Q61.

Are actual defence purchases made public?

61a. Comprehensiveness

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61b. Accessible data

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Generally, as has been outlined in previous questions, matters related to defence are classified as secret. There are reports about some defence purchases in the military’s magazine, but no justification was found as to why further information is withheld. In the military magazine, the army sometimes reports about acquisitions, such as a corvette in 2016. Some technical details were presented, but not the cost of the ship (1). The budget only provides an aggregated number for general defence spending (2). There are no disaggregated numbers for defence purchases.

No information on purchased items was found on the website of the Ministry of Defence (1). Occasionally, the army reported about acquisitions in the military magazine, but no systematic data was published in it (2). Information on purchased items was found in international magazines and journals, which reported about acquisitions made by Algeria’s armed forces (3), (4), (5). SIRPI also provided aggregated data on Algeria’s arms imports (6), (7).

Contract approvals by presidential decree are published in the official gazette, including defence contracts. However, such approval announcements lack significant detail. Records of the other stages of the procurement process are not consistently made public, until the publication in summary form in the general budget proposal (1).

For example, in June 2017 former President Dos Santos approved additional credits from the state budget with a value of 285 million Euros for the “promotion and equipment of the Angolan Armed Forces”, and in August 2017 – three weeks before the elections- an additional 19.7 million Euros “to cover expenses of the President’s Security Bureau”, without further explanation (2).

Data is rarely released in an accessible format.

Article 6 (1) of Law No. 039 (2016) states for defence and security purposes, the purchase of some military items are not made public. Based on this provision of the law, the purchase of all other military items should be public record (1). However, unfortunately, this is not the case. As a government body, Burkina Faso’s government does not provide for public access to its information (2), (3), (4). According to the Executive Secretary of the National Anti-Corruption Network (REN-LAC), the purchase of military equipment is not made public and is not made through open competition (5).

Data on defence procurement and contracting is not released in the accessible format (1). In 2008, the government of Burkina Faso created the regulatory authority for government tenders (ARMP), to monitor public procurement and contracting (2). According to the 2015 Burkina Faso’s Government/Defence Anti-Corruption Index (3), the ARMP “aims at establishing and enforcing bidding criteria, as well as ensuring free access to government contracts, equality in the bidding process and overall transparency.” Unfortunately, most (if not all) defence purchases escape from the regulation of the ARMP. Government data in general and defence data, in particular, are hard to access (1), (4).

Defence and security items related to weaponry are considered ‘secret items’ or special contracts. Such items are exempted from the different pathways which all other government expenditure must follow [1] [2].Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018). According to Article 4 (2) (e) of the Code (2018), bilateral contracts (between the state and forreign party) that fall under the category of article 71 (special contracts) are exempted from the code’s provisions [2].

Information on military procurement usually only filters through supplying organisations and media outlets when purchases have been made [3]. There is no information available in the existing literature that was made public while defence purchases were being planned. Military donations made to the government of Cameroon are however aired on state media outlets [4]. The rise of the Boko Haram sect has increased this trend as the government of Cameroon receives more and more military support in the form of training, logistics and weaponry [5].

Furthermore, some defence procurement is made public by the supplying organisations, institutions or countries. The Cameroonian Ministry of Defence sometimes publicly confirms such purchases or donations [6]; however, such confirmation from the Ministry of Defence is rare. The SIPRI Arms Transfer Database has information on each known arms transfer to Cameroon [7].

Data is rarely released concerning such purchases. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “some of the equipment Cameroon’s armed forces have acquired in the last five years include five Type-07 armoured personnel carriers, six Type-07P/VN-1 infantry fighting vehicles, 12 WMA-301 Assault armoured fire support vehicles, four Z-9 helicopters and two P-108 patrol craft from China, a second-hand OPV-54 patrol boat from France, two Mi-17 helicopters from Russia, two Aresa-3200 patrol craft and a single CN235 transport aircraft from Spain, and two Bell 412 helicopters from the United States. The United States is sending military supplies and troops to the central African country to aid the fight. And in December it donated 18 Toyota pickup trucks, a truck, a front-end loader and other equipment to Cameroon’s military… In October, Cameroon received six armoured personnel carriers from the United States. At least 300 US soldiers arrived in Cameroon in October to provide intelligence and training support to Cameroonian forces fighting Boko Haram” [1]. However, data on stationery items and expenditures are not publicly released by the government.

Few actual defence purchases are disclosed by Ivorian media. Some information is available via Côte d’Ivoire’s military partners (mainly France) or by international suppliers of military equipment.

There is no legal provision requiring the MoD to make public its contracts with suppliers given that Article 8 in the 2009 Code of Public Procurement (Décret n° 2009-259, Portant Code des marchés publics) exempts the MoD from this kind of disclosure due to the confidential nature (secret défense) of military spending (1).

There is no evidence that the MoD release data on actual purchases in any type of format because there is no legal provision mandating the release of such data to the public due to the confidential nature of such purchases.

Information about actual defence purchases is not made public on a routine basis. As discussed in Q60, there are several legal provisions the allow and even encourage secrecy in defence purchases. With regards to arms procurement, it is not subject to any form of monitoring by the MoF or the CAA as per Law 204 (1957) (1). Moreover, Law no. 14 (1967) prohibits the publishing or broadcasting of any information or news about the armed forces and its formations, movement, armaments and personnel, and everything related to the military and strategic aspects except after obtaining written approval from the director of the military intelligence department (2). Therefore, when some information makes it to the public domain about actual defence purchases, it usually comes from foreign sources (e.g. the selling country) or is information that the MoD chooses to disclose to the media.

As explained in 61A, data about defence purchases is not published.

Actual defence purchases should be made publicly available on the Public Procurement Authority website, which as a dedicated page for the MOD (1). In practice, this is not frequently done as national security concerns are often raised by the MOD and the GAF to avoid going through the tender process and directly procure with the single-source method.

Some defence purchases are not made public, and there is no security justification as to why this information is withheld (2),(3), (4). Although Ghanaian officials and legislation often provide justification for this through the guise of national security, this explanation to the public is a vague disguise or not even considered security justification at all.

Data on hardware like tanks, artillery and related ammunition are never released in an accessible format. Data on actual defence purchases is seldom released in an accessible format. Generally, such purchases are only released for political expediency (1), (2), (3).

When it is released, data is published on the PPA website in an accessible format which provides details of the tender, the name of the company that won the tender, the contract date, the estimated contract completion date, and the contract award price (4).

Actual defence purchases are never made public by authorities in Jordan. For instance, there are no publicly available audits or financial reports for the armed forces. Some reports, mainly in the form of financial reporting, submitted by the Audit Bureau to the Parliament include the expenditure of the General Intelligence Directorate and the Public Security Directorate, but not the armed forces [1, 2]. In addition to that, the annual financial reporting carried out by the Ministry of Finance does not cover either defence income, expenditure, or actual purchases [3,4].

Data on defence purchases in the way of reporting is not available for the public, and access to such data is denied to any journalist. It is treated as secret information. However, occasionally the intelligence and the armed forces reveal some data through newspapers. This method is used to send messages to either the public, or regional powers such as Iran and the Gulf countries [1,2,3].

The Government does not announce defence purchases. The few incidents where purchases were in the public, as discussed above, only came to light because the seller announced the agreement or someone involved leaked information to the press, officials said (1, 2 and 3). State news only addresses these reports if lawmakers or politicians talk about them.

Data on defence purchases is never released.

The LAF does not purchase defence weapons in the traditional sense. There is no portion of the defence budget that is allocated to the defence purchases due to the lack of resources (1). Thus, the LAF depends on donations from foreign countries to purchase defence weapons (2). Despite the selective publicization of donations by media outlets, the “value of the arms donations are not mentioned in the national budget. It is mentioned in the accounts of the Human, Economic and Infrastructure Recovery commission in Lebanon which never publishes any amount for the public,” according to former LTA director Yahya Hakim (3).

Since defence purchases are not made public, this question has been marked as NA (1), (2), (3), (4), (5).

As a general rule, the government does not disclose information relating to large defence purchases. In fact, most of the limited information revealed about such procurements comes from the companies that have won the contracts, rather than from the MDAC.
The LOPM outlines that between 2015 and 2019, the MDAC will have a budget of:
– 200 billion CFA to purchase aircraft and technical support equipment for the armed forces
– 100 billion CFA to buy combat vehicles and modern transport vehicles
– 70 billion CFA for equipment specifically for the security forces, notably for the national guard and the national gendarmerie.
– 20 billion CFA for intelligence and communications equipment.⁸
Beyond the re-publication of the LOPM in its full form on a Malian news website (it is not available on either the government’s website, the FAMa website, nor in the Journal Officiel database), no further breakdown is provided.
In February 2016, Airbus announced it had received an order for a C295W from the Malian government, the first public record of this contract.¹ The aircraft was delivered In December 2016, indicating that the release of information related to a quick purchase rather than strategic forward planning.² It is noteworthy that it was Airbus rather than the Malian government who made the announcement, highlighting the MDAC’s general reluctance to disclose information.
Similarly, MDAC’s purchase of Russian attack helicopters in September 2016 was not revealed by the government, but was reported in November 2016 thanks to a source within the Russian company Rosoboronexport.⁴ The company delivered two attack helicopters to Bamako in October 2017, again indicating that news of such purchases only relates to immediate acquisitions, rather than long-term planning.⁵ Another major defence purchase was reported in June 2015. Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security announced that Mali had ordered six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes.⁶ An unpublished report by the BVG notes that the Malian government agreed to pay USD 88.7 million (51.7 billion CFA) for the six planes.⁶ The BVG shows that the Malian state had paid two of the three instalments of the contract by 2016 (the third was scheduled for 2017), but Embraer is now set to deliver only four of the six planes.⁶ In none of the cases above has the government publicly revealed what it has paid for the aircraft.¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷
However, smaller purchases are routinely recorded and published by the DGMP-DSP. The website of the DGMP-DSP displays a list of public contracts issued between 1 January 2016 and 30 September 2016.⁹ The list contains details of 36 contracts awarded by the MDAC, of which:
– 20 were subject to open bidding
– 10 were subject to restricted open bidding
– 5 were concluded by direct agreement
– 1 was concluded by restricted competition.⁹
The most expensive defence purchase on the list was for 120 4×4 pick-up vehicles, which cost just under 3 billion CFA (USD 5,4 million).⁹ This tender was conducted via restricted open bidding, while there is also evidence that other larger contracts were awarded via completely open bidding.⁹

As a general rule, the government does not disclose information relating to large defence purchases. In fact, most of the limited information revealed about such procurements comes from the companies that have won the contracts, rather than from the MDAC.
The LOPM outlines that between 2015 and 2019, the MDAC will have a budget of:
– 200 billion CFA to purchase aircraft and technical support equipment for the armed forces
– 100 billion CFA to buy combat vehicles and modern transport vehicles
– 70 billion CFA for equipment specifically for the security forces, notably for the national guard and the national gendarmerie.
– 20 billion CFA for intelligence and communications equipment.⁸
Beyond the re-publication of the LOPM in its full form on a Malian news website (it is not available on either the government’s website, the FAMa website, nor in the Journal Officiel database), no further breakdown is provided.
In February 2016, Airbus announced it had received an order for a C295W from the Malian government, the first public record of this contract.¹ The aircraft was delivered In December 2016, indicating that the release of information related to a quick purchase rather than strategic forward planning.² It is noteworthy that it was Airbus rather than the Malian government who made the announcement, highlighting the MDAC’s general reluctance to disclose information.
Similarly, MDAC’s purchase of Russian attack helicopters in September 2016 was not revealed by the government, but was reported in November 2016 thanks to a source within the Russian company Rosoboronexport.⁴ The company delivered two attack helicopters to Bamako in October 2017, again indicating that news of such purchases only relates to immediate acquisitions, rather than long-term planning.⁵ This is understandable given the FAMa’s clear need to rebuild and re-equip quickly in the wake of its collapse in 2012.
Another major defence purchase was reported in June 2015. Brazilian company Embraer Defense & Security announced that Mali had ordered six A-29 Super Tocano combat planes.⁶ An unpublished report by the BVG notes that the Malian government agreed to pay USD 88.7 million (51.7 billion CFA) for the six planes.⁶ The BVG shows that the Malian state had paid two of the three instalments of the contract by 2016 (the third was scheduled for 2017), but Embraer is now set to deliver only four of the six planes.⁶ In none of the cases above has the government publicly revealed what it has paid for the aircraft.¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ However, smaller purchases are routinely recorded and published by the DGMP-DSP. The website of the DGMP-DSP displays a list of public contracts issued between 1 January 2016 and 30 September 2016.⁹ The list contains details of 36 contracts awarded by the MDAC, of which:
– 20 were subject to open bidding
– 10 were subject to restricted open bidding
– 5 were concluded by direct agreement
– 1 was concluded by restricted competition.⁹
The most expensive defence purchase on the list was for 120 4×4 pick-up vehicles, which cost just under 3 billion CFA (USD 5,4 million).⁹ This tender was conducted via restricted open bidding, while there is also evidence that other larger contracts were awarded via completely open bidding.⁹

No evidence was found that defence purchases are made public by the Moroccan authorities. Only the budget law gives details about the purchases of the year, and only in a highly aggregated form. The local and international press regularly report major defence purchases with foreign nations. Given that the budget for the armed forces is not published in detail, it is unclear whether or not these purchases are taken into account in the budget. As explained in the previous questions, the King has the final decision over defence purchases, and is often the one suggesting these purchases in the first place (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8).

No evidence was found in the Moroccan press and from Moroccan official sources (legal and governmental) that data is released in an accessible format (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8). The only information indirectly available comes from international media or websites specialised in defence issues such as SIPRI (9)(10). It is then republished by local media. However, it is not detailed and not sourced.

Defence purchases are rarely (if ever) made public, though, some acquisitions are made public through media (1,2). As in sub-indicator 58B, purchases of military equipment may be lumped together with in-kind donations or heavily subsidised sales by international partners such as France, Germany, the United States or the European Union. As a result, such “purchases” are often disclosed by external channels rather than by the government of Niger.
For example, on October 27, 2017, France’s Ministry of Defence published a report on its website showing a donation ceremony for a series of armed military vehicles in the presence of Niger’s Minister of Defence, Mohamed Bazoum (3). Another recent example is the barracks of the School of Officers of the Nigerien Armed Forces (l’Ecole des Officiers des Forces Armées Nigériennes), constructed and equipped by the United States for approximately 960 million FCFA. The inauguration ceremony took place in August 2018 (3).

The assessor did not find any evidence that data regarding defence purchases were publically released.

Major and significant defence purchases are sometimes reported in the media. The aggregate spend might also be reported. However, there are significant gaps in the information provided. Some purchases only become available to the public following some corruption scandal (1). It is relevant to note the distinction in practice between “civilian purchases” which are non-special goods as defined in the Public Procurement Act 2007. Concerning the latter, special goods which are defence related expenditures such as defence-related goods and services, there is little information provided to the public (1). “Recently, the Buhari administration purchased a number of TUCANO fighter planes from the United States” (2). The Nigerian military in response to a query on the matter yesterday also confirmed the arrangement, saying, “It could take more than a year for the jets to be delivered to Nigeria. Fighter jets and aircraft are not picked off the shelf; normally, it is after a contract would have been signed and money released that they start manufacturing the aircraft,” said military spokesman Olatokunbo Adesanya (2). “It is unlikely that we would even have them in one year” (2). Adesanya, an Air Vice Marshal and Director, Public Relations and Information at the Nigeria Armed Forces (NAF) headquarters also confirmed that Nigerian government had made full payment to the United States government for the war jets” (2). It is worthwhile to note that although the total price is given it is not broken down into the unit price of each plane neither is there any detail as to the cost of the technical support services tied into the agreement.

Data concerning defence spending is rarely in the public domain. Subjects such as technical specifications and price issues are largely undisclosed; neither is any information about the role and or payment to any intermediaries involved in transactions. Beneficial ownership information of companies involved in arms purchases is also not disclosed. Although the PPA 2007 states in Section 16 (12) that every procuring entity shall maintain paper and electronic copies of the records of procurement proceedings for a period of ten years from the date of contract awards and that the records will be open to inspection by the members of the public. Additionally, Section 16 (14) also provides that all unclassified procurement records shall be open for inspection by the public (1). The provisions of the PPA 2007 are largely not complied within this regard, therefore the formal processes do not meet the minimum standards of transparency (2). The question to what extent the Ministry of Defence complies with this requirement is an open one. For example, these records are not open to inspection by the public. Further, The Office of the Auditor General has failed to submit any reports for over seven years which calls into question whether such record-keeping is available (3). The Bureau of Public Procurement has also announced the adoption of the Open Contracting policy, which will include a searchable database of contractors in the public sector with an E-portal so that contracts awarded can be tracked and monitored. The Open Contracting policy aims to ensure that “timely, current, and routine publication of enough information about the formation, award, execution, performance, and completion of public contracts” is available to the public to prevent corruption in public procurement (1). The question raised by this development is the extent to which the MOD will comply with this development. Will it apply to special defence-related goods and services?

Defence purchases are never released by government institutions, including the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Purchasing, or the Secretariat of Tender Board (1), (2). Our sources confirm that information on defence purchases and expenditures are never released to the public or even being released upon request. The data is considered confidential and is not released publicly (3), (4). The e-government portal Omanuna states that freedom of information excludes defence and national security data (5). Domestic media outlets never report on defence purchases; the extent of coverage around defence issues is military co-operation with other countries (6), (7). Some information, in English, was found about defence purchases on international defence specialist websites. This information has not been confirmed by the state of Oman (8), (9), (10). The only figure made public is the annual defence budget, expenditure is not released to the public (11). There is a lack of comprehensive publicly available information around actual defence purchases.

There is no data available on defence purchases. The data is confidential and secret. Any release of this information could be criminalized and the person who accessed the information could be prosecuted. Information that was found on defence purchases was all in English (1), (2), (3). No information was found in Arabic, on local domestic media outlets, or institutional websites (4), (5), (6). No datasets collating actual defence budgets were found, websites consulted include the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Defence Office of the Secretary-General (7), (8).

Security sector and military purchases are rarely (if ever) made public, though a total aggregate may be disclosed in the general budget of the Palestinian Authority (1), (2). The total budget of the security apparatuses mention the salaries of the employees only, but no other costs. According to Alaa Tartir, the budget of the security sector takes up to 30%, but it is not detailed. What is made public on multiple occasions is the celebration of donations of defence-related equipment. The quantities of items are normally revealed but the price is not revealed (3).

According to AMAN, HR organizations and journalists, there is no access to information law enforced in Palestine, and to access information related to purchases, or budget of the security sector, it requires hard efforts or connections within the security apparatuses (1). The researcher contacted the MoF’s and the military’s financial departments to ask about the possibility of getting such information, however, requests were denied. Data is available in an abridged format (in the case of donors), or not at all (in terms of direct purchases of the PA forces (2), (3). If a civil society organization exposes some of the purchases, then sometimes the PA forces issue a statement to clarify the matter (and discredit the voices of the civil society) (4). The exceptional regulations of the General Supplies Law on procurement of the security establishment gave the security services a way to justify keeping purchases secret (5).

The Qatari Government does not release any information in relation to defence purchases on its official website. The only online presence of the MoD is a Twitter account. Most of the information regarding defence is considered to be classified state secrets, and it is almost impossible to retrieve any official information around defence purchases (1,2). There is a high chance that the government announces substantial purchases or purchases included in a bilateral agreement. However, it is rare to announce or publish the routine purchases of the MoD and its agencies (3).

It has been established that the Qatari Government does not release any official information about its purchases through official means. [1] As there is no public deliberation, and motives of accountability, the Government sees no reason to publish such data. Most information in relation to defence is considered confidential. There is no accessible data in relation to defence purchases, although some information may be sporadically reported through foreign media platforms. [2,3] However, comprehensive information about purchases has historically never been released in an accessible format through official means.

According to our sources, there is no law or policy of disclosing military and defence purchases. Purchases are dealt with in secretively. Total defence expenses are published but not in detail (1), (2). Defence deals relating to Saudi Arabia are typically made public in international press sources after these deals have been approved (3), and more recently have also been covered by Saudi media outlets such as Okaz and Arab News (4), (5), (6).

The government itself does not release details on defence purchases. According to our sources, accessibility to such data is not possible either to the public, or researchers and CSOs by request (1), (2), (3).

According to our sources, strategic purchases are usually published online before the actual purchases occur. However, other items such as ammunitions may not be published online as they are treated with confidentiality(1,2). In almost all cases, donations are made publicly , but with actual purchases it is not clear if they are published. As our sources confirmed, not all purchased items are publicly announced. A review of the Tunisian press showed that major defence purchases are announced in the media, such as the purchase of two new patrol boats from a Dutch company, (3) the reception of 9 armored vehicles offered by the USA, (4) the reception of an American ship for the surveillance of maritime borders, (5)and the reception of 6 US combat helicopters for counterterrorism (6). Other details on defence purchases can be found through external, publicly available sources (7). However, information on confidential purchases (data on contracts, bidders, etc.) can not be found through official publications.

According to our sources, there is no detailed information about all purchases. It is hard to have access to all data because this information is seen as confidential or as needing to be confidential for security reasons (1,2). Apart from media articles describing the purchased items, as outlined in Q61A, no data on the described format (excel) or other formats could be found (3).

The availability of defensive procurement is mainly due to the application of the provisions of Ordinance No. 36 of 1988 on the control of some of the expenses of the Ministries of National Defense and Interior and revised by Government Order No. 842 of 2017 dated 26 July 2017, which defines the general principles of procurement in the field of defense (4).

There is very little information available on the UAE’s defence purchases. The majority of information about defence purchases is available via sporadic media reports, rather than the official websites of the government (1), (2), (3), (4). For instance, in 2017, the UAE signed 82 contracts with domestic manufacturers in an attempt to support local manufacturers in growing its defence industry (4). The total amount for these contracts was made available as a topline figure, and not in a disaggregated official format. Additionally, media outlets have reported that the UAE armed forces are planning to purchase squadrons of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, but this information was not made available through official publication at all and did not include any financial information about the deal (5). Defence purchases are seldom made public, and defence expenditure and budgets are rarely disclosed to the public, as established throughout this assessment.

Data is rarely if ever, released in an accessible format by defence institutions about their actual purchases. It has been established already that no information about defence procurement is shared on the official government websites. In addition to that, since there is no information provided about defence purchases on Tawazun’s webpages, which is the company that manages, partially, defence procurement, it is safe to assume that data is rarely if ever, released in an accessible format. However, some information is shared with the media sporadically though not in a formal way. For instance, some media outlets estimated the UAE’s defence expenditure to be an average of US$23.4 Billion per year between 2013 and 2017 (1), (2), (3), (4). Other platforms reported that the UAE invested in unmanned systems for air and sea, with Italian and Finnish military firms. This indicates that data accessibility about defence purchases is minimal and often not through official sources (5), (6), (7).

Country Sort by Country 61a. Comprehensiveness Sort By Subindicator 61b. Accessible data Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 25 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 0 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 0 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 50 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 0 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 0 / 100 0 / 100
Mali 0 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 0 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 0 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 0 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 25 / 100 0 / 100
United Arab Emirates 25 / 100 0 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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