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Q17.

Is there effective and transparent external auditing of military defence expenditure?

17a. Activity

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

17b. Independence

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

17c. Transparency

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

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17d. Institutional outcomes

Score

SCORE: NA/100

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Albania has a consolidated institutional framework for conducting external audits. In its present from the Supreme State Audit Institution was established in 1997 [1]. The law was amended in 2000, and in 2015 was replaced by a new law [1, 2]. The SSAI mandate is provided in the Constitution and the law. The Constitution states that the SSAI is the highest institution of economic and financial control in Albania [3].
The scope of the SSAI mandate encompasses all state institutions at central and local level as well as public companies in which the state has more than the half of the shares and focuses on the control of compliance, legality, regularity, and management financial, accounting, as well as the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of funds and public or state property [2]. Additional clauses are provided in the law relating to the defence and security sector by granting SSAI access to classified information. Before gaining access auditors must receive a security clearance [2].
The law provides for performance audits which aim is to assess whether the programs, organization of work and processes, activities and systems of public sector entities management operate following the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness [2]. However, performance audits have not yet become a well developed and entrenched practice for the Albanian SSAI. No performance audits have been conducted in the defence sector, while in overall there is a low rate of performance audits conducted over the last years, although with an increasing trend (2.5% of all audits in 2012, 3.9% in 2013, 5% in 2014, 7.6% in 2015, 8% in 2016, and 10% in 2017) [4, 5, 6].

The SSAI’s functional, operational and administrative independence is enumerated in the Constitution and the law. The SSAI Chairman is elected and removed from office through a procedure provided in the Constitution. The parliament appoints the SSAI Chairman for a seven-year term in office upon the proposal of the President of the Republic, and he/she reports only the parliament [1].
The law allows for instances when the tenure of the Chairman of SSAI may be terminated. The Chairman of the SSAI is immune from prosecution equally to a member of the High Court. The SSAI as a depoliticized institution and its Chairman and the employees of the SSAI are banned from participating in political activities. The SSAI’s budget is provided from the state budget and approved by the parliament. The Chairman of the SSAI is independent from the management of the financial and human resources and the planning of the activity of the institution [2]. The law on SSAI specifies that the budget is approved independently. Although the law doesn’t include any clause that explicitly specifies that budget may not be altered during the budget year, it specifies that the SSAI proposes the budget directly to the parliament so this is a legal safeguard mechanism as no other institution can file modifications to the law [2].

The SSAI reports regularly to the parliament, and the reports are made available to the public on the institution’s website [1]. The reports include a performance report, which is presented to the parliament in spring or early summer, and the report on the budget which is presented to the parliament in early to mid-autumn before the budget is presented to the parliament by the government. The reports are discussed in the permanent parliamentary Committee on Economy and Finance and are widely reported and commented in the media. Additionally, the SSAI publishes all the audit reports conducted in the public institutions, but these are not presented or discussed in the parliament [2]. However, the reports provide conclusions and recommendations, though they do not thoroughly report on the work of the auditing team, and there is a redaction of company names or individuals [3, 4].

Overall, the implementation of SSAI recommendations is low. During 2017 the SSAI made 3521 recommendations and proposed measures to be taken to strengthen financial management. Of the recommendations made, only 1937 (55%) were accepted. During the previous year (in 2016), 70% of the recommendations were accepted, but only 33% were fully implemented [1]. The low level of implementation of SSAI recommendations has been pointed out by the EU Commission [2, 3].

There is evidence that there is little external auditing of military defence expenditures, although the audit unit has a formal mandate to review all defence expenditures.

Formally, the Court of Auditors (La Cour des Comptes, sometimes also referred to as the Supreme Audit Institution, SAI) provides audits of military defence expenditures. According to law No. 80-05 of March 1980 establishing it, the SAI is responsible for post-auditing: state finances, local authority finances, public services and market capital of the state (1). According to Art. 10 of Presidential Decree No. 95-377 of November 20, 1995, the SAI’s field of intervention broadly includes public authorities and national institutions (“Authorité publique et institutions nationales”) (2). Art. 7 of Law no. 95-20, July 17, 1995, states that the following institutions are subject to audit by the Court of Auditors: government departments, local authorities, institutions, establishments and public bodies of all kinds (3). Another order of January 16, 1996, specifies the areas of intervention of the Court of Auditors and includes the Ministries of National Defence and the Interior as two subdivisions as areas of intervention (4)

Although the Court of Auditors is formally independent according to the Algerian constitution (Art. 196), (1), its independence is limited. Law No. 80-05/1980 puts it under the authority of the President of the Republic (Art. 3) (2). Former President Bouteflika was also Minister of Defence which is why SAI cannot be considered to be independent of the Ministry of Defence. The Court of Auditors’ formal discretion to undertake audits is further undermined by the fact that its head is not appointed by the legislature or judiciary. According to the Open Budget Survey, the Court of Auditors only provides weak budget oversight. (3).

The annual reports of the Court of Auditors for the years 2015-2018 could not be found online (1). Only the annual reports of 1995 to 1997 are made available on the website. The contents of the two reports do not suggest that they contain information from the ministry of defence (2) (3). According to Art. 192 of the Algerian Constitution (as of 2016), the annual reports are sent to the President of the Republic, the President of the Council of the Nation, the President of the APN and the Prime Minister (4). In 2017, there was a report, that the SAI annual report had been leaked to the press (5).

There are strong indications that the Ministry of Defence fails to address the audit findings. According to media reports on the annual report, the Ministry of National Defence was not very cooperative in providing information to the auditors in 2015. When judges responsible for examining the state’s finances asked specific questions about the destinations of a particular budget, the Ministry of Defence simply answered with generalisations (1). Another newspaper noted that the Ministry of Defence provided just two pages to the auditors although it received the largest budget. It also did not provide any justification for why they did not respond, unlike other ministries (2).

The Audit Court has the legal mandate to review public procurement contracts and their execution, to review the state accounts, conduct audits and publish annual state account reports when requested by Parliament (1). However, only two Audit Court opinions on procurement contracts for the Ministry of Defence have been published (2). Under the 2016 Public Procurement Law, arms and military logistics procurement contracts are withheld as state secrets. Additionally, the Audit Court’s reviews are limited in scope. The court focuses on compliance with public procurement and state budget legislation and issues recommendations (2), (3); in rare cases, sign-off is denied.

The audit court is not independent. The president appoints all (currently) nine audit court justices including its president (2010 Constitution, Art. 119) [2], the court is not accountable to parliament and has in the past rarely recommended prosecution [1].

Furthermore, the former audit court president, Julião António, remained in office for 17 years until he stepped down in 2017, contrary to the constitution that allows only one mandate of seven years [3].

The law establishing the audit court’s mandate is available online (1). But there is no evidence online where the court’s audit reports on defence expenditure are published.

A U.S. Department of State 2017 report states, “Angola’s supreme audit institution, Tribunal de Contas, is responsible for auditing SOEs. However, the Tribunal de Contas does not make its reports publicly available. Angola’s fiscal transparency would be improved by ensuring its supreme audit institution audits SOEs as well as the government’s annual financial accounts and makes public its findings within a reasonable timeframe. This would improve the transparency of contracts between private companies and SOEs” (2).

There is a clear power asymmetry between the MoD and the SAI, leading to insufficient addressing by the MoD.

As stated in some opinions, the Audit Court in a first-round denied sign-off to some procurement contracts that had been submitted by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior. Contracts that were submitted by the President’s Security Bureau are mainly construction and services contracts.

For example, the Audit Court in 2015 first denied sign-off to the helicopter deal with Augusta Westland. In a second appearance in the Audit Court in 2016, the Audit Court questioned the justification for the direct award procedure, but still approved the contract. In May 2016, the Audit Court noted that 13 construction contracts for the modernization of the Angolan Armed Forces, celebrated by Simportex on behalf of the Defense Ministry, were already being implemented when submitted to Audit Court pre-review. The contracts were nevertheless signed off on; taking into consideration the alleged urgency and apology by the minister (1).

The AGN’s main function is to supervise the use of state resources, so it has the power to control, if it so decides, because it is functionally autonomous and provides technical assistance to the National Congress. The AGN makes a risk map to cover the jurisdictions that generate the most concern. The Ministry of Defence has not been in its general structure, as can be seen from the database of reports online. It does not generically audit defence spending, but rather the parties or juridictions that make up the latter. [1] It should be noted that since they are not rigorous in “real time,” as audits occur after the year end, and involve long processes, so the reports are timeless in the most situations. The AGN, in its 2016 report, submitted reports relating to different areas of the defence jurisdiction, but from financial statements completed in 2013. [2] [3] [4]

The AGN is independent of the EP. It is an autonomous body of the Congress, but provides technical support to the PL (Joint Parliamentary Commission, Accounts Reviewer). It has normative independence, on the one hand, as a result of its autarkic budget which is contemplated within the budget of the PL, and on the other, as a result of the election of its authorities. The president of the organisation must be appointed by the presidents of both houses of Congress at the proposal of the main opposition party, a fact that is measured by the amount of benches that each party maintains in Parliament. The work plan of this unit is submitted annually to the approval of Congress and cannot be modified without their consent. In reference to the legal safeguards not to be modified, it should be noted that, by the provisions of Article 37 of Law 24,156 last modified in 2016 (Law 27342), the JGM may restructuring 5% of the total budget in 2019 without authorisation from Congress. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

External audit reports are published sporadically on the AGN website and, if they are made available at all, never in detail [1]. What can usually be found are reports conducted by government entities on specific projects. The Ministry of Defence has only made 2019 reports available, and even these relate to specific subjects of interest.

When conducting a search for these reports in the database of the Joint Parliamentary Commission Reviewing Accounts (the entity responsible for conducting an assessment of these reports), they always appear as “loading.” There is usually a delay in processing these reports. [2,3]

There is no publicly available evidence that the Ministry of Defence has addressed any findings produced by the AGN. [1] [2] Therefore this indicator is marked Not Enough Information and is not scored.

The Audit Chamber and Authorized Body are authorized to conduct an audit in all state agencies that are financed through the state budget. In its activities, the Chamber operates with the methodology of The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions to ensure its transparency and international standards in the sphere. Article 13 of the Law on Audit Chamber ensures the neutrality and impartiality while auditing state institutions. Article 14 of the law provides that the reports produced by the Chamber are public and transparent unless there is a restriction by law on spheres that are considered secret [1, 2].
Control over the compliance with the procedures of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) can be carried out both by the Audit Chamber and the RA State Control Service. According to the Law on the Audit Chamber, the Audit Chamber carries out public finance and property audits on the state budget and community budgets, borrowings, and loans, the legitimacy and effectiveness of the use of public and community property. The Audit Chamber conducts an inspection of state and local self-governing bodies and institutions financed from the state budget and community budgets, including the MoD. Each year, the Audit Chamber approves its action plan, which implies the review of three, six, nine months and the annual review of the state budget, based on the risk-based methodology for the subject of the review, the facility under consideration, and the reviewing structural subdivision.[1]
The Chamber implements:
1) Financial audits through which the execution of the state budget and community budgets, borrowings and loans, state and community property financial records and the reliability of the resulting reports are determined;
2) Compliance review, through which the compliance of the state budget and community budgets, borrowings and loans, the use of state and community property to legal acts, as well as the criteria and requirements set forth by deals within civil law relations,
3) performance review, through which the state and community budgets, borrowings and loans, and economical, targeted and cost-effective use of public and community property are determined [1].
According to the procedures defined by in Law On the Audit Chamber, investigations made in the state and local self-governing bodies and institutions shall result in a conclusion or a current conclusion. As a result of the audit, a protocol is drawn up, which is the basis for the current conclusion. Each year until June 1, the Audit Chamber submits an annual report on its activities of the previous year to the National Assembly [3].
In practice, the Audit Chamber generally does not perform the performance audit. [4].

In carrying out its functions, according to the Law on the Audit Chamber, the Audit Chamber shall be independent of the bodies and organizations subject to audit (Article 7). The expenses of the Audit Chamber shall be an integral part of the State budget expenditure (Article 8, Clause 1). A reserve fund of the Audit Chamber shall be provided to finance unforeseen expenses for the normal functioning of the Audit Chamber, which shall be presented in a separate line of the State Budget (Article 20, Clause 5) [1].

Perhaps because of the changes happening in regards the switching from the oversight to the auditing functions (the Control Chamber became the Audit Chamber in April 2008), there were some difficulties with the availability of the external audit reports. At present, the reports are available online and they are detailed. However, the reports for 2018 are not available in the archive yet [1].

The ministry addresses the findings of the external audit, as they have to report back on the measure and activities undertaken to eliminate the problems or improve the situation [1]. However, the absence of reference in the Chamber’s Annual Reports shows the lack of sufficient contacts between the Audit Chamber and the MoD [2].

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has the formal authority to and regularly carries out audits on defence, including performance and financial audits. The ANAO works under the direction of the Auditor-General, who is an independent officer of Parliament, as per the Auditor-General Act 1997 [1]. As such, the Auditor-General uses their own discretion to determine which audits will be pursued, in what manner and where the priority should lie [1, s. 8(4)]; though the Auditor-General “must have regard to the audit priorities of Parliament” as determined by the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) [1, s. 10, 2]. The ANAO actively and thoroughly carries out audits of defence, including the Major Projects Report, an annual review of up to 25 projects selected for their size and riskiness [3, 4], and an annual financial audit of the financial statements presented in defence’s Annual Report [5]. Additionally, the ANAO continuously carries out performance audits, with five in progress and seven published in the past year as of September 2019 [6]. The ANAO has rigorous internal standards which they apply to every audit, set by the independent Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board [7].

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is independent of the executive and is sufficiently insulated from external pressure, though the selection process of the Auditor-General has raised questions. The ANAO is the office that supports the Auditor-General in carrying out independent audits of government business [1]. The Auditor-General is an independent officer of Parliament, and as such, does not report to or has reliance on the executive [2]. The budget of the ANAO is set by Parliament through the same budget process as other Commonwealth entities, meaning that it is set once per year and, in principle, cannot be altered throughout the year except through an Act of Parliament [3]. However, through policy decisions, the executive can change levels of spending within parameters set previously by Parliament, as they regularly do and announce during the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook [4]. There is no evidence that this policy decision process has ever led to budget changes mid-year for ANAO. The Auditor-General is appointed by the Prime Minister, subject to approval by the Governor-General and the consent of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA). However, the actual selection process is not laid out in the legislation. The lack of transparency in the selection process has opened government to criticism that the Auditor-General may not be fully independent [5, 6]. A JCPAA inquiry into the Auditor-General Act 1997 ultimately dismissed this criticism, arguing that it receives “advice on the applications received and a briefing on the reasoning behind the recommended appointment”, and that only highly qualified individuals are recruited after an intensive process [7].

The full final reports of defence sector performance audits are made available by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), though these are sometimes missing key information, and a recent report was redacted on the orders of the Attorney-General of Australia. The reports are thorough, organised logically, and written and formatted in a way that is accessible to non-experts. Final reports also include written responses to the draft report of any parties subject to the audit who wish to reply [1]. The ANAO is obligated not to include sensitive information in a public report as defined in the Auditor-General Act 1997 [2]. This can mean that the level of information they provide to the public is not always presented in a complete way, in particular for the Major Projects Report [3]. Parliamentarians and analysts alike have complained that “The public, and even parliamentarians, must rely on promotional releases or leaked details for information about major programs” [4, 5]. However, the Auditor-General generally sees it as their duty to follow the “public interest” in the sense that they “present information to the Parliament, in accordance with the Act and the ANAO Auditing Standards, to the largest extent possible in the circumstances” [6]. Despite this, recent Ministerial intervention which led to the redaction of key parts of an ANAO report despite the Auditor-General raising strong objections [6, 7] demonstrates that, despite ANAO’s efforts, redactions and censoring of central conclusions can and do take place. Members of Parliament and commentators expressed misgivings that this censoring may occur more frequently, now that the precedent has been set [8, 9].

The Department of Defence tends to respond to ANAO reports by agreeing with the majority of recommendations, but long-standing problems with timeliness and completeness when addressing recommendations means it cannot be said that the ministry regularly addresses audit findings. A 2013 ANAO audit of defence’s implementation of audit recommendations, while acknowledging that defence had robust systems in place for tracking audit recommendations, implementation of recommendations tended not to be timely – averaging 175 days later than first estimated completion date out of 400 days to completion total – or complete, with roughly half of audited audit recommendations which were reported as completely implemented by defence not being adequately implemented [1]. No similar audit has been undertaken more recently, but a more recent audit of defence administration of travel allowances for public servants found that defence had again reported fully implementing previous audit recommendations when it, in fact, had not [2, 3].

The Chamber of Accounts is not legally competent to play an audit role, but it has to identify the implementation of budgetary issues in all of the ministries and committees, including the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It is legally possible for the Chamber of Accounts to oversee the defence ministry and review defence spending. However, this institution’s review process is a formality; it is not an in-depth review. According to the law (Article 2), the Chamber of Accounts controls the timely execution of the revenue and expenditure items of the state budget and extra-budgetary state funds (institutions) on the volume, structure, and appointment (1) and reports are submitted to parliament and the president’s administration; however, it is not publicly available (5).
The Chamber of Accounts has not published any detailed report about its audit of the Defence Ministry (2). In May 2018, the Chamber of Accounts has reported that, in 2017, the control measures on the Defence Ministry, completed in two directions, were submitted to the Milli Majlis accordingly” (2). It was undetailed information (3).
Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov also talked about activities Chamber of Accounts review in MoD, when he answered the question about army control mechanisms at a press conference on June 20, 2018. According to him, the representatives of the Chamber of Accounts worked 5 months in the army, and they didn’t find any violation of law” (4).

According to the law, the Chamber of Accounts is a permanent state budgetary and financial control body reporting to the Parliament. The Chamber of Accounts has organizational and functional independence (1).
But according to experts, representatives of the organization have always refrained from commenting on the results of the investigation in state institutions. Observations show that they operate under the supervision of the executive (2).

External audit reports are rarely published online and many issues are not reflected in detail. The audit reports of the Ministry of Defence are often considered military secret and are not disclosed to the public. According to the information, the Chamber of Accounts conducted an inspection of the armed forces; there is no report on its results (1).

Issues such as investigating the audit findings and solving problems in the Defence Ministry are not publicly available. Facts show that there are cases of corruption and bribery in the armed forces, and there is still no serious and flexible strategy to address these problems. Compared to previous years, the only positive difference is that officials from the Defence Ministry can now say what they think about fighting corruption (1).

According to sources, there is no institute, either internal or external, which is responsible for the auditing of defence purchases and expenditure. The Office of the King is solely responsible for that, and no external auditing agency is responsible for auditing the king’s office [1, 2]. However, there is the National Auditing Court; though, it has no mandate over the defence sector [3]. After an extensive online search, there is no evidence of an external auditing institution that deals with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

This indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’ because, as explained in 17A, there are no external auditing bodies or policies. [1, 2]

This indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’ because, as explained in 17A, there are no external auditing bodies or policies. [1, 2]

This indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’ because, as explained in 17A, there are no external auditing bodies or policies. [1, 2]

The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG) is the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Bangladesh. As mandated by the Constitution [1], the OCAG, through the DAD, conducts audits of the Ministry of Defence and makes observations regarding serious financial irregularities. This is done immediately after the end of the fiscal year (July-June), but it takes years to complete the report and then it takes additional time to place the report before Parliament. The scope of the audit includes all units/formations of the defence forces, including the Army, Air Force and Navy, as well as field services organisations such as the Department of Meteorology, the Geological Survey of Bangladesh and the Controller General Defence Finance (CGDF), including the offices of the Defence Finance Department under the CGDF. The OCAG now also conducts performance audits to assess economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the management of public resources [2]. On the CAG website, there are several years’ worth of compliance audit reports on the Ministry of Defence available, whereas no performance audits have been completed to date. The compliance audit report outlines cases of financial irregularities, causes of those irregularities and management actions on audit objections [3].

As mandated by the Constitution [1], the CAG holds absolute operational independence, is not subject to the influence or control of any other authority in determining the scope and extent of audits and has unrestricted access to all documents (all records, books, vouchers, documents, cash, stamps and securities) required for carrying out audits [2]. The CAG budget is approved by Parliament, however, the government, through its inherent power, can submit a supplementary budget for Parliament’s approval in the form of a revision. For example, the original allocation for the CAG’s operational expenditure for the 2020-21 fiscal year was slightly reduced in the revised budget, but increased substantially in the budget for 2021-22 fiscal year [3].

According to the Constitution and Rule 233 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examines the reports submitted to Parliament by the OCAG. On the CAG’s website, there are several reports available, albeit old ones, on financial irregularities in the defence sector. For example, a special audit report on the Department of Military Lands and Cantonment, covering the 2006-2012 period [1], unearthed 10 cases of audit objections, which caused the loss of over Taka 395 crore of public money (USD 46 million). Although the CAG’s website does not contain any performance audit reports on any defence entity, there are two annual audit reports by the DAD covering the 2012-13 [2] and 2011-12 [3] fiscal years, which uncovered a combined financial loss of over Taka 50 crore (USD 6 million) caused by 40 types of financial irregularities. The management issues identified in these reports included: weak internal control, irregularities in accounting, negligence in applying due process of law for deduction to adjusting account and failure to exercise due diligence in maintaining compliance. In its 2018 annual report, the CAG also highlighted that it had settled 592 audit observations of the Ministry of Defence, amounting to Taka 657 crore (USD 80 million) [4]. As a result, it can be said that reports are published but are not always made available within a reasonable timeframe.

The increasing trend in audit objections concerning the Ministry of Defence clearly shows that the Ministry of Defence has failed to address audit findings in its practices [1].

The Court of Auditors (‘Rekenhof’, ‘Court des Comptes’) is an independent body with budgetary councillor and financial inspector as its main responsibilities [1]. It conducts yearly financial controls of all public institutions. It also conducts performance audits, which revolves around the three criteria of economy, effectiveness and efficiency [2].

Apart from annual audits, audits can also be instigated at the suspicion of financial irregularities. The Court reports to the Parliament and publishes the reports of its audits online [3].

The members of the Court of Auditors are appointed by the Chamber of Representatives of the Parliament for a period of six years. To ensure their independence and impartiality, their wages and pensions are fixed by law (article 1), as are requirements regarding the lack of familial ties or professional occupations (article 2) [1].

The procedure for budget allocation is described in the law of 1846 on the foundation of the Court of Auditors (Article 20 and 21). It states that the Court of Auditors submits its budget proposal to the Chamber of Representatives. The proposal is then discussed, amended and approved in the Commission of Comptability, in the presence of the first President of the Court of Auditors. While it is not unusual that the budget is altered in the course of each year (usually a reallocation of appropriations), actual changes to the amount of the budget are very rare. Continued dialogue takes place between the Court of Auditors and the Chambers of Representatives. This has never before led to problematic situations which could have interfered with the independence of the Court of Auditors [2].

The reports from the Court of Auditors generally include the full report, a summary and a press summary [1]. Redactions may occur for the sake of confidentiality. The reports are generally published with a timelag of one to two years.

In its annual report, the Court of Auditors states that its audit findings are regularly addressed by the governement. It bases this statement on the attention MPs direct to the findings and on the frequency of addressing the recommendations by government bodies and institutions [1].

While the report itself does not provide disaggregated data on the Ministry of Defence in particular, interviews confirm that Belgian Defence’s compliance with recommendations is in line with (‘definitely not less than others’) that of other auditees [2].

In accordance with Article 13, paragraph 5, the Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina is obliged once a year to perform a financial audit. Pursuant to Article 14, the Audit Office has the right to perform the performance audits of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina but without a specified period in which this kind of audit should be performed [1]. In addition to financial audits, the Office for Audit of Institutions (i.e. their performance audit team) conducts performance audits. All reports are available on their website www.revizija.gov.ba. The performance audit team conducted the audit “Timeliness of public procurement procedures in the institutions of BiH”, where the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was also one of the audited subjects [2].

In accordance with Article 4 of the Law on Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an independent institution. According to Article 16 of the Law on Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Audit Office is required to submit a report to the revised institution and the parliament. The report is also submitted to the Council of Ministers and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the same time and can be submitted to any other competent institution. Pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 3, of the Law on Audit of the Institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, once the Audit Office of the Institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s proposal on the budget has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Budget, it is submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to be included in the budget of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent Budget item [1]. Law on the budget of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2018, in its Article 20, prescribes safeguards specifying that the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of Bosnia and Herzegovina may, upon request of the budget user, decide on the restructuring of its expenses, within the total amount authorized in the budget of that budget user, securing that the funds provided for capital expenditures and gross wages and fees cannot be restructured for other purposes except in the case of adopting amendments to the regulations that are directly related to gross wages and salaries [2].

In Article 3 paragraph 2 of the Law on Audit of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Audit Office is obliged to timely publish all its reports, from which confidential information is excluded as provided for in Articles 45 and 46 [1, 2, 3, 4]. The Audit Office provides detailed reports [5].

From the 2018 Audit Report on Financial Revision, out of the 34 recommendations issued in the 2017 report, the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina has fully implemented eight recommendations, nine recommendations remained unimplemented while the implementation of 17 recommendations is still in progress [1]

Although the Botswana Auditor General conducts an annual external audit of the Defence, there is little evidence of these audits. In addition, their other institutions have the legal mandate to external audit the Defence. These are Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the President, Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB), Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), Bank of Botswana, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), Non-Banking Financial Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), Police Service, Administration of Justice, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Attorney General’s Chambers and Competition Authority [1]. There is little, if any, public evidence to suggest these audits are active.

The Office of the Auditor General is the Supreme Audit Institution of this country, which has been established under Section 124 of the Constitution of Botswana and is headed by the Auditor General[1]. The Office of the Auditor General is the external auditor of the Government of Botswana. It is mandated by the Constitution of Botswana under Section 124, Public Audit Act and the Local Authorities and Township Act to audit public accounts of ministries, local authorities and selected parastatals [96]. The Auditor General carries out this task to ensure that there is accountability by the Executive to the Legislature in the use of public resources entrusted to them [2]. The Auditor General is an independent institution and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance. The Auditor General Office has its own budget and it can request for additional funding during its course.

The external audit reports are published annually [1]. The OAG offers a range of audit services, including financial audit or certification audits, which are based on the Auditor General’s opinion on the accuracy, truth, fairness and completeness of the financial statements of central government and extra ministerial departments [1]. The OAG when instructed will also carry out regulatory and performance audits (Value for Money Audits) that focus on the Defence [2]. In terms of Section 124 of the Constitution, the OAG is expected to audit the public accounts of Botswana, all officers, courts, and authorities of the Government of Botswana. The OAG will also submit reports thereon to the Minister responsible for finance, who shall cause them to be laid before the National Assembly [2]. In terms of Section 19(3) of the Public Audit Act, Cap 54:02 the Auditor General is mandated to submit annual acounts and statements to the Minister of Finance within 9 months after the end of financial year, that is to say, by 31 December of each year. There is no evidence that this has been breached.

Sometimes the Ministry makes references to the audit findings. Such statements often acknowledge the audit findings showing a commitment by the Ministry to make the necessary interventions in terms of the audit findings [1]. However, what is not publicly available is the actual work done by the Ministry and the Defence Department, in particular in addressing the audit outcomes [1]. The internal audit highlighted weaknesses in the systems of accounting and internal control, which the Ministry has committed to addressing. In Parliament, the Minister has made commitments to make good of what was identified by the internal audit.

The Court of Auditors (TCU) is the external control institution of the federal government, and it aims to assist the national congress in exerting proper control over the country’s financial and budgetary execution. It is independent of the three branches of government. Its independence is established by the Constitution, and among its competencies are: (a) to fiscalize the national accounts of supranational companies; (b) to fiscalize the use of Union resources transferred to states and municipalities; (c) to apply sanctions and determine the correction of irregularities and illegalities in acts and contracts; (d) to investigate complaints made from any citizen, political party, association on labour union regarding the use of federal resources, among others [1]. Besides elaborating their own evaluations of the programs, they require the armed forces to produce extensive reports of its activities [2]. TCU has a specific committee responsible to deal with National Defense (Secretaria de Controle Externo da Defesa Nacional e da Segurança Pública) [3] and has released reports related to the PROSUB program (the Brazilian nuclear submarine development program) [4]. The single forces’ internal control agencies have a strong relationship with the external control institutions such as TCU. TCU searches not only for the integrity of the accounts but in the case of the PROSUB report, it aimed to verify if the project’s transfer of technology was being conducted properly.

The TCU’s independence is established by the Constitution, and among its competencies are: (a) to fiscalize the national accounts of supranational companies; (b) to supervise the use of Union resources transferred to states and municipalities; (c) to apply sanctions and determine the correction of irregularities and illegalities in acts and contracts; (d) to investigate complaints made from any citizen, political party, association on labour union regarding the use of federal resources, among others [1]. The TCU has its own budget defined each year by the Law of Budgetary Directives (Lei de Diretrizes Orçamentárias) which cannot be changed during the year. It is also an auxiliary institution to the activities of the Parliament, so it can carry investigations and assessments when motivated by any member of parliament [2].

On the TCU’s website, there are two extensive assessments to projects of the armed forces. However, after an FOIA request, the TCU asserted that between 2014 and 2019, six extensive assessments were made regarding defence institutions: including the codes TC 014.387/2014-0, 025.650/2014-9, 029.775/2016-7, 020.474/2017-2, 030.452/2019-8 and 031.659/2019-5 [1]. These codes lead correctly to the files when put in their website’s search engine. The reports are detailed and include general analysis, the operational and financial viability of the projects, and also assessments of the institutional design of the audited subjects. All other recommendations to the accounts of these institutions are made one to two years after the end of a fiscal year [2] and are all available on the TCU’s website.

If the Ministry of Defence or any of the branches of the armed forces fail to comply with the TCU’s recommendations, there could be serious consequences such as fines, and even an embargo on projects that are under evaluation. The fiscal situation of the responsible party (which is the head of the Management Unit) for the mistake or misuse of public funds is the one that is accountable [1, 2]. There is evidence of the TCU’s institutional outcomes in the media. The TCU cancelled a project that would benefit only a small portion of officials, which was a luxury condominium in an expensive neighbourhood in the country’s capital [3], and changes in acquisition processes [4].

Article 127 of the Constitution mandates the Court of Accounts to regularly perform audits on the spending of government institutions. The ASCE-LC was recently given the mandate to conduct a general audit in government institutions, with full powers of investigation and prosecution. Additionally, the Constitutions authorizes the Parliament to “control the actions of the government” (Article 84) (1), (2). Very little evidence of active audits of the defence and security sectors is reported in the audit report of the Court of Audit (3).

The Court of Accounts, the Parliament and recently the ASCE- LC, as external institutions, perform audit activities on the military defence expenditure. Over the years, the independence of both the Court of Accounts and the Parliament has been undermined by the government, which does not facilitate their work (1), (2). The government can utilize the Parliament as long as it has the majority therein. The 30 and 31 October 2014 political and social uprising resulted in the manipulation of members of the Parliament, intending to modify article 37 of the Constitution, to enable the former president to run for office for a third term (KnowYourCountry 2018) (3). The legislative is not independent being overpowered by the executive, which decides what it should do. The government appoints and removes the Head of the Court of Accounts and the ASCE-LC anytime it wants, without being asked any explanations, even though the state general controller continues to claim that his institution is independent, as it has a constitutional right to directly investigate and prosecute state institutions (1), (2), (3), (4), (5

The Court of Accounts and the ASCE-LC reports are online and hard copies are available and do contain information about the MoD in summary form (1), (2). Both external audit institutions transmit a hard copy of their annual report to the president and other key institutions. Most of the time, the Court of Accounts and the ASCE-LC hold public conferences on their annual reports for accountability purposes. At these events, they produce summaries of these reports but do not go into details (3).

When they point out some irregularities in government expenditure, the Court of Accounts and the ASCE-LC make key audit findings available and provide some recommendations to improve practices in public spending at audited institutions (1), (2). Article 127 of the Constitution authorises the Court of Accounts to audit finances status in government institutions, and to realease any necessary findings or commendations, to help them improve internal public spendings (3). Similarly, the ASCE-LC has a constitutional right to undertake audit sessions at government institutions (1). The ASCE-LC releases key findings and recommendations as well. However, in practice, no evidence shows the MoD addressing these findings and recommendations.

The Ministry of the Supreme State Audit is mandated to carry out external audits of government ministries [1]. However, according to the Open Budget Partnership (Jan 2018), “the head of the institution is not appointed by the legislature or judiciary and can be removed without legislative or judicial approval, which undermines its independence … the supreme audit institution is provided with insufficient resources to fulfill its mandate and its audit processes are not reviewed by an independent agency” [2]. In addition, the 2015 GI Index found that the defence and security sectors in Cameroon are not subjected to external audit, and no evidence exists to suggest that this has changed since the last review [3]. The Constitution places matters of defence and security under the purview of the government, with scrutiny of these institutions at the government’s discretion (Article 35) [4], and the Procurement Code exempts defence and security procurement from oversight (Articles 31 & 32) [5].

The Appropriation Committee, which is in charge of controlling the budget of the different ministries at the National Assembly, does not have access to information related to the Ministry of Defence [1]. No other recent evidence could be found that the defence and security sectors, including military defence expenditure, are subject to external audit. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The Appropriation Committee, which is in charge of controlling the budget of the different ministries at the National Assembly, does not have access to information related to the Ministry of Defence [1]. No other recent evidence could be found that the defence and security sectors, including military defence expenditure, are subject to external audit. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The Appropriation Committee, which is in charge of controlling the budget of the different ministries at the National Assembly, does not have access to information related to the Ministry of Defence [1]. No other recent evidence could be found that the defence and security sectors, including military defence expenditure, are subject to external audit. Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) reviews the defence sector for both financial audits and performance audits yearly. [1] Alongside this, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) conducts regular investigation into specific areas of all departments, including the DND, and most recently published a report on surface combatants with an emphasis on performance and viability of the programme, not just financial auditing. [2] [3]

The PBO answers to Parliament, rather than to the Cabinet, Privy Council, or Prime Minister (which could be considered the executive in a Westminster parliamentary system). [1] Its funding is determined by Parliament. [2] The Office of the Auditor General is also structurally and financially independent from the executive, answering to Parliament rather than government (in the words of a former AG). The OAG chooses its own investigative agenda years in advance, and chooses its own staffing, further ensuring its independence. [3] Budget changes and amendments must be passed through the legislature before taking effect.

Parliamentary Budget Officer reports and Office of the Auditor General (OAG) reports are published online as a matter of course, with rare redactions as required by operational considerations. [1] [2] The reports of the Auditor General are authored by independent auditors in the OAG using professional methods, including standards set out by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) Canada. Details about the objective, scope, approach, and criteria of the audit are in listed at the end of each report. Reports include review of the implementation of previous report recommendations, site visits, oral breifings, investigative work, financial accounts review, and efficiency comparisons to other civilian or military programs. The reports include assessments of whether the stated objectives are met at a reasonable cost. The process allows National Defence (and/or other relavant departments) to respond to critiques in the OAG reports.

There are instances of PBO report findings being reflected in DND policy, as with a PBO study on personnel influencing recruiting and retention studies, but since the PBO is involved in pre-decisional evaluation, there is not always a clear link. [1] Auditor General recommendations are given a response by the DND, which is usually agreement with the essence of the recommendation. However, responses often contain elements that are non actionable or measurable (such as “will look into” or “will further study”) and there is no formal obligation to incorporate or otherwise address OAG recommendations. [2]

In the last decade, there has been an increasing importance of developing mechanisms of control and external audit in budget execution in the public sector [1]. The external audit is carried out by the General Comptroller’s Office (CGR), an independent body with the function of supervising the proper administration of the resources of the national treasury [2]. The CGR oversees defence sector institutions and audits military defence expenditures that pertain to both the Public Budget Law and the Restricted Law of Copper. It is noteworthy that the Law of the Ministry of National Defence (MDN) does not make any direct or indirect reference to the oversight powers of the CGR, which, in any case, requires permanent coordination with the internal comptrollers of the national defence institutions [3]. Since 2014, the activity of external audits in the defence sector has been increasing, especially in the armed forces [4]. However, a review of the published reports suggests that the audits are mainly procedural and financial to determine if transactions and acquisitions comply with the legal and regulatory provisions. This finding is consistent with the perception that the CGR performs accounting audits and does not judge the “merit” of the expenses [5].

External audit units work with important degrees of autonomy. The CGR is an autonomous superior oversight body of the state administration with a constitutional range [1]. The CGR has a long institutional trajectory and enjoys a reasonable impartial position to control the execution of public resources [2]. It controls the legality of acts of the administration and acts independently from the executive power and the Congress. Its budget is approved by Congress as part of the Annual Budget Law of the Public Sector. There is no evidence of alterations in the budget during the budget year. Moreover, a review of the budget proposals from 2016 to 2018 shows an increase in the net spending of one point-three and two per cent [3].

The external audit information is proactively posted online on the CGR website [1]. The search engine allows the public to specify the type of report, the audited unit, the name, the date, and the ability to have access to a brief description of the objectives of the audit and its conclusions. The final reports are also attached, with an executive summary and the complete content of the audit (specific sections in reserved form). However, particularly in the defence sector, audits of the use of resources belonging to the Restricted Law of Copper are implemented in a restricted way and, therefore, not published [2]. Furthermore, in 2016, a Special Investigatory Commission in the Chamber of Deputies required information to the General Comptroller relative to the accounting of expenditures from the Restricted Law of Copper [3], but this information is not public. Analysts comment that information about the audits to reserved funds could be published in a summarised manner and with precautions for confidential information [4]. This could improve transparency in areas where there is a great deal of opacity. Copper is one of Chile’s largest export materials and has historically been used to fund the military (until 2016, this was done without any transparency). Proceeds from copper exports have funded weapons for Chile’s military since the military dictatorship (under a 1958 law).

Commentators point out that, before 2008, the external audits of the armed and security forces was almost nil [1]. Since the last wave of scandals related to the misuse of public resources in the army, the MDN has been more active in addressing the findings of external audits. In 2016, the MDN committed to implementing action plans to address the observations made by the CGR in matters related to the accountability in the armed forces and the expenditures associated with the Restricted Law of Copper [2]. The MDN began a process of reviewing all the observations made by the CGR from 2010 to 2015, and institutions were required to oversee the implementation of measures to address such observations. The action plan must contain solutions to correct the observations in each of the audits, determining the deadlines and responsible for their execution [3]. Although these measures aimed at improving institutional results, the compliance rate of specific observations is not well delineated, and as outlined in Q16D, it can vary greatly from year to year.

There is no external auditing of defence expenditure. The body in charge of audits is the Audit Office of the Central Military Commission. [1] The National Audit Law (中华人民共和国审计法) stipulates that the CMC has its own Audit Regulation (Article 51). [2] All reports on audits in the PLA refer to internal audits exclusively. [3,4]

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no external auditing of defence expenditure.

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no external auditing of defence expenditure.

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no external auditing of defence expenditure.

In Colombia, the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) conducts external audits and has a constitutional mandate to exercise surveillance of fiscal management in the defence sector and audit its military expenditure. It carries out audit processes that apply fiscal control. Its auditers are independent from the subject being audited. The CGR conducts three types of audits: financial audits, compliance audits, and performance audits, which are carried out individually or in combination. According to the guidance of principles, fundamentals, and general aspects for the audits of the CGR, [1] financial audits are composed of financial control, account review, legality control, results control, and internal fiscal control. In these auditing processes, the CGR carries out a strategic control plan, called the Fiscal Surveillance and Control Plan (PVCF). This plan identifies the sector to be audited, the executing unit, the tax control subject, the type of audit, the objective of the audit, and the start and end date of the process. In 2019, the CGR created 46 audits for the defence sector, including 25 financial audits and 21 compliance audits. No performance audits were created for this period. [2] The audit report implemented by the CGR for 2018 shows 47 audits for the defence sector, of which 26 were compliance and 21 were financial, with no evidence of performance audits performed for the defence sector. [3] In 2019, the report found evidence of 9 administrative findings with 3 of alleged disciplinary connotation for INDUMIL. In a financial audit of CREMIL there were 47 administrative findings, of which one had a disciplinary scope. [4] There is no evidence of performance audits between 2016 and 2019.

Article 267 of the Colombian Constitution states that the Office of the Comptroller General has functional and budgetary autonomy. [1] Law 42 of 1993 grants the Comptroller General the ability to oversee and supervise the execution of the public budget, which gives the entity some control over how expenses are made, [2] but there is no evidence of specific legislation regulating the Comptroller’s budgetary autonomy. There is not enough information on whether the Executive or another authority has the ability to influence the Comptroller’s budgetary autonomy.

Prior to Legislative Act 02 of 2015, the selection process for the Comptroller was carried out through a list made up of a candidate of the Supreme Court of Justice, one of the Constitutional Court, and another of the Council of State. [3] This was presented to the Congress of the Republic in plenary session. They then listened to the programmatic approaches of the candidates and proceeded to hold the vote. The winner was required to achieve an absolute majority. For the election of the new Comptroller in 2018, new jurisprudence was applied which eliminates the high court’s list. [4, 5] This requires an agreement or resolution of the board, the board of directors or the head of the agency with endorsement of the Directorate General of the National Public Budget (DGPPN) of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, after consultation of the National Planning Department in case the investment budget is affected. [6] Although the process of selecting the Comptroller is constitutionally required to be carried out transparently and without pressure from the legislature and the executive, in practice pressures are present. [7, 8, 9]

The CGR, in accordance with the Transparency Law, [1] publishes only the results of its audits, but not the progress of its processes on its website. It publishes both year-to-year and supervised entities reports, plus a list of all audited entities from the previous year and audit planning for the current year. As well as audits related to the entities subject to supervision, the audits released, and the special actions. All documents submitted contain the signature received from the public entity subject to supervision. They also publish support reports from Congress and the subpoenas and notifications to public officials.

The auditing processes have three phases of development. The first is the planning phase of the fiscal audit, where the scope, control subject, processes to be reviewed, risks and controls, evidence and strategy of the audit are identified. In Phase 2, the field process is carried out for this review, which includes a test of initial balances; testing; assessment of the effectiveness of internal control; audit evidence; limitations on the auditor’s work; evaluation and analysis of inaccuracies identified during the audit; determining the effectiveness of the improvement plan; related parties; final procedures; accounting estimates; budget assessment; communication of observations; configuration of findings; and audits to special financial statements and individual items and accounts. The last phase of the report includes the determination of the audit opinion; the communication of findings to the Delegated Comptroller’s Office for Economics and Public Finance; the audit report; and the application of principles for expiration of the account. [2, 3]

Once the audit has been conducted by the CGR and the report has been delivered, the entities are obliged to submit an improvement plan to correct the situations observed by the CGR. This practice is mandatory and is stipulated in Resolution No. 7350 of 29 November 2013. [1] On the website of the Ministry of Defence all improvement plans from 2007 until the 2018 fiscal year are published. Reviewing the 2018 Fiscal Monitoring and Control Plan [2] and the websites of industry entities [3, 4] show that not all entities in the sector have updated their 2018 improvement plans, such as: the Military Retirement Fund (2017); National Police Retirement Salary Fund (2017); National Police Rotary Fund (2017); Superintendence of Surveillance and Private Security (2015); Armed Forces and Police Housing Promotion Fund (2017); SATENA (2016); National Army (2016). On the contrary, however, other entities that make up the defence sector do not publish their improvement plans, including the Civil Aviation Authority, Hotel Tequendama, the General Command of the Army, and National Navy. [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]

IIn theory, the NA Commission de Sécurité et de Défense (CSD) is tasked with oversight of MoD expenditure via amendment procedures to the annual Budget Law (Loi de Finances).

According to the 2016 Constitution, the Cour des Comptes (Court of Auditors) has in principle the right and competencies to audit the accounts and the management of the MoD (1).

Article 118 states, “The Parliament settles the accounts of the Nation according to the modalities envisaged by the budget law. The settlement bill must be submitted to Parliament no later than one year after the implementation of the budget. The Court of Auditors assists the Parliament and the Government in the control of the execution of the budget laws and in all other fields for which it is responsible.”

Article 152 states, “The Court of Auditors is the Supreme Audit Institution. It has jurisdictional, controlling and consultation powers. The Court of Auditors supervises the management of the accounts of state agencies, national institutions, local authorities, independent administrative authorities and any other body receiving financial assistance from the State or another legal entity, as well as any organization receiving financial support from public enterprises and their subsidiaries.”

However, according to the 2018 Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018), the Cour des Comptes is ineffective as an external auditor and rarely publishes an annual report (2).

In theory, the NA Commission de Sécurité et de Défense (CSD) is tasked with oversight of MoD expenditure via amendment procedures to the annual Budget Law (Loi de Finances). According to the 2016 Constitution, the Cour des Comptes (Court of Auditors) has the authority to audit public finances. It is nominally independent. There is no evidence that MoD expenditure has been effectively or transparently audited by any external unit since 2017.

Article 118 states, “The Parliament settles the accounts of the Nation according to the modalities envisaged by the budget law. The settlement bill must be submitted to Parliament no later than one year after the implementation of the budget. The Court of Auditors assists the Parliament and the Government in the control of the execution of the budget laws and in all other fields for which it is responsible.”

Article 152 states, “The Court of Auditors is the Supreme Audit Institution. It has jurisdictional, controlling and consultation powers. The Court of Auditors supervises the management of the accounts of state agencies, national institutions, local authorities, independent administrative authorities and any other body receiving financial assistance from the State or another legal entity, as well as any organization receiving financial support from public enterprises and their subsidiaries.”

According to the 2016 Constitution, the Cour des Comptes (Court of Auditors) has the authority to audit public finances including MoD expenditure (1). The Cour des Comptes (Audit Court) tasked with publishing annual reports and handing them to the president. However, there is no evidence that MoD expenditure has been effectively or transparently audited by any external unit since 2017. In theory, the NA Commission de Sécurité et de Défense (CSD) is tasked with oversight of MoD expenditure via amendment procedures to the annual Budget Law (Loi de Finances).

Article 118 states, “The Parliament settles the accounts of the Nation according to the modalities envisaged by the budget law. The settlement bill must be submitted to Parliament no later than one year after the implementation of the budget. The Court of Auditors assists the Parliament and the Government in the control of the execution of the budget laws and in all other fields for which it is responsible.”

Article 152 states, “The Court of Auditors is the Supreme Audit Institution. It has jurisdictional, controlling and consultation powers. The Court of Auditors supervises the management of the accounts of state agencies, national institutions, local authorities, independent administrative authorities and any other body receiving financial assistance from the State or another legal entity, as well as any organization receiving financial support from public enterprises and their subsidiaries.”

However, according to the 2018 Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018), the Cour des Comptes is ineffective as an external auditor and rarely publishes an annual report (2).

President Ouattara asked his cabinet ministers to address issues that are raised by the reports submitted to him by the Court des Comptes, but they are not always addressed. There there is no evidence that MoD expenditure has been effectively or transparently audited by any external unit since Hamed Bakayoko was appointed the minister of defence on July 19, 2017.

The Danish National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) carries out the annual financial audit of the government accounts as well as ad hoc studies, investigations and reviews within specific policy areas, including defence [1]. This includes financial audits of the Danish Defence Intelligence Service [2].The office conducts three types of audits: financial audits, compliance audits and perfomance audits [1]. One third of the office’s yearly c. 25 reports are made upon request from the Public Accounts Committee while the rest is made on the office’s own initiative [1].

The Danish National Audit Office is governed by legislation (The Auditor General Act) which, among other things, guarantees its independence [1]. The office is an independent institution wihtin the Danish Parliament [2] and has a separate budget within the Danish Paliament main account (§3.31) [3]. It is written into law that the provisions of the Danish Public Administration Act and the Access to Public Administration Files Act apply to the Danish National Audit Office as well [4].

Audit reports (“beretninger”) and comments (“notater”) are released to the public and they are available on the DNAO website when the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee ends [1]. However, the office also reports to stakeholders through a variety of ongoing communications, e.g. so-called management letters about the ongoing financial revision [2]. These are not disclosed to the public, but recent media investigations show that these are accessible through freedom of information requests [2].

There is evidence that the Ministry of Defence address audit findings in its practices. For instance, the Danish National Audit Office publish comments on the ministries’ work and progress in this regard [1, 2]. However, the steps taken to mitigate the critique is not always found to be satisfactory by the Danish National Audit Office [3]. Further, as noted in Q8 and Q16, recent media investigations in relation to the fraud case within the Ministry of Defence Estate Agency show that for two years the Danish National Audit Office raised criticism of the ministry’s purchasing and accounting practices and issued warnings that the practices constituted a severe risk of fraud [3]. These warnings were not made in public reports but in ongoing internal “management letters” and working documents, and media investigation shows that the Ministry of Defence ignored these warnings for several years. Only when the fraud case within the Defence Estate Agency became exposed and the Danish National Audit Office raised the issue in a public report in December 2019 did the ministry draw attention to it [3, 4].

There is no external scrutiny of the MoD or the armed forces. The CAA theoretically has the power to commit oversight and scrutinize the MoD, but it has never happened (1), (2). It is very unclear the extent to which military defence expenditure is subject to external audits, but the complaints of the former chief auditor Hisham Geneina shows that whatever legal powers the CAA might have over the defence sector, it does not translate to effective power (3). Geneina in April 2013 before the military takeover said: “the economic projects, companies, social clubs and hospital of the ‘sovereign entities’ are not subject to the scrutiny of the CAA” (4). This statement was given in 2013 before the current reporting period, but all the developments since indicate that the CAA has fewer powers in auditing military defence expenditure, especially with the increasing power of the president and the executive over the CAA, which manifested in the law passed by al-Sisi granting himself the power to remove the head of the CAA (5).

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, despite the possible existence of some unclear formal powers, the CAA has no real powers to audit the expenditure of the MoD.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, despite the possible existence of some unclear formal powers, the CAA has no real powers to audit the expenditure of the MoD.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, despite the possible existence of some unclear formal powers, the CAA has no real powers to audit the expenditure of the MoD.

The National Audit Office exercises economic control over the government and state authorities. The main function of the National Audit Office is to assess the economic activity in these institutions. Inter alia, the Office may assess auditee’s financial management, accounting and financial statements. It also assesses the efficiency, i.e. the relationship between expenses and the results achieved through incurring them. [1]
The National Audit Office has carried out annual audits in the Defence Ministry’s financial management since 2011. [2] The Office reviews the legality of the bookkeeping and transactions at the Ministry annually and presents the results to the Riigikogu. Some of the reports are made publicly available. [3,4] Both financial and performance audits are conducted, even though the financial audits are conducted more regularly. Performance audits are rather rare and not taken as seriously, according to interviewees. [2,5] The National Audit Office also regularly reviews the procurement at the Centre for Defence Investment. Legal persons of public law are required to send a copy of their annual reports to the National Audit Office within two weeks of the approval of the report. [6]

The National Audit Office is a constitutional institution. The Constitution stipulates that the National Audit Office is an independent state body that carries out performance and financial audits concerning public spending. [1] The Office decides independently on the conduct of audits, as well as the time and nature of the audits. Other tasks cannot be imposed on the Office. The work schedule is approved by the Auditor General, who is appointed to office by the Riigikogu for a term of five years at the proposal of the President of the Republic. The National Audit Office itself is audited annually by an audit undertaking appointed by the Riigikogu. The resources necessary for the activities of the National Audit Office are allocated by the state budget and approved by the Riigikogu.
However, the National Audit Office submits its budget requests to the Ministry of Finance and the latter determines the budget limits as well as the final budget, which will be approved by the Riigikogu. [2] The Ministry of Finance decides how and to what extent to finance the Audit Office, that, at the same time, audits the Ministry of Finance. The National Audit Office has criticised the existing system and sees it as a threat to its financial independence. The National Audit Office has made a proposal to change it. [3] The state budget can be altered no later than two months before the end of the budget year. In this case, the Ministry of Finance compiles a draft State Budget Amendment Act together with the explanatory memorandum. [4]

The Communication Service of the National Audit Office adheres to the underlying values of governmental communication formulated in 2002. One of the principles from this statement is that any information that has not been declared a state secret or classified based on another act is public. [1] The National Audit Office prepares and publishes various materials, including summaries of financial and performance audits, annual reports and evaluations. [6,7] Since 1990, nearly 2,000 reports have been published. [2] In some cases, only the summaries of audit reports are made public where they include the short overview of the findings and the recommendations in a few pages. In other cases summaries range from 25 to around 50 pages. [3,4]
Reports on defence procurement, which are conducted annually, are not publicly available. There are four audits that relate to defence expenditures which have been published in the past ten years. In recent years, the audit reports have included a short explanation as to why the audit had to be conducted, the results and recommendations in a few pages. The National Audit Office publishes an overview every year of the use and preservation of state assets, but it does not cover the defence sector. [5] According to an interviewee, the overview of the results and the extracts of audits are shared with the media upon request. [8]

The Ministry of Defence regularly incorporates audit recommendations. [1] The leadership of the Ministry claims to consider the recommendations by the National Audit Office. For example, the Minister of Defence claimed that based on the audit report they will analyse how they could stop the high drop-out rate from the compulsory military service. However, this audit report was overall positive and the Ministry of Defence was set as an example to other ministries. [2] The latest audit “Capability of the Defence League to perform functions set out in the National Defence Development Plan” was not perceived as positively. [3] There was a list of recommendations presented by the National Audit Office. Many respective defence institutions sent their responses which were incorporated in the report that was partly made public. The Ministry of Defence rejected some of the recommendations, and agreed to consider some of them, claiming that the audit was not reasonable.

The National Audit Office audits the final accounts of the accounting entities in the Ministry of Defence’s branch of administration, which include the defence administration’s consruction agency, the Ministry of Defence, and the Defence Forces. Defence related accounting entities in other administrative branches include the Border Guard (the Ministry of the Interior) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [1] In addition, NAO has the powers to carry out inspections by its own choosing. It carries out financial audits, compliance audits, performance audits and fiscal policy audits. [2] The legislative basis for NAO’s operations are the Constitution of Finland and Act on the National Audit Office, as well as other specific legislation. [3, 4]

The National Audit Office is an independent institution with its own budget that cannot be modified during the budget year e.g. by the Government. The legislative basis for NAO’s operations are the Constitution of Finland and Act on the National Audit Office, as well as other particular legislation. [1, 2]

Audit reports of the National Audit Office are available on its website and the office also provides information on its upcoming reports. [1] The reports are timely published and comprehensive, yet some reductions may have been made e.g. for national security reasons. [2]

According to the National Audit Office’s performance inspection reports, e.g. report 18/2017 on the planning and direction of the Defence Forces material acquisition, the Ministry accommodates the suggestions of the NAO rather well, but still have some room for improvement. [1]

The Cour des comptes has the mandate to review the defence sector, and regularly audits military defence spending in a formal, in-depth process. [1] [2] Both financial audits and performance audits of defence spending are conducted. [3] Within the Cour des comptes, the 4th Chamber specifically targets institutions of Defence and security. [4]

The Cour des comptes is headed by a first president, appointed by decree of the President of the French Republic. In order to guarantee their independence, the mandate is irrevocable.
Financially, the budget of Cour des comptes is voted every year by the National Assembly and the Senate. The budget is detailed and published in the Finance law.
In addition, the expenditures and financial management of the institution are checked by a budget inspector and ministerial accountant, who reports to the Minister in charge of the budget. The Higher Council of the Order of Chartered Accountants also commissions an accounting firm to study the practices and functioning of the court, as well as its effectiveness. [1]
Also, according to the principle of “peer reviews”, foreign equivalent institutions are required to observe the practices of the court. Thus, in 2012, the Portuguese “Court of Contas” made observations and recommendations to the French institution, before publishing, in 2017, a follow-up report of these recommendations. [2]

There is also an internal mission to the institution, which is in charge of carrying out constant audits.

All audits and reports by the Cour des comptes are not published online. But the reports that are available for open access online are published after the institution audited as had time (one month for institutions, 2 months for ministries) to answer the observations made in the report sent to the institution. The publicly available version of the report therefore shows the answers provided by the audited institution. These public versions are the same as the versions received by the institution audited, not redacted or changed.
A representative for the Cour des comptes [1] stated that the reports that are not publicly published online are held confidential because of either defence, statistical or medical secrets. Magistrates of the Cour des comptes have “secret-défense” clearing, so they can access classified information, but they cannot publish reports on issues covered by the “secret-défense” label.
The reports by the Cour des comptes tend to be very detailed, showing detailed figures, amounts, etc. [2]

When sent an audit report by the Cour des comptes, the Ministry of the Armed Forces is required to give an answer about the court’s recommendations within two months, as stated in the article L.143-4 of the Financial Jurisdictions Code. [1] Two months after sending the report to the Prime Minister – and publishing it – it is sent to the Finance and Defence Committees of both Chambers, with or without the minister’s answer, since the recommendations of the Cour des comptes are not binding.
Article L.143-9 also states that the minister to whom the report or recommendation is addressed has to provide the court with a detailed report of how the recommendations were implemented. [2] [3]
When the Court audits a body or policy that it has already reviewed a few years before, it systematically checks the implementation of the recommendations it has made. In the annual public report, Volume II is devoted to the follow-up of the recommendations, with these checks being divided into three results categories: green, “the Court notes progress”; orange, “the Court insists”; red, “the Court alerts”. [4]
Though the court has no binding authority, it claims that “70% of its recommendations are partially or totally implemented within 3 years.” [5] In fact, the media gives significant coverage to this monitoring work, pressuring the ministries audited to address the courts’ findings.

The Federal Audit Office (the ‘Bundesrechnungshof’, also ‘Federal Audit Court’ – FAC) acts independently as an external auditor of the German defence budget, as mandated in Paragraph 2, Article 114 of the German Basic Law [1]. It conducts performance audits as well as financial audits. The Federal Audit Office publishes a publicly available, bi-annual audit impact report, in addition to providing recommendations to Parliament on a regular basis. The publicly available Annual Reports on Federal Financial Management (‘Bemerkungen’), Category C: ‘Sonstige Prüfungs und Beratungsergebnisse’, contain an evaluation and analysis of defence budget expenditure. The Federal Audit Office’s 2019 Annual Report covers defence from p. 238 onwards. However, the defence section does not include any references to corruption [2]. The FAC performs external audits, in which it assesses value for money, compliance and general economic management. It exerts financial oversight regarding economic efficiency and norm conformity. Furthermore, the FAC provides recommendations regarding corruption risks and prevention for special agencies. It has no powers of enforcement, but it does report to Parliament [3], which can then investigate problematic issues through its Auditing Committee (‘Rechnungsprüfungsausschuss’). The Federal Audit Court regularly reviews the Ministry of Defence and openly criticises excessive spending, escalating project costs, delays in delivery of purchases and ineffective equipment [4].

The FAC is independent with regard to the focus and format (e.g. sampling) of its audits. The auditors usually check information sur place; access to documents must be granted by the respective agency/ministry. The auditors might also perform repeated inspections to see whether the recommendations of the FAC have been implemented [5].

The independence of the Federal Audit Court is guaranteed by the Grundgesetz, which protects it from undue political influence.

The Federal Audit Court proposes an annual budget for its own work, which – after comments from the Ministry of Finance – is forwarded to Parliament for discussion and confirmation [1]. The FAC has the right to access information regarding all public-sector bodies that are subject to audit. The expenditure of the FAC itself is examined by Parliament’s Auditing Committee (Rechnungsprüfungsausschuss) [2].

The FAC provides extensive communications on the results of audits on its website, publishing the results as well as final reports in full. However, the FAC is not obliged to publish information, but can decide according to its own judgement. In principle, information may only be released if neither public nor private interests are harmed as a result. Furthermore, the FAC is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Consequently, not all reports are available to the public [1,2].

Auditors may conduct inspections to see whether recommendations have been implemented [1]. The audit results of the Federal Audit Office are comprehensively evaluated in the Federal Ministry of Defence. Any shortcomings identified are eliminated, taking into account the recommendations of the Federal Audit Office. The elimination of shortcomings is subject to oversight. The remedial measures promised by the Federal Ministry of Defence to the Federal Audit Office are followed up by the bodies in question [2]. The ministry sometimes addresses audit findings in its practices, but not regularly. Furthermore, the FAC can exert pressure simply by publishing or communicating audit results. Institutions generally respond to criticism and recommendations to avoid any scandal.

Regarding the Ministry of Defence specifically, the President of the FAC remarked recently that the ministry has made limited progress in improving the responsible management of public funds. These difficulties stem from both external complexity and strong external influences, such as ‘a strong defence industry and influential politicians’ [3]. However, in recent years, the ministry has developed to be more transparent about such shortcomings and challenges [3]. There is significant pressure to respond to the recommendations of the FAC and criticism is usually addressed. However, while specific cases are addressed, some issues, e.g. the decision-making/spending practices of the ministry, remain an ongoing concern [4,5]. Furthermore, the Federal Audit Office’s 2019 Annual Report refers to cases in which the Federal Audit Office made recommendations to the Ministry of Defence which were not adopted (see page 10) [6].

The Audit Service has the mandate to review and regularly audit the defence sector’s spending. According to the Constitution, the Audit Service reports its findings to Parliament within six months of the end of the FY (Art. 187). In addition to financial audits, following the adoption of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663), the Audit Service also conducts performance audits (i.e. value for money) (1), (2).

The audits are carried out regularly and are in-depth, however, they focus on financial aspects rather than performance. They are also not comprehensive since the Ministry of Defence does not share all financial information (2), (3).

The Auditor-General is appointed by, and also reports to the executive rather than Parliament, a fact that has raised concerns over its independence (1). Parliament approves the Audit Service’s budget, which follows the standard procedure as the other MDAs (2). The Auditor-General has the right to audit military expenditure (3), (4). For this purpose, two auditors, cleared by the military authorities for security purposes, are appointed to audit defence spending (5).

When the 2018 budget was submitted, seven out of the eight audit reports for the financial year that ended on the 31st of December 2016 had been completed and submitted to Parliament. These reports were derived from the execution of 2,790 out of the planned 3,478 audits (1). Reports from the Audit Service are published online proactively and in detail, although with delays. For instance, the 2016 Annual Report of the Auditor-General was published in August 2017, and the 2017 report has not yet been published.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

There is limited evidence that the Ministry of Defence implements recommendations from audits (1), (2). The Audit Report Implementation Committee (ARIC), established under section 30(1) of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584), is the office responsible for the implementation of the recommendations of the internal audit reports (3).

Once the Auditor-General’s report has been approved by Parliament, the law requires the ARIC to submit an outline of the actions to be taken to address the issues raised (4). The MOD’s ARIC met four times in 2017 and therefore complied with the law (5). However, its reports are not publicly available, and therefore it is not possible to verify if the recommendations are effectively implemented.

The Hellenic Single Public Procurement Authority (HSPPA) is independent of the Ministry of Defence but reports to the Executive and the Parliament. However, the HSPPA does not have the capacity to control the contracts in the field of defence that fall within the scope of competence of Law 3978/2011, which stipulates the military procurement. The HSSPA can only audit and control non-military procurement which falls under the regulation of the general public procurement Law 4412/2016 [1].

The Hellenic Court of Audit has the mandate to review the defence sector and audits military defence spending on a semi-regular basis. Review consists primarily of financial audits however some performance audits are included [2].
More specifically, Article 11 of Law 3978/2011 states that the MoD could ask an external audit unit “to inspect and control all contractual relationships and payments of economic operators or their legal representatives involved in the procurement and execution of defence procurement, service or works contracts with their subcontractors, suppliers and service providers or any third in relation to the contract awarded, upon written notice notified to them”. Typically, this is done only when contracts are worth more than 1 million euros [3].

Moreover, the National Transparency Authority was established in 2019 and has the right to audit the expenditure of all ministries. To the National Transparency Authority were transferred with their competences, rights and obligations the following audit and investigative bodies: a) The General Secretariat against Corruption of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights; b) the Body of Inspectors of Public Administration (SEED); c) the Body of Inspectors of Public Works (SEDE); d) the General Inspector of Pubic Administration (GEDD); e) the Body of Inspectors of Health and Welfare Services (SEYYP); and f) the Body of Inspectors-Controllers of the Ministry of Transport (SEEME) [4].It should be noted that only financial and compliance audits are performed by HSPPA, the Court of Audit, and the National Transparency Agency.

The HSPPA has its own budget (i.e. passed by Parliament) and there are legal protections in place for this budget not to be altered during the budget year [1].External audit reports are published online (e.g. reports on audited accounts, oral briefings, expert advice, investigative work), but with some redactions in summary form [1, 2].

The Court of Audit, like every other court in the country, is independent. According to Law 4700/2020 (GG 127/A’ / 29.06.2020), the Court of Audit can only audit the contracts of works, supplies and services in the fields of defence and security, which are governed by Law 3978/2011 (A ’137), whose budgeted expenditure exceeds 1 million euros [3].

The National Transparency Authority is also independent of the executive [4]

The Court of Audit has published its reports online (e.g. reports on audited accounts, oral briefings, expert advice, investigative work), but with some redactions in summary form [1]. The Court has also published an annual report on the fulfilment of the budget, including defence [2]

The ministry sometimes addresses audit findings in its practices, but not regularly [1, 2]. There are no publicly available sources which illustrate these institutional outcomes.

The Hungarian State Audit Office (SAO) has the right to audit the Ministry and companies of the Ministry [1, 2]. The State Audit office audited all major companies in the last two years but mostly found technical problems. For example, the State Audit Office audited that HM Currus Zrt. in 2017 [3]. Their report referred only to minor, mostly technical problems, such as incomplete regulators, missed deadlines, etc. The audit of the ARMCOM company [4] produced similar results, with no major irregularities identified. HM EI Zrt was audited at the end of 2018 and the SAO found technical discrepancies which were mainly corrected by the company and the revised 2019 plan was praised by the SAO [5, 6].

Technically State Audit office is independent from the executive branch with an idependent budget (although approved annually by state, so political impact is possible) (3), but its leadership is elected and controlled by the government. The independece of State Audit Office is questionned by all relevant opposition parties, transparency experts and relevant NGOs. (4)

Technically the State Audit Office is independent of the executive branch with an independent budget (although it is approved annually by state, so the political impact is possible) [1], but its leadership is elected and controlled by the government. The independence of the State Audit Office is questioned by all relevant opposition parties, transparency experts and relevant NGOs [2].

There are only partial SAO reports regarding Hungarian defence (so these reports do not cover the whole Ministry of Defence (MoD) – only some segments of it) [1, 2]. On the other hand, integrity reports of the Hungarian MoD suggest, that the ministry incorporates findings and recommendations of the State Audit Office regularly [3, 4]. In effect, the MoD attempts to address the issues the SAO raises in these reports.

Military defence expenditure is externally audited by the Comptroller Auditor General of Accounts (CAG) who has mandate under the provisions of the Indian Constitution [1]. CAG reviews the defence sector and regularly audits military defence spending in a formal, in-depth process. CAG undertakes compliance, financial and performance audits [2].

There is additional oversight by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that is constituted every year under Rule 308 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha [3]. The primary function of PAC is to ascertain that money granted by Parliament has been spent by the government “within the scope of the demand.”[4]. It has been observed that PAC reports regarding defence are few in number, despite active publication in other sectors.

CAG is independent and functions autonomously [1][2]. PAC constitutes of 15 members from the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and 7 members from the Rajya Sabha (Upper House). Each member has a term of one year. The Lok Sabha Speaker appoints the Chairman of PAC [3]. PAC is a Parliamentary committee and is representative of the will of the people.

The salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is determined by Parliament [4].

Audit reports are published by CAG and PAC and are available online [1][2][3][4]. These reports are presented in Parliament hence are public documents.
It is noted that CAG has not released any Defence and National Security reports online since the beginning of 2018. Findings of reports have been cited in the media [5]. Recently, a CAG report had to be redacted and a dissent note was apparently written by CAG. The government cited national security concerns for disallowing the publication of certain details of the Rafale deal with France. The unredacted report will be shared with PAC according to the media [6].

The Ministry acknowledges audit findings by way of replies to observations and recommendations. According to former Director General of CAG, KP Shashidharan, in a recent opinion piece: “Public administrators seem to give less importance to correct the chronic systemic and procedural bottlenecks, but rather get busy in replying routinely to the CAG reports and the queries of the Parliamentary Committees. Lessons from the past are seldom learnt, and as a result such deficiencies in project execution get repeated year after year in every report on different departments of the government.” [1]

As previously observed, CAG has not released any Defence and National Security reports online since the beginning of 2018 though some of its findings are cited in the media. On the basis of the information available, scrutinising CAG reports before and during the time period between 2016 and 2018- it is noted that there are outstanding Action Taken Notes (ATN) where responses to Audit Paragraphs/Reports on ATNs by the government are pending as of 2018. Some seem to be legacy issues, with responses pending for 10 years [2]. In the 2016 report on Indian Navy and Indian Coastguard, Audit Paragraphs/ Reports on which ATNs were not submitted by the Ministry even for the first time was 3. In the 2017 report, Audit Paragraphs/ Reports on which ATNs were not submitted by the Ministry even for the first time was 1. Audit Paragraphs/ Reports on which revised ATNs were awaited was 36. In the previous year it was 27 [3][4]. Though 2018 and 2019 CAG reports are not publicly available online, the 2018-19 MoD report states that as of 2019, only 1 ATN is awaiting submission suggesting that the current government has dealt with the backlog and responses have been given [5].

According to Law No. 17/2003 concerning State Finance, Law No. 15/2004 concerning the Audit of Management and Responsibility of State Finances and Law No. 15/2006 concerning the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia, the examination of the management and responsibility of state finances is carried out by the Audit Board (BPK) [1,2,3]. Constitutionally, the BPK is the only external state financial auditor. Institutionally, the external and independent nature of the BPK is reflected in the mechanism for selecting BPK members, who are not selected by the President but by the DPR RI. The financial audit is carried out by the BPK in order to provide an opinion statement about the fairness of the information presented in the government’s financial statements. The BPK’s examination of the central government’s financial statements, which are the consolidated financial statements of ministries and institutions, including the Ministry of Defence, must be carried out before the financial statements are submitted to the DPR RI. During the 2016-2018 period, the BPK carried out its mandate to supervise financial management within the Ministry of Defence and the TNI. Based on examinations for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, the Ministry of Defence was granted the Reasonable with Exception (WDP/qualified opinion) award [4]. For 2018, however, after a number of communications were conducted between the Ministry of Defence and the BPK in the context of responding to the BPK’s recommendations, the Ministry of Defence received the title Reasonable without Exception (WTP/unqualified opinion) [5]. In 2017, the BPK set up an investigative audit team for a specific purpose, which was to examine the management of the 23 trillion-rupiah defence equipment procurement budget within the Ministry of Defence. At the time, the Chief of TNI and the Minister of Defence initially rejected the inspection by the KPK under the pretext of the oversight and internal control that had been carried out by the Inspector General of Defence [6]. In practice, although it rarely happens, every ministry and agency can ask a public accountant to conduct an examination. The audit report prepared by the public accountant must be submitted to the BPK and published [7]. In addition to financial audits, the BPK also conducts performance checks. The performance audit aims to assess the economic aspects, efficiency and effectiveness of the work programme implemented by the government. By assessing the aspect of effectiveness, the examination aims to measure the extent to which a programme/activity achieves its objectives. By assessing economic and efficiency aspects, the audit aims to measure whether an entity has used its resources in the most productive and cost-effective manner with regard to achieving programme objectives. Performance checks are conducted at least once a year on a number of inspection objects (ministries, local governments, etc.) and a sample selection of work programmes. Therefore, the Ministry of Defence and the TNI are not always the object of performance checks by the BPK.

According to statutory regulations, the BPK is the only external state auditor [1]. Institutionally, the external and independent nature of the BPK is reflected in the mechanism for selecting BPK members, who are not selected by the President but by the DPR RI. Registration for prospective BPK members is open to the public. Anyone who fulfils the administrative requirements can put themselves forward as a candidate for a BPK member and then be selected by the DPR RI [2]. The BPK is not under an executive government structure so it is not accountable to the President. In addition, the BPK budget is charged to a separate budget section in the State Budget [3]. According to the regulations, BPK should be independent in drafting its own budget and submit it to the DPR RI. In practice, however, BPK submits a budget proposal to the DPR RI through the government to be discussed in preliminary discussions on the draft State Budget [4]. The results of the discussion are then submitted to the Minister of Finance as material for the preparation of the State Budget Law.

As part of its duties, the BPK conducts an examination of the Central Government Financial Report (Laporan Keuangan Pemerintah Pusat/LKPP), which is the responsibility of the central government and concerns the implementation of the State Budget. The LKPP consists of budget realisation reports, balance sheets, cash flow statements and notes on financial statements. The LKPP is a consolidated financial statement of ministries and institutions, including the Ministry of Defence. The Inspection Report Document for the LKPP is open to the public and can be accessed on the BPK website. The Inspection Report on the LKPP is prepared in sufficient detail. It includes results of the examination of financial statements, which contain the BPK’s opinion, results of the examination of the Internal Control System, results of the inspection of compliance with laws and regulations and reports on the results of the review of the implementation of fiscal transparency [1]. In addition to providing opinions, the BPK’s audit of the government LKPP also aims to identify problems related to government financial management and control. In 2018, for example, the BPK awarded an Unqualified Opinion (WTP) to the 2017 government LKPP, while listing a number of issues related to the Internal Control System (Sistem Pengendalian Intern/SPI) and non-compliance with statutory provisions [2]. In addition to the Inspection Report on the LKPP, in accordance with Article 18 of Law No. 15/2004 concerning the Audit of Management and Responsibility of State Finances, the BPK also presents an Overview of the Results of Semester Examination (Ikhtisar Hasil Pemeriksaan Semester/IHPS) to representative institutions, presidents and regional heads. The IHPS is delivered no later than three months after the end of the semester in question. The IHPS document is open to the public and can be accessed on the BPK website [3]. In addition to the report on the results of the financial audit, a summary of the results of the performance audit, in which the objects of inspection may include the Ministry of Defence and the TNI, is also open to the public.

According to Law No. 15/2006 concerning the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia, the BPK submits the results of audits of the management and responsibility of state finances to the legislative and executive bodies [1]. For the central government financial audit, the BPK submits its audit report to the President. The BPK law then mandates the President to follow up on the audit report and then report back to the BPK. If any criminal elements are found in the audit, the BPK must report the matter to law enforcement agencies no later than one month after the criminal element is discovered. The BPK report in which the violation was found then becomes the basis for an investigation, which is monitored by the BPK. In practice, the audit results delivered by the BPK have been one of the main benchmarks for government performance. The accountability report on the implementation of the State Budget, including the defence budget, which is submitted to Parliament by the government, must first be examined by the BPK [2]. Because of this, there is a strong incentive for the government to follow up on any recommendations given by the BPK based on the audit results. For 2016 and 2017, the Ministry of Defence was granted a Qualified Opinion (WDP). Thanks to a number of policies and changes, the Ministry of Defence succeeded in obtaining an Unqualified Opinion (WTP) for the 2018 fiscal year [3].

Article 55 of the Constitution states:
“In accordance with the procedure specified by law the Accounts Bureau will inspect and audit all the accounts of the ministries, government institutions and companies as well as other organizations that draw in any way on the general budget of the country, to ensure that no expenditure exceeds approved credits and that all sums are spent for their specified purpose” [1].

No evidence was found of external audit of defence ministry expenditure on the audit organisation’s website [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as no evidence was found to indicate that external audit of the Defence Ministry’s expenditure takes place in practice [1].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as no evidence was found to indicate that external audit of the Defence Ministry’s expenditure takes place in practice [1].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as no evidence was found to indicate that external audit of the Defence Ministry’s expenditure takes place in practice [1].

The Federal Bureau of Supreme Audit is mandated to review defence spending, its executive powers were revived in 2003 under CPA Order 77 in 2003 (1). Since 2003, the FBSA has worked to advance Iraq’s relationship to international partners “through cooperation with INTOSAI” and regional working groups and workshop attendance (2), (3), (4). Under Iraqi constitutional law, the FBSA is tasked with overseeing timely budgetary execution and the passing of each annual federal budget law. Parliament’s newly legislated General Financial Management Law (GFML) (5) requires the FBSA to submit performance reports annually (6). Article 37 of the same law stipulates that oil and gas revenues shall be audited by an internationally recognized external auditor and the Federal Audit Bureau but in the absence of further evidence, it appears unlikely that the same provision applies to institutions of security and defence. Auditory and performance reports are uploaded on to the auditing agency’s official website but some findings from 2019 are blank when an attempt to download them is made. An auditor interviewed for this assessment (7) “speaks of increasing intimidation faced by some auditors and politicised appointments” which can undermine the agency’s integrity. The FBSA’s post-2003 history also details various assassination attempts on appointed auditors and the high price and demoralising impact that comes with the job.

The abilities of external bodies such as the FBSA to conduct its duties of investigation hinge on the access the respective ministry/minister grants to them (1). Findings are severely delayed as publications on the body’s official website show, which indicates some degree of curtailment (2). In cases where unaccounted spending on defence contracts is flagged, only recommendations reveal, a source states, “that their role is limited to external counsel” and recommendations (3). Serious findings of contractual fraud in the case of the CTS are raised in the FBSA’s 2018 report, two years after 316 mn IQDs were deposited into the wrong account and funds earmarked for ‘incomplete contracts’ had disappeared (4). The report raises advisory recommendations but falls short of exercising its executive powers concerning the above case and other flagged in the same report. A source added, “important dossiers and investigative findings are withheld or released for political purposes” (3). This example reveals important corruption and reputational risks FBSA ability to exercise its mandate independently.

There is no evidence of an external audit on the defence/military expenditures (1).

Insufficient information regarding the results of what the IG’s Office has accomplished makes it difficult to assess the office’s effectiveness. Although there is no external auditing, the government does not address any recommendations by any committee, either from the parliament, local CSOs, internal or external agency. Despite that, there are efforts from the government as part of the reform efforts to address corruption by imposing anti-corruption measures (1,2). For example, the IG said that surprise visits and inspection had been added recently to improve auditing (3). An instruction manual for securing tenders was also issued to limit contractual fraud (3).

In addition to the oversight carried out by the National Security Council, the Accountant General and the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance, the State Comptroller exercises external scrutiny of defence expenditure. The Comptroller has access to a lot of information at all levels and has an office of approx. 70-80 people including lawyers, psychologists that publish 30 reports a year (ca. 30% are open to public; 40% to Knesset, (with covered parts); 20-30% are not public) (1). The State Comptroller is independent and reports to the Knesset. The Defence System Comptroller inspects, audits, and advises the defense system, updating the Minister, the Director-General, and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff on the general condition, capabilities, and preparedness of the Ministry, and the reasonableness and legality of actions taken by the military and civilian defence systems. The agencies audited include offices in charge of economic, administrative, organizational, and operational matters within the IDF and the Ministry, civilian defence-system offices, and other entities that the Ministry supports or in whose management it participates. The IDF Soldiers’ Complaints Commissioner (ombudsman) is appointed by the Minister of Defence in consultation with the Minister of Justice and with the approval of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. The Commissioner, empowered by the Military Jurisprudence Law, is in charge of operations of the Complaints Commission, within the organisational framework of the Ministry of Defence. The Commissioner wields the powers of the chairman of a commission of inquiry, as the law prescribes (2) (3)

The external audit unit is independent of the Ministry of Defence and reports to the Knesset (Parliament) as prescribes by the Basic Law. Section 7 provides that in carrying out his functions the State Comptroller shall only be accountable to the Knesset, and emphasizes his autonomy and independence from the Government. Similarly, section 12(A) of the Basic Law provides that “the State Comptroller shall maintain contact with the Knesset, as determined by law” (1). The State Comptroller submits reports to the Knesset containing information and recommendations which are used by it as a means of supervising the Executive, and thus he assists the Knesset in a professional and independent way to carry out its duties (2). The State Comptroller is appointed by Parliament for a seven year term and can only be dismissed by the Knesset with the support of at least three-quarters of members (1). It has its own budget (e.g. passed by parliament rather than government), and there are legal protections in place for this budget not to be altered during the budget year unless the Comptroller itself asks for it (3). However, recent allegations have surfaced against the State Comptroller, accusing him of increasing deferrence to the executive by exercising pressure on auditors to include positive statements in their reviews and by abolishing the unit that handles cases of suspected corruption in higher offices (4).

The State Comptroller publishes external audit reports online. These include reports on audited accounts, oral briefings, expert advice, investigative work (1). External defence audits are generally comprehensive and published in due course. For instance, the 2020 audit of the Defence Establishment was published in 2021 and contained detailed assessments of the quality of internal processes and governance mechanisms (2).

The ministry addresses audit findings in its practices, but not regularly (1). However, while the Comptroller has increased the numebr of reports published in 2020 (2), significant doubts have been raised as to its effectiveness and capacity to critically examine government expenditure, as the government has deepened its control over the institutions since 2019 (3).

The budget of the Ministry of Defence, like any other budget of a public administration, is subject to external audit and control, by the Court of Auditors (Corte dei Conti). The Court of Auditors exercises preventive control over the legitimacy of Government’s measures and ex-post control over financial management of Public Administrations (art 100 of the Constitution) [1]. Reports of the controls are published in the dedicated section of the Ministry of Defence [2]. Moreover, as regulated by Legislative decree n. 123/2011 [3] annual reports from the Italian General Accounting Office are published online and presented to the Parliament [4]. External audit does also involve the evaluation of the performance. Each year the Ministry provides the Court of Auditors with a multiannual “Performance plan” for its review and publish them in a dedicated section of the website [5].

The independence of the Court of Auditors is guaranteed by the Constitution (art. 100), that establishes its direct report to the Parliament. Moreover, its members are parts of the magistracy and as such cannot be removed from functions (art. 107 of the Constitution) [1]. Under a fiscal and administrative point of view, the Court is also independent, as it autonomously manages its own budget and activities, that are periodically presented to the Parliament. There is no possibility to externally modify the financial annual allocation [2].

According to Legislative Decree 123/2011 [1], the Central Budget Office of the Ministry of Economy and Finance to the Ministry of Defence releases, every year, an annual report of the General accounting office [2]. The report contains detailed information on the accounting voices, eventual issues, investigative work, and review of the process, but is released just once a year.

There is not enough information to score this indicator. According to Legislative decree 123/2011, reports of the Court of Auditors are scrutinised by the competent parliamentary committees [1]. In the General Directives published on the website of the Ministry, it is affirmed that the Ministry, in case of required modifications from the audit, immediately start the revision process for their integration [2]. However, there is currently no information (or available documents) on the actual implementation of required modifications resulting from audits.

The Board of Audit of Japan plays a major role in providing oversight of government expenditures. It conducts external audits of the defence sector, and its mandate to audit is founded on the Constitution. [1] Furthermore, the Board of Audit Act, Article 30.2 gives the board authority to report to the Diet and the Cabinet on audits that it determines must be addressed. [2] Under Article 30.3 of the Audit Act, the Diet may request an audit report. [3] The Board of Audit has a duty to annually audit the income and expenditure accounts over the fiscal budget for sectors including defence. [4] In fact, several sections of their bureau of work is related to auditing the defence sector. [5] The emphasis of the Board’s audit is on financial audit but it also provides advice and recommendations, based on the results of audit, on how the performance of the agencies can be improved. [6] In addition to auditing the accounts, the Board writes an audit report on budget implementation for each fiscal year that looks at cases of misappropriation, expresses an opinion on these cases or requests action by the responsible Minister. It can instruct other agencies to take corrective measures, or otherwise raise issues the Board of Audit deems important. [7]

The Board of Audit is the primary external auditor for military spending. It is independent of the Executive with regard to the appointment of personnel, making audit regulations, and funding. Its right to audit is guaranteed by the Constitution, [1] and its independence from the Cabinet by the Board of Audit Act. [2] The Board is headed by three Commissioners, one of whom is appointed President. They are appointed by the Cabinet, but both Houses of the Diet must consent to their appointment. A Commissioner holds office for a term of seven years. [3] The Commissioners make all appointment, dismissal, promotion and demotion decisions for other employees. [4] Regulations for audit beyond those set forth in the Board of Audit Act are determined by the Board, not by Cabinet Resolution. [5] The expenses of the Board of Audit are covered by an annual budget that it receives over the fiscal budget, passed by the Diet. The budget is found on the board’s homepages. [6] The Public Finance Act stipulates that if the Cabinet is to reduce the Board’s budget to less than the Board’s expenditure estimate, the Cabinet must add an additional note to the income and expenditure budget with the details of the Board’s estimate and specify what funds are available in the event that the budget is revised. [7] The Cabinet regularly revises the budget for government agencies during the fiscal year, including that of the Board of Audit, based on article 29 of the Public Finance Act and subject to certain conditions. [8] When revised, it is almost always to increase the budget. [9] However, the Cabinet may propose to change the budget in other ways than by increasing it as well, due to conditions after it was made. [10] The annual audit reports of the Board of Audit are scrutinised by the Diet (see Q28B). The Board of Audit can be highly critical of other government agencies, and media reports give good evidence that it operates independently. In 2015, the Cabinet Secretariat announced that the Board may examine classified information in order to do its work. [11] Furthermore, although not a national defence issue, reports by the Board in 2017 and 2018 uncovered details about document forgery by Ministry of Finance officials for the benefit of Moritomo Gakuen, a school operator linked to the prime minister’s wife. [12]

The Board of Audit regularly publishes reports from its audits. It publishes its reports within a reasonable timeframe. Its audit report for FY2017 was available online on August 17, 2019. [1] Hearings may be held in the Diet on the report of the Board of Audit. [2] The board also publishes information about recent improvement measures taken by government agencies based on its recommendations (see Q17D).

The Board of Audit regularly publishes information on its website about improvement measures taken by government agencies based on the board’s recommendations. For example, on August 17, 2019, four examples of such measures taken by the MOD that had been taken from the audit report for FY 2017 were posted online. One had to do with improving the administration of procurement and making procurement more economical by introducing lot buying of equipment. Another had to do with specifying that an uninterruptable power supply device that the MOD was to order was identical to products sold for civilian use. Therefore, it was possible to procure the product by competitive bidding instead of by a signing a more expensive discretionary contract. [1]

There is no evidence that any external auditing organisations have included the armed forces or the Ministry of Defence in their activities [1,2,3]. There is a lack of any up-to-date, reliable information on external audits of the Armed Forces or the Ministry of Defence.

This sub indicator has been marked as Not Applicable as there is no evidence of external audits to defence ministry expenditure [1,2].

This sub indicator has been marked as Not Applicable as there is no evidence of external audits to defence ministry expenditure [1,2].

This sub indicator has been marked as Not Applicable as there is no evidence of external audits to defence ministry expenditure [1,2].

Other than Parliament, the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) is the only external entity that has the statutory mandate to conduct an in-depth review of military financial aspects.The OAG, has the primary oversight role of ensuring accountability of public resources through auditing accounts of all publicly funded entities. This includes military defence expenditure. The OAG has the legal mandate to audit and report 6 months after the end of the financial year covering revenue, expenditure, assets, liabilities. [1] Other external and independent entities that can examine aspects of defence expenditure include Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Public Procurement Regulatory Authority which may inquire on fraud related and procurement related complaints respectively. [2]

It is important to note that although, legally, the EACC can under section 13 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act sub-section 2(c) initiate investigation on its own or on complaints made by any person relating to fraud; there is no known case where the Commission has initiated corruption investigation on its own against the anyone withing the Defence industry.

The Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) is the only institution that can independently audit military defence expenditure. OAG operates independently and has its own budget, and reports to parliament rather than the executive on its audit findings. [1]

Moreover, according to section 249 of the Constitution, like other independent Commissions, OAG funds are independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority and the National Assembly is required to allocate adequate funds to enable it perform its functions. [2] However, the activities of the auditor-general to audit accounts in the ministry of defence have, in past instances, been undermined by the defence ministry which exploits legal loopholes such as section 40 of the Public Audit Act no. 34 of 2015. [3]. Various reports reviewed indicate that the ministry does block efforts of the Auditor-General to perform its mandate. [4]

The Office of the Auditor-General conducts audit processes using International Standards on Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) or consistent national auditing standards. The audit reports highlight relevant material issues and systemic and control risks.

In depth audits are carried out on the basis of risk analysis methods. More emphasis is given to performance audits (value for money), forensic audits, and procurement/asset disposal. [1] The OAG annually audits all central government MDAs that are linked to IFMIS. Audits are performed according to ISSAIs.

The national security institutions (e.g. Defence) are not linked to Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), but are audited periodically, including during the last 3 FYs. IFMIS is useful in ensuring financial processes including procurement are done electornically and this enhances efficiency and transparency sealing off fraud loopholes. For Ministry of Defence (MOD) the Auditor-General depends on accounts as submitted by the internal audit division of the ministry or its own auditing processes. Considering that the ministry has the provision to redact any information that is crucial to national security, as per the Public Audit Act, it means that the Auditor-General does not access all information from the ministry. [2]

Efforts also to conduct its own independent audits are also often met with resistance. [3] Nevertheless, it is important to note that even if the revenue accounts of Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) are conducted on a Cash Basis Method of financial reporting, in the financial year ending June 30, 2019 OAG cleared them and found no issues with their accounts. [4] OAG noted that MOD complied fully with government regulations as set by Public Sector Accounting Standards Board of Kenya, kept proper records and fully accounted for the funds.

The Ministry of Defence sometimes addresses audit findings but it is usually when tasked by parliament to address issues that arise from audit reports by the Office of the Auditor-General OAG. For instance, in the 2015/2016 audit report, the OAG noted that there were issues observed in the 2014/2015 report that were not satisfactorily addressed. One of them was payment of taxes on imported goods. OAG found that MOD was claiming to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty on imported military equipment yet, the payments were not reflected in the accounts held by the revenue authority. [1]

The accounting officer clarified that MOD had made the payments but at the time of the audit they had not been reconciled. There are instances however where the Public Accounts Committee has warned and recommended further investigation due to failure of MOD in following proper procedures when using restricted tendering. [2]

As stipulated by the current legal framework, the National Audit Office carries out on an annual basis a statutory regularity review of the government budget, all organisations receiving budget through the annual budget law (including the Ministry of Defence), and publicly owned enterprises. This Office also has the right to perform other audits on funds provided by the budget for an institution or organisation, public funds for public-private partnerships, loans and obligations guaranteed by public sector entities [1]. However, these audit reports are not detailed and they are more focused on the financial audits rather than performance audits. The 2018 audit report on the Ministry of Defence was published in May 2019 by the National Audit Office [2].

The National Audit Office is a state institution which is independent from the government and is not subject to direction or influence by any person or institution [1]. It is accountable to the Kosovo Assembly and is funded by the Budget of Kosovo. Based on the Law on the Auditor General, the Office is granted financial, managerial and administrative independence and is given sufficient human, material and financial resources [2]. The Law states that if the Kosovo Government amends or modifies the budget proposal for the National Audit Office, it has to inform the Kosovo Assembly about this budget proposal for approval [3].

The National Audit Office (NAO) publishes on its website all individual audit reports, the Annual Audit Report, and the Annual Performance Report including the audited financial statements, internal guidelines and regulations, and other information regarding the NAO and its activities [1]. The NAO submits final Audit Reports to the respective audited institutions, while copies may be sent to any other relevant institution. The NAO makes final Audit Reports public one day after their submission [2].

There are cases evidenced by the National Audit Office (NAO) that its recommendations are not regularly addressed and implemented [1]. Based on the 2018 Audit Report for the Ministry of Defence, the NAO reported that out of five recommendations given in 2017, three of them related to budget execution, capital investments and good governance and were implemented by May 2019. Two other recommendations were partially implemented by May 2019 when the report was released [1]. One of the recommendations which was partially implemented focused on personnel management: the NAO stated in 2017 that the Minister of Defence should demand of relevant officials that recruitment procedures begin earlier. However, despite efforts made, the issue was not fully resolved [1]. Another recommendation that remains unresolved is the initiation of an action-plan progress evaluation in order to identify obstacles that hinder any implementation of recommendations, and subsequently determine measures required to overcome these obstacles. According to the NAO’s 2019 Audit Report, the Ministry of Defence’s needed to commit further to this recommendation in order for the issue to be fully resolved [1].

At least two auditing bodies follow the military’s spending: the SAB, and Parliament’s defence committee. The SAB’s authority stems from Law no. 30 of 1964 (1), among other laws and Parliament’s the constitution’s article 112, 101 and 102 (2) and the internal laws of Parliament article 76 and 147 (3).

On paper, both have access to all defence data, regardless of its sensitivity. But in practice, they are often left in the dark, and these bodies lack the strength to fight back since the Emir favours the military over other Government agencies (as is the case in other authoritarian countries), according to several officials and activists (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10).

This makes most of the audits superficial, because auditors sometimes lack key information, but it generally has no effect on the frequency of the audits, which take place on an annual basis.

The SAB generally only focuses on the finances of the military, but they often can comment on the soundness of decisions, and they can assess progress in various projects, which they do sometimes.

Sometimes SAB auditors are prevented from auditing up to 50 percent of the spending of the security agencies, based on orders from the head of the body, who is enabled to do so by article 78 of the SAB’s law, officials said. But they take the records from the ministry anyway so as not to let them know that they are not being checked, officials said. This means that the security agencies always work under the impression that their spending is being monitored (1).

Parliament has the right to do that and also to assess and criticise performance, but that rarely happens because most MPs lack independence and are pro-government.

Then there is the ACA, empowered by Law no. 2 of 2016 (11), which can audit the finances and performance of the Defence Ministry, and other Government agencies, when concern over corruption in any given case arises. Their auditors receive the worst treatment because they are new and they are almost completely ignored, the auditing officials said.

The ACA is the body tasked with inspecting the financial disclosures of all officials, and it has the power to refer suspicious cases to the prosecution.

The SAB’s head and the head of Parliament set the SAB’s budget, according to article 75 of the SAB’s law. If they can’t agree, they can put up for a vote in Parliament (1).

The ACA sets its own budget but it must be approved by the Finance Minister or the Prime Minister, before it goes to Parliament with the rest of the budget, according to article 18 of the ACA’s law (2).

All three bodies are independent of the Defence Ministry, but they are under the influence of the powerful executive branch, whose supporters control Parliament, which is unsurprisingly compliant with the executive branch.

Even if it weren’t, the Emir can dissolve it at will, according to article 141 of the constitution, and this has always been a sword over the neck of lawmakers in Kuwait (3).

Both Parliament and the Government must come to an agreement regarding the Parliament’s budget every year, according to article 172 of the PIL. The law does not explain exactly how the budget of the defence committee is set (4).

There are no legal protections for any of these budgets, however.

The executive branch does not usually force the auditors to produce a positive assessment as much as it limits their access to information and ignores their complaints, criticism, and requests for more information, auditors, activists and a journalist said (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12).

On rare occasions, an executive official could threaten the auditors with reprisals if they seem adamant on getting to the bottom of something.

Annual audit reports are released by the SAB, but only in summary form and they do not divulge any or much information about the purchases of the security and defence sector, or their financial violations (1, 2 and 3). Auditors said there is a general understanding inside the SAB and in the Government in general that the security and defence agencies’ “business is off limits,” as one SAB official put it.The ACA does not publish reports. Both bodies do not respond to requests for information on the defence and security sector, officials, activists and journalists said (4, 5, 6, 7. 8, 9, 10 and 11).

The Ministry almost never incorporates the recommendations of any auditor; auditors, a member of the royal family and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8). This is why the SAB continues to renew its complaint year after year. (9, 10 and 11). These ministries are mostly responsive with the recommendations of the CSC, which is mainly concerned with streamlining the internal administration of these ministries, along with other Government bodies; this includes their pay policy, and offering them logistical training, among other things — activities that mostly concern their civilian personnel, officials said. Since only extremely small changes are allowed, a zero is warranted.

The State Audit Office has an extensive mandate to review the defence sector, which it regularly executes with regards to defence sector spending and performance in an in-depth process as mandated bt the State Audit Office Law. [1] The office is in constant contact with the Ministry of Defence and its institutions, e.g. it has a constant live access to the accounting system of the Ministry of Defence. [2] In the first semester of 2018, it published two reports on the defence sector: one on the effectiveness of the development of the Youth Guard (legality and utility aspects) [3] and another on the overview of the Ministry of Defence for the previous year (financial aspects). [4] The State Audit Office also undertakes performance audits in the defence sector.

The State Audit Office is an independent institution and, as the law according to which it operates states, “it is accountable only to the law”. [1] It has its own budget approved by the parliament. [2]
The office itself does not feel pressured in its audits in the defence sector. [3] There is no legal protection to prevent the budget from being altered however, the budget is adopted annually as per the legislation, and annual expenditure is scrutinised regularly by the State Audit Office, such that alterations or discrepancies would be identified.

Reports of the external audits are published online proactively. They are detailed and comprehensive. Audits since 2001 are available on the website of the State Audit Office. [1] The State Audit Office explains the findings in the public space, either via news releases or public discussions, e.g. regarding the latest report on the Youth Guard. [2] [3] At the same time, given the specificities of the military sector, not all information is released, though the State Audit Office has access to all information. [4]

As underlined by the State Audit Office, the Ministry of Defence is cooperative and regularly addresses audit findings in its practices. However, this does not guarantee the elimination of all shortcomings, [1] since such are identified in every audit, e.g. audits pubished in 2017 and 2018. [2] [3]

The Court of Audit (CoA) is Lebanon’s highest financial court. It is an administrative court with a financial and judicial role to monitor public accounts including auditing the government’s proposed expenditure for the upcoming year and the government’s spending from the previous year (1). However, in practice, this does not occur regularly. From 2005 till 2017, Lebanon did not have a budget which means it was unable to attempt closure of accounts for the state’s spending (3). According to the LAF, tender operations and procurement are audited by the CoA (4). A source confirmed that the LAF command coordinated with the court of audits for its spending and bidding operation (5). The CoA is responsible for auditing (pre and post) all Lebanese public funds including at the MoD. Although the closure of accounts of public spending did not occur for several years, the MoD public accounts are audited by CoA (6).

The Court of Audit is independent of the Ministry of Defence. However, the court is tied and reports to the executive branch it is supposed to audit (1). The Court’s budget is included in the state budget (2). According to PAL Art. 118, the Minister of Finance has the right to propose that the CoM to stop using allocated expenditure of the State Budget if deemed necessary. The CoM then decides to approve or reject based on the situation (3).

The CoA’s reports are not published regularly, as it suffers from being understaffed (1). However, some reports on the approval of transfer of credits and expert opinions are published online in a summarized bullet points format (2). Furthermore, it does not respond to requests for information, according to the Al Gherbal Initiative report (3).

Generally, the CoA’s reports are not issued on time. One of the main problem that the court faces as a result of being understaffed (1). According to the Directorate of Orientation, the LAF refers to the CoA for its bids and requests to transfer of credits (2). During an event hosted by the LAF, audit institutions including the CoA and the Central Inspection Board (CIB) indicated the level of transparency and specificity that the LAF conducts with its finances (3). However, no clear evidence was found on whether or not the LAF or the MoD addresses the CoA’s recommendations (4). However, based on the statement of the CoA and CIB, it could be inferred that the LAF does cooperate well with the audit institutions (3).

The National Audit Office of Lithuania is a supreme public audit institution, accountable to the Seimas (unicameral parliament). This office audits the state budget implementation, use of state funds, as well as the financial and performance audit (public audit) [1]. On 5 December 2017, the Supreme Audit Office carried out a performance audit of the organisation of public procurement relating to national defence (No. VA-2017-P-900-2-22) [2], and on 21 September 2015 it performed a financial audit of the Ministry of Defence [3]. However, this office does not regularly and specifically review the Defence budget [4].

According to the Law on the National Audit Office [1], the Supreme Audit Office is financed through the state budget, and the Lithuanian Parliament allocates the amounts destined for it. The Office is not accountable to the Government and there is no information available regarding the Office being dependent on the Government. The Office’s annual budget is part of the National budget of Lithuania, approved by the Parliament and not subject to amendments during the financial year. The National Audit Office provides financial reports quarterly and annually [2].

Audit information is published online. In the majority of cases, recommendations are also provided and their reception is monitored. Audit reports seem to be published within a reasonable timeline (e.g., various financial papers from 2016 were published in the second half of 2017) and in detail (e.g., including recommendations, audit methods, their volume as well as findings) [1]. However, no oral briefings nor expert advice is included.

There is evidence that the Ministry of Defence addresses audit findings. Yearly reports on the implementation of recommendations of the National Audit Office are provided [1]. The report from 2017 shows that during the period 2014-2017, there were three audits carried out for the defence sector. The Ministry of Defence implemented seventy-one out of seventy-nine recommendations provided [2].

The National Audit Department and Auditor General’s functions and powers are enumerated in Articles 105, 106, and 107 of the Federal Constitution. Its legal power is further established under the Audit Act 1957. It has three major audit functions: Financial Reporting, Financial Management, and Performance (Section 7 of the 1957 Act). The powers of the Auditor General, as established in Article 106 of the Constitution, [1] [2] are applicable to all government ministry and agencies. Internally, the function is represented and carried out by a special unit called Internal Audit and General Investigation Unit, which conducts periodical audits in the Ministry and military institutions. The detailed functions and responsibilities of internal audit are also set out in the 2004 Ministry of Finance’s Circular. [3] The functions of the audits are, firstly, “examining the financial system, internal control, and financial record, to ensure all expenses, revenues, assets. and storage, are managed according to the stipulated laws, regulations and directives.” Secondly, to conduct audit performance, which includes assessing the optimum use of resources in organisational activities. The internal audits are also responsible, among others, for, firstly, studying the reliability and effectiveness of the financial system and the internal control of the organisation; secondly, for reviewing compliance levels with all applicable policies, laws, regulations and directives; thirdly, for ensuring assets are well protected; fourthly, for submitting audit report to all heads of Department, and monitoring the follow-up actions taken by management; and finally, for presenting the audit reports at a ministerial level before submitting them to the Auditor General Office. A report must be submitted annually the Auditor General Office. The AG Office, in turn, is then required to present an audited report of all federal and state government agencies to the Parliament’s Special Select Committee on Finance. A copy is also available to all members of Parliament. Since 2014, the Auditor General’s Report has been presented three times a year. [4]

The Auditor General Office is set up under the Federal Constitution, Article 146. Under the Constitution, the Auditor General is “appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King) on the advice of the Prime Minister and after consultation with the Conference of Rulers”. Under Article 107 of the Constitution, the Auditor General “shall submit his reports to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who shall cause them to be laid before the House of Representatives”. [1] Furtheremore, under the Audit Act of 1957, Section 4, the remuneration of the Auditor General is “specified under the First and Second Schedules of the Constitution”, and “all payments made under the First and Second Schedules shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund”. [2] Furthermore, the National Audit Deparment only started reporting to Parliament after the 2018 election. Prior to that, it reported to the Prime Minister’s office.

The full annual reports of all government agencies and ministries are available on the official Portal of the Department of the Auditor General. The hard copy report is available but there are limited copies. It is also available online at the official website of the Auditor General Office months after it is published. Usually, the hard copy of the report is distributed to all government agencies. The public has to make a pre-order purchase of the hard copy report. The online version of the 2018 report is now available online. [1]

There are a number of examples such as the land-swap deal and the non-delivery of six helicopters, which illustrate how the Ministry of Defence has failed to address the issues higlighted by the Auditor General’s Report. Various projects grouped under the title ‘sick projects’ were regularly tabled at the Head of Department (HOD) meeting. There is little transparency over the projects and unqualified heads of department have been selected to manage the projects. In 2002, the Auditor General’s Report pointed out the failure of the Ministry to properly adhere to the land swap deal between the Ministry and several private companies. In the land swap deal, companies should have been selected through open tenders however, the process was done in questionable circumstances with only three companies, all with political links to the government, involved. [1] Selected companies were required to develop and build army camps and military training institutes. In return, the companies would be awarded strategic land owned by the government. Thirteen of sixteen projects have been completed. [2] The most recent example is the non-delivery of six helicopters said to be worth RM300 million, in a deal secured for the Malaysian Airforce during the previous government. The helicopters were supposed to be delivered in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and have yet to be delivered. [3] There is no other evidence of the Ministry of Defence responding to the AG’s findings.

As noted in Q16, Mali’s military and internal security forces are in practice not subject to external oversight. All of the external monitoring bodies avoid using their oversight powers for issues related to the security forces. The executive frequently cites the vague and broad concept of ‘national security’ to justify maintaining secrecy over defence spending.
The accounts section of Mali’s Supreme Court is responsible for assessing accounts maintained by the government accountants and determining whether they conform to the country’s finance laws. The office is understaffed, with only 13 counsellors for more than 1,000 accounts per year.¹ Moreover, personnel in the accounts section do not have the status of a judge and the wages are not attractive.
The US Department of State notes that the supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements, and audit reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time.⁷
However, as the World Bank points out, the accounts section has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted by the Ministry of Finance to the court when the finance law is examined.¹ Similarly, the BVG, which has 17 agents and is tasked with monitoring the accountants and administrators, has not conducted a comprehensive audit of the finances of the military or internal security forces in recent years.³ ⁴
Meanwhile, parliamentary oversight is very weak, with only one auditing staff assistant available to help the DSP.¹

Mali’s military and internal security forces are in practice not subject to external oversight. All of the external monitoring bodies avoid using their oversight powers for issues related to the security forces.¹ Therefore, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Mali’s military and internal security forces are in practice not subject to external oversight. All of the external monitoring bodies avoid using their oversight powers for issues related to the security forces.¹ Therefore, this indicator has been marked

Mali’s military and internal security forces are in practice not subject to external oversight. All of the external monitoring bodies avoid using their oversight powers for issues related to the security forces.¹ Therefore, this indicator has been marked

There are two external audit units: the ASF and the SFP.

The ASF depends on the Legislative power and has the power to audit the expenses of public resources, including those of SEDENA. The audits it carries out are financial compliance and performance related. [1] In other words, it exercises control after the government’s financial management.

For its part, the SFP, which depends on the Executive Branch, is responsible for carrying out external audits on budgetary financial matters, verifying whether the accounting and budgetary financial statements have been prepared based on current regulations, whether the entity complies with its tax obligations, if this is adhering to the regulations on acquisitions, etc. This work is also carried out through the Internal Control Bodies or the auditors designated by it. [2] [3] That is to say, it coordinates the control tasks that are carried out before, during, and after the government management is carried out. [4]

Both audit units are independent from SEDENA, however, the ASF is a technical body for oversight of the Chamber of Deputies with management and technical autonomy but not budgetary autonomy, and SFP is a dependency of the Federal Executive responsible for internal control in the Federal Public Administration, with budgetary autonomy. [1] [2]

The ASF publishes on its official site the audit reports in open formats in accordance with the provisions of the General Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information, as long as information that is considered temporarily reserved or that is part of a process is not disclosed for research. [1] In this regard, from 2013 to 2018, no audit was found on military defence spending. [2]

For its part, the SFP does not publish its reports. The holders of the Internal Control Bodies or the holders of the Internal Control Areas must request the corresponding access to the Comprehensive Auditing System. [3]

Although the recommendations issued by the ASF in the audit reports should be addressed, [1] specialists on the subject point out that audits of military expenditures are opaque and lack clarity, and they are also not timely since they are carried out when the year has already occurred and consequently allow discretion to continue. [2] Journalistic notes document recurring cases of questionable exercise of spending, showing that the audit findings are not effectively addressed in practice. [3] [4]

The State Audit Institution in the defence sector has the authority to control the regularity (legality), economy, efficiency and effectiveness of spending of budgetary resources allocated to MoD and Armed Forces of Montenegro. It conducts an annual revision of the budget of the Government and all units. [1] During the audit process, the State Audit Institution evaluates whether the amounts given in the final budget of the defence budget correspond to the amounts indicated in the records and whether the controlled revenues, expenditures and assets are properly documented, in accordance with regulations and general standards, the State Audit Institution assesses in important cases, the regulations and rules on budgeting or expenditure creation were not respected.

While the State Audit Institution has a mandate to audit the defence sector, but has conducted only three audits in that area since its establishment. [2]

The external audit unit is independent of the executive, and its Senate is appointed by the Parliament, while its budget is proposed by the Government and can be changed during the year through the same procedure envisaged for the adoption of the budget. [1]
It has its own budget (passed by parliament rather than the government), and there are legal protections in place so that this budget cannot to be altered during the budget year. [2]
However, in recent years, several politically exposed individuals were appointed to its Senate, which reduced independence of the institution. [2] For example, one member of the Senate is Zoran Jelic, accused of misuse of public funds for election purposes in the well-known “Recording” affair accusations which did not lead to prosecution by the state; another member is Radule Zuric, godfather of the Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, while Nikola Kovacevic was high level official of the ruling party. [3]

External audit information is published online proactively by the State Audit Institution, within a reasonable timeline and in detail. [1] The reports include analysis on audited accounts, but not oral briefings, expert advice or investigative work. [2][3][4]

The State Audit Report repeated some similar recommendations for the Ministry of Defence in its annual revision of state budgets. [1][2] The Ministry addresses some findings in practice, but similar issues related to procurements and accounting practices remain. [3]

No evidence about external audit of defence ministry expenditure was found: Moroccan authorities in general do not disclose this information. Moreover, institutions in charge of auditing public expenditures such as the National Audit Office (Cour des Comptes) do not audit military expenditures. (1)(2)(3).

Neither CSOs nor the media are given access to information about external audit of defence ministry expenditure either directly/indirectly or officially/unofficially (4)(5)(6)(7).

Based on these elements, it appears that there is no external audit of defence ministry expenditure.

As there is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure, this sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable.

As there is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure, this sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable.

As there is no internal audit of the defence ministry’s expenditure, this sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable.

There is no external audit of the military budget because the Ministry of Defence is not under the Union Auditor General [1]. The Union Auditor General, U Maw Than, explained at Parliament that the Union Auditor General Office does not audit defence expenditures as it is under the Controller of Military Accounts [2].

As there is no external audit of defence expenditure [1], this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

As there is no external audit of defence expenditure [1], this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

As there is no external audit of defence expenditure [1], this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

The Netherlands Court of Audit is an independent, external organisation that audits all ministries and other public organisations, including military and defence spending [1]. In accordance with the Government Accounts Act 2016, the Court of Audit has the right to access all relevant information needed to perform this task, including confidential information and data on the revenues and expenditures of ministries [2]. The audits conducted are not only financial in nature; they also investigate performance indicators, such as public policy effectiveness and whether public money has been spent economically, efficiently and effectively [3]. In October 2020, the Netherlands Court of Audit published a report regarding the Ministry of Defence’s submarine procurement project [4]. A number of points of concern were outlined with regard to the current plan, including its inefficiency in satisfying NATO goals, unaddressed financial risks and a budget deficiency of 730 million euros [4].

The Netherlands Court of Audit is a High Council of State and is an independent institution separate from the government [1]. The Court’s budget consists of public money and is thus passed by the House of Representatives before the end of each year [2,3,4]. Once certified as an act of law, the budget for the year ahead is set in place [5]. The Court of Audit evaluates its financial standing and performance through its Annual Report and, since 2014, it uniquely shares its expenditures publicly (available to download in CSV format) to promote financial transparency within the government [2,6].

Audits by the Netherlands Court of Audit are published online and include a reasonable amount of detail on findings and methodologies [1]. For example, the Court’s investigation into the cyber security of border control systems at Schiphol International Airport show extensive analysis, expert recommendations and evidence from interviews, as well as the methodology for the investigative work [2].

In 76% of cases, the Ministry of Defence makes commitments following a recommendation from the Court of Audit [1]. The Ministry of Defence is one of the most receptive ministries in this regard, with other ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, taking action on recommendations in only 39% of cases [1]. As an example of the Ministry of Defence addressing audit findings in practice, the State Secretary of Defence published a written response to the Court of Audit’s recent findings regarding the Ministry of Defence’s submarine procurement project [2,3]. The letter addressed the concerns of the report, including the life-span costs of the submarines, deficiencies in budget projections, NATO commitments and other (financial) risks [2].

The Auditor-General has full powers to review Military defence spending, which includes financial audits and best practices. The Public Finance Act and Public Finance Amendment Act also hold Defence accountable [1, 2, 3, 4]. In addition, the FADTC has formal rights to report on Estimates and Supplementary Estimates and may question persons called before it on these and any other matters [5, 6].

The Controller and Auditor-General and Deputy Controller and Auditor-General are both appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives [1]. The Speaker of the House is responsible for the Controller and Auditor-General’s Appropriations and Estimates and these may include supplementary estimates during the year [2, 3, 4]. However, there is a degree of independence in this arrangement. After presenting the draft annual plan to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who then presents it to the House of Representatives, the Auditor-General may amend the draft annual plan as the Auditor-General deems necessary, but is not obligated to incorporate comments, and need only consider them [5]. Nonetheless, the Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill still must pass in Parliament if it is to become law [6]. The Auditor-General also has a legislated duty to act independently in the exercise and performance of the Auditor-General’s functions, duties, and powers [7]. Vote Audit is published online alongside the rest of the Government Budget on a dedicated webpage [8]. The information is also available via the Treasury website [9]. This provides a suitable level of independence outside the immediate control of the Executive.

Auditing is proactively published within a reasonable timeline; however some details are withheld under the Official Information Act 1982. For example, the Treasury’s Baseline Review of Defence included significant redactions [1]. The FADTC’s annual review is published online [2]. Details of the annual reviews may be found via weblinks on the individual annual review pages [3]. These contain responses to written questions and transcripts of the annual reviews conducted in person [4, 5]. The Auditor-General’s annual review briefing is also included online [6, 7]. The Office of the Auditor-General also provides advice to the parliamentary select committee (FADTC) on Vote estimates [8]. External audits conducted by Audit New Zealand are also included in the Annual Reports [9, 10].

Audit recommendations are addressed by MoD and the NZDF, although not all findings may be implemented within a financial year [1, 2]. From the OAG’s 2016/17 and 2018/19 MoD and NZDF annual review briefings to the FADTC, there is no discernible framework or timeline for the MoD and NZDF to implement audit recommendations. In the same briefing paper of 30 June 2017, the OAG acknowledged that other recommendations surrounding the MoD’s management control environment, financial information systems and controls, performance information and associated systems and controls had all “been resolved in part” [3]. The same comment was replicated in the NZDF audit [4]. In another example, the 2018/19 NZDF audit found that some deficiencies with expenditure systems and controls remained unresolved from previous years, which included reviewing and update Defence Force Orders (DFOs) [5]. Despite this finding, the NZDF has recently updated a number of its DFOs, which signals that audit findings are implemented regularly though for some reasons, presumably resourcing and practicality, it does not complete all recommendations within the following financial year [6].

External auditing falls under the mandate of the National Audit Office, which also includes security spending reviews, particularly the verification of the accounting terminology and fiscal discipline (1). However, various challenges hinder the activity of the Audit Office (2). For example, it was only in June 2017 that the Audit Office presented its general report for 2014 (3), and it is unclear to what extent the report included an audit of the Ministry of Defence expenditure.
Another body that has a mandate to conduct the external audit of military expenditure is the State Inspectorate General. According to interviews, the last audit was conducted in 2016. It covered a broad spectrum of services, evaluated the conduct of special military operations which is usually, according to an interviewee, not subject to audit. However, due to an insufficient budget, the Inspectorate could not lead missions in the field units. According to him, there was close collaboration with military officers on the ground through correspondence and analysis of different reports (4, 5).
For the security forces, there is no external control mechanism for the police. In theory, the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) could investigate cases of abuse committed by the police, but its capacity and its means of operation are weak. The IDDH is a Danish NGO that sometimes conducts investigations together with the IGSS, to strengthen internal control mechanisms and develop external control mechanisms (6,7). 

Both the National Audit Office and the State Inspectorate General are legally independent entities from the Defence Ministry.
Article 141 of the Constitution (1) establishes the National Audit Office as the highest court of auditing public finances. It lays out the mission of the Supreme Audit Commission in Niger and refers to a procedural regulation (Loi n°2012-08 of 26 March 2012) that governs its activities. However, there is no mention in Article 141 regarding its independence. The National Audit Office has a jurisdictional mission, a mission of control and an advisory mission (2). It has its own budget (3).
As per Article 115 of the Constitution, the National Assembly (NA) can require the Supreme Audit Court (Cour des Comptes) to carry out audits of government expenditure. It is unclear whether this also includes defence expenditure.
Contrary to the National Audit Office, the State Inspectorate General depends on the executive and responds to the Presidency, it does not have its own budget (4).

The internal reports are not published (1,2,3) and are not accessible to the public.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

The assessor found no evidence of the precise institutional outcomes as a result of the internal audit. However, it is plausible to suggest that some changes did take place, but they could not be clearly identified during interviews (1,2,3) .

There is a great deal of respect for the military and in practice, this leads to a disproportionate amount of deference given to security institutions which translates into weak oversight (1), (2).

External audits in this context are performed by the Office of the Auditor-General. Significant delays are noted as a feature of the process. Further, there has been inconsistency in the timing of the reviews. In the past reviews were carried out infrequently (3).

“More ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have refused to submit their accounts for review since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, an official report shows. The poor compliance of MDAs to Nigerian laws on submission of accounts is worse in each of Mr Buhari’s first two years in office than any previous year since Nigeria returned to democracy from military dictatorship in 1999. According to the Auditor-General of the Federation, 324 MDAs failed to submit their accounts for audit in 2016, while 215 MDAs failed to submit in 2015. In each of the 22 previous years before that, the highest number of non-submissions was 148, in 2014” (4).

As noted above, external audits of the MoD are performed by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, which submits its reports directly to the Public Accounts Committee of the
National Assembly. Although, the Auditor-General is, by law, independent and has secured
tenure guaranteed by the constitution, it is not well resourced, lacks expertise and, therefore, cannot be viewed as fully independent. This prevents the effective scrutiny of defence spending. Outdated audit laws also prevents the effectivenss of the office. In February 2018, the 8th National Assembly passed the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill to provide extensive powers to the Auditor General of the Federation. The bill did not receive presidential assent, which is necessary if it is to become law [1,2,3] (The tenure of the 8th Assembly ended on June 9). With the commencement of the 9th Assembly, the Bill has to be resubmitted to the Assembly and go through all the different legislative processes and passed by the Assembly again. As of September 2019, the Bill was awaiting reintroduction in the 9th Assembly.

This indicator has not been assigned a score due to insufficient information or evidence.

There is no evidence suggesting that the MoD addresses recommedations from audit findings.The Nigerian Audit Act of 1956, which is the statutory provision for auditing and reporting on Federal Government financial transactions is weightless both in fighting corruption and preventing the waste of public resources (1), (2). The Auditor-General is unable to take any action to reduce waste or corruption because it does not have powers to take any effective action even where waste or corruption is identified.The power of the Auditor-General’s Office, the external institution in charge of auditing public finance is ineffective and weak. The Office is not ‘fully empowered’ in that it does not have the legal powers necessary to effectively discharge the duties of that office. The Federal Audit Commission bill if passed into law would address this weakness and has the potential to affect institutional outcomes as a result of audits. The proposed bill would also expand the powers of the Auditor-General to conduct an audit of all revenues and expenditure, except the constitution provides otherwise (1), (2).

External audits are conducted by the State Audit Office (SAO). In accordance with the Law on State Audit, the SAO is entitled to audit all users of budget funds, including the Defence sector [1]. The SAO has unrestricted access to all defence and security documents, including the classified documents. These are to be handled in accordance with the Law on Classified Information and a security clearance is needed for access and use of all classified information [2]. National and other budget audits which are dependant funds are conducted annually, or within the deadlines determined by the Annual Work Program of the State Audit Office [1]. The SAO acts in a very professional manner when conducting audits for the Ministry of Defence. However, due to the extensive workload, these audits take place only every 2-3 years [4]. In the last decade they were performed in 2012, 2014 and 2018. The frequency of these external audit processes is therefore less than annual, which impacts on its timeliness and efficiency. The SAO only reviews the Ministry of Defence’s financial reports and compliance audits [5].

As stipulated by the Law on State Audit, the State Audit Office (SAO) is independent in its work and is defined as a state body of the North Macedonia. It acts independently from both the executive and the Ministry of Defence, and its audits are firstly submitted to the state body in question, and then to the Parliament [1]. The SAO proposes its own budget (prepared within the annual limits according to the determined fiscal strategy of the Ministry of Finance) which is then approved by Parliament [2]. Some analysts questioned the SAO’s financial independence, doubting that this body had the necessary resources to conduct a full financial audit and to align all envisaged audits for the respective year by itself. As a result, details of the implementation of audits are completed over several years. In addition to this, the SAO’s lack of legal ability to penalise institutions that fail to implement the recommendations from the state auditor was raised [3].

The process is transparent and reports on the audits carried out are published on the websites of the Sate Audit Office [1] and that of the Ministry of Defence [2]. The reports contain findings, description of main evidences and recommendations. They do not contain detailed evidences, as oral briefings. Moreover, when comparing summary with the published content, we may conclude that some parts of the reports are not published. Only financial and compliance audits are carried out; performance audits are lacking. For 2013, the State Audit Office’s audit of the Ministry of Defence reviewed three accounts, the first two dealing with the basic Ministry of Defence Budget (including balance of income and expenses, review of accounting policies and clarifying remarks for the financial report) [3; 4], and the third dealing with self-financing activities [5]. Based on all three reviews, the State Audit Office report provides an integrated review of findings on the named activities, as well as short review of the previous (2011) audit with recommendations.

The Law on State Audit stipulates that the audited body is obliged to inform the State Audit Office (SAO) and its supervising body of any measures which may arise from the findings and recommendations in the audit reports, within 90 days of receipt of the final report [1]. Under the direction of a high official from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry is obliged to act upon the findings and recommendations of the SAO. Hence, the Department of Finance within the Ministry of Defence submits the findings from the external audit to the organisational units/departments to which those findings and recommendations refer, and develops an Action Plan based on these findings and recommendations [2]. However, details were not shared regarding the relevant Action Plans; nor does the SAO website does not contain any information or reports on the actions taken by the Ministry of Defence regarding SAO findings. [3]. Chapters on implementation of previous recommendations in SAO reports are excluded from published versions. Furthermore, no related public evidence (media reports, analyses etc.) can be found on the topic.

External audit is undertaken by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The OAG is responsible for auditing central government accounts; carrying out systematic performance audits of the finances, productivity, achievement of goals and effects based on parliamentary decisions; monitoring the management of the state’s proprietary interests in companies; contributing to the prevention and detection of irregularities and errors; and advising in order to prevent future errors and omissions. The OAG has chosen to use INTOSAI’s international framework and standards for public auditing as the foundation for its activities [1]. In addition to the annual audits of military defence spending, the OAG has conducted 6 in-depth investigations of the defence sector in the recent years:
• Management of assets and buildings within the defence sector, published 17 January 2017;
• The Royal Norwegian Navy frigates’ operational capacity, published 7 February 2017;
• Investigation of the sale of the F-5 fighters by the Norwegian Army, published 2 May 2017;
• The Police and Armed Forces building security, published 5 June 2018;
• The procurement of the NH90 maritime helicopters and their implementation for the Norwegian Army, published 25 October 2018;
• The premises for the fighters’ operational capacity in the transition to F-35, published 7 May 2019 [2]. Moreover, there are 3 investigations in progress:
• The authorities’ export control of defence-related products, forthcoming in November 2020;
• Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation’s capacity to undergird the Armed Forces, forthcoming in December 2020;
• Command and control information systems of the Armed Forces, forthcoming in April 2021 [3].

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) is an audit agency directly subordinate to the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting) and is formally independent of the Government. A 5-member board leads the OAG. Each member has the title of Auditor General and is selected by the Norwegian Parliament. Parliament selects the members of the Board every 4 years. Parliament can also instruct the OAG to initiate special audits [4]. The Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs is responsible for reviewing reports from the Office of the Auditor General [2]. The OAG’s 5-member board puts forward its own budget proposal directly to the Parliament [1]. The OAG’s recent budget has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AS, which was appointed by the presidency of the Parliament [3]. The lack of adequate funding has never been raised and has not been part of any discussion administratively or politically during the last few decades [4].

The OAG reports on the annual audits of military defence spending are made available to the public within 10-11 months of the end of the budget year. The reports are comprehensive and include analysis on audited accounts, the OAG’s advice and investigative work [1]. They are accompanied by oral briefings and a concise summary [2, 3]. Some reports from in-depth investigations of the defence sector are classified in accordance with the National Security Act.

In its audits, the OAG evaluates whether earlier findings have been taken into account. The previous GDI noted that the OAG saw no evidence that its recommendations for the defence sector had been acted upon. In 2016 the OAG saw, however, a gradual improvement, especially within the SAP system for accounting, payroll and material management [1]. In the 2018 audit the OAG, while recognising work to address audit findings, highlighted that the Armed Forces accounts contained serious errors for the third subsequent year. While emphasising that most of the errors in the financial reports from the defence sector were corrected, the OAG concluded that they had found serious failures with the accounts of the Armed Forces, the Defence Research Establishment and the Parliamentary Ombudsman for the Armed Forces [2]. One of the main issues taken up by the OAG concerned the Ministry of Defence’s wrong interpretation of VAT regulation. Another issue criticised by the OAG since 2016 has to do with the separation between the Armed Forces and the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA), which formally took place on 1 January 2016. NDMA is now directly subordinate to the Ministry of Defence. In 2016 the Armed Forces and the NDMA received disclaimers of opinion. This was strongly criticised by the Standing Committee for Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs [3]. In 2018, despite some weaknesses, the OAG acknowledged that both agencies had made sincere efforts to improve the situation and that their financial reports had greatly improved. In 2018 the Armed Forces or the NDMA accounts were fully separated for the first time, and while the Armed Forces received a qualified opinion, the NDMA got an unmodified opinion. To conclude, the ministry addresses audit findings in its practices, but not always in a systematic way.

There is no external audit scrutinizing defence ministry expenditure. The State Audit Institute’s work is not inclusive of the defence ministry, and no reference is made to defence on the official website (1). The Association of Chartered Certificated Accountants and Grant Thornton consultancy focus upon strengthening auditing in the business sector (2), (3). However, their reports highlight “the need for more consolidated reporting was also cited, with a greater emphasis needed on building key relationships and links with governmental bodies and agencies to reduce the regulatory burden that businesses currently face” (2). There were no media reports found on external auditing of defence ministry expenditure, which reflects the wider trend of scarce reporting on defence (4), (5).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no evidence of an external audit of defence ministry expenditures in Oman.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no evidence of an external audit of defence ministry expenditures in Oman.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no evidence of an external audit of defence ministry expenditures in Oman.

The external audit unit has the mandate to review the national forces but does not do so regularly or in detail. There may be regular deviations from formalized processes because of political influence (1).

The external audit unit is independent of the National Forces, but reports to the executive. The budget of the external audit is linked to the executive; therefore, the executive can influence their decisions. The budget is always open and can change as there is no legislative branch to discuss and legalize any budget. It can be altered anytime by the executive. Furthermore, the external audits are not protected by law, which put them in fragile situations sometimes where the corruption occur on a powerful level (1).

Reports are rarely found on the internet or are available for journalists or CSOs (1). Policy briefs and news outlets can be found on AlShabaka when discussing the security Apparatus in Palestine in general (2). Some news websites have written a few pieces in the last five years (3).

As the reports are not published, and no one follows up with recommendations security agencies and national forces do not alter their policies or practices (1). Recommendations and reports are regularly ignored (1), (2).

External auditing is primarily done by the Commission on Audit (COA) [1, 2]. Based on the 1978 State Audit Code of the Philippines, the COA must perform compliance, financial and performance or value-for-money (VFM) audits of funds utilized by government agencies including the defense sector [3]. The COA regularly carries out compliance and financial audits but there has been little focus on performance audits. Currently, a lawmaker is pushing for for the 41-year-old state audit code to be updated and upgraded [4]. Meanwhile the COA, in accordance with its Strategic Plan 2016-2022, created in August 2017 the Performance Audit Office (PAO) [5]. Since its establishment, the PAO has only conducted pilot performance audits on selected priority programmes or projects of the government [5]. The Defence Department has not yet been included in the pilot audits.

In terms of defining the scope and methods of its auditing and examination procedures, the COA has exclusive authority, although it does have to submit an annual report to the executive and legislature [1]. The commission enjoys fiscal autonomy and its annual appropriations are approved automatically and regulary released as spelt out in the Constitution [2]. The COA Chair and Commissioners are appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments [3], whose members are confined to members of Congress [4]. On many occasions, the President has made verbal threats against the state auditors [5] and undermined the COA’s authority despite its mandate [6].

Once released by the COA, the Annual Audit Report is published online. However the report excludes the working papers used to produce audit reports as these constitute confidential information. This being said, published audit information is comprehensive and categorised into government agencies and includes an analysis of the Defence Department’s audited accounts as well as observations and recommendations [1]. When the report is release, the media repeatedly does a good job of reporting and highlighting information related to irregularities in spending [2, 3, 4].

According to a transmittal letter addressed to the Defence Secretary by the COA in April 2018, six out of 41 of the 2017 recommendations had only been partially implemented [1]. According to the 2019 COA report, 57 out of 67 of the 2018 recommendations had been fully implemented [2]. Whether or not audit findings are addressed is up to the defence committees in Congress [3].

The Supreme Audit Office is tasked with budgetary and efficiency auditing of the national and local government programmes and institutions, including the defence sector [1]. It conducts an in-depth annual budget review of the defence sector which primarily focuses on financial and legal issues [2, 3]. Furthermore, the SAO conducts performance audits which include defence sector (three audits in 2018, two in 2017, two in 2016) [4] assessing the efficiency and highlighting potential areas for improvement.

The Supreme Audit Office is an independent institution, with its president being elected by the Lower Chamber of the parliament (with the approval of the Upper Chamber) for a 6-year term [3]. He/she may be dismissed by the parliament or State Tribunal only in exceptional cases, such as court conviction [1].
The draft budget of the office is elaborated autonomously by itself and included in the draft state budget without the interference of executive [1]. The approved budget is usually consistent with the draft and stable during the fiscal year. In 2017 it was smaller by 1% and in 2016 by 3% smaller then the proposed drafts and no amendments were introduced after its approval [4, 5].
In 2016 the current president of the office, after required prior approval of the parliament, was formally charged with abuse of power in appointments to management positions in the office [6]. The trial started in 2018 [7], no verdict has been announced. This type of investigation and trial may negatively influence the independence of the president.

Information from audits of the Supreme Audit Office is available to the public, except for the information that requires a national security classification [1, 2]. The chamber’s audit reports contain assessments and main findings accompanied by justifications, which may include fragments from collected data, oral briefings, documents, etc. Information on annual budget audits is usually published in June [3], the other information is published a few months after the end of the audit [4]. This period includes a timeframe for appeals and the elaboration of global results.

The ministry sometimes addresses audit findings in its practices, but not regularly. Every ministry, including the MoND, addresses audit findings at least twice a year. First, when it is obliged to inform the chamber how it is going to implement recommendations, and second, when it informs the chamber on the actual implementation of recommendations a year later, during the following budgetary audit.
There are cases when MoND disagrees with the Supreme Audit Office’s evaluation. An example of this is the spending of 527 million PLN (USD 142 million) by the MoND on the purchase of VIP transport aircraft. The chamber did not consider this a defence expenditure [1, 2]. Ministries are not obliged to implement every recommendation suggested by the audit chamber. However, in such cases, they are obliged to address the recommendation and justify their disagreement.

As the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), the Court of Accounts (CA) has the mandate to audit defence institutions. Its audit activities regarding defence institutions are regular [1, 2, 3], but its reports assess performance only in a very superficial, compliance-oriented way.

An independent review found the CA operates independently from political constraints [1, 2, 3], and there is substantial evidence the CA operating and performing its duties as shown via the extent of public agencies and processes audited throughout a given year [4]. The CA’s budget is determined in the State Budget and is not subject to alterations during the fiscal year.

There is extensive evidence of transparent reporting by the CA across multiple years, but supplementary materials (supporting documents, documentation on investigative work) is not available [1, 2, 3, 4]. The CA does not provide non-redacted documents nor transcripts of any oral testimony, but its reports are published in full, albeit in a timeframe that may be seen as less than reasonable.

There is evidence that the CA finds some of its previous recommendations either untried or disregarded in the defence sector. The two most recent audit reports on the Military Planning Act suggest ongoing disregard of CA recommendations dating to 2009 [1, 2], and two recent audits suggest disregard of the CA (and the Inspectorate-General of National Defence (IGND)) recommendations in the Armed Forces Social Support Institute [3] and the Military Hospital [4].

Research has revealed that there are external bodies that could potentially be mandated with auditing military and defence in Qatar, such as the State’s Audit Bureau and the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority (ACTA) [1,2,3,4]. However, ACTA has no mandate over the MoD and the armed forces. According to our sources, there is no law that gives ACTA the capacity and authority to audit military and defence expenditures, which leave the military and defence expenditures without any external auditing body [1].

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no external audit of defence ministry expenditure, and external audit bodies do not have the formal rights to audit the defence sector. [1,2,3].

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no external audit of defence ministry expenditure, and external audit bodies do not have the formal rights to audit the defence sector at all [1,2,3].

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no external audit of defence ministry expenditure, and external audit bodies do not have the formal rights to audit the defence sector at all [1,2,3].

The Accounts Chamber has a wide range of power to conduct financial and performance audits. Besides forwarding orders to the MoD itself to alleviate misconduct, the Accounts Chamber can send information letters to the president, the government and the Prosecutor’s Office; following the Chamber’s audits, the MoD personnel receive warnings and administrative offence reports. Also, the results of Chamber’s audits initiate revisions of federal laws [1,2]. As a result of the 2018 audit, for example, four appeals to law enforcement were sent, three criminal cases were launched, and 18 submissions were sent to the prosecutor to eliminate the violations [2].

According to Interviewee 1, the Chamber is formally the most powerful external institution of MoD oversight. And it was very effective in auditing the defence expenditure five to six years ago. Since then, however, it has lost its power to monitor and influence decisions regarding the defence budget. Interviewee 1 explains this as being due to the increased level of secrecy of the defence budget and policy [3].

The Accounts Chamber is an independent external audit agency. Its head, however, is appointed after the president approves the candidates proposed by the State Duma [1]. It reports its findings to the legislative and the executive branches [2]. Its budget is set within the scope of the federal law on the annual federal budget and may only be altered with the approval of parliament and only while the budget is being settled [3].

The Accounts Chamber conducts an annual audit of military expenditure and publishes the findings on its website. When it comes to the MoD, there is only general information provided, with most of the details regarding violations being classified [1].

Following the two latest reports from the Account Chamber, it seems the MoD addresses the findings on a regular basis, though not in full.
As mentioned in the previous sub-question, in 2017, the Accounts Chamber reported that it forwarded a total of 40 orders, and only 18 of them were complied with by the Ministry [1].

In 2018, the Accounts Chamber forwarded 11 inquiries to the MoD, only 4 of which were answered [2]. The Accounts Chamber issued commentaries about 16 MoD projects, but only 10 of them were amended accordingly [2]. There is no public information providing details of how the MoD addressed the orders either in 2017 or 2018.

The General Auditing Bureau (GAB) is responsible for auditing the state’s revenues, expenditures and assets, and technically has purview over all ministries and government departments. According to its charter, this includes the auditing of military sector accounts (1). According to our sources, audits are not carried out rigorously and diligently. Given the tight control exercised over the Ministry of Defence by its head, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (2), external audits of military expenditure would likely be highly superficial, if they take place at all (3), (4).

According to a Gulf scholar who focuses on the political economy of the GCC, “external auditing is not something I would expect in any case” in Saudi defence expenditure (5).

This sub-indicator is marked as Not Applicable as there is little to no external audit of defence ministry expenditure.

According to our sources, there are no external audits with a focus on the defense sector. Therefore, this sub-indicator is irrelevant (1), (2).

This sub-indicator is marked as Not Applicable as there is little to no external audit of defence ministry expenditure.

According to our sources, there are no external audits with a focus on the defense sector. Therefore, this sub-indicator is irrelevant (1), (2).

This sub-indicator is marked as Not Applicable as there is little to no external audit of defence ministry expenditure.

According to our sources, there are no external audits with a focus on the defense sector. Therefore, this sub-indicator is irrelevant (1), (2).

The State Audit Institution (SAI) is in charge of external auditing of the military defence expenditure since the MoD is one of the direct budget beneficiaries [1]. Nevertheless, the MoD’s financial report for 2012 is the last one reviewed by SAI. In 2017, the SAI audited the financial report of the BIA for 2016 [2]. The SAI publishes annual balance sheet audit reports; however, these reports show only cumulative data on all the state budget beneficiaries, including the MoD. The SAI also conducts specific performance audits which include the MoD, however, these controls have not dealt with the MoD’s expenditures so far. However, inactivity of the SAI in overseeing defence institutions can be connected to the lack of internal capacity to smoothly perform its duties. Namely, the SAI employs around 300 people, whereas there are 11,000 audit subjects [3 [4]..

The SAI is an independent and autonomous oversight body. Its council consists of five members elected and dismissed by the National Assembly [1]. There is no clear evidence of direct political influence on the SAI; however, the space for misuse exists, for instance, due to the Governments’ final word on its budget. The SAI’s operating funds are provided from the state budget within a special line, approved by the National Assembly and eventually, the Ministry of Finance [1].
However, undue political influence can be observed in other trends which indicate how legal provision and mechanisms can be circumvented. For instance in 2018, the President of the SAI fired four experienced state auditors under unclear circumstances in a very short period [2].

The State Audit Institution publishes both regular and special reports on its website in a transparent and timely manner [1]. The SAI’s annual reports publication is followed by public presentations of the main findings on the irregularities and recommendations for auditees in the preceding year [2]. Besides submitting the reports to the National Assembly, and eventually Ministry of Finance, the SAI also briefs the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending each year on the key conclusions from the annual report [3].

The SAI conducted an audit report for MoD for 2018 [1] and made three recommendations that are classified as medium priority. The MoD acted on all three recommendations and made changes in its bookkeeping according to the SAI suggestions [1, 2].

The Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) internal audits are complemented by external oversight by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO), which conducts independent annual audits of MINDEF/SAF expenditure and submits reports to the Parliament. The AGO is an independent organisation that is constitutionally established, and there has been no evidence of it being prejudiced in its audits [1]. The Parliament also has a permanent Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which scrutinizes all government expenditure. The findings are largely transparent and published on government websites [2]. The findings of the AGO and PAC can lead to criminal investigations as well as disciplinary measures. Besides internal mechanisms, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) also performs independent investigations of any irregularities and makes public its findings [3]. However, these organisations focus on financial audits as opposed to performance, which is done internally by the MINDEF.

The AGO’s independence is enshrined in the Constitution. [1] There has been no evidence of it being partial in its audits, although Auditor-General is appointed by the President.
The auditor-general submits the Report of the auditor-general to the president, which provides an account of all audits conducted including all the significant findings. The report is published annually and is publicly accessible [3].
Government expenditure is also examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament, which makes its reports available to the public [2]. Funding for these independent organisations is also clearly separated and guaranteed [5].

There is no evidence that external audit reports of general MINDEF expenditure have been made available to the public via the government or independent oversight bodies like the AGO [1]. However, information on some thematic audits are published. For example, public Report of the Auditor-General for Financial Year 2018/19 contains information on two audits of MINDEF, namely on IT vendors which were granted unrestricted read-access to MINDEF personnel and payroll information and on lapses on processing of flying allowances paid to RSAF pilots. [2]

Formally, the MINDEF Audit and Risk Committee, chaired by Permanent Secretary (Defence Development), monitors performance of audit findings. In addition, the Auditor-General’s Office and the Public Accounts Committee regularly seek updates from MINDEF on the progress of these measures until the corrective measures are followed through.[4].
Actually, there is evidence to suggest that the MINDEF acknowledges and performs remedial action on irregularities found by external agencies such as the AGO [1, 2]. As noted in the AGO’s latest 2018/2019 report, the MINDEF has recognised and addressed several shortcomings in its IT access and overpayments [2]. While there has been a public acknowledgement by the MINDEF on lapses, it does not publicly publish available reports to prove that the AGO recommendations have been implemented [3].

The auditor-general (AG) conducts an annual audit of the Department of Defence (DoD), in accordance with the  Public Finance Management Act of South Africa, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) [1]. The auditor-general is empowered through Section 188 of the Constitution, which further stipulates that AG reports be made publicly available, and made available to interested legislature actors and legislatively-supported authorities [2]. While the auditor-general is further empowered to conduct performance audits, these are performed on an ad hoc basis [3].

The AG is wholly independent from the Defence Ministry. The AG is overseen by the Standing Committee on Auditor-General (SCoAG) which is empowered by Section 4 and Section 10(3) of the Public Audit Act [1].

“The Committee has a constitutional requirement to protect the independence, impartiality and effectiveness of the AG. It must provide advice to the National Assembly, provide an opinion on the appointment of the DAG and offer an opinion on regulations. The Committee provides general oversight in accordance with the Constitution, considering the performance of the AG’s Office including the annual report, financial statements and the audit report on these statements. It must also consider budget and audit related matters” [3].

The AG’s audit findings are published as part of the annual Department of Defence Report. They are then submitted to the National Assembly through the SCoAG. Those findings are further examined by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) [1]. It is not conclusively known, however, whether this process is carried out in a sufficiently timely fashion.

The auditor-general has repeatedly issued qualified audits to the Department of Defence, citing a range of financial oversight and reporting failures [1, 2, 3]. These failures have, for the most part, not been remedied, indicating a lack of consequences arising from AG findings.

Two external auditing systems exist to oversee military defence expenditure. The National Defence Committee at the National Assembly is responsible for reviewing the military defence spending on an annual basis. [1] The Board of Audit and Investigation of Korea (BAI) is established by the constitution and law and oversees its spending. The BAI conducts an annual review on expenditures by the State, including the defence spending. [2] Both auditing systems have a mandate to conduct both financial audits and performance audits. [1] [2]

The Board of Audit and Investigation of Korea (BAI) is an independent constitutional institution and has its own budget passed by parliament. Article 2 of the Board of Audit and Inspection Act states that its budget should be respected to the maximum extent, ensuring the budgetary independence of the BAI. [1] However, it is questionable whether the BAI is completely independent of political influence. There has been criticism questioning the neutrality and independence of the BAI. One media report stated that the BAI has not actively investigated potential crime in government agencies. [2] Another case related to the investigation into a helicopter shows that the BAI was politically influenced. The helicopter, known as Surion, was manufactured by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), a state-funded aircraft manufacturer. The BAI was accused of hiding the technical flaws of the helicopter intentionally during the Park administration because the previous government favoured the KAI, according to the ruling party lawmakers. [3]

The audit reports published by the National Defence Committee and the BAI are made publicly online via Bill Information, a website run by the National Assembly(1). The report by the National Defence Committee includes information on annual military spending with comments made by members of the committee. The audit report conducted by the BAI is also available online via Bill Information. Both reports on reviewing the 2017 government spending are uploaded on the website within a reasonable timeline. Both reports were uploaded in May and August 2018, respectively. While the s report for the 2018 government spending was uploaded already, the Committee’s report is expected to be available in late August in 2019 (1). However, oral briefings are rarely given, and both reports do not include expert advice, which may help non-experts understand audit reports.

There is limited information that shows the ministry’s efforts to reflect audit findings in practice. While the “2015 Report on the Result of Settlement Audit” published in 2018 explains how each ministry addresses findings in its practices, it lacks details. The only information available in the published report is the MND’s mitigation process for conflict between the government and local residents in Jeju Island. [1]

By law, the Defence Ministry, like all other government departments, is subject to an audit by the Auditor General. [1] However, as cited above, there have been past incidences in which the Ministry of Defence failed or refused to provide the information required by the Auditor General. [2] Furthermore, there have been no audit reports of government business that have been made public since 2008 to enable any insight into this issue. [3]

The Auditor General is undermined, as shown by the refusal of the Ministry to disclose its spending to the last time audit reports were made public in 2012. [1] Futhermore, the Audit Chamber itself suffers from a serious backlog because of lack of resources, key among them lack of a secure funding stream authorised by the National Legislative Assembly. [2] Given that the last audit report was released in 2012 (of the financial year 2008), it would seem that scrutiny has been undermined to the extent that it is non-existent.

External audits of all government departments, including defence, by the Auditor General were published in a timely fashion when the audit reports were being released in 2008. [1] In this regard, audits for the financial years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are available online. The 2008 audit was released in 2012. Since then, no audits have been released to the public.

There has been no external audit released to the public since 2012 to enable an understanding of the actions taken by the Defence Ministry in response to the recommendations of the Auditor General. [1] For instance, the Auditor General established in the 2008 audit (the last to be made public, in 2012) that the army failed to adhere to budget implementation procedures, violated South Sudanese transparency laws, and lacked robust financial controls. The report determined that there was a profound lack of internal controls, for instance. [2] Due to the lack of recent audit data, this indicator has been marked ‘Not Enough Information’.

The Court of Accounts is the external auditing of military defence expenditure, as per its supervisory function established in Articles 2.a), 9 and 21.3.a) of Organic Law 2/1982 [1], and in accordance with the provisions of Articles 12 and 14 of the same and concordant provision of Law 7/1988 [2] on the Functioning of the Court of Accounts. However, there has been just one relevant audit report since 2015 related to the Ministry of Defence expenditure, comprising some of the military budget allocated in other ministries [3].

The Court of Accounts is a body that reports directly to Parliament and exercises its functions through the examination and verification of the General Account of the State, and whose budget is integrated into the General State Budgets [1]. Nevertheless, there are suspicions of executive power control about hiring processes of a relevant percentage of its members, with the fear that this compromises its independence, which is key for an auditing body [2].

External audit reports of military expenditure are very rarely made available to the public. The last publicly available analysis in depth of the Court of Auditing date from 2016, and refer to the use of extraordinary credits to finance the acquisition of weapons by Ministry of Defence, and include information about costs and procedures of arms acquisitions rare to find in other military reports [1]. However, it has significant redactions. There is no evidence of other reports since, but they can be provided upon request.

The Constitutional Court has obliged the Ministry of Defence to stop using extra-budgetary credits for armament acquisitions, which has been followed by the Court of Accounts [1, 2]. Ministry of Defence follows the Court of Accounts recommendations, as is the case of the sentence from the Constitutional Court related to the extraordinary credits to finance the acquisition of the forementioned armaments [3]. On the other hand, there is a reccommendation from the Court of Accounts about the inclusion of credits in the initial budget related to miltary operation that has not yet been incorporated into the budget, as highlighted by defence experts [4]. As stated by experts [5, 6, 7], even though audit recommendations must be applied by Ministry of Defence systematically, this case demonstrates that it does not always do so.

Sudan has a National Audit Chamber but it is subject to political influence, according to a report conducted for Transparency International in 2017 [1]. Sudan’s supreme audit institution is under-resourced and does not share reports with the public, and an internet search produced no evidence that it has ever audited Ministry of Defence expenditure (or the far greater discretionary expenditure made by former President Bashir and his agents in the formal or largely informal areas of the defence and security sector). Global Integrity’s 2020 Integrity Index for Sudan scored Sudan zero against each of the following statements: a) In practice, the independence of the supreme audit institution is guaranteed; b) In practice, appointments to the supreme audit institution support the independence of the agency; c) In practice, the supreme audit agency releases frequent reports that are accessible to citizens [2]. However, none of these scores are even specific to the defence and security sectors; defence and security activities are notoriously even more shrouded in secrecy than other areas of government. As of 2020, the website for Sudan’s National Audit Chamber contained no reference to the defence and security sector or to relevant bodies or military-owned businesses [3]. In a phone interview, an expert on Sudan’s national security sector confirmed that Sudan’s security sector actors do not submit their activities for audit, as such a large proportion of their activities are conducted with revenue they acquire without the visibility of central government offices [4].

Sudan has a National Audit Chamber and Auditor General, but it does not review military expenditure [1]. As such, this indicator is marked Not Applicable. As of 2020, the website for Sudan’s National Audit Chamber contained no reference to the defence and security sector or to relevant bodies or military-owned businesses [2].

As there is no external auditing of military expenditure, this indicator is marked Not Applicable. No reference to reports from audits of Sudan’s military defence expenditure could be found on the websites of Sudan’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence (which is non-operational) or National Audit Chamber [1,2,3]. An independent review of Sudan’s audit processes found that audit reports are currently not made available online by the National Audit Chamber [4].

As there is no external auditing of defence expenditure, this indicator is marked Not Applicable. After reviewing the website of the National Audit Chamber [1] and the International Budget Partnership’s 2019 report on Sudan’s auditing procedures [2], no evidence could be found that the Ministry of Defence has been presented with audit findings in recent years.

The National Audit Office (NAO) is the external auditor responsible for reviewing ‘the whole chain of executive power’ [1], including the defence sector and all military expenditures. The parliament appoints chief auditors responsible for reviewing different areas of the public sector on behalf of the NAO. Since 2017, the chief auditer for ‘defence and crisis management’ has been Helena Lindberg, and her unit at the NAO investigates all agencies and institutions within this sector. These are listed on their website [2], and include the Swedish Armed Forces, Defence Materiel Administration Agency, Defence Research Institute, National Defence Radio Establishment, Civil Contingencies Agency, Security Services, and others. The NAO then regularly audits these agencies’ organisations, operations, and spending in a formal, in-depth process. Both financial audits and performance audits (value for money) of defence spending are conducted.

The NAO is independent of the executive, and its formal rights are protected by the constitution (Chapter 13 §7-9) and two additional laws on state auditing (2002:1022 & 2002:1023) [1]. It has its own budget (e.g. passed by parliament rather than government), and there are legal protections in place for this budget not to be altered during the budget year [2].

NAO reports are published online proactively and within a reasonable timeline. Defence agencies’ annual reports and budgets are typically audited for 3-4 months before the results are published online. Between 3-6 NAO reports are published each year. These, however, do typically not include specific details on e.g. audited accounts, expert advice, oral briefings, or other aspects of the investigative work, but serve more as brief summaries of findings and recomendations [1]. Being classified as public information, it is however possible to request additional details regarding NAO investigations, according to the Principle of Public Access to Official Documents [2].

The government, MoD, and defence agencies regularly address audit findings. During the studied time period, NAO have published a review of the MoD and SAF which concerned the regional organistion and planning of national defence [1]. The report was subsquently debated in parliament, responded to by the government through a formal missive [2], and then discussed again by the Defence Committee [3]. In cases when NAO review and issue recommendations to specific agencies under the MoD, changes in practice are regularly implemented and then outlined in the agencies’ annual reports the following year [4] [5] [6].

There is the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) that audits and publishes reports on a specific aspect of the processes within the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). The SFAO is “assigned to the Federal Department of Finance, but is not subordinate to it” [1]. The responsibilities and criteria for auditing are defined in articles 5, 6 and 7 of the Federal Audit Act. Article 6 specifically lists (among others) the following responsibilities: “a. It examines all finances at all stages of implementing the budget and carries out audits by means of spot checks before any commitments are made. b. It reviews the preparation of the state financial statements. c. It monitors how the administrative units control their credits and checks the management of guarantee credits. d. It examines the internal control systems. e. It uses spot checks to examine the payment orders issued by the administrative units.” f. It is responsible for auditing the administrative units, including accounting and holdings. g. It checks whether monopoly prices are appropriate within the framework of federal procurement.” [2]. The Director of the SFAO has full autonomy on staffing. Its budget is “advised by the parliament without the Federal Council getting involved”. [3]

Article 1.1 of the Federal Audit Act states that the SFAO is “bound only by the Federal Constitution and the law” and Article 1.2 that it is “independent and autonomous.” The director of the SFAO is elected by the Federal Council for six years and has to be confirmed by the Federal Assembly (Article 2.2). The person holding the position can only be removed before the end of the term for “serious breach of his or her official duties,” and this needs to be done in consultation with the parliamentary Financial Committee (Article 2.2). The director has full autonomy in staffing (Article 2.1) [1]. The budget is “advised by the Parliament without the Federal Council getting involved” [2]. Technically the SFAO has to submit the budget to the government which is required by law to pass it on to Parliament unaltered (Article 2 Federal Audit Act). [1]. There is no provision that would allow the Parliament to alter that budget during the year (Article 25 of the Parliament Act) [3].

The SFAO has to draft a report on each audit it has completed and submit it to the finance delegation (Article 14.1). The office can publish that report once the finance delegation has dealt with it (Article 14.2). The SFAO has to provide the Finance Delegation of the Federal Assembly with an annual report. This report has to be published (Article 14.3) [1]. Not all specific reports are published. However, they are generally covered by the Freedom of Information Act [2]. According to the SFAO’s annual report 2019, the SFAO published about 40 reports per year during the period covered by this assessment, which is about four times as much as in previous years [3]. How many of these covered the DDPS is not clear from the annual report. There are currently 11 reports and follow-up reports available for the DDPS (four for 2017, two for 2018 and 2019 each and three for 2020) [4].

The audited institutions and departments are required by law to report to the Finance Delegation of the Federal Assembly on the implementation of the recommendations related to audits classified as important by the SFAO (Article 14.2bis). The SFAO will inform the minister if its recommendations are not implemented (Article 14.3). It can even act proactively before the end of a deadline if it judges that the necessary implementation will not take place in the given time frame (Article 14.3bis) [1]. The SFAO does follow-up reports, some of the published, on previous audits [2]. The SFAO in their annual report lists the still open recommendations within the negotiated deadlines [3]

According to laws and regulations, the external audit units of Executive Yuan’s Directorate-General of budget, Accounting, and Statistics; Legislative Yuan’s (LY) Budget Centre; and Control Yuan’s (CY) National Audit Office all have the mandate to review the defence sector and regularly audit military defence spending via formal, in-depth processes [1].

Executive Yuan’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics mainly focuses on financial audits [2] CY’s National Audit Office focuses quantitatively on both financial and performance audits [3]. LY’s Budget Centre mainly focuses qualitatively on performance and financial audits [4].

Budgets of both Control Yuan’s National Audit Office and Legislative Yuan’s Budget Centre are categorised as the parliamentary or congressional budgets which are independent from government budgets compiled by the Executive Yuan.1

The Annual Audit Reports of the government are compiled and published openly by CY’s National Audit Office on an annual basis [1, 2]. Under the “Freedom of Government Information Law”, the Government Audit Annual Report released by the NAO includes audit performance summary, government annual financial statement auditing, and important auditing opinions. [7]
Other NAO publications include investigative and research reports, and statistics of audit works. Moreover, the NAO is equipped with statutory authority to audit and review the performance of classified national defence and security cases. There were 5 classified cases audited by the NAO in 2018 and 2 classified cases audited by the NAO in 2019. [8]
Study or research on specific issues or agendas may be conducted by CY or LY. The reports may be released in summary format to the public [3, 4]. The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) of Executive Yuan also possesses the executive authority to supervise and scrutinise the defence expenditure proposed by the Ministry of National Defence [5]. External audit reports are compiled by CY’s National Audit Office and published online by the MND [2]. However, there are still budgets and information under the governance of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act” which the public are not made aware of [6].

Audit reports compiled by CY’s National Audit Office and the Report of Budgetary, Accounting, and Statistics issued by Executive Yuan’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics have legal and executive authority for the MND’s future budget compilations [1, 2]. Study and research reports released by the Control Yuan or the LY are often employed by the MND as guidance on how to improve its practices [3, 4]. Integration of different supervisory and governing authorities among the Executive Yuan, LY, and the CY are designed to serve as different check-valves to safeguard the quality of Taiwan’s military defence expenditure [5]. The MND has to address audit findings by LY and Executive Yuan (LY especially) in its practices in order to gain political support and to secure future defence budgets [5].

There is an external audit unit which has the mandate to review the defence sector. The unit is the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and conducts both financial and performance audits. However, it has yet to conduct a performance audit in the defence or security sectors. The unit is independent from military force and has the constitutional right to conduct an annual audit of government expenditures and its associated institutions. CAG reviews and audits military force expenditures annually after receiving the internal audit report from the office of the Chief Inspection General and Comptroller General of military force. Section 143, subsections 1 and 2 (a – c) of the United Republic of Tanzania Constitution provide that mandate to the office of CAG. [1]

On the practical side, the office of CAG has been performing this constitutional responsibility annually across all sectors of the government including the Ministry of Defence and National Service and the military force. For example, the annual audit report for the financial year 2018/2019, schedule 58, page 173 shows audited central government institutions, particularly in defence, which procured different services without having contracts. [2]

The office of the CAG is constitutionally independent of the executive in reference to section 143 (6). The stated section of the constitution goes together with sub article 28[1] of the Public Finance Act which states that, “all officers and employees in the Office and any other persons authorized by the Comptroller and Auditor-General to perform any functions under this Act shall be under his control and direction and shall perform those functions without fear, favor or prejudice; and no person or authority shall interfere with or exert undue influence on them while they exercise their powers or they performance their professional functions”. [2]

Apart from that, the CAG office has its own budget that is presented before parliament by the Minister of Finance. [1] There are legal protections in place to ensure that the funds of this office are not altered during the implementation of the budget year. The legal framework is set forth in the Public Finance Act of 2001, part VI concerning funds for the Comptroller and Auditor General. This part explicitly sets out legal mechanisms that protect the budget of the CAG office in any financial year and ensure full allocation of the proposed budget (sub article 39 [1] (a – d)). [2]

Furthermore, according to a senior officer in the government treasurer office, the CAG office receives the fund in accordance with the approved budget by the parliament. [3]

External audit reports are submitted to parliament in line with the Public Audit Act 2008. [1] In practice, they are made available online very soon after. However, information regarding the defence and security sectors is very limited. For example, there are only 6 references to the Tanzania People’s Defence Force in the report for the year ending June 30, 2020, none of which are substantial. [2]

According to a senior officer in the Defence Ministry, sometimes auditing findings are taken into account by resolving the weaknesses identified in the report and providing a report in the next budget of the defence ministry. [1] However, the 2018/2019 report did not answer some of the queries raised from the same annual government audit report. [2]

According to the the Internal Audit Policy of the Thai Ministry of Defence 2010, the Comptroller General’s Department under the Ministry of Finance allows the Ministry of Defence expenditure to be solely subject to internal audit [1]. Nonetheless, as demonstrated in the letter from the State Audit Office of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, the office has the responsibility and authority to audit the Ministry of Defence expenditure fiscal year 2019 in accordance with the Organic Act on State Audit 2018. Therefore, the ministry must annually submit a summary of its spending, justifications of spending and significant policies related to its finance to the office for further external audit; however, the audit office does not conduct performance and compliance audits [2]. That is to say, only the summary is available to the public. In addition, the Office of Financial and Procurement Audit, Second Branch, under the State Audit Office is specifically tasked with and responsible for auditing the Ministry of Defence expenditure and its compliance with the State Audit Policy and the State Fiscal and Financial Disciplines Act 2018 [3]. According to Interviewee 1, a political scientist, there are parliamentary committees. However, in reality, parliamentarians lack either the expertise, willingness or cooperation from defence officials to effectively monitor and obtain information about defence corruption [4].

According to the Audit Council Act 1933, Thailand established the Audit Council (later called the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand or the State Audit Office) as an institution responsible for financial government audits. Formally, this institution is financially and legally independent from other executive powers and fully responsible for setting its own direction and scope of audit without interference [1]. The State Audit Office has the power to audit the accounts of individual public employees, including military and police officials. Still, the military has separate funding sources such as slush funds and military-controlled enterprises, which cannot be directly overseen by the office [2].

Moreover, the FFP leader disclosed that the Financial and Fiscal Discipline Act of 2018, passed by the NCPO, provides a loophole for the Ministry of Defence to seek an exemption from the Ministry of Finance, which enables this budget to bypass compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to all other government agencies and allows certain kinds of budget to be subject solely to internal audit [3]. In addition, in March 2017, the Royal Service Administration Act 2017 was issued, which converted five government agencies into royal agencies under a variety of regulations. These include the Royal Aide-de-Camp Department and the Royal Security Command, which were formerly under the Ministry of Defence and considered to be non-governmental agencies under the law on national government administration and are not state entities under any other law. In other words, due to royal influence, these armed forces are not subject to the external audit normally conducted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and the State Audit Office [4].

The external audit reports are only provided by the Comptroller General’s Department under the Ministry of Finance, while the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) reports are not publicly issued. So far, the audit reports provided by the Comptroller General’s Department can only be traced back three years (2017-2019), but these reports provide an analysis of justifications of purchases, lines of responsibility, timelines, mechanisms and outcomes [1,2]. Even though the OAG (also called the State Audit Council or the State Audit Office) is considered to be an independent body, fully independent of other executive authority and solely responsible for setting its own direction and scope of audit without interference, the Audit General only reports its full annual audit to the Office of the Prime Minister [3].

In general, the Comptroller General’s Department under the Ministry of Finance allows Ministry of Defence expenditure to be solely subject to internal audit, but the ministry is still required to submit a summary of its spending, justifications of spending and significant policies related to its finance to the State Audit Office for further external audit [1,2]. However, the power of the State Audit Office is limited, as demonstrated by the case of the purchase of three submarines from China. Even though Thailand’s State Audit Office announced that it was still investigating the purchase, it could not prevent the agreement from being signed before its investigations were completed [3].

Three entities are tasked with ensuring external auditing of public expenditure in Tunisia: Public Services General Control (Presidency of Government), Finances General Control (Ministry of Finance) and the General Control of the Ministry of State’s assets and Land affairs (1). Also, the Court of Audit ensures an audit mission. The three control entities mentioned above do not publish their reports (2). Only the Court of Audit publishes its findings. The reports of the Court of Audit do not mention activities within the Ministry of National Defence (3). Expenses for Defence Procurement are subject to the audit and approval of the High Committee of Procurement, the Ministerial Committee of Control of Procurement and the Special Committee of Procurement (4,5). All types of defence expenses have to be approved by the services of Control of Public Expenditure including the secret expenses (6).

The Court of Auditors issues an annual report that deals with the results of its inspections conducted on ministries (Public Expense Control Services). There is no exemption for the defence sector from the parliamentary scrutiny or the judiciary and administrative control (7).

According to our sources, the oversight and external entities that have the mandate to scrutinise the MoD are independent however, they are not financially independent and they are headed by the executive (1,2). Public Services General Control is independent from the Ministry of Defence and depends on the Presidency of Government (3). The Decree does not provide for the financial independance of these services (4). The 2016’s report of this audit unit shows that it has performed 164 evaluation reports within the Ministry of Defence. The number of files related to Ministry of Defence and handled by this unit in 2016 is 375 representing 22.57% of the total files handled by this unit (5). Generally, audit and control services lack human and material ressources. According to the President of an assossiation representing officials from control, inspection and audit services (ACCIA) there are only 600 controllers in charge of the control of 700,000 civil servants and 3000 budgets (5).

According to our sources, the reports of the external auditing of the MoD are not published for security reasons due to the confidentiality of the information they contain (1,2). External audit reports concerning the defence sector could not be found online (3). Only annual reports for the years 2015 and 2016 of the Public Services General Control could be found online (4).

According to our sources, the MoD tried to meet the recommendations of the external and internal audits but did so irregularly. It is based on the charisma and power of the head of the internal/ external auditing units/ entities(1,2).

The Court of Accounts (CoA), as the State’s external auditing body, audits military expenditure on behalf of the Grand National Assembly, but there are two main limitations: restrictions on how auditing is conducted and constraints on the publication of auditing reports. The external financial audit is conducted by the Court of Accounts, in compliance with universal standards. It is important to make internal and external audit processes coherent and complementary, as is universally accepted [1]. According to Article 44 of Law No. 6085 on the Court of Accounts, the presidential office is the top decision-making authority for CoA audits in public administration related to defence, security and intelligence [2]. This means that, without the direct approval of the presidential palace, the CoA cannot initiate an auditing process by itself.

Interviewee 6 suggested that performance auditing does not exist in Turkey, although this approach is essential for auditing military expenditure [3]. Since military institutions are exempt from publishing their strategic plans, the only way to assess the feasibility of projects and expenditure is through performance audits. Law No. 6085 on the Court of Accounts, which was adopted in December 2010, tasks the court with carrying out performance audits in addition to normal audits. However, Law No. 6085 was amended in June 2012 to restrict the scope of performance audits by the Court of Accounts. In December 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that some of the restrictions on performance auditing were invalid, however in 2013, the Court of Accounts was unable to assess the necessity and feasibility of military expenditure and there has not been a single report published by the CoA since then. So, since 2013, the CoA has not published an audit report about military defence expenditure in Turkey.

According to Interviewee 3, this was due to practical reasons, such as the ambiguity of the law, the lack of necessary regulations, the difficulty of visiting military facilities and, primarily, the absence of civilian personnel with expertise on military projects, as well as the fact that the publication of reports prepared by the Court of Accounts is restricted [4]. Further, a government regulation issued on August 15, 2012, places limitations on the public dissemination of the audit reports of defence, security and intelligence institutions. Moreover, under the 2012 regulation, part of the reports on State property holdings and the assets of related institutions must be censored before being presented to the Grand National Assembly. Since the start of the executive presidency, the independence of the CoA has been severely eroded and this critical judicial body has started operating as an executive body [5]. Given these restrictions and the erosion of the independence of the CoA in the presidential system, an important opportunity for transparency and parliamentary and civilian oversight has been missed. Interviewee 3 suggested that Law No. 6085, adopted in December 2010 [2], was a good opportunity to strengthen external auditing but it has not been implemented properly since its initiation. [6]

Given the restrictions on and erosion of the independence of the CoA in the presidential system, detailed above, an important opportunity for transparency and parliamentary and civilian oversight has been missed [1,2,3,4]. Open-source research shows that there have been some articles criticising the eroding independence of the CoA appearing in the opposition media in the past two years [5, 6]. The US 2019 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Turkey states:

‘Parliament charges the Court of Accounts, the country’s supreme audit institution, with accountability related to revenues and expenditures of government departments. In 2018 it did not publish its annual report, however, and as of December had not begun its 2019 audit. Outside this audit system, there was no established pattern of or mechanism for investigating, indicting, and convicting individuals accused of corruption, and there were concerns regarding the impartiality of the judiciary in the handling of corruption cases’ [7].

The most recent CoA report available online about the central government allocated defence budget is dated 2013 [1]. The CoA has not published a comprehensive report about the defence budget or expenditure since then. The most recent CoA report, which was published in October 2019 for the 2018 fiscal year, was just about the military markets and canteen run inside military facilities and housing sites [2].

In Turkish State tradition, the CoA has historically been a strong and well-respected judicial oversight mechanism. Despite the erosion of its reputation under the presidential system, the CoA’s audits and reports have been important documents for the State apparatus. When asked about the MoD responding to recommendations given by the CoA and whether or not the Ministry responded to the 2019 report, Interviewee 3 noted that the CoA reports are examined but mostly ignored by the Ministry [1].

Interviewee 3 also suggested that the CoA’s annual reports are not comprehensive or detailed and that, if the CoA’s reports were more detailed and provided some insights into performance-related auditing, they would be important mechanisms for controlling the defence/security sector with regard to corruption, bribery and some professional ethical issues. He continues: ‘The CoA reports are still respected documents which the Ministry of Defence can carefully examine and gather feedback from, enabling it to fix problems and start either administrative or legal investigations’ [1]. The 2018 National Defense Ministry Report, [2] the last report published by the CoA and currently available on its official website, confirms what the Interviewee 3 suggested. One should note that no performance report of Defense Ministry has appeared on CoA’s website since 2018.

The auditor general is mandated to audit military defence expenditure for both classified and non-classified expenditures. In his report to Parliament [1, 2], he stated that he audited the financial statements of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MoDVA) for the financial year that ended 30 June 2017. The Auditor General noted that these financial statements comprised of the statement of financial position, the statement of financial performance, and cash flow statement together with other accompanying statements, notes and accounting policies. He concluded that in his opinion, the financial statements of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs for the year ended 30th June 2017 were prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with Section 51 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, and the Financial Reporting Guide, 2008.

Sections 28 and 29 of the National Audit Act 2008 provides that the Office of the Auditor General will be funded by the Government of Uganda through appropriations made by Parliament, grants and donations. However, the budget can be altered during the budget year, for instance, the office in the 2019/2020 financial year required a total budget of UGX 68.83Bn including taxes, but it was allocated UGX 63.919Bn as the approved budget for the Financial year [1] The office is not also independent because Section 163 (1) of the 1995 Constitution (as ammended) states that the Auditor General shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament and whose office shall be a public office. Subsection (3) states that the Auditor General shall— audit and report on the public accounts of Uganda and of all public offices, including the courts, the central and local government administrations, universities and public institutions of like nature, and any public corporation or other bodies or organisations established by an Act of Parliament; and conduct financial and value for money audits in respect of any project involving public funds. Under subsection (4), the Auditor General is mandated to submit to Parliament annually a report of the accounts audited by him or her under clause (3) of this article for the financial year immediately preceding. Subject to clause (7) of this article, in performing his or her functions, the Auditor General shall not be under the direction or control of any person or authority. Under subsection (8), the salary and allowances payable to the Auditor General shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund[1]. His budget is final and is entitled to more funds through supplimentary budget like other government entities if there is need.

These reports on non-classified procurements are full and published every year between 2004 and 2017. The reports are available online [1, 2, 3] for any interested person to see.

The Ministry failed to implement some recommendations from the Procurement and Disposal Audit Report of the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs[1,2] for financial year 2014/2015. Out of the sixteen (16) recommendations made, two were not implemented representing 12.5% and nine representing 57% were partially implemented.

Ukrainian legislation has provisions on two authorities conducting auditing and monitoring of defence expenditure. Namely, the State Audit Service which conducts external financial control functions (on behalf of the Government) [1] and the Accounting Chamber which conducts external financial control functions of the execution of the state budget, including financial control over classified spendings on behalf of the VRU [2]. The Accounting Chamber submits quarterly reports on audits of budget expenditures (including the MoD and the AFU) to the VRU [5]. There is evidence that the Accounting Chamber scrutinizes in-depth the MoD in practice, but such scrutiny is not conducted regularly [3]. Information provided to the public is piecemeal [6, 7, 8]. There is no evidence of the State Audit Service regularly scrutinizing defence spendings and MoD activity, although there are several outdated reports available on the State Audit Service website [4, 9].

The State Audit Service carries out the external financial control function on behalf of the Government and is under to the CMU (the CMU also appoints its head), thus the service cannot be seen as an independent body [1]. Independence of the Accounting Chamber is provided by both the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law on the Accounting Chamber [2, 3]. The legislation renders that the Accounting Chamber carries on its activities independently, regardless of any other state bodies and is only accountable to the VRU [3]. In this way, the Accounting Chamber is de jure independent. Moreover, the head of the Accounting Chamber, as well as its members, are appointed by the VRU [4], which makes the Chamber vulnerable to VRU’s majority influence [5]. There are no legal protections for the budget of the State Audit Service and the Accounting Chamber for it to not be altered during the budget year.

Both the State Audit Service [1] and the Accounting Chamber [2] proactively publish their findings online, activities reports [3, 4] as well as their planned activities [5, 6]. The Accounting Chamber also publishes reports on its meetings [7] and its decisions [8]. However, the reports of the State Audit Service and the Accounting Chamber are not always published within a reasonable timeline (from 3 to 12 months later from the last date of the reported period).

Both the State Audit Service [1] and the Accounting Chamber [2] proactively publish updates on the state of implementation of their recommendations including both positive examples and examples of the executive unduly implementing corresponding recommendations. There is evidence that the MoD implements the Accounting Chamber’s recommendations [3, 4, 5], although the Accounting Chamber does not provide any statistics on both implemented and not implemented recommendations. There is a lack of information on whether the MoD implements the State Audit Service’s recommendations same as there is a lack of information about whether the State Audit Service provides the MoD with recommendations.

The SAI is mandated to audit all ministries including the defence and security sectors. Although the SAI is an “independent authority reporting to the FNC,” it has no power whatsoever over the Ministry of Defence (1). The SAI has never audited the Ministry of Defence. According to our sources, there is no external body that has the authority and power to audit the armed forces or the Ministry of Defence (2), (3), (4).

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there is no evidence to support that external audits of the military and the defence sector take place (1), (2), (3), this sub-indicator has been marked as not applicable. Within the context of the UAE, it is not feasible to assess the independence of external audits, since external audits do not seem to take place.

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there is no evidence to support that external audits of the military and the defence sector take place (1), (2), (3), this sub-indicator has been marked as not applicable. Within the context of the UAE, it is not feasible to assess the independence of external audits, since external audits do not seem to take place.

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there is no evidence to support that external audits of the military and the defence sector take place (1), (2), (3), this sub-indicator has been marked as not applicable. Within the context of the UAE, it is not feasible to assess the independence of external audits, since external audits do not seem to take place.

The National Audit Office has the mandate to review the defence sector, and regularly audits military defence spending in a formal, in-depth process. Both financial audits and performance audits (value for money) of defence spending are conducted [1]. The scrutiny of defence spending also falls under the remit of the Public Accounts Committee [2].

The NAO’s independence and auditory powers are enshrined in the National Audit Act (NAA) 1983 (s.6 & 8 particularly) and the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act (BRANA) 2011′ [1, 2, 3]. It has its own budget (e.g. passed by parliament rather than government), and there are legal protections in place for this budget not to be altered during the budget year [3].

The NAO proactively publishes its reports relating to MoD’s expenditure, with extensive level of detail and within a resonable timeline [1, 2, 3].

The MoD generally agrees with recommendations issued by PAC and the NAO and commits to implementing them, however, there are instances where it disagrees with the recommendations issued or the recommendations haven’t been implemented, as indicated in the MoDs response to inquiries conducted by the PAC and the NAO [1]. There are clear target implementation dates for those recommendations which are accepted [1].

It is worth noting, however, that the NAO has sharply criticised multiple previous Defence Equipment plans for failing affordability assessments in a way that suggests that the MOD and government have failed to heed its recommendations/advice: ‘for the fourth successive year, the Equipment Plan remains unaffordable. However, the Department has still not established a reliable basis to assess the affordability of equipment projects, and its estimate of the funding shortfall in the 2020–2030 Plan is likely to understate the growing financial pressures that it faces. The Plan does not include the full costs of the capabilities that the Department is developing, it continues to make over-optimistic or inconsistent adjustments to reduce cost forecasts and is likely to have underestimated the risks across long-term equipment projects. In addition, the Department has not resolved weaknesses in its quality assurance of the Plan’s affordability assessment. While the Department has made some improvements to its approach and the presentation of the Plan over the years, it has not fully addressed the inconsistencies which undermine the reliability and comparability of its assessment’ [2].

In 2018, the Pentagon underwent its first department-wide audit, which was conducted through a combination of external and internal audit bodies [1]. The audit took place 28 years after Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act in 1990, which required all federal departments and agencies to submit to annual audits [2]. Following this, the Pentagon was the last department to comply [3]. The 2018 audit of the Pentagon received a disclaimer of opinion, meaning that the auditors were not able to express an opinion on the financial statements because the financial information was not sufficiently reliable [4]. Since 2018, the DoD has been audited annually and it failed both the 2019 and 2020 audits [5,6]. It is not clear whether a performance audit is undertaken in addition to the financial audit. The external audit in 2018 was composed of 21 individual audits, consisting of audit procedures on balances listed on the DoD’s and DoD components’ financial statements.

The 2018 audit was undertaken by the DoD Office of the Inspector General, as well as five independent public accounting firms overseen by the DoDIG [1]. Given that it was overseen by the DoD OIG, the audit was not entirely independent from the Department of Defense. There is no evidence that the audit was undermined by the executive or the DoD. The budget for the audit came under the defence budget and was therefore passed by Congress [2].

The DoDIG published a report entitled ‘Understanding the Results of the Audit’, which details the key takeaways, material weaknesses and recommendations from the 2018 audit [1]. This summary report does not include any comment from the external audit companies that took part in the audit effort (e.g. Ernst & Young, KPMG). The specific accounts that were audited, expert advice or briefings were not included in this report or published elsewhere.

In response to the 2018 audit, the DoD is piloting a new financial database to better track the organisation’s transactions [1]. Furthermore, in FY 2019, the DoD developed 2,100 corrective action plans in response to the FY 2018 audit. These actions resulted in the closure of 26% of the FY 2018 ‘Notices of Findings and Recommendations’ (NFRs) [2].

The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) has the constitutional power to inspect and oversee public sector bodies. As the governing body of the National Fiscal Control System [1], this entity would be responsible for conducting external audits of the defence sector. However, this function has been limited since 2016, following a Supreme Court decision, precluding the CGR from carrying out audits and controls on the defence sector.

Within the National Fiscal Control System, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (CONGEFANB) is recognised as responsible for internal auditing of the defence sector. However, the law recognises that this assignment should be carried out without undermining the CGR’s fiscal control function [1]. Despite this provision, recognising the supremacy of the constitutional function granted to the CGR, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in 2016 conferring exclusive control of the defence sector upon the CONGEFANB [2]. As such, the defence sector has been shielded from external controls – both the CGR’s fiscal control and parliamentary control – and has become a sector acting only with internal control. This has been criticised by experts and academics, not only for the contraventions of the constitution that this entails, but also for the ineffectiveness and independence of the CONGEFANB as a “sui generi” monitor of the sector [3, 4].

Although there is a constitutionally established entity responsible for external audits of the defence sector, in reality, this entity has been suspended from carrying out this function since 2016 [1, 2].

While the CGR has its own budget as part of the Citizen’s Power Branch, and does not depend on the executive, the independence of all organs of this branch of power has been strongly questioned [3, 4]. The election of the latest comptrollers has been questioned due to appointments of officials who have openly expressed their support for the regime and of persons who have held other positions of public power, and due to flawed procedures that demonstrate the unconstitutional influence of the Supreme Court and the open partiality of the comptroller appointed under the regime [5, 6].

Although there is a constitutionally established entity responsible for external audits of the defence sector, in reality, this entity has been suspended from carrying out this function since 2016 [1, 2].

The CGR has generally failed to publish completed audits [3]. While its 2017 management report notes that during the fiscal year it revised the 2015 accountability reports from the Ministry of the People’s Power for Defence (MPPD) and found them to be in compliance with the law, there are no reports detailing this control action or other audits, nor any actions in subsequent years [4].

Although there is a constitutionally established entity responsible for external audits of the defence sector, in reality, this entity has been suspended from carrying out this function since 2016 [1, 2]. As such, the CGR has not issued any recommendations for the administration of the MPPD in recent years.

According to its 2017 Performance Reports, the CGR has strengthened its institutional cooperation with the CONGEFANB [3]. However, various documents that indicate the existence of this cooperation only comprise information on joint trainings, and do not detail whether other actions have been carried out in the defence sector [4].

The Office of the Auditor General Zimbabwe (OAG) has the mandate to scrutinise all public accounts, including those belonging to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the office does so annually on behalf of Parliament working closely with the Public Accounts Committee. However, the OAG has no mandate to review performance [1, 2, 3].

The OAG acts independently, but their work is undermined by the fact that they do not receive detailed and disaggregated financial data on military expenditures and revenues [1]. The OAG does not have the capacity or powers to demand this information [2].

The auditor general publishes all her reports for public access for each financial year as soon as the report is completed and tabled before Parliament, this includes information on analysis on audited accounts, oral briefings, expert advice, investigative work, etc. [1]. However, financial statements from the defence sector are not detailed enough to capture all the details mentioned above [2, 3].

The MoD addresses recommendations or queries from the auditor general [1]. However, there is a perception that this is superficial given that the military sector is opaque and secretive, and its dealings are sensitive, so much so that civilians from the MoD might not have the powers to action some of the recommendations from the OAG, especially when they relate to expenditures directly under the control of military units [2].

Country Sort by Country 17a. Activity Sort By Subindicator 17b. Independence Sort By Subindicator 17c. Transparency Sort By Subindicator 17d. Institutional outcomes Sort By Subindicator
Albania 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Algeria 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Argentina 25 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 NEI
Armenia 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Australia 100 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Azerbaijan 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Bahrain 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Bangladesh 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Belgium 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Bosnia and Herzegovina 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Botswana 25 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Brazil 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Canada 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Chile 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
China 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Colombia 75 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Denmark 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Estonia 75 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Finland 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
France 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Germany 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 NEI
Greece 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Hungary 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
India 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Indonesia 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Iran 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Iraq 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Israel 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Italy 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 NEI
Japan 75 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Kenya 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Kosovo 50 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Kuwait 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Latvia 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Lebanon 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Lithuania 50 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Malaysia 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 0 / 100
Mali 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Mexico 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Montenegro 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Myanmar 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Netherlands 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
New Zealand 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Niger 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Nigeria 25 / 100 25 / 100 NEI 0 / 100
North Macedonia 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Norway 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Palestine 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Philippines 75 / 100 25 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Poland 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Portugal 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Russia 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Serbia 50 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Singapore 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
South Africa 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 25 / 100
South Korea 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
South Sudan 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Spain 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Sudan 0 / 100 NA NA NA
Sweden 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Switzerland 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Taiwan 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
Tanzania 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Thailand 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Turkey 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Uganda 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Ukraine 50 / 100 25 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA NA NA
United Kingdom 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
United States 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Venezuela 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Zimbabwe 50 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100

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

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