA or SAB websites or by mailing them, the public still does not believe that the Government agencies, including the security establishment, are serious about fighting corruption (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10).

They do believe, however, that many officials genuinely think corruption is unacceptable but is not a priority. These sentiments are especially common among young people, the majority of the population, who believe, based on the recent crackdown on opposition activists in Kuwait, that the security establishment is more interested in protecting the Government than in improving its performance.

As a result, many tend to dismiss these new moves by the Government as part of a PR campaign to improve its image, and not a real crackdown on corruption because the authorities have failed to jail or fine any senior officials in or outsideof the security establishment.

Even many critics of the security establishment, and other Government agencies, are not disillusioned with senior Kuwaiti officials to the point where they demonise them. In a recent tirade against corruption, Abdel Aziz al-Fadali, a prominent writer, suggested that senior officials were simply negligent and lax, and urged them to keep an eye on the performance of the employees they hire (11).

Perhaps nothing captures why the public is frustrated with the Government in general like the case of Fahd al-Rajaan, the former head of Kuwait’s social insurance authority, who is believed to have embezzled at least 390 million USD and who had fled to London in 2015. Despite their vows to bring him to justice, the authorities have failed to have him extradited and prosecuted, have failed to protect public funds from him and have failed to stop him from fleeing the country (12).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no empirical data to test if the public particularly trusts the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their institutions. However, the Eurobarometer survey data (Spring 2018) shows that the army and police continuously enjoy public trust, especially when compared to other public institutions. The Armed Forces have been enjoying high trust for years. The 2018 Spring results show that 69% respondents tend to trust to army (63% the police), while 18% tend not to trust the army (30% the police). For comparison, trust in the justice and legal system is lower – only 36% tend to trust it, and 31% trust the public administration. [1]
The National Armed Forces is one of the most trusted institutions in Latvia (e.g. it ranked second behind education establishments and above the church in a poll done in 2016 [1] with generally similar results provided by other polls). At the same time, the above-mentioned poll suggests that KNAB is perceived rather negatively by the public (as the most negatively perceived institution among the defence and security ones). Recent corruption-related stories (e.g. the cases of the Latvian Bank (2018), the so called “Conversations of oligarchs/Rīdzene” (2017), long-standing internal rifts in the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB)), have definitely not strengthened the image, or the trust in anti-corruption institutions. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The LAF is the most trusted public institution in the country (1) and is perceived as the least corrupt, though that there may be some minor shortcomings (2). For instance, the LAF have taken steps to combat corruption within its ranks (1). For example, in 2017, it arrested seven soldiers for being involved in bribery and corruption cases at the Military Academy (2). In 2018, the military tribunal sentenced 14 soldiers involved in accepting bribes to enrol civilians in the LAF (3), (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Lithuanian army is one of the most trusted institutions in Lithuania. According to a public survey carried out in April 2018 [1], 60 percent of respondents trust it. However, one in five Lithuanian residents and 82 percent of Lithuanian businessmen perceive the Ministry of Defence as corrupt [2], according to a survey commissioned by the Special Investigation Service. In 2016, 22 percent of the respondents perceived the Ministry of Defence as “very corrupt” (compared to 5 percent who thought this way in 2014).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The leading anti-corruption agency in Malaysia has adopted the results of two pieces of Transparency International’s research: the Corruption Perceptions Index and the Global Corruption Barometer. Malaysia was raised to 61st place in 2018 according to the Corruption Perceptions Index. It notes that Malaysia was a country to watch, showing promising political developments. [1] However, it was highlighted in the Global Corruption Barometer that Malaysian citizens, alongside Vietnamese citizens, were the most negative with regard to matters of corruption in their country. [2] Nevertheless, these two polls are general in nature and do not reflect the public trust regarding institutions of defence and security. Since the establishment of the new government, many anti-corruption efforts have been made which have seen former Prime Minister Najib Razak criminally implicated [3] [4] and the reopening of the Scorpene probe. [5] Furthermore, the new government has continuously underlined anti-corruption in its agenda. [6] Thus, the results of the two surveys does not reflect public opinion on the new government and its anti-corruption efforts.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no public trust. Here is one example of the public’s widespread view of the police²:

“Everyone, all Malians know this : if there is one group these days, besides judges and financiers, that is completely rotten with corruption, racketeering and all sorts of schemes that are beneath those who wear a uniform, it is the Malian police force. Under the eyes of the whole country, in the police stations and on the roads of Bamako and elsewhere in Mali, police officers are motivated only by money. There is no affair that cannot be « sorted » by police officers, of any grade, if one accepts to pay. The police hierarchy knows it, the government authorities know it.” Several taxi drivers in Bamako supported this view, saying that traffic police are permanently looking to identify minor faults to be able to extract bribes from motorists.⁵ Such views were confirmed in a 2013 survey by Afrobarometer: only 13% of respondents said that no police officers were corrupt. 36% said some were, 23% said most were and 23% said all police officers were corrupt.¹ Furthermore, a newspaper editor told the assessor that the public has absolutely no confidence in the police, gendarmerie or the army to tackle corruption.⁴
Another Malian journalist told the assessor that “corruption affects all sectors, from the very bottom to the very top. Everyone has his or her price. It is simply built into the system because low salaries favour corruption. Malian society judges you by what you have, not how you have obtained it. Everything can be bought. […] Corruption has not just become normalised, but people are seeking to maximise their income from illicit opportunities. They are not content with petty corruption. Corruption is deeply rooted in society and within the public administration”.⁶ Thus, there is no expectation on behalf of the public that state institutions, whether defence-related or otherwise, are genuinely seeking to reduce corruption.

There is not enough information to score this indicator. The general perception of citizens, academia, and CSOs about the commitment of defence and security institutions with regards to corruption is that this is not truly serious. [1] [2]

Although it is characteristic of each government administration or dependency head to make known its commitment in the fight against corruption, experience indicates that everything belongs to the official discourse and, at best, this only leads to the promulgation of laws but not to address those problems effectively. [3] [4] [5]

For example, the National Survey of Victimization and Perception on Public Security of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) shows an increase in the levels of perception of corruption in the defence and security authorities: Army (26.8 in 2017 and 27.6 in 2018 ) and Marines (20.4 in 2017 and 21.6 in 2018). [6]

Another statistical exercise by the Pew Research Center shows that in 2017, more than 7 out of 10 people see corruption in police officers as one of the biggest problems in Mexico, an increase of 9 percentage points compared to 2015. [7]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to the most recent assessments of political opinion in Montenegro, at the end of 2018, 39,6% of population had confidence in the army, [1] which represents a significant decline compared to over 50% of public trust reported three years before. [2]

However, there are no publicly available detailed analyses or assessments related to this subject. [3] Corruption is considered systemic and widespread, while evidence of its handling are lacking. [4] According to our sources, there is no true political will to tackle corruption in this area. [5][6]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun, spokesperson for the military, said that the military does not neglect corruption cases and has taken action against corrupt officials through its own internal mechanism [1]. The prosecution outcomes are rarely made public. The perpetrators of the Inn Din masscare, who were sentenced to ten years in prison, were released after less than one year by the President’s amnesty. When the media tried to contact the military spokesperson and prison official, they refused to comment [2]. Due to these incidents, the level of public trust in defence and security institutions that tackle corruption is relatively low. The Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International ranked Myanmar 132 out of 180 countries [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2016 (latest known data), contains ‘positive’ or ‘mediocre’ ratings for the Netherlands across questions regarding the public’s perception of corruption in the Netherlands, signifying that not many people think that corruption is one of the biggest problems facing their country and that members of Parliament are perceived to be clean [1]. In late 2017, PEW Research found that 71% of Dutch respondents trusted their military [2]. Additionally, the Netherlands ranked 8th in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index of 2019 with a score of 82 [3]. Despite the results of these indexes, studies by the European Commission show that many Dutch businesses think that the problem of corruption is ‘widespread’ in the Netherlands (57%, up from 51% in 2017) [4]. When asked whether people and businesses found to be bribing senior officials are appropriately punished, the majority (39%) disagreed [4]. Furthermore, when asked whether corrupt people or businesses would be caught and reported, face charges in court or would be heavily fined/imprisoned, respondents in the Netherlands were fairly evenly split between ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ [4]. In 2017, when more than one thousand Dutch individuals were asked if bribes and abuses of power were widespread among officials awarding public tenders, 57% responded ‘yes’ [5]. Where data is available, Dutch attitudes towards the presence of, and accountability for, corruption appear to have worsened. This reflects the exposure of high-profile cases of corruption that have surfaced in the Netherlands over the last few years. The number of bribery cases being investigated by authorities is rising, leading to landmark convictions and settlements [6]. One such case is the Pon Automotive Scandal, which revealed that, over the course of a decade, six Ministry of Defence officials and police officers had accepted bribes in exchange for procurement contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros in public funds [7]. These events, paired with a tendency of the authorities to resolve cases through out-of-court settlements, mean that it is questionable whether the public believes anti-corruption efforts by authorities to be effective.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The Assessor has found nothing substantive to indicate any legitimate concern by the public surrounding issues of bribery and corruption in the defence and security sector. New Zealand consistently ranks among the least corrupt nations and this would logically be reflected in the public’s trust of defence and security institutions [1]. A high profile court martial of a senior officer charged with having an intimate relationship with a subordinate while deployed with the United Nations to the Sinai was publicised [2]. The media’s reporting presented a “matter-of-fact” story, which suggests an inexperienced commentary [3]. Indeed, another news outlet had an addendum to its piece entitled “What is a court martial?” [4]. Additionally, a significant section of the text within the NZ Herald article included quotes from NZDF personnel, which perhaps speaks towards a lack of understanding around the extent of the charge and its effects on morale. Such reporting appears to coalesce with the aforementioned lack of defence knowledge among New Zealand journalists. The lack of interest suggests that public trust in defence institutions, although somewhat detached, remains stable. A more serious matter was the inquiry into Operation Burnham which revealed systematic inadequacies of reporting within the NZDF [5]. While these did not directly relate to issues of bribery and corruption, as it was an operational matter, the failings identified raise questions about whether such inadequacies extend into other areas of the NZDF. In saying that, the report found no evidence of criminal activity, and by in large, the public has a good opinion of defence.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to TI’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, Niger is ranked 33/100 (0 = perceived by citizens to be highly corrupt, 100 = perceived to be very clean), placing it at 112 out of a total of 180 countries (1). These statistics underline a low level of trust in public institutions in terms of corruption. In general, TI’s 2015 “Africa survey” indicates that among African nationalities, the police are seen as one of the most corrupt institutions (2). Corruption and bribery in the defence and security institutions in Niger are not acceptable in the public view. However, the perception of what can be considered corruption differs depending on a range of factors. For example, a box of 25 kilograms of sugar given as a gift during the month of Ramadan to a neighbour who is also a policeman, may not be perceived as a bribe by the giving person, even though some service could be implicitly expected from the policeman in exchange (3).
How widespread the perception of defence and security institutions as “corrupt” is among the population is very important and reveals the level of trust toward defence and security actors. Indeed, some studies have shown that because of the deterioration of the trust bond, it has become difficult for police services to fulfil their missions (prevention of conflicts within the community, maintenance of public order, collection and processing of judicial information, etc.) (4,5). It is plausible that defence services are facing similar challenges. The October 2017 attack on the Ayorou (6) Gendarmerie Brigade showed how active collaboration and trust between the population and the security forces is an essential component in the country’s efforts to combat and prevent insurgency (4).
There is evidence that authorities are taking seriously the problem of reduced trust: there is a growing number of projects aiming to foster the bond between security/defence services and the population, especially in the border regions facing insecurity. The projects are conducted mostly under the auspices of the High Authority of Consolidation for Peace (HACP) (7) or as part of the bilateral cooperation such as the German GIZ-RECAP project (4) .

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is a public perception of corruption in the Military as a result of the long history of military rule the defence sector is seen as an important part of the security apparatus (1). The inaction by the FGN formed the basis of the belief that the current government is not tackling corruption effectively (2), (3). The Buhari administration has been accused of selective prosecution of those accused of corruption, especially officials of his administration and party, the APC (4), (5). For example, the head of the military, General Burata when it was revealed that he owned property worth millions of dollars located in Dubai and was required to justify the sources his wealth, he responded by saying “The property I invested was far back as 2013 before I became the chief of army staff, I never dreamt of becoming the chief of army staff and people are accusing me as if it is today,” (5). Despite the revelation of his ownership of property assets in Dubai which were inconsistent with his earnings as a military general, no action was taken against him (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Public opinion surveys portray the military and defence sectors as the least corrupted. Transparency International’s Global Survey in 2013 showed that only 21 percent of respondents in Macedonia felt that the military was corrupt/extremely corrupt. In comparison, 53 percent of respondents felt the police was corrupt/extremely corrupt and even 68 percent noted extreme corruption in the judiciary [1]. Interestingly, in 2015, the percentage of Macedonians who said they had some level of trust in the country’s military dropped from 71.5 percent in 2014, when it was the most-trusted institution in the country, to 37.5 percent in 2015 [2]. The latest 2018 surveys again show that citizens perceive the Army as being the least corrupted institution [3]. Only 22,3 percent find the Army most corrupted in comparison to 68.1 who see the Ministry of Health as most corrupted. This low percentage can be explained by strict prosecutions which dealt with some of the high-level corruption cases in the Ministry of Defence, such as the “Tanks’ parts” and the “Helicopters’ parts” cases. This reaction was met with positive public sentiments. In 2014, nine Ministry of Defence officials were accused for allegations of corrupt activities related to the maintenance and repair of the Army of North Macedonia helicopters [4]. Also, two former Ministers of Defence were prosecuted. In 2007, the former Minister of Defence Vlado Buckovski was accused of corrupt procurement of tanks’ parts [5]. In 2007, his predecessor in the Ministry of Defence Ljuben Paunovski was convicted on the allegations of embezzlement of food procurement for the Army [6].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There are no in-country polls or surveys exploring the issue of corruption and bribery in the defence sector. The 2019 biannual survey of members of the Norwegian Armed Forces proves that the Armed Forces generally has a good reputation [1]. The survey also shows, however, that only 11% of the respondents have a positive impression of financial management in the Norwegian Armed Forces, compared with the 43% who had a negative impression. The same survey shows that, although 62% of the respondents describe the Norwegian Armed Forces as “trustworthy”, only 25% agree that the word “open” is also suitable. On a broader scale, TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2019 gave Norway a score of 84 out of 100, ranking it seventh out of 180 countries [2]. Although Norway ranks among the least corrupt countries in the world, the country’s score has slightly decreased in recent years. Analysts claim that this tendency reflects the erosion of the general population’s trust in the authorities [3]. Furthermore, a series of corruption scandals in the last decade related to a number of large Norwegian companies in which the government owns substantial stakes challenged Norway’s reputation for good governance and business integrity [4, 5]. The scandals also affected the defence sector: in 2014, Norway’s largest defence contractor Kongsberg Gruppen was charged by the economic crime division of the police (Økokrim) with corruption relating to a series of defence communications contracts in Romania between 1998 and 2008. Although the case against Kongsberg Gruppen was dropped in 2016, Økokrim decided to prosecute a former employee of the company with charges of fraud [6]. Another case, the so-called “Nigerian boats” scandal, concerned selling several surplus vessels from the Norwegian navy to a UK company in 2012 and 2013. The vessels wound up under the control of paramilitary forces in Nigeria. As a result of charges brought by Økokrim, a former commander of the Royal Norwegian Navy was convicted in 2017 of gross corruption, aggravated breach of financial trust and embezzlement in his capacity as a public officer [7]. There is, however, no indication as to how these scandals affected public perceptions of the defence sector.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Omani’s have trust in their government and the defence forces. With regards to corruption, they admit that there is corruption, but not at the same level as in the army. However, this argument cannot be proven quantitatively (1),(2), (3). there is no way to accurately access public perception of the Omani government in general, and there is a lack of information concerning the public perception of corruption and particularly corruption within defence and security sectors. The BTI report from 2017 states, “Omani political culture is dominated by a general acceptance of the government’s omnipotence” acceptance is unqualified in the report however which goes onto state: “There has been no public opinion poll to assess the popularity of the current system” (14). According to the World Economic Forum question “In your country, how do you rate the ethical standards of politicians?” Oman is ranked 19th in the world, with 4.7 out of 7 public trusts in politicians (5). Protests in 2011 called out corruption in state institutions, subsequent protests in early 2018 reportedly concern unemployment and labour issues (4). No reference is made to public trust in security or defence institutions about bribery or corruption, however, protests in the country have called out corruption within state institutions, although there is no particular reference to the defence. Furthermore, the fact that there is no information available about public perceptions concerning the government is an indicator that Oman is a police state, and people would be hesitant about sharing their views about the government.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The public does not trust the security forces when it comes to corruption and bribery. According to the Arab Barometer (2016-2017), more than 29% of people do not trust the armed forces (not the police) (little trust), and 24% do not have confidence at all. While 32% have average trust in them (1), these numbers match the general trust of the political level in the Palestinian Authority concerning corruption and also trust in the PA (2),(3).

Opinion polls regarding the work of the security forces overlap with the different political orientations of the Palestinian citizenry. In this regard, it is necessary to look at other indicators to indicate the citizen’s confidence in dealing with the security establishment, such as cases received by the military prosecution from citizens against members of the security forces that were subsequently referred to military courts for decision. In 2018, the Security Forces Judiciary Authority dealt with many of the cases received in its records. The number of cases received by the military prosecutor reached 2828 cases, of which 1452 cases were referred to the courts in 2018; the remaining cases are still under investigation (4).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to public polls, trust in the defence institutions has increased since 2016, especially in rural areas where the armed forces’ presence is most strongly felt [1, 2]. Likewise, business executives scored the military as ‘moderate’, thus upgrading its rating for sincerety in fighting corruption from ‘neutral’ [3]. The AFP has established a Multi-Sectoral Governance Council composed of members form business, academia and civil society to guide the defence establishment in its professionalisation and modernisation agenda [4]. Corruption persists despite these developments. According to one survey, public trust in the ability of institutions to tackle bribery and corruption is very low [1, 2, 3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

No polls explicitly ask about corruption in the defence sector. The CBOS survey “Opinions about corruption in Poland” [1] asks about most corrupt areas of public life, but there are no “army” or “defence sector” questions. In the previous survey (May 2017), respondents pointed the following institutions as the most corrupt: politicians (48%), healthcare (38%), and courts and prosecutor offices (32%). The police, which can be related to the security and defence sector to a certain degree, was mentioned only by 16% of respondents. This points to the more positive view of the police forces in society.
According to another CBOS survey “Evaluation of the activities of public institutions” [2] published in March 2018, 59% of Poles asses the functioning of the army as “good”, 8% as “bad,” and 33% of respondents have no opinion.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

The latest Global Corruption Barometer does not provide specific information on perceptions of corruption in defence and security institutions. A Standard Eurobarometer time series suggests that public trust in those institutions remains high, although it is declining [1]. An additional report suggests that the armed forces remain trustworthy to a non-representative sample of Portuguese respondents [2], but no specific details on bribery or corruption were given.

There are indications of a lack of trust related to the Tancos case and Operation Zeus. The former is an ongoing trial around the theft of firearms from an army warehouse which eventually implicated the then-incumbent minister of defence. The Parliament conducted an investigation, and the criminal court case is ongoing as of November 2020. The latter was a mid-scale procurement corruption case in Airforce mess halls that involved over fifty military members, including highly ranked officers. The media response was very large concerning both, but no large-scale survey on the effect of these cases on public trust and the military was conducted.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is not a way to assess the public trust in defence and security institutions in relation to tackling bribery and corruption specifically. There are many indications that Qataris trust their government in general, but none of these indications are relevant to corruption. Dr Majid Al-Ansari referred to a survey that showed that ‘around 98% of the participants are satisfied with the government performance throughout the blockade, and around 88% indicated that Qatar could endure such blockade even if it goes on for years’ [1]. The same academic pointed out that ‘the blockade has proven that both the government and people in Qatar enjoy great harmony and the government enjoys the full support and solidarity of the people, unlike the other countries of the blockade who fear their people and do not maintain open communications with them’. In general, one may conclude that the people of Qatar trust their government, but unlike other countries, there is no public polls or quantitative data that can be used as an indicator of trust in defence. According to our sources, there is a high trust in the government and the armed forces. Besides that, there is little known about Qataris perception of corruption. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Research by the state-sponsored Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM) shows that a low percentage of Russians see defence-related sectors (army and military enlistment offices) as the most corrupt: for military enlistment offices, the figure decreased from 9% and 6% in 2015 and 2016 to 3% in 2018; for the army, the figure decreased from 4% in 2015 and 2016 to 2% in 2018 [1]. But that might be related to the fact that the defence sector is not of primary or daily concern for ordinary people. By the way, a higher percentage of the population – 14% – lacks trust in the Prosecutor’s Office.

A 2017 poll by the independent Levada Center indicates that 79% of respondents think that Russian institutions are corrupt (completely or to a significant degree) [2]. We can assume that defence and security institutions are no exception.

It is worth mentioning the reputation of the MoD head as a very famous figure in Russian politics and the primary person responsible for fighting corruption in the army. Sergey Shoigu, formerly the successful and widely respected Minister of Emergency Situations, is losing his reputation as an effective leader since he took charge of the MoD. A 2018 Levada Center poll shows that fewer people trust Shoigu – decreasing from 23% in November 2017 to 15% in September 2018 [3].

The anti-corruption media platform PASMI also conducted a poll among its readers about the effectiveness of the Minister of Defence. To the question ‘How do you rate the Minister’s anti-corruption actions?’, 70% of 12,000 readers responded negatively and only 8% responded with either ‘positive’ or ‘satisfactory’ [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Public opinion is generally difficult to garner in Saudi Arabia given the limited nature of public polls and surveys, furthermore, there are informal restrictions on free and frank responses in surveys when they pertain to issues relating to the government (respondents may not feel at liberty to directly criticize the government due to fear of reprisals). Saudi commentators have at times urged the government to tackle corruption, in online petitions and on social media; however, these demands do not typically relate to corruption in the defence and security sector but focus on widespread administrative and financial corruption (1).
According to our sources in Saudi Arabia, trust in the defence institutions is very high. Perhaps as a result of recent arrests and attempts of reform in Saudi Arabia, as well as an intensive propaganda program, it seems that trust in MBS and the government is high, especially the crackdown on corruption, which was politically motivated (2).

Saudi Arabia received a score of 49 out of 100 in the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index survey, which measures the extent of perceived corruption in the public sector from the perspective of business people and country experts (3). This is a three-point score increase from 2016 when the country scored 46 in the same survey, which aggregates various data sources, international surveys and corruption assessments (4). This appears to signal that perceptions of corruption in Saudi Arabia are decreasing somewhat, potentially as a result of recent announcements and actions of Mohammed bin Salman, who has made strong public overtures about his government’s aim to root out corruption and thus open up the local economy and business landscape to foreign investment through promoting increased transparency and accountability (5). Saudi media have reported on the recent anti-corruption purge (see above) highly positively, portraying the campaign as a much-needed battle against corruption. That being said, Saudi media is tightly controlled and pro-government.

Since the onset of its military campaign against neighbouring Yemen, the Saudi government has highlighted the war effort and promoted the armed forces, which is a relatively new phenomenon in the country. This is reflected in local media reporting on the Yemen war (6). There has been no public polling on local attitudes towards the military in Saudi Arabia. However, on forums, such as social media, which is one of the only avenues where Saudi citizens give their opinions publicly (and anonymously), many people express trust, support, and encouragement towards the Saudi military and particularly the war in Yemen (7), (8). Nevertheless, public criticism towards Saudi institutions, especially the military, would likely result in government reprisals.

According to Kristin Smith Diwan, an expert on Gulf affairs:

“Historically, the profiting of particular royals from their leadership positions in defence and security – whether for personal benefit or for enhancement of their public position within the royal family and ruling institutions – was fairly well known and understood within the Kingdom as part of the ruling bargain and patronage system. Under the new King Salman and Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammed bin Salman, there has been both a centralization of power and a public campaign to take up corruption as a problem that needs to be tackled. It is very difficult to get any genuine read on public opinion in Saudi Arabia, especially in today’s environment which allows for no independent questioning of the leadership and its direction. Since, in effect, the system is in transition it is reasonable to think that people’s opinions are also shifting and at least publicly being guided by the new nationalist sentiment. In these conditions it seems likely that A) most Saudis are enthusiastic about the campaign to combat corruption and that B) many politically savvy and informed Saudis will remain sceptical about these being applied to those who currently hold the reins of power” (9).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to a series of public opinion surveys, the SAF enjoy a high level of trust among the citizens. Army consistently finds itself in one of the top 3 positions among the most trusted and least corrupt institutions in Serbia. Public polls conducted in May and June 2017 show that 57% of citizens have confidence in the armed forces [1, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Even though it is a drop of 5% in comparison to 2016, the level of trust is very high when compared to other institutions, such as the National Assembly or the Government. Besides the general trust, the armed forces are also perceived as the least corrupt. According to a report published in December 2015, only 16% of citizens consider that corruption is present within the ranks of the armed forces [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There are no known surveys that record public opinion towards corruption in defence, although it can be inferred that confidence in the Singapore government’s ability to stem corruption and its ability/willingness to address contingencies as they arise in its various ministries and statutory boards is substantial. For example, Singapore ranks highly in independent domestic and international surveys. Singapore was placed 3rd in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 85/100 [1]. Public trust in Singapore’s defence institutions appears to be high, which has translated into general support for conscription and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) activities [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

General perceptions of corruption levels, and trust levels of public institutions is low in South Africa. Low faith is to be expected, considering the somewhat infamous ‘Arms Deal’, coupled with the Zuma Presidency and linked Gupta family scandal(s), which were investigated further in 2019 through a State Capture Probe.

A 2018 Afrobarometer survey conducted in South Africa (n = 1,800) found that 64% of respondents saw an increase in national corruption levels over the past year – an improvement on the 83% who saw a corruption increase in 2015. 63% of respondents said that reporting incidents of corruption risked retaliation or other negative consequences. 39% of respondents believed most or all presidential officials were corrupt – a 7% decrease from 2015. Notably, 32% saw most or all judges or magistrates as corrupt – an increase of 9% from 2015 [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. Public trust in defence institutions remains very low in South Korea. According to the survey on public trust in government and public institutions conducted in 2018, only 3.2% of the total respondents trust the military in South Korea, while 21.3% of respondents show trust towards the President. [1] Another public opinion poll run by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission of Korea annually shows similar results. This poll asks citizens about the corruption perception of public institutions. The Ministry of National Defence ranked in Band 4, indicating a low level of public trust. [2]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In general, the public has little confidence in the government’s ability to tackle corruption and bribery. Past promises to combat corruption have not been matched by concrete action, hence this lack of confidence. The public believes the government lacks the political will to fight corruption. In 2012, the Anti-Corruption Commission asked top Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) generals to declare their income and assets in an effort to tackle corruption. [1] To date, this requirement has not been adhered to. This view is further bolstered by the fact that officials under whose docket egregious acts of corruption were committed continue to sit in the cabinet or are reappointed to the cabinet. For instance, during the Letters of Credit Scandal in 2013 and 2014, the current Finance Minister, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, was undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance. After the scandal, in which an estimated $192 million was lost, he was promoted to Finance Minister. [2] Another minister, Kuol Athian, under whose docket the dura saga scandal unfolded more than 10 years ago, in which millions of dollars were lost in a grain purchase scam, was reappointed to the cabinet in March 2013, together with Mabiordit. [3] Such appointments have dented confidence in government’s ability or willingness to fight corruption anywhere, including in the Ministry of Defence. They also illustrate that the government’s efforts (often publicly stated) to fight corruption are not sincere or effective. Consequently, South Sudan ranks 179/180 for 2019 in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index. [4]

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is no report or survey about corruption in the defence sector in Spain. However, there is a survey about perception in Defence Sector and Armed Forces from CIS (the last from 2017) and a survey about corruption identified as a problem to tackle that regularly is performed by CIS in its monthly Barometer [1]. In that survey, corruption and fraud are still among the main problems identified by Spanish society, but which saw a reduction in the percentage of answers from about 40% in 2015 to less than 20% in 2020. At the same time, perception of Armed Forces in Spain has improved since in 2013, increasing 4 percentage points since 2015, and 10 since 2013 [2] [3] [4].

Transparency International stated in its 2016 Global Corruption Barometer Report on Europe [5] that Spain was among the countries with highest perceptions of corruption among its citizens, with about 80% of the population considering that government was doing a bad job fighting corruption. Nevertheless Spain’s corruption index score has improved since 2016 [6] [7]. In spite of that, the case of Teniente Segura is still creating concerns about corruption due to his continuous publications about corruption within the Spanish Army [8][9][10]. Moreover, there are cases of corruption and bad practices related to military expenditure for the acquisition of main armaments in Spain, such as the overcost of the submarine S-80 and A-400 [11]. On the other hand, the case of arms exports to Saudi Arabia (among other bussiness) is also relevant in terms of perception of corruption of defence, given the active participation of the former king of Spain, who has been accused of corruption [12] [13] [14]. All in all, these cases undermine the credibility of defence sector to Spaniards.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. A 2020 Bertelsmann-Stiftung report on Sudan explained that the former National Congress Party (NCP)-controlled presidency, general assembly, legal system, military and state institutions were not trusted by citizens, as they thrived on corruption and bribery while citizens bore the brunt of declining state revenues and increasing prices of basic goods [1]. Likewise, the public, by and large, does not believe that the transitional government’s defence and security institutions intend to tackle bribery and corruption; on the contrary, the formal and informal civilian organisations that participated in the revolution and the agreement to the power-sharing government believe that most leaders of both formal and informal armed forces in Sudan survived the revolution’s purge of Bashir and his cronies. During an interview for this report, an expert on Sudan’s defence sector said that civilian cabinet leaders still have very little power compared to the heads of militarised bodies party to the transitional government, and that civil society believes that military members of the transitional council are avoiding oversight [2]. The military leaders in the Sovereignty Council nominated candidates for Minister of Defence, ensured that the transitional constitution effectively put military personnel in charge of security sector reform and reset the timeline for the popular election of a legitimate parliament when the military leadership of the Sovereignty Council established the Transition Partners Council in late 2020. The above-mentioned interviewee noted that the press is wary of these manoeuvres and is pressing the transitional government for answers about transparency and too much spending on defence [2].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The public view is that there is a clear commitment from the defence establishment that bribery and corruption are not acceptable and must be prosecuted, and that their efforts to tackle the problem are sincere and effective. In Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index from 2018, Sweden was ranked in the global top 3, scoring 85 out of 100 points [1]. The Armed Forces also tend to include surveys in their annual reports measuring the public’s ‘trust, knowledge, and trust towards the [Swedish Armed Forces] SAF’ [2]. These are conducted by an independent polling institute (Demoskop), and results suggest that the public’s trust in the SAF has increased in recent years and is currently high [2] [3].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is no specific polling available on the question of how the defence establishment’s commitment is perceived by the general population. However, the Swiss military has historically been perceived in the federal structures as one of the truly Swiss institutions. The conscription system also ensures that an important segment of the (mainly male) population has been part of the military at some point in their life. 66% of the population in 2019 indicated they were “proud” or “somewhat proud” of the militia system (N.B. the question included “Politics” and is not solely about the military) [1]. Polling is only available for the population’s general trust in the institution. The Swiss military is generally well trusted. On a 10 point scale, it averaged 6.6 (where 1 is “no trust” and 10 is “fully trusted”). This is still below other institutions like the police, the judiciary, the Federal Council, or the Federal Assembly. However, there was considerable variation depending on political preferences [2]. This level of trust is confirmed by other polling [3]. Although trust in the institution is very likely to correlate to a certain extent with the trust in the effectiveness to combat corruption within these institutions, it is not sufficient to score this question. Especially considering that specific questions about less trusted institutions related to arms trade would probably yield less favourable opinions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.
Public trust of theMND, its subordinate institutions, or other security establishments is easily impacted by positive or negative news or messages sent on social media or social communication apps [1, 2]. A poll concerning public confidence in the government, which was conducted in 2017, indicates low public confidence in high ranking military officers in Taiwan’s armed forces [3].

A scandal surrounding Ministry of National Defence’s contract to build six minesweepers as part of the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding and upgrade programme reveals that the public generally does not place confidence in the defence and security establishments, regardless of which party is in charge of the government [4, 5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

This is particularly hard to judge given restrictions on freedom of expression. The Afrobarometer Round 6 and 7 surveys indicate a high, if slightly falling, perception of corruption within the police, while a clear majority perceived a decrease in corruption generally over the two rounds. [1] However, there is no survey data looking specifically at corruption within these institutions.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. In recent years, the military has failed to gain public trust for several reasons. Firstly, the decision of the military regime to approve the procurement of a 13.5-billion-baht submarine from China and the purchases of weapons and military supplies from defence contractors around the world caused a great deal of public scepticism about transparency and vulnerability to corruption in the military [1]. According to international and domestic polls, corruption is as endemic as ever after the coup d’ état in 2014, while the military government was the subject of a protest in the northern city of Chiang Mai against the building of a government luxury housing project on forested land. Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index also scored Thailand 37 out of 100, marginally lower than in 2014 when the NCPO took over the country [2]. Recently, the spread of Covid-19 from a boxing competition organised by a high-ranking army officer also tainted the image of the military and even revealed the involvement of some generals in the military’s shady business [3]. Additionally, the public debate that represented the fiercest criticism against PM Prayuth, who first came to power in a 2014 military coup, raised the fact that the military rose to power through non-democratic means, alongside ineffective administration, abuse of power, corruption and trading favours for big businesses [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to the Arab Barometer of 2016, 35% of Tunisians trust the Government to a great or medium extent, a decrease in levels since 2011 (1). Research suggests that the Military enjoys a high level of respect and trust from the Tunisian population. A 2018 survey found that the army was the most highly trusted institution in Tunisia. According to this survey, 97% of the respondents declared that they trust the army to do the right thing regarding the country’s administration (2). A 2016 survey also found that the army is the most trusted institution int Tunisia (3). The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 (Most recent TI barometer to address the issue) found that 14% identified the military as being corrupt (less than any other sector), compared to 69% who felt that the police were corrupt (4). The President of the Anti-corruption Authority (INLUCC) agreed that the army does not have a reputation for corruption, and indeed the Ministry of Defence has not until now been one of INLUCC’s priority areas for anti-corruption measures (5).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

In almost all public surveys, the Turkish Armed Forces is rated among the top five most trusted state institutions. In particular, the nationalist-conservative segments of society, constituting President Erdogan’s political power base and the majority of the voting pool, have a positive perception of the military and other actors in the defence sector. It should be noted that, mainly due to cultural and historical reasons, an overwhelming majority of Turkish people do not like to have a critical stance towards the military or the Gendarmerie Command’s fight against the pro-Kurdish separatist party PKK, which is seen as a terrorist organisation in Turkey, putting the State’s security actors into a privileged position.

Interviewee 3 suggests that the overwhelming majority of people trust the defence and security institutions to tackle issues of bribery and corruption despite the fact that, as explained above, these security sector institutions do not have strong bodies to tackle these issues in the current system of executive presidency [1]. Interviewee 6 suggested that, due to the extreme level of secrecy on defence/security issues in Turkey, the majority of people in Turkey are not aware of the corruption and integrity-related issues within the defence sector [2]. Interviewee 5 agreed with Interviewee 6, emphasising that there is a direct connection between the level of secrecy and people’s positive perceptions when it comes to corruption and integrity-related issues within the sector [3]. According to Interviewee 2, the public’s ‘given’ trust in the military constitutes a socio-cultural impediment to raising debates about corruption and integrity-related issues in the defence/security sector and makes it harder to establish oversight/monitoring mechanisms [4].

In all the ‘Social and Political Trends in Turkey’ (TSSEA) surveys conducted since 2000 up to this year, the military has always topped the list of trusted institutions. It should also be noted that the military lost its status as Turkey’s most trusted institution, which it had held for decades, following the failed coup of July 15, 2016. While the military topped the list as the most trusted institution in the country in the same survey conducted by Kadir Has University in 2016, with 62.4%, this figure fell to 47.4% in 2017. This placed it in second position, below the presidency, which rose from 46.9% to 49.4%. However, in 2018 and 2019, the military gained credit and became the most trusted institution [5]. This year’s survey revealed that the Turkish Armed Forces is the most trusted institution in Turkey, with 60% of the votes [6].

This is related to the fact that the majority also thinks that fighting terrorism is a major problem in Turkey. Just one month after the attempted coup of July 2016, the army started the first of the three major cross-border operations into Syria. Operation Euphrates Shield was followed by Operation Olive Branch in 2018 and then by Operation Peace Spring in 2019. This cross-border security capacity coincided with the production of local military equipment. The AKP uses the production of local weapon systems as a political token to promote the idea that Turkey can become a regional power and a global player under their watch. This linkage between military might and regional power status also promotes feelings of national pride. Thus, this increase in support and confidence has nothing to do with the capacity of the military for building integrity. It is mostly about increasing security capacity and military technology [7]. People are not aware of corruption in the defence sector, plus there is a high level of tolerance for corruption in general, and civil mobilisation is low.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The Inspector General of Government’s report 2017 submitted to Parliament for the reporting period between January and June 2017 named government institutions and districts most accused of corruption revealed that Internal Security organisation/Uganda Peoples Defence forces had only 1 complaint reported and was ranked number 64 compared to police for instance which had 59 complainats and was ranked number 7 out of 82[1] .This list was based on complaints sent to the IG by members of the public and not conclusive investigations by the IGG. This is an indication that the public trust the institutions of defence and security in tackling bribery and corruption. However, there is a need for a witness protection law for effective implementation of the Whistle Blowers Act, 2005 because some people fear reprisals in the army and elsewhere for reporting cases and individuals [2]. Since the general public have little or few chances of interacting with the army, and the possible fear of reprisals, these percentages may not necessarily reflect the true picture of what is on the ground.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

According to recent polls, Ukrainian citizens consider corruption the biggest problem of the country, and this was the case before the Russian aggression in the East had started [1]. At the same time, the level of trust in government institutions is low: in 2016, 77% of citizens did not trust the VRU, 66% – the CMU, 55% – the President of Ukraine [2]. The number of Ukrainian citizens who think the government cannot fight corruption rose from 80% in 2013 to 86% in 2017 [3]. However, there is no specific data on public trust in defence establishments in particular. On the other hand, the level of trust in the armed forces is still high – 57% in October 2017 [4].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

There is no evidence available to assess public trust and perceptions of the defence institutions concerning the tackling of issues of bribery and corruption. There are no public polls or public perceptions assessments of the public’s confidence in the government in general, let alone specifically about the defence sector. This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, due to the lack of information and evidence about public perceptions on the defence sector. It is important to note, that the UAE’s corruption environment has been described as low-risk, and is rated highly concerning anti-corruption efforts both regionally and globally in relation to business and investment (1). These scorings and considerations are mainly focused on the business and entrepreneurship ecosystem (2), (3).

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. While a survey specifically assessing whether the public trusts the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their establishments has not been conducted, the most recent MOD and Armed Forces Reputational Polling Survey indicates that the majority of respondents (86%) believe that ‘the UK Armed Forces demonstrate high moral standards and values, such as honesty, loyalty, moral courage, and respect for others’ [1]. The same survey suggests that public trust in defence and security institutions generally is considerably higher than public trust in other institutions [1].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to the Pew Research Center 2018 survey on ‘The Public, the Political System and American Democracy’, 80% of the surveyed sample said they have either a ‘great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ of confidence in the military to act in the best interests of the public [1]. In a similar survey on ‘Confidence in Institutions’ in 2018, 74% of respondents either have a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in the military [2]. With regard to public perceptions of corruption, however, a 2017 survey reveals that nearly 70% of the public believe that the government is doing a bad job at combatting corruption [3]. According to the same survey, nearly 6 in 10 people believe that the level of corruption rose between 2016 and 2017 [3].

In the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the US achieved its lowest score on the index since 2012. The CPI cited the Trump administration’s attack on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, attacks on whistleblowers and the firing of the inspectors general of the Intelligence Committee and the DoD (amongst others), as well as the President’s rejection of election results and incitement to violence, as actions that undermined anti-corruption efforts [4]. Further, the 2020 National Defense Survey produced by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation revealed diminishing trust and confidence in the US miltary, falling 14 percentage points (from 70% to 56%) since 2018 [5].

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. According to the LatinoBarómetro perception survey, the institution perceived most corrupt by Venezuelan citizens is the police, while the armed forces also experience a high level of mistrust, with only 19% of respondents expressing some confidence in this institution [1].

This perception can be tied to the involvement of the police and the FANB in organised crime activities, encompassing a full range of engagement in criminal networks, from accepting bribes so as to obtain benefits from programmes controlled by the military to participating in drug trafficking and smuggling [2]. The institutions have not undertaken any campaigns seeking to address citizens’ perceptions of trust and corruption. Equally, the LatinoBarómetro survey indicates that citizens are highly tolerant of corrupt behaviour, with 63% of respondents agreeing that they would not take action when faced with evidence of corrupt practices.

This distrust of defence and security institutions among citizens is corroborated by the Global Anti-Corruption Index, according to which 73% of Venezuelans consider most police officers to be corrupt [3]. This index also indicates that in at least 50% of cases users pay bribes for police services.

This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.

Before the events of November 2018 [1], research by Afrobarometer and the Mass Public Opinion highlighted that Zimbabweans had significant trust in the military and had respect for its capacity to do its work [2]. However, the same report shows that the population was against military rule. More broadly, public media has reported widely about corruption in the military or involving military officials [3]. This can be used as a proxy indicator of the lack of publlic trust in the military’s capacity to deal with corruption in their establishments [3].

Country Sort by Country 9. Sort By Subindicator
Albania NS
Angola NS
Argentina NS
Armenia NS
Australia NS
Azerbaijan NS
Bahrain NS
Bangladesh NS
Belgium NS
Bosnia and Herzegovina NS
Botswana NS
Brazil NS
Burkina Faso NS
Cameroon NS
Canada NS
Chile NS
China NS
Colombia NS
Cote d'Ivoire NS
Denmark NS
Egypt NS
Estonia NS
Finland NS
France NS
Germany NS
Ghana NS
Greece NS
Hungary NS
India NS
Indonesia NS
Iran NS
Iraq NS
Israel NS
Italy NS
Japan NS
Jordan NS
Kenya NS
Kosovo NS
Kuwait NS
Latvia NS
Lebanon NS
Lithuania NS
Malaysia NS
Mali NS
Mexico NS
Montenegro NS
Myanmar NS
Netherlands NS
New Zealand NS
Niger NS
Nigeria NS
North Macedonia NS
Norway NS
Oman NS
Palestine NS
Philippines NS
Poland NS
Portugal NS
Qatar NS
Russia NS
Saudi Arabia NS
Serbia NS
Singapore NS
South Africa NS
South Korea NS
South Sudan NS
Spain NS
Sudan NS
Sweden NS
Switzerland NS
Taiwan NS
Tanzania NS
Thailand NS
Tunisia NS
Turkey NS
Uganda NS
Ukraine NS
United Arab Emirates NS
United Kingdom NS
United States NS
Venezuela NS
Zimbabwe NS

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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