Do national defence and security institutions have beneficial ownership of commercial businesses? If so, how transparent are details of the operations and finances of such businesses?
31a. Extent of commercial ventures
Qatar score: 0/100
Defence institutions have ownership (or are believed to have ownership) of commercial businesses that are major enterprises, or constitute more than 10% of the defence budget.
Defence and security institutions have some ownership of commercial businesses, but totaling less than 10% of the defence budget.
Defence and security institutions do not own commercial businesses of any significant scale. (Equivalent to 1% of the defence budget or less.)
Article 128 of the Constitution states ‘‘when assuming their positions, the Ministers shall aim to serve the interests of the country and shall not, in any way, misuse their official positions for their own interests, or for the interests of their own acquaintances. The law shall determine the acts that are restricted for Ministers and the acts committed during their term of office that entail accountability; and the said law shall specify the manner of accountability.’  Despite this, defence institutions and personnel own major enterprises. The constitutional restriction does not specify the type of personal interests that are disallowed. Barazan Holding, established by the MoD, was created to improve the capabilities of the armed forces.  In addition to Barazan Holding, the Qatari armed forces own a major commercial enterprise registered in Luxembourg, under the name ‘Qatar Armed Forces Investment Portfolio’. The investments made by this company are considered major transactions and most of the information is available. One of the investments was the purchase of The Marriot Hotel in Barcelona.  According to multiple sources, the commercial ventures of the armed forces are legal both internally in Qatar and externally. [4,5]
(1) “Article 128”, Qatari Constitution, accessed October 17, 2018, https://bit.ly/2QThzR6.
(2) “Barzan Holdings official launched”, Gulf Times, 2018, https://bit.ly/2OdF36B.
(3)Stephen Burgen, ” Marriot sells Barcelona Hotel to Qatar”, The Guardian, January 31, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/31/qatar-armed-forces-buys-barcelona-renaissance-hotel.
(4)Interview, Qatari Military Officer, Doha, Qatar, May 7-9, 2019.
(5)Interview, Qatari Military Officer, Doha, Qatar, May 11-12, 2019.
Qatar score: 25/100
These businesses are not publicly declared and are wholly non-transparent.
Only some businesses are publicly declared. Details of their operations and finances are not fully transparent.
These businesses are publicly declared, though details of their operations and finances are not transparent.
All or most ownership of commercial businesses is publicly declared. Either operations and finances are transparent, but not both.
Any ownership of commercial businesses is publicly declared, with details of their operations and finances being transparent, fully disclosed, and with standards of governance equivalent to publicly owned commercial enterprises.
There is limited transparency of the defence institutions’ investments in commercial businesses. The names and enterprises are usually declared to the public, but material on the financing and the operations is not available. The information available about such investments is not released by the Government or the defence institutions [1,2].
(1)Interview, Qatari Military Officer, Doha, Qatar, May 7-9, 2019.
(2)Interview, Qatari Military Officer, Doha, Qatar, May 11-12, 2019.
Compare scores by country
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|Country||31a. Extent of commercial ventures||31b. Transparency|
|Algeria||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Angola||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Cameroon||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||75 / 100||0 / 100|
|Egypt||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Ghana||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Kuwait||100 / 100||0 / 100|
|Lebanon||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Mali||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Morocco||100 / 100||NA|
|Niger||100 / 100||NA|
|Nigeria||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Palestine||100 / 100||NA|
|Qatar||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Tunisia||100 / 100||NA|
|United Arab Emirates||100 / 100||0 / 100|