Q59.

Are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place and are these oversight mechanisms active and transparent?

59a. Independence

Score

SCORE: 25/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

59b. Effectiveness

Score

SCORE: 50/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

59c. Transparency

Score

SCORE: 50/100

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There are formal control mechanisms, but legislation is sometimes vague and exemptions are made for the armed forces, which allow them to influence oversights. The 2016 Public Procurement Law is comprehensive in addressing oversight for public contracts however, Art. 168 of the Public Procurement Law provides exemptions for the Ministry of Defence. The a priori control of public contracts of the Ministry of Defence is the exclusive responsibility of the commissions under the Ministry of Defence that determines its compositions and powers (1). Thus, external and independent control of the Ministry of Defence is not possible.

According to the 2016 Public Procurement Law, public contracts should be subject to controls which are carried out in the form of internal control, external control, and supervisory control (Art. 156). The law specifies the regulations for the different control mechanisms (Art. 159-168). For example, regarding internal control mechanisms, the contracting authority sets up standing committees, which are responsible for the tendering process. Art. 159 states that the legal provisions applicable to internal controls are done in accordance with the texts relating to the organization and statutes of the various contracting departments (1). No information on statutes on the Defence Ministry could be found on the Ministry of Defence website (2).

With regards to external control mechanisms, Art. 163 states that the purpose of external control is to verify the compliance of public contracts. External audits should check whether the contracting department’s commitment corresponds to a regularly scheduled action (1). No further information was given about the external audit authority, which could be the Court of Auditors. As has been noted in previous questions, the Court of Auditors has only limited scope to oversee the military and the government (3), (4). Moreover, Art. 164 stipulates that the purpose of the supervisory control is to verify the conformity of the contracts awarded by the contracting authority with the objectives of efficiency and economy, and to ensure that the operation falls within the scope of the programs and priorities assigned to the sector. According to Art. 165, there are additional external bodies which control public procurement a priori. Besides external audits, which control the procurement within its limits, the Council of the Nation and the ANP should also control public procurement per the rules laid down in their internal regulations (1). Internal regulations published on the website of the APN do not provide any information about regulations (5).

No information could be found on whether the formalised procurement oversight mechanisms are active in the 2016 Public Procurement Law (1). No information could be found on the website of the Defence Ministry (2), the Court of Auditors (3), the ANP (4), or the Council of the Nation (5).

No evidence was found that procurement oversight mechanisms in the defence sector are made publicly available. The 2016 Public Procurement Law does not require the defence sector to make reports public. According to Art. 164, the contracting authority should write an evaluation report that is sent to the head of the public institution, the minister, the wali or the president of the municipal popular assembly concerned and the competent external audit body. A copy of this report should also be sent to the regulatory authority for public procurement and public service delegation (1). Reports of the external audit body, which could be the Court of Auditors, are not made public on its website, as mentioned in previous answers (2). According to the constitution, 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 (3).

Formalised procurement oversight mechanisms exist in the audit court; within the Ministry of Defense, the armed forces, and the inspectors-general and within the Finance Ministry, the National Public Contracting Service and Parliament. They also apply to the defence sector. However, the public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

Oversight mechanisms are active, but not sufficiently transparent to allow scrutiny on their effectiveness. The public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

Evidence of activity is rarely made public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions and the content is missing key information.

The public procurement law exempts arms procurement from scrutiny and requires only limited publication throughout the procurement cycle. This substantially limits public knowledge on the procurement process and its oversight (1). Additionally, the president’s broad constitutional powers limit independent parliamentary oversight and the independence of the audit court (whose judges are appointed by the president) (2).

Articles 84 and 127 of the Constitution provide the Parliament and the Supreme Audit Institution with the power to scrutinize government institutions, including the MoD. Additionally, the ASCE-LC, whose power and rights were recently constitutionalized can now directly investigate and prosecute cases of corruption (1). Another public procurement and contracting oversight institution is the regulatory authority for government tenders (ARMP). However, most of the time the government influences the decision of these institutions (1). The government appoints and removes the Heads of both the ASCE-LC and ARMP. Consequently, oversight mechanisms by the Parliament, the Supreme Audit Institutions, completing the work of the ASCE-LC and the ARMP remain weak (2), (3).
However, Article 6 of Law N° 039 (2016) does not apply to contracts for works, supplies and services and public service delegations, where they relate to the needs of defence and national security that require secrecy or for which protection essential interests of the State is incompatible with publicity measures. A decree issued by the Council of Ministers specifies the nature and modalities acquisition of the goods and services concerned by this exclusion (4). Therefore the regulatory authority for procurement, the ARMP has no authority over defence procurement as per article 6 of the law.

The provisions of Article 6 (1) of Law No. 039, exclude some items from being publicized for national defence and security purposes, this does not enable effective oversight of defence procurement (1), (2), (3).

The provisions of Article 6 (1) of Law No. 039, exclude some items from being publicized for national defence and security purposes, this does not enable effective oversight of defence procurement or transparency (1), (2), (3).

There is no evidence that defence procurement oversight exists. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1].

There is no evidence that procurement oversight mechanisms exist, as defence and security procurement is specifically exempt from oversight by the Procurement Code. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1]. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no evidence that procurement oversight mechanisms exist for the defence and security establishment, as defence and security procurement is specifically exempt from oversight by the Procurement Code. Legislation that covers procurement in Cameroon exempts defence and security contracts (‘Special Contracts’) as per Article 71 of the Public Procurement Code (2018) [1]. Therefore this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Some oversight mechanisms are specific to defence and security operations and administration. Though no evidence of their independence given their lack of transparency. The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces (Inspection Générale des Armées, IGA) and the General Control of the Administration and Defence Finance (Contrôle Général de l’Administration et des Finances de la Défense, CGAFD) are oversight bodies specific to defence and security operations and administration. The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces, under the authority of the minister of defence, is nominally tasked with operational oversight of the armed forces, as per Decree No. 2016-257 (3rd May 2016) (Portant Organisation du Ministere de la Défense), published in the Official Journal on May 23, 2016 (1).

The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces’ mandate is to serve as an oversight body for the armed forces and to inform about operational capacities. It can undertake its own studies or inquiries autonomously. However, there is little evidence that the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces is particularly active or subject to any type of NA scrutiny. (1) The General Control at the MoD monitors the proper functioning of departments and agencies. It is tasked with oversight of administrative, financial and technical issues, among others. This structure, like the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces, is under the direct authority of the minister of defence (1).

In addition, there is a Finance Branch (Article 13 of Decree No. 2016-257), but it is not tasked with auditing or oversight. Instead, its mandate is to prepare and execute the defence budget, including the payment of salaries and services (current expenditure) (1).

The General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces and the Comptroller General (CGAFD) oversee defence procurement contracts. But the effectiveness of these institutions is difficult to gauge given their total lack of transparency.

There is strong evidence that the executive can disburse special funds to procure military equipment bypassing the oversight mechanisms mentioned above. This was the case after the terrorist attack at Grand Bassam on March 13, 2016. Laurent Touchard, in an excerpt from his book on African Armed Forces, described the disbursement of USD 137.8 million as follows:

“A month after the attack on Grand-Bassam, President Alassane Ouattara announces the disbursement of 137.8 million dollars. The fund is intended especially for the purchase of equipment dedicated to counterterrorism, including electronic sensors, ballistic protections and vehicles” (1).

In 2015, while Côte d’Ivoire was still under the UN arms embargo (UN Security Council Resolution 2153 of April 29, 2014), a dispatch from the Cotonou (Benin) head office of France’s DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure) was leaked indicating that President Ouattara had ordered military equipment via Benin’s President Yayi Boni valued at USD 120 million. The dispatch reads as follows:

“President Ouattara, who felt a real need to equip his army, faced a double threat inside and outside, and opened [a back channel] at the beginning of January 2015 to his Benin counterpart to obtain from him a paid support for an extrabudgetary acquisition of military equipment (weapons of war and military equipment subject to UN embargo)… With regard to this Beninois arms purchase project, while his country is still under UN embargo… a first meeting was held on April 13, 2014 in Abidjan and recorded as a pre-secret agreement sealed between the Minister of National Defense of Benin Théophile Yarou and his Ivorian counterpart Paul Koffi Koffi for the extrabudgetary acquisition of weapons and military equipment personally covered by President Yayi Boni for a total amount of $ 120,000,000 for the benefit of the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI)” (2).

There is no evidence in open sources that the General Inspectorate or General Control General of the Armed Forces cancelled any defence procurement contracts or carried out any of the oversight activities outlined in the criteria.

The oversight roles of the General Inspectorate and General Control of the Armed Forces in monitoring defence procurement projects are fully opaque.

Law no. 182 (2018), provides wide discretionary powers to the MoD and the MMP to make procurement processes closed, limited or by direct order with no bidding process (1). With regards to arms procurement, it is always secret and is not subject to any form of monitoring by the MOF or the CAA as stipulated by Law no. 204 (1957) (2). This combined with limited external oversight, and the increased attack on the independence of the CAA (3) makes it very difficult for any external oversight mechanism to be independent.

According to our sources, there is no active oversight mechanism within the MoD. The financial and auditing units have no real power or authority to scrutinize or oversee the procurement process (1), (2), (3), (4). For the same reasons listed in 59A, it is very difficult for an external oversight mechanism that lacks the needed independence to be effective (5).

Due to the broad exceptions granted to the MoD and the MMP, disclosing information about the procurement process in the defence sector becomes almost a voluntary and not a binding act. On the e-tenders portal of the Egyptian government (which acts as a database for “all” public tenders) there are some tenders related to the MMP, but they are mostly small tenders (1). On the MMP website, there is a section for tenders linked to the MMP (2). However, these are mostly voluntarily disclosed, and it is worth noting that the MoD does not feature anything at all in the e-tenders portal, nor does it have a section for tenders on its website.

Oversight on procurement is performed by the Parliamentary Selected Committee on Defence and Interior, the Public Account Committee, the Audit and Tender Committees in the MOD and GAF. In addition, the Public Procurement Authority implements and enforces compliance of the MOD and GAF to the procurement laws, regulations, manuals, and guidelines (1). For instance, its board approves the MOD or the GAF use of the single-source procurement method (which can be used if national security concerns are raised) (2). Also, the Audit-Service has the power of examination over the accounts of the MOD and GAF.

Furthermore, the Defence Tender Committee reviews and approves annual procurement plans, confirms the range of acceptable costs and ensures adherence to the Public Procurement Act. Public opinion is that the committee is biased since it is made up of only NDC members from the Volta region (3), (4). Individuals and businesses are believed to get away with violations depending on whether their political party is in power or not (5), (6), (7).

The Parliamentary committees are considered ineffective and lack resources and staff (1). Similar concerns have also been raised with regards to the Audit Service (2).

There is also evidence that suggests bias within the DTC that undermines its effectiveness. Procurement oversight mechanisms are somewhat active concerning the procurement of non-hardware items, rather than those of hardware which often involved political influence from top politicians and military cliques (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8).

The Tender and Audit Committee within the MOD and GAF is entirely non-transparent about its activities, in so far as no information on their activities is made publicly available. It is the same with the parliamentary committees, which do not publish the outcomes of their investigations or report on their activities. What is more, the MOD is not mentioned in the Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – Ministries, Departments, and Other Agencies (MDAs) for the year ending on December 31, 2017 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5).

It has been established already that the defence sector is subject to little oversight, if any. There is no evidence that there are oversight mechanisms over defence in general. For example, the list of audited entities by the Jordanian Audit Bureau excludes the Ministry of Defence, the armed forces and all commercial entities associated with the armed forces such as the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) [1]. In addition to that, defence sector income is not declared or included in the final governmental financial annual accounts [2], nor do the accounts include a breakdown of spending. Media and news reporting sporadically mention instances of defence sales or purchases, but no oversight has been identified [3, 4]. Neither the Audit Bureau, nor the Ministry of Finance, or any other entity is authorised to provide oversight over defence procurement. In addition to that, the authority of entities such as the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Committee, the Financial Committee and the Jordanian Audit Bureau remain questionable, especially as most matters of defence remain under the authority of the King, according to the Constitution, who can overrule all Parliamentary decisions [5].

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since no information is available or disclosed about actual procurement cycles, and there is no evidence to support that procurement procedures are followed [1,2]. An assessment of their effectiveness is irrelevant in this context.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since no information is available or disclosed about actual procurement cycles and there is no evidence to support that procurement procedures are followed [1,2].

Oversight mechanisms are formalised (6) but all auditors are subject to undue political interference by the Emir and his loyalists, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

They are often stonewalled or given misleading information, and the executive branch and Parliament, which is entitled to scrutinise all Government spending but is full of Government supporters (6), does not step in to hold these ministries accountable, the sources said.

This has created an environment in which auditors believe that there is no real desire to fight corruption and that they should neglect their duties or at least not antagonise the security agencies since they clearly have the full support of the Emir.

As a result, their work tends to be shallow and inconsistent.

The oversight mechanisms are inconsistently active but they do demand witnesses and documents, activists said (1,2). Questioning goes nowhere, however. There appears to be no evidence that they have cancelled projects, but they do issue recommendations once they are done working on a particular case in a timely fashion.

The oversight bodies including Parliament, do make some developments related to defence procurement public, but they do so inconsistently. Most of the news reports about these matters are informal leaks from the Government or formal announcements of investigations from the auditing bodies, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). These announcements usually include the total cost of the deal but they almost never have key information about the officials involved, the wrongdoing they are suspecting or the reasons behind the deal.

Procurement oversight does exist according to Decree no. 11573. According to Article 36, the LAF’s General Directorate of Administration is responsible for the project being implemented contracts with a national or foreign institution or company to monitor the implementation of maps, designs, or work (1). LAF’s GDA is not independent; it reports to the LAF (2).
Undue influence and corruption are widespread in public procurement with bribes, favouritism, and clientelist political connections play a fundamental role (3). For example, contracts are frequently awarded based on mutual agreement, without open bidding clear process, between companies and government administrations (3). However, it is important to note that most of LAF’s assistance is tied to external military assistance (4). In almost all cases, foreign assistance to procure capabilities, training, and resources for the LAF, is spent in the donor country, mitigating the potential for corruption. This is the case for the US’s Foreign Military Sales (4). If Lebanon had the funds to procure items through direct commercial sales, the risk of corruption would have been greater (4), (5).

It is unclear how effective are the LAF procurement oversight mechanisms since reports related to procurement are not made available (1). According to Decree no. 11573, the GDA oversees the procurement implementation (2). Furthermore, the LAF’s DoO indicated that it follows the procurement procedures and reports to the CoA (3). The audit bodies have praised the level of transparency and effectiveness in implementation (4). On the other hand, as most assistance is tied to external military assistance, oversight is relatively straightforward because donors expect a high level of transparency and accountability from the LAF (5), (6).

Procurement oversight mechanisms are entirely non-transparent because they are not publically available (1).

Auditing mechanisms are formalised and operational, but their levels of activity and ability to do their job are heavily compromised by the military and the government.
The BVG publishes annual reports evaluating the government’s various spending programmes. Meanwhile, it is the AMDS’s job to regulate public sector contracts and spending. However, defence finances have generally not been subject to audits or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the ARMDS found that it was wholly unable to audit the Ministry of Defence’s finances for 2014 because of the lack of documents provided by the ministry.1 Moreover, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.2 The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities.
As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.3,4 When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.5
Nevertheless, the BVG’s report showed strong signs of independence as it openly criticised the actions of the former defence minister and the minister for the economy (see Q29C).

Auditing mechanisms are effective when they are active, but their levels of activity are infrequent largely because of the military and the government. The BVG publishes annual reports evaluating the government’s various spending programmes. Meanwhile, it is the AMDS’s job to regulate public sector contracts and spending. However, defence finances have generally not been subject to audit or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the ARMDS found that it was wholly unable to audit the Ministry of Defence’s finances for 2014 because of the lack of documents provided by the ministry.⁴ Moreover, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.⁵ The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities. As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.⁶ ⁷
When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.⁸ Nevertheless, the BVG’s report showed strong signs of independence as it openly criticised the actions of the former defence minister and the minister for the economy (see Q29C). In addition, the IMF notes that the military’s use of exceptional expenditure accounts enables defence officials to circumnavigate scrutiny of procurement contracts:
“The execution of exceptional expenditures is subject to very minimal controls considering the amounts involved. In general, funds are released without prior proofs and receipts. The payment of the advance is subject to simplified controls, focusing primarily on the identity of the payment authorisation officer and the amount of the advance. Control of the compliance of the expenditure being carried out, based on supporting documentation for the payment, takes place after the actual disbursement of the funds to a supplier or service provider”.⁹ The IMF also states that there are numerous deficiencies in the controls carried out, “particularly with respect to the imprest accounts of the defence and security forces in Mali”.⁹ It adds that “some imprest accounts receive quite substantial advances that go well beyond their original purpose of ‘minor operating expenditures’. For example, the special imprest account of the Ministry of Defence carries out monthly expenditures exceeding 2.3 billion CFA”.⁹

Auditing bodies can disclose information when they are active and permitted, but their levels of activity are infrequent largely because of the military and the government.
Defence finances have generally not been subject to audits or publicly detailed in recent years. In 2016, the ARMDS found that it was wholly unable to audit the Ministry of Defence’s finances for 2014 because of the lack of documents provided by the ministry.⁴ In April 2018, opposition party Parena claimed to have gained access to an unpublished BVG report, which identifies numerous cases of overspending and dubious activity in military procurement.¹⁰ Parena maintains that the report shows that the government bought one of the Super Pumas from a subsidiary of Airbus in Ireland, paying 3.5 billion CFA for the used helicopter in cash. The audit also reportedly shows that the second Super Puma, bought directly from Airbus, cost 3.9 billion CFA, although the terms and conditions of the contract are opaque, according to the auditors.¹⁰ The fact that this audit remains unpublished indicates that the BVG and the ARMDS are likely more active than their number of publications would suggest.
Indeed, the BVG’s last published report came in 2015 and made no mention of defence spending or incomes.⁵ The failure to publish any subsequent reports or to address the defence budget by the body supposed to monitor accountants and administrators highlights the lack of transparency relating to defence activities. As the World Bank points out, the BVG has not specifically reviewed Ministry of Defence accounts, and only an aggregate administrative account is transmitted to the auditor when the annual budget is examined.⁶ ⁷
When the IMF, the World Bank and the EU suspended their aid programmes to Mali following reports of the off-budget purchase of a new presidential jet in 2014, it was the BVG that audited the account (see Q16C). But the BVG never received access to the plane’s operating contract, in the face of resistance from either the executive, the military, or both.⁸

No article was found on the websites and organisations that should be the main reference sources on the topic of procurement oversight mechanisms (1)(2)(3). There is no mention of procurement oversight mechanisms in the main relevant pieces of legislation and the ones available online (4)(5). Interviewees could not confirm the presence of formal procurement oversight mechanisms (6)(7). Nothing indicates therefore that procurement oversight mechanisms are formalised. There may be persistent undue influence.

As procurement oversight mechanisms do not appear to exist, this sub-indicator is marked as non applicable.

As procurement oversight mechanisms do not appear to exist, this sub-indicator is marked as non applicable.

The procurement oversight mechanism is a formalised process. According to art. 71 of the 2013 Decree on public procurement regarding defence and security: “without prejudice to controls that may be carried out by the State Inspectorate General (Inspection Générale d’Etat), contracts concluded under this decree are subject to a semester inspection by the Inspector General of the Army (Inspecteur General des Armés) or his counterpart for the other corps (1). This control is accompanied by a detailed and confidential report sent to the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister” (1). According to an interviewee, since 2016, there was no control conducted by the Inspector General of the Army (2) which demonstrates inconsistencies in terms of oversight. The Regulatory Agency on Public Procurements (Agence de régulation des marchés publics) also plays the role of a formal oversight mechanism at least regarding the procurement process covered by the 2016 Decree (3). The Court of Accounts can also investigate irregularities within the public procurement process. Regardless of the existence of formalised oversight procedures, its activity is inconsistent (the last recorded activity by the Inspector General of the Army took place in 2016). However, there is no evidence to evaluate the extent to which the “parliament, the military, business or politically well-connected individuals may exercise undue influence on their performance”.

The last audit was carried out by the State Inspectorate General in 2016 (1), who responds directly to the President and exercises oversight over public and state entities. The procurement process covering both pieces of legislation is also controlled on a rolling basis by the General Department of the Public Procurement Control and Financial engagements of the Ministry of Finance (1). According to an interviewee, the procedure is efficient and contributes to improving the formal procurement process (1). However, it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the oversight mechanism given the confidentiality of the procurement procedures mentioned in Art. 2 of the 2013 Decree.
Nevertheless, it should also be noted that the Director of the Department of Public Procurement is a civil servant and not a military position. This is indirect evidence showing that even though there may be some undue influence on behalf of the military on the oversight mechanism, it may be limited.

Given the confidential dimension of the procurement process (1), formal oversight mechanisms are no ttransparent. According to Art. 71 of the 2013 Decree, the report of the Inspector General of the Army (IGA) is strictly confidential, and it is forwarded only to the president and prime minister of Niger (1). 

The National Security Strategy makes some reference to procurement. However, there is no legal or regulatory framework which encompasses the numerous security agencies and the defence institutions. There are no transparent rules accessible to the public on the procedures within the numerous defence agencies and security agencies. Political interference with procurement processes is a well-documented fact. The certification of “No Objection” issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement is usually obtained with civilian purchases. The Tender Board of the MOD also plays a role in procurement. However, the extent to which the 2007 PPA is followed concerning weapons procured is difficult to ascertain. The National Assembly plays a residual role in terms of its general oversight functions. The Bureau of Public Procurement also plays a role (1).

There is some evidence of increased oversight activity; however, there has been no change to the ambiguity over the abridged procurement processes which deviate from the requirements of the PPA 2007. A recent example of this involves the discovery of millions of dollars in an IKOYI flat in Lagos involving the Director of the National Intelligence Agency. Large sums of money were taken from the Central Bank belonging to a National Agency connected to the national oil industry. The money was allegedly released for “covert operations” by presidential approval with no reference to any outside oversight agencies. An explanation given was that covert operations are listed in the budget under disguised heads of expenditure. However, there are no objective means to verify such claims. There exist Tender Boards that deal with procurement as well as other committees within the MOD that work together with other public organizations like the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP). Formal oversight processes also exist. The BPP, for example, issues a “No Objection” Certification for acquisitions (1)

There is some evidence of increased oversight activity. The publication of the CADEP report does suggest more activity (1). The oversight of the Defence Procurement Tender Boards and the involvement of the Bureau of Public Procurement Board in terms of the “No Objection” certification scheme also would suggest that there is a degree of transparency in relation to procurement oversight (2). The NASS defence committees and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also have oversight functions. The National Security Strategy makes some reference to procurement.

However, there is no legal or regulatory framework which encompasses the numerous security agencies and defence institutions. There are no transparent rules accessible to the public on how oversight powers are exercised over procurement in the defence and security sector (1). This is particularly the case with off-budget expenditure which does not require the NASS’s approval. The assessment must also be cognizant of the fact that weapons and their likes are excluded from these processes. Despite the formal mechanisms, significant operational lapses do occur regularly. For example, the Audit Office failed to submit reports for many years. There are also capacity issues which reduce the effectiveness of parliamentary oversight such as their inability to gain access to critical information like technical specifications of weapon systems or agreed terms for the purchase of weapons. Overall, there has been little change to the ambiguity over the abridged defence procurement processes which deviate from the requirements of the PPA 2007 (1).

There is a lack of independent oversight mechanisms for the defence and security sectors in general and with procurement in particular. However, there is an internal auditing unit as part of the procurement and financial department, but it has no oversight over defence procurements (1), (2). Neither the al-Shura or the al-Dawla are mandated with oversight over issues on defence and security policy (3). The independent Tender Board does not oversee the Ministry of Defence or the Royal Oman Police, both of which have their own internal tender boards (4), (5). The secretary-general of the Ministry of Defence website, lists the Secretariat of the Tender Board under “About Us” but no link or further information is provided about the activities of the board (6). There is also no evidence to suggest that the parliament or the military influence defence procurement.

There is no oversight mechanism over procurement in place (see Q59A); therefore, this sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

There is no oversight mechanism over procurement in place (see Q59A); therefore, this sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Procurement oversight mechanisms are formalized within the SBAAC and the military, financial auditing department within the MoF (1). However, their activity is inconsistent across the different heads of the security agency, the government, and the finance minister. Politically well-connected individuals may exercise undue influence. Additionally, due to the politicised defence and security industry in Palestine, the level of independence in the decision-making process is hampered. For instance, officers or individuals who are engaged in corruption or misused their positions cannot be prosecuted or sanctioned if they are politically connected to senior officials, which is evidence that the oversight mechanism is inconsistent (2).

Procurement oversight mechanisms exist, however, not all activities mentioned in score four are present, and sometimes the mechanism is avoided because of political influence (1). The missing activities include explanations, issuing recommendations or conclusions that are being followed or implemented. In the majority of corruption reports by the ACC and the SBAAC, there is little evidence that both organizations conducted a thorough oversight over any of the security agencies (2).

Evidence of oversight, scrutiny, and monitoring are rarely made public by the relevant procurement oversight institutions, and when information is released, the content is missing essential information. Further, no one has access to information or reports, including journalists and CSOs. In the history of the PA, there has not been a case to make the annual procurement reports or data available for the public. The MoF and the security agencies consider the data confidential.

The defence and security institutions in Qatar do not have any oversight mechanisms. Oversight mechanisms are almost non-existent in the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence. There is an auditing unit within the Ministry, and there is a member from the MoF within the procurement committee, however, they have no right to intervene or report on any event. [1,2,3] In relation to procurement, there is no evidence of regulations or laws that define a procurement cycle. Defence institutions are exempted from Audit Law No. 11 (2016) and the Tender Law No. 24 (2015). [4] It has also become clear that defence institutions are not subject to oversight or scrutiny, as they fall under the direct authority of the Emir.

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable as there are no procurement oversight mechanisms (see Q59A).

The oversight mechanisms are vague, basic, and inefficient, particularly since defence procurement is exempted from state laws on procurement. Internal oversight is superficial and external oversight is non-existent [1,2].

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable as there are no procurement oversight mechanisms (see Q59A).

There are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is exempted from state laws on procurement. The procurement unit itself report their activities to the relevant departments and commanders, without external validation or oversight [1,2].

Oversight mechanisms are not formalised and active. According to a source, there a minimal oversight on delivery of purchases, which includes signing papers, but not checking the quality. There is an internal unit which is responsible for auditing, but it lies under the same chain of command as the procurement department. Some employees visit the MoD, MoF, the General Auditing Bureau, but just as members of committees (tender committees) (1), (2), (3).

According to Saudi Arabia’s Basic Law of Governance of 1992, each government agency is subject to an internal auditing process (4). The relevant bodies that, in theory, perform these functions include the Internal Audit unit at the Ministry of Defence, the General Auditing Bureau, and the Consultative Council’s Committee on Security Affairs. However, there is little publicly available information on the activities and mandates of the committees, and it is unlikely that they would have meaningful oversight powers over procurement deals, deals which would ultimately be initiated and undertaken by the ministry’s executive, Minister of Defence and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Furthermore, defence policy does not fall within the stated mandate of the Committee on Security Affairs; the Consultative Council’s has a primarily consultative role and does not exercise either formal or informal influence or oversight over policy (5). Though the GAB reportedly has a dedicated department for military sector auditing (6), in practice it also has no actual leverage over defence procurement processes, which, like all other functions in the military and security sectors, are highly centralized under the authority of Mohammed bin Salman.

The Ministry of Defence’s website publishes details on its updated organizational structure. It states that the MoD has a procurement division named the Ministry of Armaments Procurement Agency (MAPA) which falls under the ultimate purview of the office of the minister of defence. According to a diagram published on the website, the MoD has an Audit and Inspections unit that falls under a separate branch of the MoD’s organizational structure – under the Military Court (7).

According to a consultant who works with the Saudi defence sector, the General Authority for Military Industries will act as an industry supervisor and regulator of procurement/contracts. The consultant stated, however, that the crown prince is the ultimate authority behind both SAMI and GAMI and the procurement process as a whole (8).

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms.

As mentioned above, GAMI’s role in the new defence architecture entails supervising procurement processes. There is a serious lack of an effective oversight mechanism. In theory, there are defined structures and processes, but in reality, there are none (1), (2), (3).

This sub-indicator is marked Not Applicable as there are no defence procurement oversight mechanisms.

The research found that there is no transparency, with regards to the procurement cycle oversight mechanism. No information is published, and no one except the individuals involved in any procurement operation knows about other operation (1), (2).

According to our sources, there are oversight mechanisms (oversight units and defined procedures) designed by law to monitor and have oversight over the military procurement. However, these mechanisms are not independent and can be exploited by the executive, which affect their credibility in many cases. For example, the formation of the committees is based on patrimonialism(1,2). Specific oversight mechanisms are provided for defence procurement by Decree n° 88-36, dated 12 January 1988, on the special procedure of control of the expenditure of the Ministries of Defence and Interior. This decree established a Special Committee in each of these two ministries that oversee even sensitive items. However, these committees can not be considered as truly independent because they are chaired by the concerned minister or his representative. Moreover, they are only subject to a limited audit by the expenditures audit services (Art 8 of the decree). (3) The Decree n° 2878-2012, dated 19 November 2012, obliges to submit these types of expenses to its control before ratification and execution (4).

According to our sources, there are oversight bodies which have the capacity to issue reports, however, their reports do not include recommendations and they have no power to have a say on project or procurements. They issue reports and send it to the highest administrative office/ minister in MoD or the armed forces(1,2). Procurement committees within the Ministry of Defence issued 164 evaluation reports and studied 375 files in 2016 (3). However, information about whether their recommendations are followed could not be found.

General information about the activities of the special committees of control of expenditures can be found in the annual reports of the High Committee of control of public expenditures (total number of files, the percentage, and the total amounts approved by these committees). Information about the procurement of the Ministry of Defence could also be found in these reports (1). According to our sources, these reports miss key information such as justifications of procurement and detailed explanations of the process, M and E or delivering of the procurement(2,3).

It has been established throughout this assessment that the defence sector in the UAE is not subject to any form of oversight. Federal Resolution No. 43 of 2016 on governmental procurement processes explicitly excludes the defence sector from its mandate and highlights that the defence sector has its own procurement regulations (1). Evidence has shown that so far defence procurement attained most of its procurements through the state-owned private limited liability company Tawazun; which runs the Tawazun Economic Council, which in turn manages defence procurement (2), (3). Tawazun discloses no information about procurement oversight mechanisms and does not provide a procurement procedure on its websites. There are a few entities within the government that can provide oversight for defence procurement if mandated; for example, the Competition Regulation Committee and the State Audit Institute. As it now stands, the Competition Regulation Committee, established in 2018 as part of the Ministry of Economy, is expected to provide an effective and conducive environment for commercial establishments, to maintain and practice key efficiency, competitiveness, and be more consumer-focused. These are considered essential drivers in the efforts to achieve sustainable development (4). This committee is not tasked with oversight over the defence sector and its work focuses on the commercial sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as with the lack of oversight mechanisms overseeing defence procurement, an assessment of its effectiveness is irrelevant in this context.

There is no evidence to support that there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is managed privately and federal regulations around procurement do not apply to defence and national security purchases (1), (2).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as with the lack of oversight mechanisms overseeing defence, an assessment of its transparency is irrelevant in this context.

No evidence supports there are defence procurement oversight mechanisms in place, particularly since defence procurement is managed privately and federal regulations around procurement do not apply to defence and national security purchases (1), (2).

Country Sort by Country 59a. Independence Sort By Subindicator 59b. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator 59c. Transparency Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Burkina Faso 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA NA
Cote d'Ivoire 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA NA
Kuwait 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Mali 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 NA NA
Niger 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA NA
Palestine 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 NA NA
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 NA NA
Tunisia 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA NA

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

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