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Q2.

Does the country have an identifiable and effective parliamentary defence and security committee (or similar such organisations) to exercise oversight?

2a. Formal rights

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SCORE: 0/100

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2b. Expertise

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SCORE: NA/100

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2c. Responsive policymaking

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SCORE: NA/100

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2d. Short-term oversight

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SCORE: NA/100

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2e. Long-term oversight

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SCORE: NA/100

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2f. Institutional outcomes

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SCORE: NA/100

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Since 2004 the Albanian Parliament has established a permanent parliamentary Committee on National Security (CNS). According to the Article 18 of RoPP, the “The Standing Committees review accordingly the draft laws, draft resolutions and other issues presented to the Assembly, conduct studies on the effectiveness of applicable laws, follow the implementation of laws and monitor the activity of ministries and other central bodies, proposing to the Assembly or The Council of Ministers to take appropriate measures, and propose for approval to the Assembly draft laws, draft declarations or draft resolutions.” Article 19 specifically mention that the area of responsibility of the CNS is “the organisation of the national defence and the Armed Forces, military cooperation, internal affairs, civil emergencies, public order and secret services.” The RoPP also provides all the legislation and policy documents which fall under the CNS mandate are initially discussed and approved by this committee before being debated and approved in the plenary [1].
The Committee on National Security has the power to scrutinise any aspect of performance of defence ministry or agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, arms acquisition, and demand information on these areas. The committee is in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it. It is constitutionally required to do so and has the power to do so based on the Law on the Powers and Commanding Authorities of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania (Article 8)[2] and the RoPP (Articles 18 and 36).
In addition to the CNS, the RoPP provides for the establishment of ad hoc investigations commissions by the parliament to investigate specific issues, including defence and security [1].

The CNS comprises of 18 permanent members and eight substitutes. Nearly half of the members have some experience with the security sector, having held various positions in the military, law enforcement, and the judiciary. Only two of the actual members have held positions within the defence sector, while the others have experience in law enforcement and justice system [1]. However, given the politicised nature of the debates held in the CNS, and the decisions that typically are made along with party lines rather than expertise, the discussions rarely benefit from the presence in the committee of members with expertise in the defence sector [2].

After the adoption of the first National Security and Military Strategy in 2000, the parliament reviewed the Military Strategy in 2002, in 2005, in 2007 and 2015, while the National Security and Military Strategy was reviewed twice in 2004 and 2014 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. However, there is no agreed schedule for a period of review of these documents; the parliament can get involved only when the executive proposes a draft. There have been no cases of parliament demanding a review; for instance, the Military Strategy adopted in 2007 was reviewed in 2015 although the country joined NATO in 2009. Similarly, the National Security Strategy took ten years to be reviewed and was discussed only when the executive drafted it and proposed it for adoption.

In its practice, the CNS does not issue amendments to budgets and recommendations. The most common ex-post oversight practice is the organisation of hearing sessions with MoD officials but these are rarely conducted. In 2012, the CNS organised hearings with the minister of defence on allegations made by the opposition on illicit arms sales, irregularities with the disposal of armed forces assets and unlawful interceptions [1].
In 2016, the CNS organised a hearing session with the minister of defence on the security in the region, NATO and the visit of the US State Secretary to Albania [2]. Another hearing session was organised in 2016 to hear the SHISH Director on allegations on illegal wiretapping by the Ministry of Interior [3]. In 2018, the CNS organised a hearing session with the minister of defence on the appointment of a high ranking navy officer to an international negotiation team [4]. The only regular ex-post activity is the annual reporting of the Director of the State Intelligence Service (SHISH) to the CNS [5].

Conducting long term investigations is not an established practice of the CNS. From January 2014 to July 2018 the CNS has held 118 meetings (37 in 2014, 25 in 2015, 28 in 2016, 17 in 2017, and 11 for the first half of 2018).
The principal focus of the meetings has been the review and discussion of legislation and budgets. There has been no oversight activity related to operations by the CNS, as shown by the list of CNS meetings [1].

As a result of the lack of a well-established CNS agenda that combines ex-ante and ex-post oversight tools, there has been no meaningful dialogue between the parliament and the defence and security institutions. The hearing sessions that mostly result from the political agenda of the political parties end up with providing more inputs to fuel up the political debate rather than with recommendations and follow up oversight of implementation. In sum, the established practice of the relationship and bulk of main activities consists of defence and security institutions proposing legislation, policies and the annual budget which once approved are not subject to continued oversight [1].
For instance, despite the frequent reviews of the Military Strategy (four times since 2002), the MoD has never reported on its implementation nor has the parliament asked for such a report (CNS reports) [2].

According to the law establishing the organization and functioning of the parliament, there is a National Defence Committee that is responsible for matters relating to national defence. The internal rules of the People’s National Assembly do not provide any additional information about any powers (1). No further information could be found in the constitution (2) or in regulations/laws that were mentioned in the internal rules of the APN, such as the Organizational Act no. 99-02 (3).

Since the National Defence Committee has no formal power to oversee national defence issues (1 and 2, and see the answer to question 2A), the responsive policymaking cannot be assessed. It is therefore scored “Not applicable”.

A list of the members of the Defence Committee could be found on the website of the APN (1). No information was found on the professional background of the members. The profiles found on the APN’s website only provided information on the party affiliation and the district of each member of parliament (2). A review of the local media provided no more information on Belkacem’s biography, only his voting behaviour (3). No information on the professional background of Deputy Chairman Lefki Mohamed was found either (4). It cannot be ruled out that some members have expertise in the defence sector (i.e., because they have served themselves), but given the patronage characteristic of the Algerian parliament and the power of the PNA (5), the ability to influence decisions is generally considered weak (see as well the answer to question 1C).

Since the National Defence Committee has no formal power to oversee national defence issues (1 and 2, and see the answer to question 2A), the responsive policymaking cannot be assessed. It is therefore scored “Not applicable”.

Since the National Defence Committee has no formal power to oversee national defence issues (1), (2), see the answer to question 2A, the question on short-term oversight cannot be assessed. It is therefore scored “Not applicable”.

Since the National Defence Committee has no formal power to oversee national defence issues (1), 2, and see the answer to question 2A), the question on long-term oversight cannot be assessed. It is therefore scored “Not applicable”.

Since the National Defence Committee has no formal power to oversee national defence issues (1), (2), and see the answer to question 2A), the question on institutional outcomes cannot be assessed. It is therefore scored “Not applicable”.

The “2nd Parliamentary Commission on Defence, Security and Veterans” is a specialized parliamentary working group with a consultative role. According to the most recent regulations enacted in 2018, the 2nd Parliamentary Commission has the mandate to conduct scrutiny on the “main activities” in the defence and security sector. However, it lacks formal powers and the independence to conduct effective scrutiny based on the limitations set by the Constitutional Court in 2013 on parliamentary oversight functions of state accounts (1), (2). Though its main task appears to be to review and assess legislation on matters of defence and national security before its submitted for a final vote in Parliament, it has very little leeway to exert the limited power of oversight and independence to conduct effective scrutiny (3). Also, its composition is dominated by the ruling party MPLA, as the makeup is based on parliamentary representation.

At least six members of the current 2nd Commission appointed in November 2017 have expertise in military matters. The number of its members is unclear: 20, according to the parliament’s website, or 21, according to a manual issued by the parliament’s secretary-general (1), (2). Its composition is dominated by the ruling party MPLA, as it is based on parliamentary representation.

Most recently, the 2nd Commission was involved in reviewing the package of bills on the armed forces that were passed in July of 2018 (1). There is no publicly available information on the proceedings of 2nd Commission meetings or ongoing oversight.

In August 30, 2016, Jornal De Angola reported on a parliamentary session, the Minister of Finance clarified to deputies on the priorities of the revised General State Budget and in the report Roberto Leal Monteiro “Ngongo” President of the Defense and Security Committee of the National Assembly recalled that “the committee he directs held several parliamentary hearings with the Defense and National Security sector and noted that the Executive had in mind to maintain a stable in the combative disposition of all the national security organs” (2).

Based on these reports, it seems that between 2016 and 2018 there have been two parliamentary hearings on defence and national security sector. However, no publicly available information, on the proceedings of 2nd Commission meetings or ongoing oversight details oversight reports, was found.

The 2nd Parliamentary Commission is a working group with only a consultative role with no effective power to exert oversight (1), (2).

The 2nd Parliamentary Commission has a merely consultative role and is dominated by the ruling party. It lacks the power to conduct investigations or exercise effective short or long-term oversight over defence policies. Its role is limited to elaborating non-public recommendations on legislation (1), (2).

There is no evidence that the 2nd Commission issues broader recommendations and no information on whether and to what extent recommendations are incorporated (1), (2).

The Parliament has permanent national defence commissions in both Chambers (also with internal security commissions). In their respective regulations, their functions refer to ruling on the organisation, armament, and discipline of the Armed Forces and their auxiliary and related services, issues related to the missions that correspond to these forces and those that refer to rewards, honours, and all other matters relating to the national defence branch. Then, by Regulation, its function is to “rule” which means giving opinion and judgment to be formed or issued about something. It does not have formal powers of scrutiny on any aspect of the Ministry or defence agencies. [1] [2] They do not have the possibility to intervene regarding budgetary issues for example. By regulatory provision, the draft national budget (where defence and security is located) is referred only to the Committee on Budget and Finance. [3] Its members (exclusively legislators) reflect the political composition of the chambers and also have permanent staff for technical-administrative support. In their daily operations, the commissions carry out research and debate tasks of the different projects (law, declaration, resolutions, and communication) in which the commission has specific or subsidiary competence. There is the possibility of inviting public or private officials to commission meetings, or other actors in order to inform themselves or discuss. There are no specific operating rules that determine the order and timing of treatment of the projects. In general, it is the president of the commission who determines the agenda. [4] [5]

The composition of the commissions is representative of the political forces that make up the chamber in accordance with the provisions of the regulations. Its composition occurs every two years (with the renewal of the Chambers) and arises from political negotiations between the parliamentary blocs. [1] This implies that while it may be that some legislators have specific knowledge of security and defence, it is not a determining requirement to be part of the commission. A case that exemplifies this is the current President of the Defence Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Nilda Garré, former Minister of Defence. There is no specific regulation in the commissions that determines the suitability of its members. The permanent staff of the commission are purely technical. The specialists are the advisors of the respective legislators, which the President of the Commission can count on to fulfill their tasks. Similarly, these personnel do not have the autonomous capacity to influence decisions. [2] [3]

Parliamentary defence committees (as well as internal security) do not examine defence policies and decisions on a temporary basis if a new threat arises. This task is the power of the Executive, which must be framed in the laws that exist in the matter. That is to say, the topics dealt with by the commissions do not decide on policies in themselves, but instead analyse, debate, and then decide on projects that should be addressed in sessions at the level of the Chamber of Deputies and, according to their theme, move to discussion in the Senate (or vice versa). The annual example is the law concerning the entry and exit of troops. Regarding examining the policy against new threats, the new DPDN of 2018 of the Executive Branch [1] which, following Ugarte (2018), says that security would be affected by transnational phenomena such as drug trafficking, piracy, trafficking in persons, and smuggling. Security agencies would have priority attention on these matters, but the new directive established by the Armed Forces has material, infrastructure, and technological capabilities that can be used in support of a comprehensive strategy to combat these problems. [2] The parliamentary commissions do not conduct an examination as to the definition of threats. There is evidence of projects by deputies which express concern about the attempt to involve the Armed Forces in matters of internal security, [3] [4] a bill to create an extended security regime and subsidiary functions of defence [5], and even actions to repeal the decree that establishes the DPDN 2018. [6] In the Senate, there are some who have expressed concern about the new functions of the Armed Forces. [7]

Parliamentary defence commissions do not exercise any short-term supervision over defence policy, as long as they do not have formal powers to modify their budget and generate recommendations that must be addressed by the Ministry of Defence. The supervisory role is carried out by requesting reports and interpellations, which must be previously approved. [1] However, dialogues arise between the powers that, although it is up to the Ministry to take these recommendations into consideration, usually work with legislators when objections appear within the same political or oppositional space. [2] [3] The commissions do not make the short-term modification on the defence budget. The budget execution is subject to the evaluation carried out by the National Budget Office, which includes the quarterly analysis of the physical-financial execution of the National Public Administration budget. On the other hand, the General Audit of the Nation (a technical agency of the National Congress) and the General Union of the Nation (dependent on the Executive Power of the Nation) carry out controls and audits. [4]

The defence commissions have a formal power to carry out investigations, if they so determine, in order to comply with their legislative functions in the matter. However, the task of long-term research is carried out by special commissions created for this purpose or through the AGN. [1] As Godoy (2008) points out, each Chamber has the capacity (based on its internal regulations) to create investigative commissions that will act according to its powers, and that each Chamber of Congress delegates to it for purposes of parliamentary initiative or legislation reform, or of responsibility of public officials, or of control of government acts. [2] An example of this was the creation by Law 27,433 of the bicameral investigative commission on the disappearance, search, and rescue operations of the ARA San Juan submarine. [3] Likewise, legislators may request reports to the AGN through the Joint Audit Commission on various areas of the State, including the Ministry of Defence and dependent jurisdictions. However, in the words of its Head, the use by Congress of this control body is scarce. [4]

Although parliamentary committees can make recommendations, both through political dialogue at the time they invite officials to report on different aspects of security and defence and after interpellation processes to authorities, they are rarely followed. This is explained in part by reviewing the analysis made by Ibáñez Rosa (2008): “by the Argentine presidential system, which derives from the Constitution and which has been increased by the presidential re-election, the legislative delegation, the decrees of necessity and urgency , and the partial promulgation of laws, added to the progressive abandonment of the Congress of the exercise of its faculty of control.” [1] [2] In the case of the bilateral commission for clarification on the ARA San Juan case, according to sources, [3] the Ministry of Defence only responded to the commission’s requests. The Minister’s presence was delayed, and the recommendations issued by the Commission (which is still working on the Final Report) were not received by the relevant authorities. As an institutional consequence of the above, there is little association between the legislative and the executive branch, which can be explained by structural factors such as a legislative agenda dominated by the majority political force and the fragmentation that has operated in a sustained manner in congressional operations. [4]

Chapter 5 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly is dedicated to the standing committees of the parliament. Articles 10-15 refer to the activities, the scope, the rights and responsibilities of the committees. The Standing Committee of Defence and Security is one of ten standing committees that are designated specific roles at the National Assembly. In addition to the main Standing Committee on Defence and Security, the Rules of Procedures of the National Assembly anticipates the activities of inquiry committees. Clause 1 of Article 20 of Rules of Procedures provides that an inquiry committee can be initiated to investigate an issue within the National Assembly’s jurisdiction provided there is at least one-fourth of MP votes for that. Clause 2 specifies that issues related to defence and security can only be under the responsibility of an appropriate committee provided there is at least one-third of MP votes [1]. However, only the Standing Committee on Defence and Security, out of all NA standing committees, has the right to execute the powers of an inquiry committee when an issue has been raised by a deputy that relates to defence and security sector. This is a clear limitation. According to the same law, the composition and the changes thereof in an inquiry committee shall be approved by the Chairperson of the National Assembly [1]. This means that there is no possibility of independent oversight even within the parliament for defence and security matters.

During the former government’s time in power, only five MPs had extensive experience in the field of defence and security in the Standing Committee on Defence and Security comprised of 11 MPs [1]. Criminal corruption cases against two former members of the commission were opened after the revolution [2, 3]. At present, only two out of eleven committee members have expertise in the defence sector [4].

All major defence and security documents pass through hearings and approval/disapproval at the National Assembly. Thus, the National Security Strategy, that was adopted in 2007, before being signed by the President of Armenia, was discussed at the Parliament in 2006. [1] Besides, the Standing Committee of Defence, National Security, and Internal Affairs is entitled to review, comment, amend, approve any legislative initiative that may eventually end up as law and be implemented by the Executive. However, it has not initiated a formal process to review the threats. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has regularly done it.

The Constitution of Armenia provides more oversight of the National Assembly (NA) over the executive (Articles 110 and 111 refer to the oversight over the budget). To effectively implement that extended function, the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia were amended to ensure that the Executive submits reports within 40 days upon every quarter on the budget implementation, which is discussed at the appropriate standing committee (Article 114 of the Rules of Procedure). This ensures that the NA is more extensively engaged in the dialogue with the executive and provides its comments more often than once or twice a year when the budget was approved and the implementation of it was reported to the NA [1, 2, 3]. State and local self-governing bodies and officials shall discuss the written request of the commission and answer it in writing within three weeks. (Article 12, clause 2 of the Rules of Procedure). Extraordinary sessions of the Standing Committee shall be convened by its chair, at the initiative of at least one-fourth of the members. An extraordinary session is held on the agenda and within the timeframe established by the initiator (Article 14, clause 2 of the Rules of Procedure). There is no evidence of amendments to budget and of other recommendations issued by the committee.

Standing Committees do not investigate cases. They may commission an investigation that is conducted by the Audit Chamber. The Law on Audit Chamber details that the Audit Chamber is to report to the NA and the public on the effective and legitimate use of public finance, means of the state budget, loans, and credits and state and local government property (Article 3). Clause 3 of Article 5 states that the Audit Chamber:
1. Submits a yearly note on its activities,
2. Opinion on budget implementation,
3. Other opinions as provided by the Law on Audit Chamber [1].

The Committee is in place, but there is no data backing up the incorporation of the recommendations into the activities of ministries.

Parliamentary committees are made up of members of the House of Representatives or Senators (or, in the case of Joint Committees, a mix of both). Committees exercise scrutiny through inquiry processes, where they can, depending on the authority given to them, compel people to attend hearings and produce documents under threat of sanction. This inquiry process informs Parliamentary debate and the formation of legislation [1, 2]. Though Australian defence and security institutions are responsible to any Parliamentary committee which requests information of them (the Defence Annual Report contains a list of committees and inquiries to which defence provided information [3]), the ones with the most direct oversight and review roles are, for defence: the Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade [4] (made up of the Legislation Committee and References Committee) and the Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) [5] (with the Defence Sub Committee being the responsible sub committee); and for security, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) [6]. These committees and others generally have the right to review bills and topics as referred to them by the responsible Minister, the House, by law, or by the committee itself, including arms procurements and defence decisions [1]. As there are no formal limits to the matters inquiries can address, meaning scrutiny could be performed over budgets, personnel management, policy planning, and arms acquisition. These four main Australian Parliament committees that deal with defence and security have extensive formal rights to conduct scrutiny over defence policy, however, in most cases, if the committee wishes to conduct an inquiry the matter must be referred to it by the wider Parliament or a Minister. In some instances, matters are referred by Parliament to the defence-related committees without the support of the government of the day [7]. In accordance with the Senate Standing Order [8], the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (SFADTLC) participates in the structural Senate Estimates budget process, scrutinising the proposed defence budget and how the previous defence budget has been used to further identified outcomes. The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee and the JSCFADT have the power, through the Senate Standing Orders [8] and their Resolution of Appointment [9], respectively, to call witnesses and demand documents in the course of any inquiry referred to them by Parliament, Ministers. In addition, the JSCFADT is obliged to scrutinise external audits, Annual Reports, and other documents. However, witnesses may “hide” behind classification to avoid answering questions, which they often do in practice [10]. SFADTLC has the additional obligation to review any defence-related legislation that is under consideration by Parliament along with official reports tabled by the Department of Defence [8]. The PJCIS has still greater formal rights than the defence-related committees [6, 10].

Out of 32 members of the three Australian Parliament committees that deal with defence, only 9 have any experience in the defence sector (Country Assessor’s calculation based on [1, 2, 3]). In the case of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, the chairperson as of October 2019 is a retired high-ranking defence official. Four of the eleven MPs and Senators who sit on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security have experience in defence, security, and/or intelligence [4].

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade issues its own annual report on the Defence Annual Report, which outlines major defence policies, decisions, and policy shifts [1]. However, none of the defence-related committees undertake a systemic review of Defence White Papers, which provide an overview of defence strategy and since 2009 have been released every 3 or so years [2]. Since 2009, the convention of releasing Defence White Papers by tabling them in Parliament has been scrapped [3].

Based on information in the Parliamentary calendar, defence-related committees do meet at least monthly for public hearings and inquiry report tabling when Parliament is in session [1]. The Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (SFADTLA) reviews most defence-related legislation but cannot, on its own, amend legislation [2]. However, the SFADTLA and other defence-related committees may recommend particular amendments to the wider Parliament [3]. The defence-related committees regularly issue recommendations as part of their inquiries. In some cases, Government is not required to respond to recommendations at all and there appear to be no demands from the committee to respond within a certain time frame (See examples of inquiries by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) [4]). While the government does usually respond, it can take between 6 months and a few years (for example, the JSCFADT report “Australia’s trade and investment relationships with countries of the Middle East” was tabled in May 2016 [5] and received a government response in March 2019 [6]), though such a lengthy delay appears rare. More commonly, reports receive a government response within a year.

Though the defence-related Parliamentary committees can, in theory, be referred any matter by Parliament or the Minister to inquire on (see Q2A), in practice, the only time that the defence-related committees inquire into operations is as one part of the annual review of the Defence Annual Report [1]. These inquiries tend to be cursory, with the vast majority of the inquiry relying on the testimony of Defence officials. Defence-related committees do regularly conduct long-term inquiries into aspects of defence activities, with 5 inquiries on topics related to defence tabled in 2018 [2, 3], however, these do not focus on specific operations. For operational security reasons, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) is specifically barred from reviewing particular operations by intelligence agencies [4]. The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security conducts oversight over many of the operational activities of the security agencies. However, while the IGIS and PJCIS serve “complementary roles,” there is no formal relationship of referral between the two [5, 6].

While it is unclear whether the Department of Defence fully implements recommendations by defence-related committees since there is no independent follow-up mechanism for parliamentary recommendations, the Government does tend to agree with and propose steps to implement recommendations by committees. Looking at four government responses to defence-related inquiry reports from the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference Committee, out of thirty-three recommendations (not including dissenting recommendations) offered total, fourteen were agreed to and most others were agreed in part or agreed in principle [1-4].

There is Committee for Defence, Security and Anti-Corruption in Azerbaijani Parliament with 12 members (1). The committee doesn’t have the power to scrutinise the military budget, personnel management, defence policy planning, arms acquisition, and demand information on these areas (2).
According to the website of the parliament (3), the Committee on Defence, Security and Anti-Corruption issues draft laws on the following issues or gives opinions on draft laws: the state of emergency and the military situation; defence; military service; the status of military servicemen and other issues; basics of state security, methods and means of its provision; state border regime.
The committee gives an opinion to the draft decisions on the approval of the military doctrine of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the presentations of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the consent to the involvement of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the declaration of war and the conclusion of peace on the request of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
On the instruction of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan or the Chairman of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, it gives an opinion on the draft laws and resolutions in terms of security and defence issues.
According to the Internal Regulations of the Parliament (3), the committees have the right to demand from the central and local executive and judicial authorities, local self-governing bodies, state and non-state enterprises, institutions and organizations the documents and materials necessary for the preparation of draft laws and resolutions, to invite their representatives (experts) to the meetings of the committee.
The documents and materials required by the committee for drafting laws and resolutions should be forwarded to the committee within ten days by the central and local executive and judicial authorities, local self-government bodies, state and non-state enterprises, departments and organizations. If these documents and materials contain state secrets, commercial secrets, or other confidential information protected by law, they shall not be sent, and written opinion shall be given to the Chairman of the Milli Majlis. If the Speaker of Parliament does not agree with the answer and requests these documents and materials, they are obligated to submit them to the Chairman of the Milli Majlis.

Only two of the twelve members of the committee know about defence and security issues. Thus, observations show that it is not possible to conduct serious discussions and make decisions on the defence sector with the current composition of the committee. One member of the committee, Agil Abbas, said that he does not accept the concept of control over the army. “How do I control the army? Do I know the army’s work? The army must be controlled by the state. I think so.” (1). Isa Sadikov, an expert on defence issues, said that there are serious problems in the Defence Committee. “The members of this committee do not have any deep knowledge about army, army building, reforms. Because of that the parliament faces challenges with his policy toward the Army. And all these things are planned in advance intentionally by the authorities” (2).

So far, the parliament has adopted three documents on security and defence: the National Security Concept in 2007 (1), the Military Doctrine in 2010 (2), and the Maritime Security Strategy in 2013 (3). Although more than five years have passed since the adoption of each of the three documents, the committee has not reviewed them. Even though, over the past 12 years, the security situation in the region has changed dramatically since the adoption of the National Security Concept. In 2014, Zahid Oruj, an MP and member of the committee, in a plenary session of the parliament spoke about the need to change the Military Doctrine in connection with the new security situation in the region. He said, “[d]uring this period, the military policy has changed in the international arena. This amendment requires that Azerbaijan change its military doctrine. The President of Azerbaijan proposed not to join any military bloc. This issue should be confirmed in the military doctrine” (4). Azerbaijan joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 2011 (5).
According to some experts, the five-day war between Russia and Georgia (2008, August) dramatically changed the political situation in the South Caucasus. Although Azerbaijan was not directly involved in the conflict, the war nevertheless forced Baku to reevaluate its foreign and domestic policies (6). According to the last article (75th) of the Military Doctrine, this document is an open document for revision, clarification and supplements, taking into account the constantly changing dynamics of the security environment in the Republic of Azerbaijan (7).
The 2014 annexation of Crimea and Russia’s military influence increasing in breakaway regions of Georgia are additional factors that highlight the need to review defence-security strategic documents. Experts from a government research institution (peer reviewer’s interview, July 2018, Baku) stated that “not only the shifts in security environment (2008 August War, 2014 Ukraine) but also shift in nature of war situation with Armenia, requires a review of military doctrine and national security concept (8). Further, the government has not prepared a foreign policy doctrine, although this was announced a decade ago. Foreign policy doctrine is essential; in other countries, it is a part of military-security strategic documentation.

According to experts, the committee’s activities are completely formal and have no real effect on what has happened in the defence and security sector (1). Parliament’s official website shows that over the past ten years, the committee held only twenty sessions (2), which shows how ineffective the committee is. In the first half of 2019, the committee held nine sessions (January 17- June 19), which can be considered a serious activity in recent years. However, since the issues raised by the committee in 2019 were mainly technical, it does not mean that this will cause serious changes in the parliament’s activities toward military issues (3).

There is no information from local sources or in official statements that the CDSAC has undertaken investigations on current activities. Until now, no committee from parliament has reported about any lengthy investigations (1). However, according to the Defence Ministry, in 2017, 15 meetings with military personnel were held in military units following the work plan signed between the Ministry of Defence and the State Committee for Work with Religious Associations and the Military Prosecutor’s Office. Additionally, in 2017, the Chamber of Accounts conducted a detailed examination of the Defence Ministry (2).

There is not enough information avaialble to score this indicator. According to experts, the parliament has never given any advice or recommendations to the military and, at the same time, there is no information on the implementation of such a recommendation (if any) by the army (1).Until there were changes in the Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan (2013), there was a problem between the ministry and the parliamentary committee. At that time, some deputies declared their concerns about the situation in the army and that the reform was not implemented (2, 4). But in the post-2013 period, parliamentarians have no serious criticism of the Defence Ministry and other security structures. Experts believe that every sphere in Azerbaijan operates per the decree from the government, in particular from the president. Therefore, it is impossible to see any serious problems in the relations between the ministries and the parliament. At the same time, it should be noted that the parliament’s serious advice to the military structures is currently unrealistic. The focus should also be on the non-professionalism of the committee members (3).

There is a Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee within the Shura Council. However, there is no evidence that this committee has any formal rights to oversight or scrutinize the defence sector [1]. According to our sources, the committee has no power over defence sector whatsoever as defence considered a confidential issue where the royal house has the ultimate authority over it [2]. There are no formal mandate or laws that guide the work of the committee with regards to defence [3]. There is also a Supreme Defence Council which is appointed by the Al Khalifa family. The 14 members are from Al Khalifa family and no one from the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee. There is no scrutinization of the Supreme Defence Council by any institution.

The Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee has members who have expertise in the defence and military sector. The current head of the committee is Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ajman who has a degree in military studies from Jordan, and his deputy is Faisal Al Naomi, who is an army pilot. However, the committee has no power even though it has some expertise [1, 2]. Although there is some expertise, they have no real influence on the work and activities on defence in general.

In the online Minutes of Meetings (MoMs), there is no reference to any review process concerning major defence policies in the last three years [1, 2, 3, 4]. In addition to that, there are no references to any long term or short term strategies, such as white papers.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee have no power or capacity of oversight over the military and defence policies. There is no short term scrutiny or oversight over defence policies. It is not permitted by law, and even so, the king has absolute power and would not allow inspections [1, 2, 3].

According to interviewees, there is no long term oversight or scrutiny over defence policy by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security Committee. Even within the agendas of meetings from 2014 until 2020, there are no MoMs concerning the discussion of defence-related issues [1, 2, 3].

As there are no recommendations related to the defence sector, there is no way that recommendations can be incorporated within the ministry [1, 2, 3]. As such, this indicator has been marked ‘Not Applicable’.

There is not enough information to score this indicator. Bangladesh has a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Defence. However, the terms of reference for this committee are not publicly available. Nor are there any media reports indicating that this committee has scrutinised the performance of the Ministry of Defence or any of its operational issues, such as military budgets, personnel management, policy planning or issues related to arms acquisition. Additionally, there are no media reports, as of yet, of any experts appearing before this committee. Nor could any evidence could be obtained in the form of the committee’s annual report, meeting minutes or agenda items. Recent media reports on the PSCMoD’s activities have focussed on, among other things, discussions on salary issues [1], a recommendation to give the Independence Award to Combined Military Hospital [2] and a visit to Rohingya camps [3].

The committee chair is a retired general who once served as Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division under the Prime Minister (PM). Another member is a retired colonel and holds a Masters in Defence Studies. The remaining eight members have no formal expertise on military, security or defence matters [1].

The media reported that, in 2009, the Bangladesh Army sent a request to the MoD stressing the need to prepare a defence policy [1]. The matter was endorsed by the PSCMoD. The PSCMoD has reportedly not reviewed defence policy in the last five years.

There are no official or media reports suggesting that the PSCMoD has ever exercised any short-term oversight over defence policy [1].

There are no official or media reports indicating that the PSCMoD has ever conducted or commissioned a long-term investigation [1].

There is not enough information to score this indicator. Section D-15 of the MoD performs all activities relating to the PSCMoD [1]. Due to the absence of any public records or information, it is not possible to ascertain whether the MoD has incorporated the PSCMoD’s recommendations, if there are any.

There are three defence committees. The main one is the Commission of Defence (Commissie van Landsverdediging), which is responsible for matters such as defence policy planning and personnel management. In the commission, members of parliament are free to ask questions to the Minister of Defence and members of the Armed Forces [1].

The Commission also has the right to organize special committees in light of specific events, during which it can question military personnel and experts regarding the topic at hand. It publishes its documents and committee transcripts online. Secondly, the Commission of Defence Purchases (Commissie Legeraankopen) has the power to scrutinize the purchase and sales procedures of the Belgian Defence [2, 3]. They convene at the request of the president of the Chamber of Representatives.

Third, the Commission of Monitoring Military Operations Abroad (Commissie voror de opvolging van de buitenlandse missies) meets at least once a month when Belgian forces are deployed abroad [4]. The meetings of the latter two commissions take place behind closed doors and its members are sworn to secrecy.

The Commission of Defence has seventeen fixed members, including the president and two vice-presidents [1]. A review of bibliographical data reveals that most have solid political experience and a university education on MA level.

Fixed members are reconsidered every legislative period, but many of the members have been serving in the Commission of Defence for at least two terms. This means that they have built considerable expertise on the topic through time. Moreover, they are supported by parliamentary assistants, who support the MPs in their expertise. However, it must be pointed out that there is no official verification system through which the expertise of the MPs can be assessed, and quick turnovers may lead to a lack of knowledge, which may consequently result in them being unable to initiate critical debate concerning defence and security policy [2].

Every parliamentary term, which spans five years, the Minister of Defence proposes his/her Strategic Vision document [1]. This is then presented to the Commission of Defence, which will approve or take note of the document. During the last two legislatures, the MoD mandated an expert committee to perform a risk analysis, on the basis of which it drafted a report with recommendations for the update of the Strategic Vision [2, 3, 4]. At the time of writing, this report has been presented to the MoD, and the Strategic Vision has been drafted but is pending approval.

The defence committee meets weekly or biweekly, depending on the topics at hand. The meeting schedules and agenda are published on the Parliament website [1]. Debates from representatives are thoroughly documented and publicly available [2]. Dates and integral text of the debate are documented in a question and answer format. Parliamentary discussions are very diversified and targeted. If necessary, meetings can be prolonged or extra meetings can be scheduled.

The Commission of Defence meets weekly or biweekly, depending on the circumstances, to supervise current activities, such as the defence budget, personnel management and policy planning [1, 2]. Regarding operations, the Commission of Monitoring Military Operations Abroad meets once a month when Belgian forces are deployed abroad [3]. This meeting takes place behind closed doors to ensure the safety of the military personnel in operations. Third, the Commission for Defence Purchases is always made aware of planned acquisitions surpassing €1.5mil and can subsequently decide to convene to discuss this acquisition plan [4].

The Minister of Defence does implement recommendations into practice to a large degree. The recommendation of the expert committee based on the risk analysis, for example, adds to how the Strategic Vision is drafted [1].

Similarly, discussions in the Commission of Defence have influenced defence policy or budget decisions. However, the divergence in views on defence across the political spectrum resuls in a selectivity of the incorporation of recommendations into policy and practices, as every Minister of Defence will put her/his own accents in line with her/his political views [2].

There is a Joint Committee on Defence and Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina that, among its other duties, is assigned with the following duties:
1. Considers and monitors the implementation of the security and defence policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
2. Monitors the work and considers reports from the Standing Committee on Military Matters, BiH Ministry of Defence, BiH Ministry of Security and other executive bodies dealing with defence and security issues as well as report the PA BiH thereof, in particular focusing on reports, short-term and long-term plans pertinent to the structure of the Armed Forces of BiH, personnel policy and recruiting, salaries and allowances, education and training of the BiH Armed Forces, professional conduct and ethical standards of civilian and military staff, Army equipment, military-industrial work, procurement and export/import of weapons and military equipment, material assistance and contracts with foreign companies rendering services to the defence institutions on a commercial basis, combat readiness, military exercises and operations including enforcement of international obligations and international peace support operations;
3. Considers draft laws and amendments to laws within the competencies of the Committee;
4. Considers and submit opinions and recommendations, amendments and changes to the defence budget proposal;
5. Considers reports on the defence budget execution as well as reports on the auditing of institutions in the domain of BiH defence and security policy; considers the cooperation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO, the Stability Pact of South-East Europe and other organizations and countries in the domain of defence and security;
6. Considers activities of permanent and ad hoc delegations of Bosnia and Herzegovina in international and inter-parliamentary institutions in the domain of security and defence;
7. Considers and submits opinions to the BiH PA on ratification and implementation of international treaties in the domain of security and defence; establishes cooperation with competent parliamentary committees of the entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, other countries, as well as with the international organizations and other defence institutions [1].

It also follows Article 59, paragraph 1, subparagraph O, of the Rules of Procedures of the House of Representative and Article 59, paragraph 1 subparagraph O, of the Rules of Procedures of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina it has the right to determine facts and take statements from elected or appointed officials, advisers, civil servants, employees, police officers, military or civilian persons serving in the armed forces in cases of detected irregularities or irregularities in work of the supervised institutions [2].

There is also the position of the Parliamentary Military Commissioner, which was established to strengthen the rule of law and protect the human rights and freedoms of soldiers and cadets in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Defence [3]. It presents the main tool of the Parliamentary Assembly and Joint Committee on Defence and Security (Joint Committee) in conducting various investigations regarding the issues deriving from the work of the defence sector and, as it is emphasized below, one of the competencies assigned to the commissioner is to “issue appropriate recommendations to competent (defence) institution” [3].

The Joint Committee on Defence and Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (JC) consists of twelve members. Though any MP can be a member of the JC, the political parties tend to name members with some expertise in the defence and security sector. The JC in the 2014-2018 mandate was composed of a majority of members who have expertise in the defence and security sector. Although they did not gain experience in the defence sector through dedicated high military education, seven members of the board have experiences and had relevant contacts with the security system. President Sifet Podzić was a general in the armed forces [1]. The other seven members of the board have work experience in the security system, in total eight out of twelve members of the board: two were former ministers of security [2, 3], two were working in the internal affairs [4, 5, 6] and two were military officers [7, 8, 9, 10].

In regards to the Parliamentary Military Commissioner (PMC), the only conditions are that it is a person with extensive parliamentary experience, high moral reputation and good knowledge of defence-related matters. The current PMC is the first one and has been appointed first by the JC in 2009 as tentative PMS and then twice by the Parliamentary Assembly in 2012 and 2018 as PMC. The law specifies that the mandate lasts 5 years with the possibility of one reappointment [11, 12].

The JC’s authority arises from the Rules of Procedures of the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly [1, 2]. The committee’s annual reports also say that the committee reviews all the adopted defence decisions and policies regularly regardless of whether new threats arise or not [3].

For example, the committee decided in 2016 on the following issues:

1. Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Control of Movement of Weapons and Military Equipment, Proposer: Council of Ministers of BiH, No: 01.02-02-1-36/15, dated December 12 2015. (First and second commissions phase) [4];
2. Proposal of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Service in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Proponent: Council of Ministers of BiH, No. 01.02-02-1-26 / 15, dated January 28 2016. (First and second commissions phase) [5];
3. Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Appellations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Proposer: Council of Ministers of BiH, No. 01.02-02-1-37 / 15, dated December 28 2015 (First and second commissary phase)[6];
4. Proposal of the law on the control of foreign trade of dual-use goods, proposer: Council of Ministers of BiH, No. 01.02-02-1-748/16, dated March 4 2016. (First and second commissions phase);
5. Proposal of the law on the control of foreign trade in arms, military equipment and weapons Special Purpose Goods, Proponent: Council of Ministers of BiH, No. 01.02-02-1-752 / 16, dated March 4 2016. (First and second commissions phase)[7];
6. Proposal of the Law on the Marking of Small Arms, Light Weapons and Related Ammunition, Proposed: Council of Ministers of BiH, No: 01.02-02-1-1361 / 16, dated June 10 2016, the first phase of the commission – shortened procedure.
The Joint Committee for Defence and Security conclusions, action plans for the implementation of the Joint Committee for Defence and Security conclusions, reports and other documents of MoD on the measures ordered by the BiH Joint Committee for Defence and Security contain information whose disclosure to unauthorised users could pose a threat to the defence system of BiH. Under the Law on Protection of Secret Data (“Official Gazette of BiH”, Nos. 54/05 and 12/09), this information is considered confidential and as such cannot be distributed to unauthorised users [8].
Generally, adoption of strategic documents does not fall under the competences of the JC, but for some documents, it has to give its consent. The security policy was adopted in 2006 and since then there has not been any political consent to work on adopting a new security policy. Thus, it is difficult to conclude that the JC continually follows security threats [9].

Annual reports from 2015, 2016 and 2017 on the work of the JC show that it did not issue any budget amendment or recommendations [1, 2, 3]. The 2015 and 2016 reports JC also emphasise that the JC has made significant progress within the field of production of the needed Rulebook regulating the procedures of public procurements in the Ministry of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina [1, 2].
The JC, during the 2014-2018 mandate, held a total of 48 sessions (from April 2015 to July 2018), once a month or more frequently if needed [4].

Following the 2015 Annual Report on the work of the JC, the committee reviewed the material and conclusions from the discussion on the Council of Ministers’ information on the attack on the police station in the city of Zvornik [1]. In the same year, the committee reviewed a report on the participation of members of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH) and police officers in peace support operations in the period 1.7.2014 until 31.12.2014 and in the period 1.1.2015 until 30.6.2015 [1]. Additionally, the JC took into consideration information on the terrorist attack in Rajlovac – Sarajevo [1]. The 2016 Annual report on the work of the BiH Joint Committee on Defence and Security confirmed that the Committee considered the Information of the Parliamentary Military Commissioner on unannounced visits to AFBiH units [2]. In the 2017 report, the primary focus was on the excess of ammunition, demining, military property and transparency in regards to AFBiH personnel. Also, during 2017 the JC specifically called the MoD to regularly report on measures made to improve the procurement system within the MoD [3]. Investigations are conducted by the competent state bodies and they are obliged to submit their reports on the conducted investigations to the Committee. For example, at one of its session, the committee determined that the State Investigation and Protection Agency in an intervention conducted in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, cooperated well with the police of the Republika Srpska [4].

The 2015 and 2016 annual reports on the work of the Parliamentary Military Commissioner (PMC) found that some of the problems mentioned by the PMC in his previously issued conclusions and recommendations continue to be repeated through the reporting periods such as:

1. Complaints related to the process of promotion of the commissioned and non-commissioned personnel in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
2. Complaints related to the military personnel’ right to various reimbursements
3. Complaints related to the quality of food and military equipment [1, 2].

Upon submission of the recommendations by the PMC, the MoD promptly acts upon the recommendations in terms of making appropriate decisions for their implementation, as well as in terms of their incorporation in other executive documents. Then the PMC is given reports on the implementation of the recommendations. The PMC’s recommendations contain, in part, information whose disclosure to unauthorised users could pose a threat to the defence system. Under the Law on Protection of Secret Data (“Official Gazette of BiH”, Nos. 54/05 and 12/09), this information is considered secret and as such cannot be distributed to unauthorised users.
As a result of the implementation of PMC’s recommendations or recommendations of the MoD’s Office of the Inspector General, MoD started amending its internal regulations to address the systemic problems identified through complaints lodged by military personnel with PMC and the MoD’s Office of the Inspector General. Below is a list of the regulations concerning the rights of military personnel which were amended or whose amending was initiated in 2018:
– Rules on professional development and career management for professional military personnel in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
– Rules on the military personnel classification system,
– Rules on determining medical fitness for military service in the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
– Rules on nutrition in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in peacetime,
– Drafting a new Instruction on consent procedures for the deployment of MoD and AFBiH employees in additional activities during a state of emergency.

Below is as an illustration of how Parliamentary Military Commissioner’s recommendations are acted upon and implemented by MoD. The report contains a recommendation concerning the appointment of a person to act on an ad interim basis in place of a professional military person who is temporarily prevented from performing his/her duties. The PMC found that the insistence on the appointment of an acting person who is of the same ethnicity as the person who is temporarily prevented from performing his/her duties has no legal backing in any primary or secondary legislation. The PMC, therefore, issued a recommendation to MoD and the Joint Staff urging them to take all appropriate measures that will result in the recognition of the rights appertaining to the complainant [3]. The 2017 report notes that the MoD informed PMC that the recommendation was carried out [4].

In regards to the JC, there are no known recommendations that were issued for the MoD or AFBiH to implement.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice & Security Committee has the legislative power to examine defence expenditure. Although this committee has other additional functions, which are not exclusively on defence, it encompasses foreign affairs and justice in its operations [1]. Parliament’s scrutiny powers over personnel decisions and policy planning are not clearly defined and can only be inferred. Also, the power to call witnesses can only be inferred and is not stipulated [2].

The Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice & Security Committee is led by Hon. Kenny K. Kapinga, MP, [1] however it is not clear from publicly available sources whether the Committee is composed of members with expertise in the defence and security sector. This may be due to the fact that members are selected from elected Members of Parliament. The current Committee is made up of the following Hon. Kenny K. Kapinga, MP. Hon. Dithapelo L. Keorapetse, MP. Hon. Aubrey Lesaso, MP. Hon. Yandani Boko, MP Hon. Mabuse M. Pule, MP. Hon. Tumisang M. Healy, MP. Hon. Friction T. Leuwe, MP.Hon. Mephato Reatile, MP [2]. The Parliament website does not provide additional information on each individual’s expertise. Additionally, when political parties second their MPs to the Parliamentary Committees, this is often not based on qualifications.

This indicator is marked as ‘Not Applicable’. The Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and Security is not responsible for scrutinising the defence policy; however it must be understood that Botswana does not have a defence policy [1, 2]. The purpose of this Committee is to scrutinise the budget use and not actual operations [3]. Therefore, in terms of responsive policymaking, this cannot be measured in the absence of a defence policy to benchmark the operations of the BDF. The mandate of the Committee is not only to conduct budget scrutiny but also includes general oversight in terms of the Constitution of Botswana [3].

There are monthly scheduled meetings for the Committee ( for the period that the Parliament is in session) to scrutinise the budgets and other related matters [1, 2]. Further, the Committee submits questions to the relevant Minister(s) for a response. The responses to these questions are then answered in public in Parliament [1, 3].

There are provisions allow the Committee to conduct long term investigations; however, there is no evidence of such long term investigations having been conducted [1]. There are no reports publicly available that have demanded to trigger the long-term investigative arm of this Committee [2, 3]. According to the official Government website, oversight is about keeping an eye on the activities of the Executive and holding the Executive accountable for their actions. A particularly important element of oversight involves the budget; checking that spending decisions are in line with the nation’s priorities [1].

Parliamentary oversight can contribute to ensuring that the relationship between the state and its citizens is characterised by accountability. It can also be described as Parliament performing a watchdog function over the Executive and thus holding the Executive accountable. This would entail overseeing the use of allocated funds through scrutiny by committees such as the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises. The Finance and Estimates Committee also scrutinizes supplementary funds requested by various ministries to ensure that the supplementary funds being requested are to cater for unforeseen expenditures.

Recommendations to improve the operations of the Ministries are issued by the Committee to the relevant Ministries incorporated [1]. These recommendations range from human capital to institutional reforms. However, it is the slow pace that is a cause for concern. For example, in one report, it was stated that Botswana National Assembly Chairperson of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice, and Security Committee, Major General Pius Mokgware, emphasised that their Committee was charged with the responsibility of carrying scrutiny of government departments [2]. Major General Mokgware explained to the team that their role was to make sure they followed the laid down policies, adding that they called the responsible officers to brief their Committee of their doings as well as to ensure that they keep their mandate [2]. He further stated that their Committee examined government policies and legislation under the portfolios of foreign affairs, international affairs justice, and defence [2]. The relationship between the Committee and the Ministry cannot be interpreted to be strained though it has demonstrated some challenges in the execution of the recommendations by the Committee.

The Legislative Commissions on Defence have the power to discuss defence budgets and to amend the country’s Budgetary Plan [1]. In 2019, the Senate’s Commission approved the budget for a program of reequipment of the Brazilian Air Force. There was also another amendment that reserved R$200.000 to the Navy’s equipment acquisition [2].

They have the competence (article 90º of the Senate’s internal regulation) [3] to:
(1) discuss and vote draft bills that are related to their specific subject;
(2) to organize public audiences with entities of civil society;
(3) to summon state ministries or any other leaders of public organizations;
(4) to receive petitions, comments or complaints from any citizen against public entities or authorities;
(5) to ask for the deposition of any citizen;
(6) to evaluate any governmental plan or policy;
(7) to propose the termination of any act of the Executive that exceeds its regulation role;
(8) to follow the Executive’s elaboration of the national budgetary plan; (9) to monitor and control the policies related to the commission’s expertise;
(10) to inspect any act of the indirect administration;
(11) to study any subject of the area and to make proposals about it;
(12) to deliberate regarding the merit of the proposals under its evaluation;
(13) to perform due diligence.

Most members have little expertise in the defence sector [1, 2]. Regarding 2019, the president of the Chamber of Deputies’ Commission on Foreign Affairs and National Defence (CREDN), Eduardo Bolsonaro, is a former policeman, and most of his proposed draft bills are related to expanding fire guns licensing in the country [3]. The president of the Senate Commission on Foreign Affairs and National Defence (CRE), Nelsinho Trad, also does not have any experience in the defence sector [4]. The few senators that have some experience in defence are: (i) Jaques Wagner [5], who was the minister of defence between January and October of 2015, during Dilma Rousseff’s term; (ii) Marcos do Val, a specialist in police training who served the army through compulsory conscription [6]; and the off-duty officers from PSL – Partido Social Liberal – Social-Liberal Party (Girao, Peternelli). The 2016 to 2018 overview is not that different from 2019.

The Legislative Commission on Defence debate, amend and approve (or not) the defence policies of Brazil. The National Defence Policy states that they shall be revised every four years [1]. The latest version of the National Defence Strategy was released in 2012, and a new version began being debated in 2016. In December of 2018, they were enacted by the Senate [2] – a seven-year window between both versions. Additionally, the initiative to review these documents can come from the legislative commissions or the executive, but it generally comes from the military themselves [3]. However, as one of the reviewers pointed out, the fact that it took so long to be implemented cannot be entirely blamed on CREDN, since defence policymaking has also been opened up to the input of civil society (for instance, academics). In addition, some attention is being given by CREDN to the Army’s Cybersecurity planning, conducting several auditions since the beginning of the year [4].

CREDN and CRE meet almost every week, sometimes having two meetings in one week – one ordinary and deliberative meeting, and another to discuss specific topics regarding foreign affairs and national defence [1]. They can suggest amendments to budgets and recommendations; however, they generally come from requests made by the military themselves. As mechanisms of short-term oversight, both CREDN and CRE can create provisory sub-committees. CREDN has the following active special subcommittees: a) the Special Subcommittee for National Borders Issues [2], and b) the Special Subcommittee for the Alcântara Basis [3], both created in 2019. Between 2016 and 2018, one other subcommittee was created, which was the Special Subcommittee for the Revision of the Military Criminal Code [4]. There is still no evidence of the active subcommittees’ activities since they were recently created. The Subcommittee on the Military Criminal Code, they released a report containing a draft bill, as a result of many discussions and public hearings.

As stated above, CREDN and CRE meet almost every week, but not all of the meetings held by the CREDN are related to defence issues since the committee is also dedicated to foreign affairs. The mechanisms to undertake long-term oversight are the Permanent Subcommittees. In 2019, there is only one current defence-related subcommittee, which is the Permanent Subcommittee of Defence Industry and International Partnerships in the Realm of National Defence [1], created in 2019. There is one terminated committee, that was created in 2015, about National Borders [2]. Nevertheless, there is no available final report of its activities. The Senate’s CRE, in turn, had three permanent subcommittees related to defence [3, 4, 5], but their website does not adequately show the reports and meetings that happened in these subcommittees. It is known, however, that these commissions have access to classified information but never ask for them, as the response to an FOI request stated [6]. As such, though these committees are empowered to conduct investigations into specific aspects of defence policy or activity, it is not clear the extent to which they do so in practice.

The committee has the right to call for public and secret meetings with any official from the armed forces and any minister, and also request and require visits to military facilities. These procedures shape legislator’s views regarding budget and policy evaluation and eventual recommendations are fragmented in dozens of individual requests. There are no institutionalized follow-up processes that can account for the institutional outcomes of the committee’s work. See committee reports and databases to check all the requirements made through CREDN and CRE [1, 2]. Nevertheless, the assessor found no clear evidence that these committees actually provide recommendations to the Ministry of Defence or the various branches of the Brazilian Armed Forces.

The NA has a Defence and Security Committee called CODES (1), it is in charge of a set of issues; including military cooperation, organization of the defence and security, long term planning, recruitment law, civilian and military personnel, and justice (Assemblée Nationale 2016) (2). In addition to the decision of exercising the NA’s power of sending military contingents abroad for peacekeeping purposes (2), CODES also has an oversight function concerning laws (3), (4). However, the management system, policy planning, and arms acquisition are not under the purview of any parliamentary control, as the government rarely releases information on these issues (3), (4), (5).

The NA also has the Committee on Finance and Budget (COMFIB) (1), which has formal powers over the government budget, including that of the MoD and national security matters.

In the aftermath of the October 2014 popular uprising against the former regime, a framework for the transitional government was adopted by political, military, and civilian leaders. There were many representatives of the army within the National Transitional Council (CNT), which was serving as a parliament (1). The CODES had relevant expertise, as a “90-member transitional council was established to serve as the country’s Parliament including the military, who held key posts, within the CNT, the interior ministry and the Cabinet” (1).

The International Crisis Group (2015), indicated that “the army, the former political opposition, civil society and citizens – have agreed on the necessity of a peaceful and inclusive transition to stabilise the country,” which means that the military was sharing power with the civilians at all levels including within the CODES at the legislative branch of the transitional government, even though their voices could not influence decisions on major defence issues (2). The CNT is made up of 20 members, including retired military officers: retired Colonel Charles Lona of the Union for Progress and Change (UPC) Party, Ouedraogo Abdoulaye from the People Movement for Progress (MPP), and Sawadogo Wendyélé from the Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) (3), (4).

In addition to the military expertise made available for the CODES, MP’s do have “parliamentary assistants” (Assistants parlementaires) who are hired from different corps or institutions, including the defence sector to assist help with administrative tasks. Furthermore, they can hire independent experts (whose roles are merely advisory) on the occasion of special investigations committee (commission d’enquête parlementaire). As a result, MP’s who might lack competencies in several fields of defence can utilize additional expertise to assist them. These assistants and experts do not influence the work of the commission.

Saidou (2017) concludes, “launched two years ago, the reform of the army has mixed results. In substance, the reform process remains incremental, unambitious and does not induce a paradigm shift in defence policy. The army remains a taboo subject in public space. Defence policies are defined according to the “silent corporatist action” model favouring closed doors, while voices rise to demand an open and holistic process… The programmatic poverty of political parties and the lack of civilian expertise on military issues favour this decision-making model centred on the military” (4).

Policymaking and assisting with strategy development, through strong recommendations, fall under the core competencies of the CODES (1). However, it has faced oppositions within the defence sector, which often sees new policies as a threat that could undermine their advantages. Yet, the defence sector has swept out the first reform initiated by the transitional government in 2015 (2). Moreover, the low level of expertise, due to the insufficiency of defence and security experts among the members of the CODES prevents the committee from a responsive policymaking process. Consequently, the incapacity of the CODES often resulted in the transitional government to hand over the defence sector reform strategy to an external institution known as the National Reconciliation and Reform Committee (2).

Saidou (2017) concludes, “For the remainder of his mandate, and beyond the reshuffling at the head of the army, it remains to be seen whether President Kaboré will keep his election promise to revise defence policy, a policy that is outdated and unsuited to the new political context. So far, the reform has been limited to the operational aspects, without questioning the defence doctrine. However, the search for a structural response to the crisis of the army can not be done without a critical review of the texts relating to the general organization of defence and defence policy. The need for this paradigm shift is all the more urgent as the existence of an operational device contrasts paradoxically with the absence of a strategic repository” (2).

According to Burkina Faso’s Constitution, the National Assembly approves the budget and controls the government’s action (1). The CODES does exert limited oversight, notably, with regards to common defence issues, including the adoption of the budget. It performs scrutiny on the defence budget if requested by the Finance and Budget Committee (FBC). Additionally, the CODES is also limited in its oversight mission due to the strong dependence of the legislature on the executive (2), (3). Even if the CODES discovers serious irregularities in the defence budget, its dependency on the government could prevent it from further pursuing its oversight duties (2), (3).

Saidou (2017) concludes, “the army remains a taboo subject in public space. Defence policies are defined according to the “silent corporatist action” model favouring closed doors, while voices rise to demand an open and holistic process. “The major challenge is, therefore, the ownership by the actors of the concept of governance of the security sector. This is the meaning of ICG’s recommendation to the Burkinabè government in January 2016: “The new authorities should quickly commit army reform and develop a comprehensive defence and security strategy through the publication of a white paper. The reform of the army will have to be carried out under parliamentary control and the commission in charge of this one will have to integrate civilians and retirees of the security forces ” (4).

According to the 2018 BTI Burkina Faso Country Report, “the National Assembly’s authority and involvement in decision-making suffers from limitations in efficiency and mechanisms of oversight”. The report also notes that the judiciary is independent and institutionally distinct, but it is dominated and politicized in practice by the executive branch (1), (2), (3) (4).

Saidou (2017) concludes, “the army remains a taboo subject in public space. Defence policies are defined according to the “silent corporatist action” model favouring closed doors, while voices rise to demand an open and holistic process. “The major challenge is, therefore, the ownership by the actors of the concept of governance of the security sector. This is the meaning of ICG’s recommendation to the Burkinabè government in January 2016: “The new authorities should quickly commit army reform and develop a comprehensive defence and security strategy through the publication of a white paper. The reform of the army will have to be carried out under parliamentary control and the commission in charge of this one will have to integrate civilians and retirees of the security forces ” (5).

Oversight institutions, including the legislative and judicial branches, have failed to get the military and other institutions endorse their control mechanisms and recommendations. The 2018 BTI Burkina Faso Country Report elaborates on this stating “the strong role of the military and inability of the democratic institutions to control the military is a potential threat to the legislative, as became obvious in the course of the 2015 crisis” (1). After the failed September 16, 2015, military coup by the then Presidential Security Region (RSP), many recommendations were formulated, both by civil society organizations and formal oversight institutions: including the dissolution of former RSP, the removal of the military from politics, and their return to their traditional mission of defending the territory and ensuring the security of the populations and institutions, Three years after the country returned to a constitutional regime, these reforms have still not been implemented (2), (3).

The National Defence and Security Committee of the Senate is headed by Senator Bell Luc René. This Committee was constituted during a plenary session on May 7, 2018. The Committee was formed to look into matters of national defence, security, the armed forces, the national gendarmerie, military justice, and the national fire brigade [1]. In practice, this Committee has never met to scrutise any defence and security matters [2] [3].

The Parliamentary Defence Committee was set up in 2002 [4]. It rarely meets and does not have the power to exercise oversight over national defence policy, defence acquisition or defence and security administration because the President governs the defence and security sectors through decrees and not through laws voted on in Parliament [4]. In practice, the President has absolute control over Cameroon’s armed and police forces. Their deployment is not subject to any parliamentary scrutiny. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Article 8 of the 18th January 1996 Constitution) and the Minister of Defence is answerable to the President for the implementation of defence policies (Article 1 of decree No.2001/182 adopted on 25th July 2001) [4]. For example, all the reorganisation of the armed forces has been based on 21 presidential decrees. Defence and security matters are the exclusive domain of the President [4].

However, the Defence and Security Committee conducts enquiries on the ground, e.g. visits to military schools and police academies, and sends questions to the defence and security heads requesting information on matters of abuses or the status of national crises involving Cameroon and another country or terrorist groups, such as those between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Penisula and the fight against Boko Haram [4]. These were both reported just as formalities given the fact that parliamentarians in the Defence and Security Committee and the minister are all from the same party – the CPDM, the party of the President. Therefore, they do not scrutinise any answers given by the ministers nor contest the exclusiveness of the presidential prerogatives over defence and security [4]. The Committee also sits when the President is required to sign a military treaty. Even then, the Committee, dominated by CPDM MPs, is unlikely to go against the President [4].

Parliament examines the defence and security budget as part of its right to vote on annual budgets (budget law). The Minister of Defence and generals of the armed forces come before the Committee and answer questions to defend the annual budget allocated to the armed and police forces. However, these budgets are only based on a projection of expenses and the ministers, including the Minister of Defence, never exceed the budget they have been allocated. Therefore, there is no scrutiny of budget expenditure. MPs only consider the income and revenue, including foreign assistance, when passing a budget [4].

There is a parliamentary Appropriation Committee but it has no access to defence and security information. The Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance controls the expenses of the armed and security forces [4].

The National Defence and Security Committee is headed by Senator Bell Luc René [1]. He was formerly the Delegate General of National Security. He is an experienced Administrator and has expertise in defence and security issues. He is a top ranking militant of CPDM, the ruling party, and a long-time loyalist and supporter of the President of the Republic. Therefore, he cannot be said to be independent, and is therefore susceptible to being influenced by the decisions of the President of the Republic, who is also the commander of the armed forces.

The Senate has 100 members – 70 are voted for by municipal counsellors and 30 appointed by the President. All the 30 senators appointed and many senators elected are older people who have lived full lives and retired around two decades ago. Most of them have held top government positions or are influential personalities and loyal to the President of the Republic or the ruling party, CPDM. Most of them are either former prime ministers, or former ministers, former government officials or traditional leaders [2]. The President has been in government since 1962, when he was appointed as Chargé de Mission at the Presidency of the Republic, and has been in government with most of these senators since then in different positions of authority and power.

The press also reports that most of the senators are not only advanced in years, but also in frail health [2], and hardly have the vitality to effectively function in their duties. That is the calibre of senator the President is noted for appointing as his 30 appointees and that is the calibre of senator the CPDM puts on the list of candidates for the 70 seats left for election. Of course, it was reported that CPDM won 63 seats out of the 70 seats in the 2018 senatoral elections [2]. Therefore, 30 plus 63 make up more than 90% of the 100 seats occupied in the Senate, from where the Committee members are nominated or elected.

The National Defence and Security Committee in the Senate was constituted on May 7, 2018 and in theory looks into matters of national defence, security, the armed forces, the national gendarmerie, military justice, and the national fire brigade [1] [2]. Since its creation, the Committee has hardly ever met to decide on policy because defence policies are made by presidential decrees and does not require the Senate’s confirmation to be implemented [3] [4].

There is a Parliamentary Defence Committee, set up in 2002, which rarely meets and does not have the power to exercise oversight over national defence policy because the President governs the defence and security sectors through decrees and not through laws passed by parliament [5] [6].

Although the Committee sits when the President has to sign a treaty on defence-related matters, the Committee has little or no power to influence policies on defence. Other functions of the Committee include queries on security issues such as the situation of the once-disputed Bakassi Peninsular between Cameroon and Nigeria and on the fight against Boko Haram, visits to military institutions, and alleged human rights abuses [6].

According to Article 8 of the 1996 Constitution, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Article 8 of the 18th January 1996 Constitution) and the Deputy Minister of Defence is directly answerable to the President and enforces all defence policies made by the President (Article 1 of decree No.2001/182 adopted on 25th July 2001) without consultation or scrutiny from Parliament [6].

The National Defence and Security Committee in the Senate was constituted on May 7, 2018 and in theory looks into matters of national defence, security, the armed forces, the national gendarmerie, military justice, and the national fire brigade [1] [2]. Since its creation, the Committee has hardly met to decide on policy because defence policies are made by presidential decrees and do not require the Senate’s confirmation to be implemented [3] [4]. The Minister of Defence is directly responsible for implementing defence policy and the Delegate of General Security does the same for the police force.

The Parliamentary Defence Committee was set up in 2002 [5]. It rarely meets and does not have the power to exercise oversight over national defence policy, defence acquisition or defence and security administration because the President governs the defence and security sectors through decrees and not through laws passed by Parliament [5]. In practice, the President has absolute control over Cameroon’s armed and police forces. Their deployment is not subject to any parliamentary scrutiny. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Article 8 of the 18th January 1996 Constitution) and the Minister of Defence is answerable to the President for the implementation of defence policies (Article 1 of decree No.2001/182 adopted on 25th July 2001) [5]. For example, all the reorganisation of the armed forces has been based on 21 presidential decrees. Defence and security matters are the exclusive domain of the President [5].

However, the Defence and Security Committee conducts enquiries on the ground, e.g. visits to military schools and police academies, and sends questions to the defence and security heads requesting information on matters of abuses or the status of national crises involving Cameroon and another country or terrorist groups, such as the crises between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Penisula and the fight against Boko Haram [5]. These were all reported just as formalities, given the fact that parliamentarians in the Defence and Security Committee and the Minister are all from the same party – the CPDM, the party of the President. Therefore, they do not scrutinise any answers given by ministers nor contest the exclusiveness of the presidential prerogatives over defence and security [5]. The Committee also sits when the President is required to sign a military treaty. Even then, the Committee is dominated by the CPDM MPs, who are unlikely to contest the President’s prerogatives over defence and security matters [5]. There has never been any evidence, when any of these committees have made recommendations, of these recommendations being considered.

Parliament examines defence and security budget under the right to vote on annual budgets (budget law). The Minister of Defence and generals of the armed forces come before the Committee and answer questions to defend the annual budget allocated to the armed and police forces. However, these budgets are only based on a projection of expenses and the ministers, including the Minister of Defence, are required to spend within the budget allocated for the year. The Minister of Finance is in charge of the budget’s adjustment and preparation before it gets to Parliament. Therefore, budget expenditure is not scrutinised by Parliament. MPs only consider the income and revenue, including foreign assistance, when adopting budgetary law [5]. Each ministry spends within the annual budget allocated; consequently, there are no budget amendments in Parliament. In the 2017 parliamentary budget session, the Speaker of Parliament ended the session and unilaterally announced that the budget had been adopted without further discussion when the session ended abruptly over an incident where one parliamentarian injured the head of another. The angry MP was refused permission to speak by the Speaker [6].

The Parliamentary Defence Committee conducts enquiries on the ground, e.g. visits to military schools and police academies, and sends questions to the defence and security heads requesting information on matters of abuses or the status of national crises involving Cameroon and another country or terrorist groups, such as the crisis between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi Penisula and the fight against Boko Haram [1]. These were both reported just as formalities given the fact that parliamentarians in the Defence and Security Committee and the ministers are all from the same party – the CPDM, the party of the President. Therefore, they do not scrutinise any answers given by the ministers nor contest the exclusiveness of the presidential prerogatives over defence and security matters and activities [1].

The National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms (NCHRF) was created by presidential decree in 1990 [2]. The NCHRF is mandated to conduct inquiries and investigations into violations of human rights abuses and to report its inquiries and investigations to the President of the Republic. It has no power to publish its investigations, but may make recommendations to the agency in question. However, the Commission’s recommendations are non-binding [2].

There is no information available to show any parliamentary defence committee’s investigations nor is there any evidence of institutional changes made as a result of any parliamentary recommendations [1].

There are both House of Commons and Senate committees with oversight, staffed by elected MPs from both (or all, if there is sufficient representation) parties. They commission reviews and studies, hear expert testimony, and investigate any matter that falls under the broad jurisdiction of “defence” which they choose. The committees act as a check on the power of the executive in their monitoring function of defence and related activities. [1] [2] [3]

Members of these committees must be Members of the House of Commons or Senators, and while some may incidentally have military experience or expertise, the majority do not. In the House, this committee is often made up primarily of back benchers who self select, and thus are more likely to be members due to an interest in the subject and/or perceived relevance of the position to their careers, than due to expertise. [1] [2] [3] [4] Members can develop expertise as they serve on the committee, and because they are supported by research and legislative staff who are often hired for subject matter expertise. However, the latter are not members of the committee, and they have no influence or authority, except insofar as the Member they support chooses to act on their advice.

While the committees can review almost anything, they have no requirement or mandate to review anything at any interval. In practice, they review items according to issues raised on the floor of the house, issues that get particular public attention, or issues of personal interest to committee members. [1] [2] [3] It is not accurate to say the committee reviews policies every five years, because they are not required to and in practice do not, as the list of work on the committees’ websites show, but they can review whatever they want with whatever frequency, and do review some issues often. However, it is not systematic or mandated.

The committees issue recommendations and reports to the Department of Department of National Defence (and sometimes others) but cannot compel a response, which is provided at the government’s discretion. The committees meet more than monthly while Parliament is in session, according to the logs of meetings and work, but there is no formal requirement for the frequency of meetings. [1] [2] [3]

The scope of the committees is fairly broad, as discussed under “Mandate” on the official websites. It includes long term investigations, and investigations of operational matters. While Canada has fewer ongoing operations now than in the past, the recent study of Canada’s role in hemispheric defence is an example of a long term investigation of a current operational activity. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Ministries generally respond to committee recommendations, but that response can frequently be an explanation for why they are rejecting the recommendation. [1] During minority governments, committee recommendations are less frequently accepted, suggesting that partisan politics may play a role in effective oversight. [2] The development of “Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy” in 2017 was the product of a broad public consultation which did incorporate many recommendations made by experts and the public. [3] The unprecedented engagement increased the public profile and arguably increased accountability for public commitments.

The two chambers of Congress both have a permanent Committee of National Defence (“Comisiones de Defensa Nacional”), in charge of studying and debating the formulation of defence and military policies [1, 2]. The Senate Committee (CDS) and the Chamber of Deputies Committee (CDCD) can request the appearance of public servants and officials, demand reports to administrative institutions, and request public hearings of agencies and individuals at their convenience [3]. The annual budget proposal for defence is debated in Congress; however, neither the CDS nor the CDCD has exclusive responsibility for its approval. Although Congress can reduce or reject the proposed spending, the armed forces have a minimum of resources established by law. The committees do not influence the approval and allocation of resources that belong to the Restricted Law on Copper [4]. The commissions can request information about investment and arms procurement, which are presented in reserved sessions. In practice, however, commissions are not well informed of major arms procurements and investment, as was the case of a recent investment for the modernisations of F-16 fighter aircraft via the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency [5, 6, 7, 8]. The current draft legislation that proposes a new mechanism for funding the national defence seeks to increase the role of Congress, but it does not detail the functions assigned to the legislative defence committees [9].

While in a comparative regional perspective, the Chilean Congress has been qualified as effective and professionalised [1], the evidence points to the absence of substantive thematic expertise among members of the defence committees. The permanent Commission of National Defence in the Senate has five members, and the equivalent commission in the Chamber of Deputies, thirteen members [2]. Committee members are elected among the congressmen based on rules of proportionality among the political parties represented in the chambers. The selection of members for each commission does not require thematic expertise in the sector by legislators [3, 4]. It is common for legislators to remain on their committees throughout their term, as such, members may have the opportunity to develop some experience in the area over time, but this is not guaranteed. Likewise, although seniority and low turnover might favour experience in specific areas [5], committee chairs do not usually retain their roles from one Congress to the next. In fact, party coalitions commonly negotiate which committee chairpersons would rotate, to the detriment of their thematic expertise and experience. Due to the specificity of the defence and security sector, members of the commissions are unlikely to develop the sophisticated knowledge necessary to adequately address defence problems, particularly those of the defence market for acquisition, procurement and investment of war materials.

Although Congress is considered a key actor in the policymaking process in Chile, there is a consensus among scholars that the attributions of Chile’s dominant executive have severely limited its role in the post-authoritarian period [1, 2, 3, 4]. This argument is valid for policymaking in the defence and security sector. First, by design, Congress is not considered a constitutive component of the system of national defence [5]. The system of national defence corresponds to the organisms and agencies that actively participate in the decision-making and actions that seek to implement the defence within the country. This system was conceptualised in 2010 and reviewed in 2017. In both opportunities, it excluded Congressmen from participating in crucial decisions in the planning process of the defence and security strategies [6]. Second, while the permanent legislative defence committees have regularly reviewed and informed the bills in the sector, their role has been limited by the secret with which the armed forces and the Ministry of National Defence (MDN) address national security issues. For a long time, the Superior Council of National Defence (CONSUDENA) — derogated [7] — excluded Congress from strategic decisions about the acquisition and procurement in defence. Third, the role of Congress has been reactive rather than proactive, exercising its oversight function once the press uncovers irregularities or corruption scandals. Fourth, an interviewee member of the Defence Committee highlighted the existence of a corporate culture of secrecy in the armed and defence forces, which, in turn, hinders scrutiny and responsiveness in the sector [8]. Moreover, the Final Report of the Congress Special Commission of Inquiry concerning the irregularities in the army indicated that six of the ten official requests for information were not answered within the commission’s investigation period, information that was considered sensitive, relevant and decisive for the work of the committee [9].

Permanent committees on defence meet regularly, two times per month, on average [1, 2]. Members of defence committees examine and elaborate amendments on drafts of defence and security legislation. The Ministry of National Defence (MDN) and other military and government officials are invited regularly to give their opinions on pieces of law and to present testimony on specific matters. Committees might review legislation and policy in the defence sector, but only when such issues are submitted for discussion. There is no evidence that strategic plans in each branch of the armed forces are built upon recommendations on the committees. Judging by the frequency of meetings in each permanent committee in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, the activity of the National Defence Committee in both chambers is comparatively low [3]. For special investigatory commissions, there are tools to request the testimony of the MDN and other authorities. It is recognised that officials of the MDN and the armed forces have collaborated during investigations [4, 5]. However, permanent committees do not have a significant impact on the amendment of defence budgets.

While the standing National Defence Committee in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies are charged with reviewing day-to-day policies and issues in the defence sector, long-term investigations are entrusted to special committees of inquiry in the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber of Deputies has the role of overseeing the administrative acts of government [1] and is empowered to form special committees to investigate actions of the executive branch and irregularities in any area involving state entities. Special committees can call on ministers of state and other officials to present testimony. However, state agencies cannot be forced to provide information, and committees cannot mandate retired staff of the armed forces to appear before investigatory commissions. Recently, the Chamber of Deputies created two special commissions to investigate fraud in the armed forces [2] and irregularities in the procurement process in defence [3]. These commissions had access to information about operations and process of procurement and acquisition within the armed forces, with a few exceptions. The evidence suggests a reactive rather than proactive, long-term oversight. Legislative committees have been effective in scrutinizing irregularities mostly once they have been made public, either by the press or by audit bodies. Most of the issues that have been investigated correspond to past irregularities rather than to ongoing operations and processes.

There is no clear evidence incorporation of recommendations made by the Standing Committees of Defence and Special Commission of Inquiry in Congress. In part, this fact relates to the lack of a monitoring system for the implementation of recommendations and suggested actions in the final reports of special commissions [1, 2]. Although there is some evidence that the armed forces have carried out plans consistent with the recommendations and suggestions of the reports of Congress, this has not been the norm and has occurred in specific cases related to investigations of irregularities. For instance, in 2015, the Chamber of Deputies created a Special Investigatory Commission to investigate an alleged case of fraud and misuse of resources from the Restricted Law of Copper in the army. Members of the army were requested to participate in 25 sessions with committee members, which included two testimonies by the commander and chief of the army [3]. After the final report was released, and for the first time in these investigations, the commander and chief voluntarily assisted the Commission of National Defence to present the state of advance of the measures adopted by the institution concerning the measures implemented [4]. However, it cannot be argued that these actions are the norm or that they occur regularly.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) does not have a parliamentary defence and security committee or a similar institution that facilitates parliamentary oversight over national defence and security policies. [1,2,3] Defence and security policies are supervised by the executive, in this case the Politburo Standing Committee directly or through the Central Military Committee (CMC), the CCP’s organ that maintains the control of the armed forces. There is no indication or public discussion that China is considering creating a relevant committee or similar institution in the future.

No parliamentary committee or similar institution exists. As such, this indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’.

No parliamentary committee or similar institution exists. As such, this indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’.

No parliamentary committee or similar institution exists. As such, this indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’.

No parliamentary committee or similar institution exists. As such, this indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’.

No parliamentary committee or similar institution exists. As such, this indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’.

Law 3 of 1992 sets up a Standing Constitutional Commisson in charge of “national defence and public force.” Artcle 137 of the Colombian Constitution states that Commissions can subpoena any legal or natural person to issue a statement, while Article 6 Section 7 of Law 5 of 1992 (Regulations of Congress) states that Congress has a “political control function,” through which Commissions can summon any person. [1] Article 236 of said Law 5 states that a Standing Commission can “require” any person to come before the Commission. Article 244 states Commissions may formulate “observations” to the Government. Ministers are then required to attend the Commission and respond in writing and in person. Article 254 also states Ministers must submit reports to Congress “on the state of business” of their Ministry. Between 2016 and April 2019, the Second Committee made a total of 59 political control subpoenas to the Minister of Defence and the Generals of the Armed Forces and Police in order to exercise the role of political oversight. The Second Commission has seen topics that include: aerial sprays with glyphosate to eradicate illicit crops in Colombia; public order; social protest; application of the Police Code; the legal defence of San Andrés Islands; corruption in the Military Command; and use of public resources in the defence sector. [2] None of these subpoenas have ended with the application of a motion of censure to the Minister of the Interior, which is expected, as Colombia has a low degree of political discipline, with the president’s political supremacy over the forces of Congress and clientelism making it impossible to implement true oversight. [3] Therefore, although the Second Committee exercises a supervisory function, they have failed to remove the Minister, even though there are reports and documents calling into question the actions of the Minister. On the other hand, political control depends on the political context and therefore the Executive’s defence actions are not always scrutinised. [4]

The Constitutional Court in its Judgment C-540 of 2001 considers that the standing committees of the Congress of the Republic are composed of pre-established groups of Congress members according to their area of training, work experience or interest, thus establishing an important link between the profile of the Congress members and the competences of the commission. This allows for more specialised debates and laws, and facilitates the exercise of political control. [1] However, even if this Judgment is presented, the reality in the legislature is different. According to Interviewee 1, [2] one of the strong criticisms of the performance of the Second Committee is that the members do not have any specific knowledge on issues related to defence and security. According to public information available from the Senate, there does not appear to be a relationship with the scope of work and background of members. [3] They have a variety of professional profiles, but do not have academic backgrounds or specialisations in the area of competence. It is evident that only one member in the Commission has studied security and defence, terrorism and counterinsurgency. Interviewee 1 noted that this Committee is not regarded as a Commission that has great influence on national policy because the initiatives it studies are related to foreign policy, international agreements and conventions, in which Congress does not have the power to reform. As such, its discussions are limited to the approval or not of agreements already established by the Executive. Therefore, there is no evidence of meaningful bills that propose policies or incorporate real analysis, or debates on new challenges in the field of defense. [4]

Congress has a responsibility to review the relevant defence policies and decisions every 4 years in accordance with the legislative term length. The Congress of the Republic establishes that the Committees will have the function of “giving first debate to draft laws or legislative acts relating to matters within their competence.” [1] This function ensures that important defence policies, laws, and decisions are reviewed, the frequency of which is related to the necessity and importance of the topics studied. For Interviewee 1 many of the important issues given in the Second Committee are presented as circumstantial events in national policy, which involves not only reviewing bills, but also exercising political control processes for the Minister of Defence and the Armed Forces. [2] In the policy-making process, Congress members belonging to the Second Committee can ask questions of the government or its representatives, as well as solicit written information of them within a period of 48 hours. They may also summon them for comments to the government in the Committees or in plenary sessions of Parliament. Finally, the Congress can request mandatory procedure reports, in which Ministers and Directors of Administrative Departments report on the status of businesses attached to their Ministries or dministrative departments. [1] According to report of Visible Congress, during the legislative period of 2014-2018, the Second Commission had the following legislative activity on issues of security and defence: a) 141 bills related to the issues of military celebrations and honours, of which only 37 (26.24%) were introduced into law; and b) 52 national security and defence bills, of which only 4 (7.69%) were introduced into law. [3] Legislative activity on defence during the legislative period 2014-2018 was very low, with only 41 laws passed vs. 54 bills in four years. Although there are a large number of activities related to defence and security issues, there is little impact, as they are limited to information requests, political controls that do not succeed, and the passage of mostly policies related to military honours, which do not affect national security or defence.

Committee meeting sessions take place in their own right and they do not depend on calls for convening or subpoenas by the government or another body. Committees may meet any day of the week between 20 July and 16 December and 16 March to 20 June. [1] Within the framework of public control, Congress evaluates and supervises the actions of natural or legal persons, as opposed to the advancement of programs, policies or projects. With regard to budget issues, it is important to specify that the Second Committee, which is responsible for defence and national security issues, does not have the power to make changes to budgets or the implementation of government programmes, nor can it make recommendations regarding the implementation of defence policy. Interviewee 1 reports that in the process of studying and approving the national budget, the Second Committee does not have the function of defining budget lines for defence issues. [2] The function of analysing the budget lines of the entire national budget is carried out by the economic committees. Therefore, the Second Committee does not analyse or propose budgets. The Second Committee also does not have the power to monitor defence policy. Its role lies in carrying out political control over the Executive’s actions in relation to the implementation of policy, which means that it asks for a number of justifications regarding the actions of the Minister of Defence and the Armed Forces and Police. According to Interviewee 1, the recommendations that may be published by the Second Committee on national defence do not have a major impact on the Executive, since this legislative body has very little information related to the implementation of public policies in this area, since it is the Executive himself who reports to them on issues that are classified in nature. The Second Committee therefore exercises limited oversight of the implementation of defence policy, which is based largely on political control.

With regard to long-term supervision, once a year the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces and the Police submit a policy implementation report called “Memories to Congress.” The Report presented for the period June 2015 to June 2016 set out an assessment for strategic planning, the implementation of security and defence policy, and the implementation of the strategic objectives. It evaluated the scope and progress made to date and the budget expenditure. [1] This monitoring process is also related to the political control that is carried out by the Minister of Defence and the Armed Forces and Police, according to the Defence Report 2014-2022 that was carried out by Visible Congress for the two legislative periods of Congress. During that time (2014-2018 and 2018-2022) the Second Committee made 41 subpoenas, with the main theme of “Security, defence and public safety.” [2] For Interviewee 1, political control and the topics covered in this Committee relate to the political juncture on the implementation of defence policy, including operations. The Interviewee also stated that there is no clear evidence that Parliamentarians carry out a process of consistent follow-up on the Report to Congress, nor that subpoenas have been made for explanations from the Minister of Defence or to the Armed Forces and Police as a result of the Report. [3] There is also no solid evidence of making the recommendations outlined in the Report. There is no evidence that the Second Committee relies on external bodies to conduct such oversight. There is also no clear evidence of the impact of long-term supervision, nor of studies conducted internally or externally.

Given the construction of public policies on defence and national security are carried out from the perspective of the government, it is clear that contributions and/or recommendations that the Congress of the Republic can provide are minimal. Interviewee 1 reports that there is insufficient evidence in the Congressional Gazettes to suggest that in the Second Committee, in the political control process, or in the study of reports from executive to legislative, recommendations presented are incorporated by the Ministry of Defence. [1] It is likely that these recommendations are given, but the impact they have on the Executive is probably small because, unlike with control bodies, recommendations are neither disciplinary nor fiscal. While Ministries receive mandatory recommendations from oversight bodies, there is not enough information to inform whether recommendations made by Congress are incorporated. As such, this indicator cannot accurately be scored and is marked ‘Not Enough Information’.

Oversight of national defence policy is exercised via the permanent NA Commission on Security and Defence (Commission Sécurité et Défense, CSD). [The name of this Commission is inconsistent and is often referred to in Ivorian media as the CDS (Commission Défense et Sécurité). The official name as per Resolution No. 006: is Commission de la Sécurité et de la Défense]. Côte d’Ivoire has endowed the CSD with some formal mechanisms to conduct scrutiny over defence policy. But the CSD lacks the following powers:
-CSD formal rights are not extensive.
-CSD does not have the power to scrutinize any aspect of MoD performance in terms of personnel, policy or arms acquisition.
-CSD is not explicitly endowed with the capacity to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it.

The CSD was set up, in theory, as a vehicle for the NA to seek information from the executive about defence policy issues. It was established via Resolution No. 006 of 1 June 2006 (Portant modification du reglement de l’Assemblée nationale de Côte d’Ivoire) as a watchdog institution for national defence, police, immigration, national security and the prevention of internal conflict (1), (3). Chapter VI, Article 13, Section 5, of Resolution No. 006: “Commission de la Sécurité et de la Défense (Défense Nationale, Police, Immigration, Protection Civile, Prévention des conflits internes)” (3). The report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) confirms the CSD oversight mission over national defence, including its role as a vehicle to conduct inquiries and require information on defence policy. But it notes the drawback of its composition and the fact that it reflects the numerical strength of the ruling party (RDR):

“The Security and Defence Committee has the general powers accredited to committees, i.e. of inquiry and information. The composition of the Commission reflects the numerical strength of each party in the parliament. The parliament controls national defence policy when the finance bill is being examined” (2).

The CSD is composed of 20 members of the NA who are tasked with oversight of national security, police forces, immigration, local police and internal conflict prevention. Since May 2017, the CSD is headed by Sidiki Konate, an MP from the ruling party (RDR) and political ally of NA President Guillaume Soro (1). In terms of expertise, the President of the NA Guillaume SORO is a former military leader of the Forces Nouvelles (FN; also known as Forces armées des Forces nouvelles, or FAFN) and former Minister of Defense during the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011. He is also said to allegedly exert control over CSD President Sidiki Konate (2), (3).

There is no information available from open sources that details the proportion of CSD members who hold expertise in the defence sector, or the ability of those with the expertise to influence decisions. But according to an interview with an MP, there is little evidence the MPs of the CSD do have the technical background to monitor the Defense and Security sectors. Furthermore, the Chair of Commission is a key member of the RDR majority. The 20 members of the CSD regularly take part in capacity-building workshops, including one in Grand Bassam in July 2018, sponsored by the Commission Nationale de lutte contre la Prolifération et la Circulation illicite des Armes Légères et de Petit Calibre (ComNat-ALPC). The workshop sought to educate the CSD members about the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, ratified by Côte d’Ivoire on February 26, 2015 (4). According to Fratmatinfo, a delegation of CSD members flew to Berlin on October 6, 2018, to receive training sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. They held talks with German policymakers and members of the military. The delegation included: Karamoko Diakité, Fozié Yeo, Vincent Djé, Guillaume Bi Sui Tra and Jean Jacques Gorgui (5).

Since Sidiki Konate became president of the CSD in May 2017, the commission has failed to review major defence policy decisions. Most of the activity reported by the NA website and Ivorian media is related to workshops and training sessions for CSD members. I cannot find any evidence of CSD policymaking decisions. In May 2017, Konate announced the setting up of new subcommittees within CSD on national security and public security (1). The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) office in Côte d’Ivoire organized a workshop in Yamoussoukro from 23 to 27 May 2017 to discuss how CSD members can contribute to reforms in national security (2).

Generally, the members of the Defense and Security Committee have little influence. Most provisions are initiated by the Minister of Defense. Even during the army mutinies in 2017, the Defense and Security Committee did not take any action. Even though the parliament has the right to employ formal mechanisms to conduct scrutiny over defence policy, Article 68 of the Constitution states that the President presides over the Defense and Security Committee. It would be worth referring to Article 59 and 57 of the internal procedures of the Committees of the National assembly as they provide details of the mechanism through which Committees including the Defense and Security Committee approve or veto laws including laws on security (3). There were debates about Security and Defenses issues after the Grand Bassam attack. Although it cannot be considered a regular assessment, it can be interpreted as an attempt to give more responsibilities to the CSD.

There is no evidence that the CSD exercises short-term oversight over defence policy.

Most of the activity reported on the CSD by the NA website and Ivorian media is related to workshops and training sessions for CSD members. There is no evidence that the CSD is directly involved in this type of short-term oversight, much less in amending the defence budget regularly or in issuing recommendations to the executive.

Nevertheless, on June 15, 2015, the official blog of NA President Guillaume SORO reported that the CSD had approved a draft bill seeking to combat terrorism and control the cross-border movement of people along Côte d’Ivoire’s northern border with Mali. But this was the only source for this information (1).

“The Defense and Security Commission (CSD) of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire gave a favorable opinion on Monday, June 15, 2015, to the draft law on the repression of terrorism which will be examined by the Commission…the deliberations among members of the Defense and Security Commission have been sanctioned by a convergence of views that led to a favorable opinion for the examination of the draft law on the suppression of terrorism. The debates will open to other members of parliament on 16 June in the framework of the ICAG and in the presence of the Government Commissioner” (1).

The CSD does not conduct or commission long-term investigations. The CSD mandate does not make any reference to long-term oversight. The official blog of NA President Guillaume Soro reported on June 15, 2015, that the CSD had approved a draft bill seeking to combat terrorism and control the cross-border movement of people along Côte d’Ivoire’s northern border with Mali (1). Although the CSD activities remain very limited, there is a tendency among the commission, according to an interview with an MP – mostly thanks to Donors – to be more proactive in the field of defence policies approval.

There is no evidence that the MoD of Côte d’Ivoire implemented any policy recommendations issued by the CSD. As with sub-indicators 2D and 2E above, the only evidence of the CSD approval of a draft bill is the one reported on Guillaume Soro’s blog on June 15, 2015 (1). The mechanisms require that the minister of defence takes into account suggestions made by the members of security and defence, otherwise, the provision will not be accepted (LPM 2016-2020). The laws on military programming, and the programming of internal security forces for the years 2016 to 2020 were adopted during the ordinary session by the National Assembly. In cases were legislators request additional information or clarification the minister of defence is required to explain (2). However, it appears that the MoD fails to incorporate CSD recommendations in practice.

There is a defence committee within the Danish parliament (Forsvarsudvalget). The Defence Committee deals with all aspects of Danish defence, including emergency management, and it has the right and responsibility to scrutinise bills and parliamentary motions (“beslutningsforslag”) on defence issues and conduct parliamentary control of the Defence Minister’s management of government defence policy. It is the prerogative of the committee to pose questions to the Minister and to conduct open meetings, open theme meetings, consultations with the minister and hearings on subjects of interest [1]. These hearings are generally open to the public and press, but the committee decides on whether the public is granted access. The committee can choose to invite experts to give testimony [2]. The committee meets regularly once a week and on an ad hoc basis when issues occur [3]. A complete list of committee activities, including meeting agendas, trips, questions posed to the Minister etc., can be found online. It also undertakes study trips to develop knowledge and find inspiration for their work and meets with other relevant committees in parliament on an ad hoc basis [1]. The committee is comprised of 30 representatives from all parties according to the party’s number of seats in parliament [4]. According to the Standing Orders of the Danish Parliament, a committee should have one or more clerks on their staff who are graduates in law or economics, or who have received other relevant training [5].

According to the Standing Orders of the Danish Parliament, there is no requirement that committee members possess expertise or special knowledge on the committee subject [1]. A complete list of the 30 members can be found on the committee’s website along with members’ resumes [2]. An analysis of the resumes indicates that eight members have had a career in Danish Defence (also counting members who have served as conscripts) while one member has previous experience as a party spokesman on defence or as a previous member of the defence committee. There is no evidence to suggest that members with expertise in the defence sector can exert more influence in decision making. Decisions are taken by a simple majority [3].

The Defence Committee reviews issues on defence on a regular basis. There is no evidence that the committee is confined, entitled or bound to review “major defence policies and decisions” such as the Defence Agreement every five years or so [1, 2]. However, the Defence Agreement is a political agreement reached in parliament and, as such, major defence policies and decisions are reviewed by and in parliament. As the Defence Agreement runs for a limited period (usually c. 5 years), the defence policy is subject to negotiation and debate in Parliament. As noted in Q1B, it is written into law that the decision to deploy military units in operations abroad has to be approved by Parliament [3]. This is an expression of regular oversight, control and responsive policymaking. Further, by political agreement, the government can establish an interim commission to review the state of the current defence and security environment in order to make recommendations for defence policy. Such a commission is called a Defence Commission (Forsvarskommission) and is made up of civil servants, experts, researchers, politicians etc. The last Defence Commission was in 2008 [4]. Collectively, this amounts to a highly responsive policymaking on defence issues that is subject to strong parliamentary control and oversight. Note that these powers do not primarily reside within the Defence Committee, but in the collective parliamentary stucture that constitutes the Danish Parliament.

The Defence Committee meets regularly once a week and on ad hoc basis when issues occur. It regularly considers motions and bills and proposes questions for the minister, who is required to respond within a specific time-frame (6 days for §20 Questions) [1]. The committee has the right to set up a consultation (“samråd”) and pose questions to the relevant Minister (e.g. of Justice, Employment, Foreign Affairs or Defence) [2]. A total of 179 questions were posed by the committee during the parliamentary year 2018-19 [3]. Scrutiny of the State’s budget and appropriations (including the area of responsibility that is within the Ministry of Defence) resides with the Finance Committee (Finansudvalget) and not the Defence Committee, while major changes to the Defence Agreement have to be approved in Parliament [4]. The publicly available document database of the Defence Committee does not contain evidence of specific reccomendations given to the Minister of Defence, but this is not necessarily an expression of a lack of short-term oversight [5]. As mentioned in Q2C, all these mechanisms collectively amount to a highly responsive policy making on defence issues that is subject to strong parliamentary control and oversight. Note that these powers do not primarily reside with the Defence Committee, but within the collective parliamentary stucture that constitutes the Danish Parliament.

There is no evidence that the Defence Committee conducted any long-term investigations between 2015-2020 [1]. However, by law, it is the prerogative of the Minister of Justice and/or parliament to initiate investigative commissions (“undersøgelseskommision”) [2], as was for instance the case with Iraq and Afghanistan Commission of 2012 [3] (the commission was however cancelled by the subsequent government). As noted previously, Defence Commissions may be established by political agreement, as was the case with the most recent Defence Commission of 2008 [4]. Ad hoc long-term investigations may also be initiated by political agreement as was the case with the 2014 investigation on Danish Lessons from Stabilisation and CIMIC Projects [in Afghanistan] and the 2013 commissioning of the Ministry of Defence’s future efforts in the Arctic [5, 6, 7]. It should be noted that long-term investigations are not initiated by default and that they are the deviation rather than the norm. However, as pointed out by a reviewer, a majority of the Defence Committee – reflecting a majority of parliament – is free to ask the government to do all kinds (political, legal etc.) of investigations – including on operations. If the minister does not comply with the wishes of a parliamentary majority, and the parliament finds the non-compliance serious, parliament can in the most extreme circumstances demand that the Prime Minister fires the minister in question by expressing mistrust to the incumbent minister. Collectively these are all mechanisms for long-term oversight in Parliament.

This indicator is scored ‘Not Applicable’ as there is no evidence that the Defence Committee issues recommendations. There are no formal obligations to do so and a review of the Committee’s treatment of motions and bills between 2016-2019 indicated that the Committee did not reccommend any changes to these, but instead that motions and bills should be adopted as drafted [1]. The GDII 2015 assessment clearly stated that there is evidence that the Committee can influence state policy [2]. However, the current assessor finds this to be a faulty analysis. The 2015 assessment makes reference to a statement by the former Minister of Defence, Carl Holst, who stated that the Defence Committee recommended a referendum of the Danish EU out-opt on defence and thus, government would put forth a referendum. However, in my opinion, Carl Holst actually refers to the Defence Commission of 2008 which made this recommendation [3, 4]. Hence, it is to be concluded that there is no direct evidence of the insitutional outcomes specifically of the Defence Committee’s work. However, as assessed in Q2A-E, the collective parliamentarian system amounts to a highly responsive policymaking on defence issues that is subject to strong parliamentary control and oversight. For instance, the parliamentary negotiation of Defence Agreements, larger procurements and of deployment of military units in operations abroad (as described in Q2A-E) is all direct evidence of parliamentary/institutional outcomes.

According to our sources, there is a committee (DNSC) within the Parliament that has a mandate to oversight and scrutinize the defence and security sector. However, its role is very restricted and undermined by the military and the head of the state (1), (2), (3). The Defence and National Security Committee(DNSC) within the parliament, but its powers are very restricted given the overall restriction on parliamentary oversight mechanisms and the immense powers of the National Defence Council as explained in Q1 (4), This is part of the recent political context (since 2013) where the executive and more particularly the defence sector have immense political power over institutions that are supposed to exercise oversight (5).

According to our sources, the committee has expertise in defence and military affairs. They are mostly former members of the army (1), (2), (3). There is some expertise within the committee through a large number of former military and police officers (15 out of the 34 members, including the president of the committee and the deputy) (4). However, this large number of military officers undermines the principle of external and independent oversight, and should not count as expertise in that sense.

According to our sources, the committee has failed to review reports, data, and policy in the last five years. The committee’s work is symbolic and has never been a debate on any report (they have not received any reports from the MoD or the armed forces). Therefore there are no effective reviews by the committee (1), (2), (3). Additionally, there is no evidence in the different laws and media reports that the parliamentary defence committee reviews defence policy every five years or earlier. Given the general restrictions on the powers of the parliamentary defence committee and the wide powers of the National Defence Council (NDF) in determining and reviewing defence budgets and policies independent of parliament (4), (5), it is difficult to imagine that the parliamentary committee can exercise any real and effective reviews of major defence policies (6).

According to our sources, the committee has no oversight over the defence policy. The meetings of the committee are restricted and have never been public (1), (2), (3). Another source relayed that, the committee members have very close relations with the army and therefore, they avoid organizing committee meetings (2). According to the National Defence Council Law, the budget of the armed forces is “independent” and decided by the council itself. Article 5 of the NDC Law stipulates that “the Armed Forces has an independent budget that is listed as a single figure in the State budget. When the National Defence Council discusses the Armed Forces budget, the council is joined by the director of the Armed Forces’ financial affairs department, and the heads of the budget and defence and national security committees at the House of Representatives” (4). Therefore, no or very limited short-term oversight is exercised by the committee since the power to make budget amendments lies with the NDC.

As the information in the previous sub-sections shows, and according to our sources, there are no investigations by any commissions or committees with regards to defence policy or work (1), (2), (3). According to the National Defence Council Law, the budget of the armed forces is “independent” and the long-term defence policies are decided by the council itself. Article 4 of the NDC law that decides the powers of the council, gives, inter alia, the council the following powers:
1. determining the political-military objective;
2. Issuing the military policy document and harmonizing it with the different specialized policies especially that of foreign policy;
3. determining the military-political orientation.
All of these long-term objectives are almost exclusively determined by the NDC, and the committee is in no position to exercise long-term oversight.

According to our sources, there are no known reports with recommendations from any committee or commission that the government can then incorporate into practice (1), (2), (3). Given the balance of power, it is very unlikely that the Parliament would make any recommendations at all to the defence sector. This Parliament (and former parliaments), has never summoned the minister of defence for questioning despite summoning most of the other ministers including the minister of interior (4), (5).

In accordance with the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act there are 11 permanent committees at Estonia’s Riigikogu, one being the National Defence Committee, comprised of members of parliament. [1]
The committees have the right to prepare draft laws to be debated in the Riigikogu and scrutinise the government. Committees also have the right to request information and data from the government, to invite anyone in front of the committee for hearings, they can require the government, executive agencies and government institutions to present the information necessary for the fulfilment of its functions. [2]
The people requested to appear in front of the committee must appear or if they are not able to, provide a valid explanation. The information requested by the committee must be submitted according to the deadline set by the committee. [3]
The National Defence Committee participates in the shaping of the security and defence policy of the state (including international treaties). It performs other duties assigned to it by law or the resolution of the parliament. An established practice for the Committee is to pass its decisions by consensus. The Committee also has an important role in the legislative proceeding of the state budget bill for the next year, when the part of the draft budget concerning the area of government of the Ministry of Defence is discussed at the Committee together with the Minister of Defence. [4]
The Committee exercises supervision over the Defence Forces, the Estonian Defence League and other institutions under the area of the Ministry of Defence, except for the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service. [5]
The latter is scrutinised by Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee, which is a select committee formed by the Riigikogu. Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee exercises supervision over authorities of executive power in matters relating to the activities of the security authorities and surveillance agencies. [6]

The National Defence Committee comprises of the members of the political fractions represented in the Estonian parliament. The members and the number of the members of the National Defence Committee are appointed every four years with the parliamentary cycle of the Riigikogu. The Committee is comprised of 11 members. [1,5] The previous Committee (from November 2016 to April 2019) was particularly well-informed, as assessed by the interviewees [2,3,5]. There were two ex-Ministers of Defence, two previous Commanders of the Defence Forces, and an active member of the Defence League. The current one, appointed in April 2019, is slightly less so. There is a previous adviser at the Ministry of Defence, a former military officer, a former Commander and a Brigadier General of the Defence Forces. In military terms, there are three Generals and one Lieutenant Colonel. In addition, two people from the border guard who have received military training.

Therefore, it could be said that the military experts outnumber members with more limited defence expertise (professional actors, entertainers, farmers, public servants, etc.). Those lacking the knowledge are percieved to be more passive, as assessed by the previous member of the Committee [3] and the current one [4]. Information on the composition of the members of the National Defence Committee is available online. [1]

The expertise and the number of committee members, who are knowledgeable about the defence and security issues, has been on the rise over the years. More and more defence experts, and those who have been part of military organisations are elected to be part of the legislature, as assessed by interviewees. [2,3,4] The more knowledgeable the members of the committee are, the more they can influence as the committee has the right to require information and speed up certain developments, as indicated by the member of the Committee interviewed. [3]
In the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee, only the current Chairman, amongst the five members, is an expert in the security and defence field. [7]
In accordance with the National Defence Act, the Chairman of the National Defence Committee is also a member of the National Defence Council, an advisory body to the President of the Republic on national defence issues. [8]
There is some effort by the government to increase knowledge about security and defence policies and issues among MPs. Estonian National Defence courses are organised by the International Centre for Defence and Security. Estonian politicians and senior state officials (amongst others) are invited to attend. However, the participation in these courses is voluntary for committee members. [9]

Major defence policies and decisions are revised and updated at least every four years after the new composition of the national parliament is elected.
The National Defence Committee reviews and scrutinises the defence policies and decisions regularly. [1] The committee takes part in developing the National Defence Development Plan [2] and in forming the development action plan, which sets forth the activities and resources, every four years. [3]
The National Defence Development Plan is formulated for a period of ten years, but it is amended and updated more often (e.g. National Defence Development Plan 2013-2022 was formulated in 2012 [4]; the National Defence Development Plan 2017-2026 was approved by the Estonian government in March 2017).
For each plan the Committee meets several times with the representatives of the Defence Ministry and discusses major defence issues. Every meeting the Committee has a pre-established agenda, but ad hoc issues can be discussed. It is up to the committee to set their priorities. [3] For example, after the annexation of Crimea, Estonia’s National Defence Committee decided to purchase portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles. It was clearly a responsive decision [6] to the current events, as indicated by the interviewee, a member of the National Defence Committee.

In accordance with the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act [1], the standing committees – such as the National Defence Committee – meet three times a week.
The chairman of the committee proposes issues and topics of discussion based on the suggestions and requests the committee has received. The defence budget is discussed by the committee “several times” before it is finalised, as assessed by the interviewee from the previous National Defence Committee. [2]
According to the interviewee, it would have to be an exceptional situation for the committee to change the budget after it had been approved by the Riigikogu. The Committee’s primary role is to coordinate and implement strategic documents in the defence and security sector. It makes sure deadlines are respected and tasks accomplished. The committee has the right to require a member of the Government of the Republic, officials of executive agencies and other persons, to participate in the Committee’s sittings.
According to the current member of the National Defence Committee the primary role of the committee is to amend draft laws; they rarely deal with the budgetary issues. If there is a specific request from the Defence Forces or any other military organisation or institution, the Committee simply makes sure the request fits into the budget, without scrutinising the use of money. The committee makes sure the money allocated is used effectively. [3]

The National Defence Committee regularly commissions Estonia’s International Centre for Defence and Security to write assessments on relevant issues and topics. [1]
There have been reports about different initiatives (e.g. “Women in Estonian Defence Forces”) [2] and issues (e.g. “Comprehensive National Defence” which focused on the current situation in Estonia compared to other countries and was commissioned to be the basis for a policy change). [3]
Estonia’s International Centre for Defence and Security also compiles assessments about Estonia’s military operations every second month on average, as assessed by the interviewee. [1] In accordance with the National Defence Act, [4] the use of the Defence Forces in military international operations are decided by the Riigikogu. Every vote is preceded by a thorough discussion, and an overview of the situation is given.

Every couple of months the National Defence Committee carries out hearings with representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and The National Security and Defence Coordination Unit to assess developments in the defence sector. The purpose of these meetings is usually to make sure the deadlines set in sectorial action plans are being respected. The committee also requests information from the Ministry of Justice. There is a general consensus in the government and the defence sector is often prioritised. Therefore, the Committee’s role is to accelerate the developments rather than decide what to focus on. It would be rare to oppose the recommendations given by the National Defence Committee, as pointed out by an interviewee, a member of the Committee. [1]
Recently, the new Commander of the Defence Forces was proposed by the Minister of Defence, in accordance with the National Defence Committee. [2]

The Constitution of Finland, Chpt 4 states:

Section 35: For each electoral term, the Parliament appoints the Grand Committee, the Constitutional Law Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, the Audit Committee and other standing Committees provided in the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure;

Section 40: Government proposals, motions by Representatives, reports submitted to the Parliament and other matters, asprovided for in this Constitution or in the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, shall be prepared in Committees before their final consideration in a plenary session of the Parliament. [1]

Currently, there are sixteen Committees, of which, three Committees oversee defence related matters, namely the Defence Committee, the Intelligence Oversight Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. In addition, the Constitutional Law Committee oversees that the Consitution is followed, the Administration and Security Department under the State Finance Committee deals with the budget, budget amendments, and so forth, when it comes to the President’s Office, the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence (that is, all branches of government related to security). Affairs relating to police, border guard and rescue services are also dealt with by the Administration Committee. [2]

The Defence Committee discusses budget, personnel issues etc. when the State budget – or any related Government’s report, notification, bill – is under scrutiny, and puts together a report to serve as a basis for the Parliamentary discussion and decision making. Whenever another Committee discusses a matter that has links to defence, the Committee is asked to provide a statement to the other Committee. [3] When a matter is initiated in the Parliament, the Speaker’s Council makes a proposal on the Committee to which to refer the matter for preparation, and on the Committee which is to issue a statement on the matter [4]. At the conclusion of the introductory debate, the Parliament shall decide, on this proposal, to which Committee the matter is referred and which Committees shall provide statements on it.

In addition, the Committee preparing the matter may ask statements from other Committees it considers relevant. The Parliament may also issue instructions to the Committees on the preparation of the matter. The following should also be prepared in Committee before they are taken up for a decision in a plenary session: Government proposals, parliamentary motions, legislative proposals left in abeyance, Acts not confirmed, citizens’ initiatives, reports submitted to the Parliament, decrees and other subordinate acts and decisions subjected to parliamentary scrutiny, and proposals for the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, proposals for acts governing parliamentary officials, Parliament’s Election Rules and other instructions and rules of procedure, Initiatives taken by the European Council on the basis of Article48(7) of the EU Treaty, as well as the other matters so ordained.

In addition, other matters shall be referred to Committee for preparation when the Parliament so decides. [5] When preparing a matter, the Committees have the right to call expert witnesses and request further information from the appropriate parties. In addition, the Committees have a general opportunity of initiation, which may lead into a matter being discusses in a plenary session of the Parliament. As a basic rule, a Committee can request a report from the Government or a Ministry on a matter that belongs to its competence. The Foreign Affairs Committee, the Audit Committee, the Constitutional Law Committee and the State Finance Committee have additional initiation rights. [6] The Intelligence Oversight Committee may, on its own initiative, bring up any matter within its authority for processing and prepare a report on the matter for processing at a plenary session, if it regards the matter significant enough. Defence acquisition matters are usually referred to the Defence Committee.

The Committees consists of Parliamentarians (of different Parties) of which some have a long experience with defence related matters while others do not. However, the Committees have rights to receive information widely and to organise hearings to which they can invite a number of experts with varying backgrounds and representing a range of institutions from different sectors of society. In addition, during the four-year term of a Committee, it visits a number of sites related to its field of activities, and thus keeps its members informed and updated on developments. The know-how of the Committees thus consists of a range of factors, not only on the personal knowledge of their members. The Committees have a pivotal role in the legislative process, as well as in the functioning of the Parliament in general. [1]

Both Parliamentary Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees are viewed as among the most prestigious, and hence attract motivated and experienced individuals. However, in practice not all Parties have the same breadth and depth of expertise; yet most members have the requisite competency for their Committee positions. In an effort to better educate the parliamentarians, a separate but temporary parliamentary study group was founded in 2014, which had acces to more in-depth secret information than ever before, and its findings laid the basis for the first separate defence white paper (Government Defence Report) in 2017. The study group consisted of Representatives from all Parties (two from the bigger ones, one from the smaller ones) and its task was to provide the Parliament with wider and more in-depth information on future defence challenges. Its work was supported by experts from defence and foreign affairs administrations, as well as external experts from a number of fields. [2, 3]

The task of the Defence Committee is to deal with matters concerning conscription, the Defence Forces, legislation concerning exceptional circumstances (unless the matter belongs to the remit of another committee) as well as those aspects of peacekeeping operations that are not the responsibility of the Foreign Affairs Committee.[1]

The Foreign Affairs Committee deals with significant treaties, as well as matters pertaining to general foreign and security policy, foreign trade policy, development cooperation, and international organisations. The Committee’s remit also includes matters relating to the dispatching of Finnish peace-keeping troops and the joint foreign and security policy of the European Union. [2]

The Intelligence Oversight Committee serves as the parliamentary watchdog of civilian and military intelligence operations. The committee also serves as the parliamentary watchdog of the other activities of the Finnish Security Intelligence Service. As part of its parliamentary oversight role, the Intelligence Oversight Committee oversees the proper implementation and appropriateness of intelligence operations, monitors and evaluates the focus areas of intelligence operations, monitors and promotes the effective exercise of fundamental and human rights in intelligence operations, prepares reports by the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman and processes the supervisory findings of the Intelligence Oversight Ombudsman. [3]

The Intelligence Ombudsman supervises the legality of civil and military intelligence and the realisation of basic and human rights in intelligence activities. The Ombudsman is an autonomous and independent authority, who acts in connection with the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman. [4] The Data Protection Ombudsman is a national supervisory authority which supervises the compliance with data protection legislation. [5] The Intelligence Oversight Committee has only existed since the intelligence legislation (both military and civilian) came into force on June 1, 2019. The legislative process is long as the preparations began already at the beginning of 2014.

The committees operate on a continuous basis throughouth the Parliament’s four-year term. As a rule of thumb, the Government’s Defence Report is issued on the second year of the Government’s term. The latest report was published and discussed in 2017 and a new one is expected to come out in early 2021. Prior to 2017, the report’s name was Finnish Defence and Security Policy and it was published in 2012, 2009, 2004, 2001, 1997 and 1995. [6] After the separation of security and defence reports, the wider security issues have been considered in the Government Report of Finnish Foreig and Security Policy, last published in late October 2020. [7]

The Committees meet on the basis of their workload (in general, 2-4 times a week) and issue reports and statements, which are aferwards publicly available on the respective websites (if not classified). In addition, on the website one can find the weekly schedules of the committees, the schedules of their meetings, minutes of the meetings, as well as the agenda of the last meeting. [1]

Parliament’s Rules of Prodecure,
Section 32: An introductory debate shall be held in the Parliament’s plenary session for the purpose of referring matters to a Committee. At the conclusion of the introductory debate, the Parliament shall decide, on the proposal of the Speaker’s Council, to which Committee the matter is referred. At the same time, the Parliament may decide that one or more other Committees shall issue a statement to the Committee preparing the matter.

Section 34: A Committee shall without delay deal with the matters referred thereto and, as the case may be, issue its report to the plenary session or its statement to another Committee.
Section 38: As regards its own field of competence, a Committee may, on its own initiative, issue a statement on the State budget proposal to the Finance Committee within 30 days of the referral of the proposal to the Finance Committee. [2]

The Committees prepare bills, budgetary items, Government reports and so on for the Parliament’s plenary session, discussion and decision making. In the process, the Committees can call experts to hearings and receive written expert statments on matters. They may also open the meeting to public. After discussing the matter, the Committee presents a suggested decision to the Parliament, which then further modifies it in the first Parliamentary session. [3]

On April 29, 2020 the Constitutional Law Committee of the Parliament of Finland began (on its own initiative) an investigation on the realisation of the Committees’ constitutional right to receive information. It published its findings in early October 2020. [4] Both the Defence Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee submitted their statements. According to the former, cooperation between the Committee and the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces has been very smooth over the past years and, as a rule, the Committee has received the information it has required on time.

The same applies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, there have been some exceptions to this rule, especially with regard to the development of international defence cooperation. [5] According to the latter, the Committee’s requests for additional information have in general been responded well, but there have been problems related to foreign and security policy reporting by the Government related to e.g. bilateral defence cooperation, NATO cooperation, military excercises, and human rights based sanctioning. [6] Media also reported widely on the Constitutional Law Committee’s investigations [7].

The Constitution of Finland, Section 80:
The President of the Republic, the Government and a Ministry may issue Decrees on the basis of authorisation given to them in this Constitution or in another Act. However, the principles governing the rights and obligations of private individuals and the other matters that under this Constitution are of a legislative nature shall be governed by Acts. If there is no specific provision on who shall issue a Decree, it shall be issued by the Government. Moreover, other authorities may be authorised by an Act to lay down legal rules on given matters, if there is a special reason pertinent to the subject matter and if the material significance of the rules does not require that they be laid down by an Act or a Decree. The scope of such an authorisation shall be precisely circumscribed. General provisions on the publication and entry into force of Decrees and other legal norms are laid down by an Act. [8]

The Committees operate as long as the Parliament sits – that is, for four years. Committee work on a matter may take days, weeks, months, or even years as in the case of intelligence legislation, which finally came to force on June 1, 2019. All Committees can request further information or investigation of matters. As a basic rule, a matter is closed in a Committee when its report or statement has been approved in the final plenary reading. When it comes to matters other than reports, statements or European Union matters, the Committee itself decides when it closes the matter.

If the Government withdraws its proposal, Committees also discontinue dealing with the proposal. A matter that has not been finished in a Committee during a Parliamentary session, the Committee will continue working on it in the next Parliamentary session unless elections have taken place in the meanwhile. If elections have taken place, unfinished matters will lapse, excluding necessary international matters. [1] In addition, the mentioned Ombudsmen and oversight/auditing bodies carry out long term oversight over defence related matters as well. [2]

However, while both the Parliamentary Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees receive verbal and written reports on international operations (peacekeeping/crisis management) when deciding whether to continue them, as well as an annual summary report (5-6 pages), it has been argued that the reports are not detailed enough to provide a full picture. Thus, while long-term evaluation of national defence takes place, long-term evaluations of international operations are not conducted. [3]

The Committees constitute part of the parliamentary work – legislation as well as political, legal, and budgetary oversight. When a matter related to defence or security comes to discussion in the Parliament, it has been prepared by (1) the relevant Ministry and/or (2) the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy. The Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy prepares important aspects of foreign and security policy and other matters concerning Finland’s relations with other states, associated key internal security matters, and important matters pertaining to comprehensive defence.

In practice, the Ministerial Committee meets together with the President of the Republic. The minutes of the Ministerial Committee meetings are secret but information is usually provided on decision taken. [1] When, for example, the Parliamentary Defence Committee discusses a defence related matter, it puts together a report that forms the basis for the discussion in the Parliament. When doing so, it may request statements from other relevant Committees, hear or receive expert statements and/or request further information from the concerned preparatory body. The Committee also has the right to return a matter it finds underprepared back to the concerned preparatory body for further preparation before processing the matter further.

Similarly, the Parliament may it its first plenary session reading return the matter to the concerned Parliamentary Committee for further preparation if it finds the matter underprepared and/or disagrees with the Committee’s report. The Ministries cannot refuse to prepare a matter further, and once a bill turns into a law they are bound by the enacted law. [2]

In addition, according to the Constitution of Finland, Chapter 4, Section 47: A Committee has the right to receive information from the Government or the appropriate Ministry on a matter within its competence. The Committee may issue a statement to the Government or the Ministry on the basis of the information. [3]

There is a parliamentary Defence committee, as well as a Senate « Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee ».

The National Defence and Armed Forces Commission of the National Assembly has formal rights to review the laws concerning Defence and Security matters, as well as to keep an eye on the orientation of the Defence policy, budgets, personnel management, arms acquisitions, etc, mostly of the occasion of the yearly Finance Bill (containing the army budget) and the Military Programming Law (LPM), every 6 years. [1]
Pursuant to Article 5ter of Ordinance 58-1100 of November 17, 1958, [2] the Defence Commission may, like any permanent commission, “ask the National Assembly to confer on it the prerogatives attributed to the commissions of investigation for a specific mission and for a duration not exceeding six months”.

It is then entitled to request any person of its choice (except from the President) to be auditioned and answer its questions regarding budgets, personnel management, or policy planning. [3]

It is notable that there are de facto limitations to these formal provisions: never has the Defence Commission of the National Assembly used Article 5ter. [4] Never has it used its right to temporary inquiry prerogatives, whereas other standing (permanent) commissions of the Assembly have done so (the Laws Commission launched an inquiry mission on the “Benalla scandal” [5] in the summer of 2018 for instance). The Defence Commission is a reflection of the Parliament. When the President has the majority in the Parliament, it has the majority in all parliamentary commissions. Which means the Commissions do not tend to go against the decisions of the executive, even less in what are considered to be “sovereign” (“régalien”) areas of power, such as Defence and Foreign Affairs, which in the Constitution are the President’s prerogatives.

By law, a deputy or group of deputies can request the creation of a special inquiry committee, outside of any standing Commission. They have to win the vote of their peers to get the inquiry committee created. The opposition also has a “droit de tirage”, meaning they can have an inquiry mission created by simple request once every parliamentarian session (October to June). [6]

But even if opposition members of Parliament manage to win a vote and have an inquiry commission created to investigate Defence issues, the commission’s investigations are limited by the very broad spectrum covered by the “defence secret” label. Pursuant to Article 6 of the same Ordinance, [7] secrecy is enforceable against commissions of inquiry. It states that “the rapporteurs of the commissions of inquiry exercise their mission on documents and on the spot. All information likely to facilitate this mission must be provided to them. They are entitled to receive all service documents, except those of a secret nature relating to national defence, foreign affairs, internal or external security of the State, and subject to compliance with the principle of the separation of judicial authority and other powers”.

Some of the members have built an expertise on defence issues through having been members of the Commission for several mandates, having worked on defence issues, reviewed laws, policies and visited army bases and operations in the field abroad. But generally, most members have little expertise.
They are members of Parliament. Most of them are from the Presidential majority of the 2017 election (“La République en Marche” – LREM – party) [1] [2] [3] They come from civil society and it is their first term of office. But that was the case for all previous Defence Commissions. [4] They are composed proportionally according to the representation of various political groups at the Assembly, not according to any expertise in the field of interest of the Commission. [5] [6] There is a Contrôleur général des armées from the CGA who is appointed to the defence commission to provide expertise on defence issues. [7] [8]

The Commission meets on average five to six times a month, [1] [2] to review defence laws and policies. It discusses the general orientation of defence policy.
It reviews the armed forces budget every year during the vote of the yearly Finance Bill. It also reviews the Military Programming Law (LPM) every 6 years, when that framing-and-planning-law is presented for a vote. [3] [4] The last LPM was adopted in June 2018 and defines the budget and organisation of the French armed forces for the period 2019-2025.

The Commission reviews and discusses defence topics all year long, but it issues amendments to budgets and recommendations once a year, during the vote of the Finance Bill (which includes the vote on the army budget) and then every 6 years for the LPM vote. [1] [2] Ministers can be auditioned by the Commission at its request. But the government does not have to abide by any specific time frame to provide the Commission with further information. [3]

No example were found of investigations launched by the committee on operations. The committee cannot conduct long-term investigations. Pursuant to Article 5ter of Ordinance 58-1100 of November 17, 1958, [1] the Defence Committee may, like any permanent committee, ask the National Assembly to confer on it the prerogatives attributed to commissions of investigation for a specific mission and for a duration not exceeding six months. [2]
It can commission studies to support its work. It cannot, however, delegate its prerogatives to an external body. [3]
However, several “information missions” (missions d’information) have indeed been launched. [4] These do not have the investigative power an “investigation mission” (commission d’enquête) would have.

During every Finance Law (every year) and LPM (every 6 years) vote, the Defence Committees of the Assembly and Senate do make recommendations. [1] They are generally taken into account, as deputies and senators make amendments on the military and budget laws, amendments that are then voted on and form the new set of rules in the Defence sector. [2]
The Foreign Affairs and Armed Forces Commission of the Senate successfully imposed several amendments to the Military programming law of June 2018 (for the 2019-2025 period) concerning the budget and personnel management of the French armed forces. [3] [4]
However, no example was found of the Defence ministry explicitly incorporating recommendations from the Defence committees into practice. They can be influenced by the Committees reports, but have no obligation to incorporate the recommendations into practice.

There is a Defence Committee with formal mechanisms. It has the power to scrutinise any aspect of the performance of the Ministry of Defence or its agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning or arms acquisition, and to demand information on these areas. It can also call expert witnesses to appear before it. One essential function performed by the Defence Committee is the parliamentary oversight of the Federal Ministry of Defence and its subordinate units and agencies. It plays an important part in the adoption of the defence budget, as well as in the procurement of armaments and materiel for the Bundeswehr [1]. There is also the Committee on Internal Affairs, which deals with domestic security institutions, and the Parliamentary Control Panel, which handles the oversight of intelligence [2].

The Defence Committee is comprised of 36 members, some of whom have expertise in the defence sector and are able to influence decisions. However, these members are outnumbered or limited in their ability to influence decisions, because not all members have a background in the field of defence or security. The majority of them are teachers or lawyers who have been working in politics for a long period, but not necessarily in the defence or secuirty sector [1]. This issue has also been raised by some experts in the field, who propose an independent arms advice office, similar to the Technology Assessment Bureau (TAB) that already exists in the German Bundestag. According to Christian Mölling, with such an office, the Bundestag would have access to permanent and committed expertise for its monitoring of procurement projects. This external group of experts could also research how contemporary armaments should work. The army itself is urging Parliament to take a detailed look at the armaments of the future. In the past few months, the armed forces have published studies on war in the near future – these studies are designed as lobbying papers on their own behalf. They are intended to show MPs how big the gap is between what the Bundeswehr can currently do and what it will soon have to do [2]. The paper ‘Armament of digitised land forces’ was last published in spring 2018. It states: ‘The paths that have been taken to date to procure equipment for the Bundeswehr are already leading to land forces that are not fully operational; they appear largely unsuitable for modern digital armed forces of the future’ [3].

The Defence Committee reviews major defence policies and decisions every five years or earlier if new threats arise. They meet once a week and debate current issues and decisions. In addition to examining military issues, the Defence Committee members also receive reports on the everyday experiences of service personnel and the consequences that missions abroad can have. For example, the Committee requests information from the Federal Government or sends delegations to the mission areas to ensure effective parliamentary oversight. In general, Committees of Inquiry are the German Bundestag’s most powerful instrument of parliamentary scrutiny. They allow Members of Parliament to question witnesses and experts, and to obtain files and documents from public bodies and private organisations. Usually, a decision by Parliament is needed to establish a Committee of Inquiry. However, the Defence Committee is the only committee that has the right under the Grundgesetz to constitute itself as a Committee of Inquiry. This implies that the Committee members meet twice in weeks when the Bundestag is sitting: once the Defence Committee on Wednesday and again as the Committee of Inquiry on Thursday [1]. Recently, the Federal Government made a commitment to increasing transparency in the legislative process (‘Vereinbarung zur Erhöhung der Transparenz in Gesetzgebungsverfahren’ [Translated: Agreement to Increase Transparency in the Legislative Process]). Adopted in November 2018, this agreement stipulates that the draft laws issued by the Cabinet, as well as position papers regarding these laws issued by lobbyists/interest groups, will be made publicly available. Until the release of a central platform – called the ‘Beteiligungsplattform’ – which is envisaged in the coalition treaty, draft laws will be published on the websites of the respective ministries and listed centrally on the website of the Federal Government. Furthermore, the Federal Government will declare in what way these positions were considered in the drafting process [2]. There is also the White Paper on German Security Policy and the Future of the Bundeswehr (2016), which is regularly reviewed by the Committee. It describes the cornerstones of Germany’s security policy and the framework within which it operates. It identifies for the Federal Government the areas where German security policy can be shaped and sets the basis for the future course of the Bundeswehr as one of the instruments of German security policy. Additionally, the White Paper aims to generate a debate in society on how Germany shapes its security policy in the future [3].

In January 2019, the federal state Thuringia launched a law on transparency in the legislative process (legislative footprint) called ‘Beteiligtentransparenzdokumentation’, which is the first of its kind in Germany and could serve as an example for other Länder or at the federal level. It seeks to comprehensively document the development of interests, including formal and informal interest group involvements [4].

The Defence Committee plays an important role in the adoption of the defence budget and the procurement of equipment and materiel for the Bundeswehr. It is closely involved when the Budget Committee discusses the budget for the Ministry of Defence and with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, who also plays a significant role in ensuring parliamentary oversight. The Defence Committee’s recommendations are generally heeded by the Budget Committee. Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Defence must also submit all procurement projects that require an outlay exceeding 25 million euros to the Defence Committee for discussion. This indicates that the Bundestag and the relevant committees have a great deal of influence over the armed forces. The Committee meets once a week and issues budget amendments and recommendations. It also requires ministries to consider and respond to recommendations within specific time frames [1].

The Federal Budget is decided annually by the German Bundestag in the form of a law. The draft budget to be submitted by the Federal Government is referred to the Budget Committee for advice. Even though the Defence Committee has no formal responsibility to provide advice on the Budget Act, it nevertheless exerts considerable influence on the budget deliberations by holding intensive consultations on the ‘Einzelplan’ (‘individual budget’) of the Federal Ministry of Defence and the budget of the Defence Commissioner of the German Bundestag and submitting an expert opinion to the Budget Committee. The recommendations it issues are usually heeded by the Budget Committee [2]. The Budget Committee’s deliberations also take into account the opinions of the expert committees of the German Bundestag, which are consulted, as well as the position decided by the Bundesrat [3].

The Defence Committee – like every committee – discusses and deliberates items referred to it by the plenary. It also has the right to take up issues on its own initiative, allowing it to set priorities in the parliamentary debate. When necessary, it draws on external expertise – usually by holding public hearings. At the end of the Committee’s deliberations, a majority of its members adopt a recommendation for a decision and a report, which serve as the basis for the plenary’s decision [1]. It can conduct long-term investigations on current activities, including operations, or it can commission an external body to do so. However, it has rarely exercised this right in relation to military operations, which have not been the subject of any recent long-term parliamentary investigations. In addition to examining military issues, the Committee members also receive reports on the everyday experiences of service personnel and the consequences that missions abroad can have. In order to gain an impression of the situation on the ground, the Committee requests information from the Federal Government or sends delegations to the mission areas to ensure effective parliamentary oversight [2]. See also indicator 2D.

Ministries sometimes incorporate recommendations into practice, but not regularly. Please see indicators 2D, 17D and 28B [1,2].

The Parliament Select Committee on Defence and Interior’s task (PSCDI, 18 members) is to “examine all questions relating to defence and internal affairs” (1). Article 103 of the Constitution charges the committees with the functions of “investigation and inquiry into the activities and administration of ministries and departments as parliament may determine; and such investigation and inquiries may extend to proposals for legislation.” Their powers include “(a) enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise; (b) compelling the production of documents; and (c) issuing a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.” (2), (3).
However, the PSCDI focuses solely on the activities of the armed services (military, police, and para-military services) while the intelligence agencies (Bureau of National Investigation, Foreign Intelligence, Defence Intelligence) are excluded from parliamentary oversight (4).
The Parliament Standing Public Accounts Committee (PSPAC), which has 25 members, is provided with the formal powers of oversight and examining the accounts, audited by the Auditor-General Department, and questioning the rationale behind the usage of funds. However, since the Auditor-General Department’s top officials are appointed by the executive rather than by the parliament, the independence of the institution has been questioned (4).

Examining the composition of the PSCDI, few of its 18 members have the requisite expertise to adequately perform their oversight responsibilities (1), (2), (3), (4), (5). Moreover, the continual turnover undermines the Committee’s capability of influencing decisions (9 out of 18 members are new) (6). The committee lacks a permanent or specialized staff that could support its work with research and administrative duties (6).

The PSCDI does not engage in robust and regular debates, or reviews of major defence policies and decisions (1), (2), (3), (4). However; the committee debates on related issues on an ad hoc basis. The committee was involved in debating a controversial surveillance bill in 2016 (5), the budgetary allocation for defence in 2017 (6), and a US military co-operation deal in 2018 (7).
Thus, information on the activities of the PSCDI is available when discussing salient issues, such as the recent MoU between Ghana and the US in the field of defence cooperation (8). However, the reports on the activities of the PSCDI as well as the minutes of its meetings are not publicly available, and therefore it is impossible to assess how frequently the Committee meets, the content of its investigations, or the impact of its recommendations.

The PSCDI rarely scrutinizes defence budgets. When they do debate defence budgets, it is, almost without exception, to ask for more funds for the armed forces; not to debate, at least openly, on accountability and transparency of how funds are used (1), (2), (3), (4). The committee occasionally issues amendments to budgets and recommendations, but not regularly.

The PSCDI do not make long term strategic security projections based on gathered evidence, and as such, long-term investigations are not conducted or commissioned (1), (2), (3), (4), (5).

Although oversight by the PSCDI is weak, the committee occasionally makes recommendations to Ministry of Defence and the armed forces on mundane issues, such as how they can package their budget to obtain more funds (1), (2), (3). However, there is no indication that ministries incorporate recommendations in practice.

There is a permanent National Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee which consists of 54 members drawn from all parliamentary parties. The committee has formal mechanisms but lacks extensive powers [2]. According to Article 36.5 of the Hellenic Parliament’s Standing Orders, the Ministers of National Defence and Foreign Affairs must appear before the committee at least twice a year to inform members about certain issues, for example arms procurement, defence and Greece’s defence relations with other nations [1]. It has no other powers besides the power to debate defence issues or to scrutinise any aspect of performance of the ministry of defence.

Only some of the committee members have relevant expertise as indicated by their resumes. However, it is customary that former MPs who served as ministers of foreign affairs and national defence join the committee. There are also some MPs who are retired officers. The rest of the members usually do not have expertise in foreign affairs and national defence, only an interest in them [1, 2].

The committee does not regularly review major defence policies. In effect, the committee plays a minor role in the foreign and defence policy decision-making process. However, the committee can only ask ministers to appear before it and question them on the record. In any case, no major defence policy or strategy has been published in recent years [1, 2].

The committee does not exercise any short-term oversight over defence policy or annual strategy but functions more as a forum for debating national defence and foreign affairs. Nevertheless, ministers are obliged to appear before the committee upon invitation at least twice a year. The committee can review the defence budget, although it lacks veto power or the power to suggest amendments [1, 2].

The committee does not conduct long-term investigations into defence and security issues. The only notable exception to this is the investigation into the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, which was conducted by a committee of inquiry. The investigation had a strong defence component that remains largely classified.

This indicator has been scored Not Applicable, as the committee does not usually provide recommendations [1, 2]. Moreover, there is a lack of such consensual practices in the Greek political system.

The committee has no formal rights to scrutinise areas such as budget, personnel management, and arms acquisitions. Even though the committee can request expert hearings, the requested official does not have to appear before the committee [1]

Nearly all members of the committee have considerable expertise in defence matters, but their ability to influence decisions is minimal. For opposition MPs – it’s almost non-existent. Most of them have been serving for longer than one parliamentary term. Some members of the committee have served two to three parliamentary terms. Mr. Miklos Simon from the Fidesz party has been a member of this committee since 2001 (1), which means that he has over one and a half decades of experience. Some committee members have experience from the National Security Committee as well, which in certain cases might also be useful in the Defence and Security Committee as well [1]. Regarding the committee’s possibilities to influence decisions, the key factor is not expertise or the lack of it; instead, it is the interests and power of the delegating parties that influence whether a certain committee member is able to influence decisions. Generally speaking, expertise itself is not a problem. Even if very specialised expertise is not available immediately, the committee can request help from external experts. Opposition members regularly complain in the media, that their recommendations are not even taken to the agenda of the committee, and with the government’s majority, their votes do not matter [2]. As the law classifies major information, opposition members can share a little about concerns, debates and expert opinions; therefore, it is hard to evaluate their in-depth knowledge. Minutes of the committee meetings suggest they have a minor impact both on policymaking and legislation [3].

The most recent National Security Strategy (NSS) and National Military Strategy (NMS) were approved in 2012. Although the government has started crafting an updated strategy, the process failed in 2017 and the plans were never discussed in the committee [1]. The latest National Security Strategy was adopted in February 2020 [2]. There is no indication that either the Defence Committee [3] or the National Security Committee [4] have reviewed the new strategy.

The committee does not regularly exercise any short-term oversight over defence policy. From the documents that are accessible on the committee’s website, policy matters are rarely on the agenda [1]. However, there have been occasions when the committee contributed to minor policy changes, for example, by approving the rapid and extraordinary procurement of two Airbus A319 aircraft [2].

There has been no information on a single long-term investigation conducted or commissioned by the committee during the past five years. Opposition members initiated investigations in several cases, but the pro-government majority has never voted to launch investigations on defence matters. The majority has often prevented investigations from being put on the agenda [1].

There is not enough evidence to score this indicator. This is because the Minsitry of Defence (MoD) has not received any meaningful recommendations from the defence committee [1].

As described in Q.1, there is a Standing Committee on Defence (SCoD). The Committee has the power to scrutinise any aspect of performance of Ministry of Defence or agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, arms acquisition and demand information on these areas. The Committee can when required, call upon expert witnesses. The Committee does not have veto powers [1][2]. In addition, there are Committees such as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Estimates Committee and Committee on Public Undertakings who deal with a range of issues related to defence. There is powerful oversight from other agencies such as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) which undertakes financial, performance and compliance audits on regular basis. CAG reports are examined by Parliamentary Committees [3][4][5].

It is noteworthy to mention that in August 2018, the Defence Planning Committee (DPC) under the National Security Adviser was established by the government. The DPC is tasked with analysing and evaluating all relevant inputs relating to defence planning; and preparing defence related drafts [6]. Though not a Parliamentary Committee, it is interesting to see its addition to the government’s existing apparatus, the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The Standing Committee on Defence consists of elected members from both Houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Speaker from amongst the members of the Committee from the Lok Sabha. Members can have expertise in defence and can also be new members of Parliament with no prior expertise. The latter can build sector knowledge. The Committee invites experts whilst scrutinising bills. The current Committee consists of a former Prime Minister, a retired Army Colonel, senior politicians with wide portfolio experience and members with professional backgrounds in law, physics, mathematics, and medicine [1][2].

The Committee analyses budget allocations, policy documents, annual MoD reports; and examines bills referred to the Committee [1]. The Standing Committee on Defence is active, working across the year. Indian Parliament has three sessions: Budget, Monsoon, and Winter session totaling 9 months of the year. Between 2015 and 2018, 38 reports have been presented by the Committee [2]. Observations and recommendations cover a wide array of defence topics [3][4].

The Committee issues recommendations on a regular basis and requires the government to respond within a suitable timeframe [1]. The Minister concerned makes a statement once in six months in the House regarding the status of implementation of recommendations contained in the reports of the Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs) [2][3]. As alluded to above, the Committee is active throughout the year [4][5].

The Committee looks at areas such as procurement on a rolling-basis thus providing long-term oversight. It can appoint sub-committees and study groups to make a detailed study/examination of certain areas [1][2]. Operations and national long-term policy documents are included in the Committee’s scope [3][4].

In the March, 2018 report by the Standing Committee on Defence, 34 observations/recommendations were given [1][2]. The government accepted 20 of these. Scrutiny of past data from 2015 to present, suggests that the government accepts over half of the Committee’s recommendations. This is concluded after sampling Committee reports and seeing what percentage of recommendations have been accepted [3][4].

According to the Resolution of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) Plenary Meeting of November 4, 2014, the DPR RI Commission I is one of 11 Commissions in the DPR RI 2014-2019 period. As one of the DPR tools (alat kelengkapan), Commission I has the authority to carry out oversight, legislative and budgetary functions in the fields of defence, foreign affairs, communication and informatics and intelligence [1]. As part of its oversight function in the defence sector, Commission I carries out such tasks as supervising the implementation of laws, including the use and accountability of the budget in the defence sector, and the implementation of government policies in the field of defence. Executive structures serving as partners for Commission I are the Ministry of Defence, the Chief of TNI/Headquarters of the Indonesian Army, the Navy and Air Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Resilience Institution (Lemhanas), the National Resilience Council (wantannas), the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN). As part of its functions, including its oversight function in the field of defence, Commission I holds a working meeting with the government (Minister of Defence), a hearing or a public hearing presented by experts. Decisions on work meetings are binding and must be implemented by the government. If Commission I believes that government officials in the defence sector have not carried out their obligations, it can propose the use of its rights of interpellation and investigation or ask questions. For example, Commission I may request an explanation from the Minister of Defence or the Chief of TNI on operational policies [2]. In accordance with Law No. 34/2004 concerning the Indonesian National Defence Forces, the DPR RI also has the authority to grant or refuse approval for candidates proposed by the President for the role of Chief of TNI. In this case, Commission I conducts a fit and proper test for the candidates proposed by the President for the role of Chief of TNI [3].

As is the case for the other Commissions in the DPR RI, the mechanism for selecting and determining the members of Commission I does not formally define the requirements for expertise in the fields relevant to the Commission’s tasks, which in this case are issues of defence, foreign affairs and intelligence. Expertise is not usually a primary consideration for political parties and factions when placing their members in Commissions as an extension of their control in the DPR RI [4]. Of the 51 members of Commission I for the 2014-2019 period (as of March 2019), only nine members have an educational background in the fields of political science, government or international relations. Then there were four members of Commission I who are retired military/police officers [1,2]. The disparity in defence-related knowledge among members of Commission I was still prevalent during the 2014-2019 period [3]. Often, discussions on defence were informally handed over to members considered to be experts due to their professional background as retired military/police officers [3, 4].

In Indonesia’s law structure, the five-year state defence policy is governed by a Minister of Defence Regulation. For the 2014-2019 period, the Regulation of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia No.19/2015 regarding the National Defence Policy 2015-2019 was issued, which refers to the Regulation of the President of the Republic of Indonesia No. 97/2015 concerning the National Defence Policy 2015-2019. These policies refer to the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) [1,2]. Commission I oversees government policies in the defence sector, including the 2015-2019 National Defence Policy and the National Defence Implementation Policy 2015-2019. The DPR RI, including Commission I, can provide substantive input into the preparation of the RPJMN. Commission I also holds discussions and determines the budget allocation for the Ministry of Defence. In addition, Commission I can request the government to provide an explanation of the direction of national defence policy at any time through the mechanism of the Working Meeting and Hearing Meeting in the DPR. Commission I uses the approved RPJMN as a reference for the implementation of defence policies and measures its progress within the relevant period. For example, in 2016, Commission I rejected the government’s initial proposal of the 2017 defence budget because it was deemed incompatible with the RPJMN. Following necessary adjustment by the Ministry of Defence, the defence budget proposal was resubmitted and finally agreed upon [3].

In each session year, which begins and ends in August, there are four to five session periods [1]. At the beginning of each session, a plan of activities is determined. In all commissions, including Commission I, around 40% to 50% of the time available for each session period is usually allotted for the discussion of matters relating to the oversight and budgetary functions in almost every task [2]. In practice, discussions at the DPR RI were particularly intense from May, when Commission I began discussing the work plan with the Ministry of Defence, until October, when the state budget was defined [3]. After the first semester, the DPR RI can evaluate the implementation of the state budget, including the defence budget. If there are conditions that require budget shifts, the DPR RI and the government can discuss the revised state budget (Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Negara-Perubahan/RAPBN-P).

Every issue related to defence policy essentially concerns the implementation of a law, or its derivative rules, and the use of the budget in the defence sector. Commission I conducts long-term oversight of specific issues in the defence sector within the framework of oversight of law and budget implementation. The National Long-Term Development Plan is regulated in Law No. 17/2007 concerning the National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJP) 2005-2025. Because it is defined in a law, the DPR RI has a role in determining the long-term development plan proposed by the government. The RPJP becomes the basis for determining the government’s medium-term development plan, including in the defence sector. At the level of the Ministry of Defence, as an elaboration of the RPJP and in connection with the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) defined by the government, the Minister of Defence issued Minister of Defence Regulation No. 8/2015 concerning the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Defence and the Indonesian National Defence Forces 2015-2019. Commission I supervises the implementation of this regulation [1]. This is mainly related to the Minimum Essential Force, which has been established since 2007. As part of its oversight function, Commission I oversees and provides input on a number of long-term strategic issues in the defence sector. During the 2016-2018 period, a number of issues came to the attention of Commission I, including the fulfilment of the TNI Minimum Essential Force, in which case Commission I asked the Ministry of Defence and the TNI to consistently increase the defence budget [1]. The management of the Free Papua issue also briefly became a point of discussion at the work meetings of Commission I, the Chief of TNI and the Minister of Defence [2]. The issue of TNI involvement in counterterrorism operations is also one of the main topics discussed between Commission I and its partners [3].

Commission I plays a very important role in the preparation cycle of the State Budget, including the defence budget. The intensity of the collaboration between Commission I and the Ministry of Defence is particularly evident during the process of preparing the Ministry of Defence’s Work Plan and Budget (Rencana Kerja dan Anggaran/RKA), which is usually carried out in August after the government has submitted the State Budget Plan and the Financial Note. In this case, recommendations provided by Commission I are used in the preparation of the Ministry of Defence RKA [1]. The decision of the working meeting between Commission I and the government (Ministry of Defence and the TNI), which includes recommendations from members of Commission I, is binding and must be implemented by the Ministry of Defence and the TNI. The Ministry of Defence’s RKA, which would later be approved in the State Budget, shows the adjustments made by the government based on input from Commission I. In addition, when following up on the results of the examination of the government’s external auditor, in this case the Audit Board (BPK), Commission I also provided input on the management and financial responsibilities in the defence sector [2]. In 2018, after responding to the recommendations of Commission I and the DPR RI, the Ministry of Defence succeeded in obtaining the Unqualified Opinion (WTP/Reasonable without Exceptions) after having been awarded the Qualified Opinion (WDP/Reasonable with Exceptions) for two years. However, outside the context of budgeting and legislation, Commission I often fails to provide substantive input on the implementation of the defence budget. In practice, on a number of issues, Commission I often takes a position that merely echoes the position of the Ministry of Defence [3].

There is a National Security and Foreign Policy Committee. Its formal rights are laid out in Article 53 of the Rules of Procedure of the Islamic Parliament of Iran. The article does not specify in detail the duties of the Committee but rather states the following: “The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Parliament is formed to fulfill duties within framework of foreign relations and politics, defence, information and security based on the regulations of the Rules of Procedure” [1].

The list of members of the committee and their educational status is available online. Few of the current members seem to have expertise in the defence sector, although many come from relevant disciplines including political science, international relations and law. Some come from completely irrelevant backgrounds such as medicine [1].
In July of this year, power in the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission seems to have shifted to the reformists after Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh seized the chairmanship from Alaeddin Boroujerdi who has headed the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission since 2005. The new speaker of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Ali Najafi Khoshrodi, is now also a reformist. All of which means that the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission is expected to see different days ahead. The new chairman is thought to be a critic of Syria’s Assad, which Iran’s defence institution is believed to be propping up [2, 3].
Therefore, perhaps in the years ahead, we will witness a more critical approach by the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to Iran’s foreign and security policies [4]. However, for the moment, the new National Security and Foreign Policy Commission’s ability to influence decisions is unclear. On the one hand, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and its chairman are quite influential given high prominence in the media, and on the other hand, it appears that defence officials exercise undue influence over members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission [4, 5].

Noting that the question asks about reviews of “major” defence policies, not responses to incidents, the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee is not known to undertake a formal review of defence policy and decisions every five years or earlier; however, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission is active and responds to threats/incidents as they arise [1].

For example, after an attack on Iran’s consulate in Basra, the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee reviewing the incident blamed Iraqi Baathists for the attack, but make no comments or criticism regarding Iran’s deployment of military advisors in Iraq [2]. Other than responding to incidents, there is no publicly available evidence indicating the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee reviews major defence policies. There is not sufficient evidence to indicate that formal reviews take place.

The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee appears to meet regularly. The National Security and Foreign Policy Commission is often given the opportunity to review bills. It seems that this happens regularly; for the general budget, the committee has issued amendments [1]. On the adoption of the Combating the Finance of Terrorism Bill (CFT) bill, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission also issued amendments when it failed to pass the Guardian Council, a 12-member body, which reviews and has veto power over all legislation [2]. Further evidence found in relation to budget allocations for the country’s defensive naval capabilities indicates the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee is involved in revising budgets [3]. However, it is not clear that the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee requires ministers to respond to recommendations, or what the specified time frames are.

There is limited evidence that long term independent investigations into the defence affairs of the country are conducted, or commissioned by the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee [1]. Concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has held regular meetings with the foreign minister [1]; however, it would appear that significant operations are excluded from the committee’s scope including activities such as the missile program. Rather, most investigations conducted appear to be short-term in nature, and do not seem to involve independent questioning of officials [2, 3].

Ministries do incorporate recommendations of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee into practice, and they are not minor changes only. The committee plays a role in proposing legislation to the Guardian Council [1], which acts as a vetting body over legislation proposed by the Parliament. If a bill is rejected by the Guardian Council, the committee may subsequently modify some parts of the bill found faulty by the Guardian Council [1]. In the case of the Combating the Finance of Terrorism Bill (CFT), the committee played an active role to ensure it was enacted, and as the Guardian Council and the Parliament could not agree on certain provisions in the bill, it went to the Expediency Council [2], which regulates disputes between the two former bodies. However, as the Expediency Council made its own changes to the bill [2], it cannot be said that the committee’s recommendations were enacted in the final bill. Therefore, it cannot it be said that ministries sometimes incorporate recommendations into practice, because there is no such evidence.

At the legislative level, members exercise advisory powers, hosting and establishing relations with a wide range of actors beyond defence including foreign ambassadors and UN representatives (1), (2), (3). Committee members debate defence widely; from issuing statements (from budgetary arrangements to street protests) to hosting local defence partners from military intelligence to the police service. While the Committee lacks formal rights and its mandate extends to political/legislative oversight, its focus aligns with matters that concern powerful security actors, including PMF serving discussions from the expulsion of US forces to defence diversification in terms of armaments. This undermines the scrutiny of particular groups which is reflected by the absence of condemnation of security actors confronted with allegations of human rights abuses and corruption. Attempted reforms are few and far between, a judicial source explained to Transparency International, owing to a lack of formal and executive powers to exercise. The Committee was initially formed and led by former PM Nouri al Maliki; it is another observatory governmental body that lacks independence which as is widely reported, stems directly from ex-PM Maliki’s efforts to blur the lines between the executive, legislative and judicial branches alongside executive interference (4), (5).

While the committee lacks formal rights and its mandate extends to political/legislative oversight, its focus aligns with matters that concern powerful security actors, including PMF-serving discussions from the expulsion of US forces to defence diversification in terms of armaments. Attempted reforms are few and far between a judicial source (1) [825] explained to TI, owing to the lack of formal and executive powers to exercise.

In late 2018, a letter issued by Adnan al Asadi, the former committee chairman, gave the order to halt appointments, citing ‘a deluge of complaints submitted by MPs that have taken issue with politicking and other unlawful means of securing appointments in the parliamentary security and defence committee. A deep look at Adnan al-Asadi reveals a figure implicated in cases of corruption having processed ‘irregular transactions’ for former PM Nouri al Maliki, as revealed by Wikileaks (2). As one MP recently lamented, “political intervention by political blocs in the selection of government ministers and cabinet, will be replicated in the appointment of committees and their members” (3).

Patronage remains an important concept in guiding appointments at the highest levels; often “the result of muhasasa dealings that the functioning of parliamentary democracy” (4) which overrides relevant rules of procedures that ought to mitigate potential conflicts of interest in the appointment of a special parliamentary committee.

Articles circulated on official government platforms offer firm evidence of consistent discussions between the parliamentary security and defence committee, over defence policies and laws, budgetary needs and time-sensitive security breaches, at times involving seniors from other security ministries (1). They offer only limited insight into responsive policymaking and, provide little more than a cursory look at active policy planning. The coverage informs us that meetings are convened with officials and delegations belonging to the ministries of interior, defence, alongside meetings with the acting-PM (2), (3). The investigation into Mosul fall offers further evidence of this. As an Iraqi security analyst wrote, “the commission’s investigation into Mosul’s collapse has not adopted any recommendations that are legally binding, nor have recommendations been put before a parliamentary vote. The parliament referred the file to the judiciary. Political opposition from various blocs, particularly the State of Law, slammed the committee for its lack of objectivity. The file was gradually abandoned and rumoured to be closed. The follows the patterns of other inquiries into corrupt arms deals implicating senior defence officials (4), (5). Speaking to Baghdad Post, Zamili assured that the case of Mosul had been referred to the Iraqi Judiciary and that he was willing to testify before all relevant authorities involved. He warned at the time of attempts of obstruction by political parties (5) for the objective of shutting the investigation down. Maliki further dismissed the commission’s inquiry into Mosul’s fall as “worthless” on social media (6). Political alliances and political party meddling, as the discussed cases make clear, influence decisions adopted by the courts which overall, undermines the policy-making responsibilities the defence committee performs. Consequently, we see repeated failures to address serious defence violations through responsive policymaking. In spite of active discussions, the committee’s input has not swayed policy-making decision making, in the absence of institutional cooperation. This is because it cannot override the word of the Council of Ministers (parliament) without executive and legislative powers (7).

In recent years the committee’s orientation and rhetoric point to a tilt away from America and a closer pull towards Iran. Members have consistently called on the government to review its existing defence agreement with the US, citing violations of during the fight on the ISG. A military legal expert (8) expressed doubt when asked about whether the National Security Strategy was replaced every 5 years in adherence and implementation of the existing NSS (8).

While evidence of meetings headed by the committee are available online, there is little evidence of the application of changes or policies advised by committee members. There is scant evidence of discussions relating to the defence budget (1), but nothing confirming involvement in budgetary amendments.

The committee’s decisions do not appear to unfold in line with a grand strategy, but discussions with high ranking defence officials are commonplace but often in response to immediate and pressing security concerns (1), (2), (3). What little discussion exists online regarding NSS is void of references to committee members or their policy directives or input. Deficiencies within the ISF and IPS and the lack of interoperability offers a sound explanation of potential causes for the absence of long term planning (1).

There is no evidence to suggest that the committee exercises legislative oversight, as far as defence policies are concerned. Hakim al Zamili, former chairman of the committee, divulged on local Iraqi TV [40] that the committee plays a supervisory and legislative authority, offering insights and recommendations. While Zamili uses the Arabic term legislative (Tashree’i), this runs in contradiction with the latter claim. A supervisory body, by law, does not have the power to challenge or abrogate Iraq’s security agreements, for example, with the US, as it recently recommended [45]. This is a matter that only the council of representatives has the mandate to act on. As TI’s 2015 Iraq assessment also found [44], parliament and its committees cannot challenge the powers of the Prime Minister on security and defence matters.

The parliamentary committee’s contribution to policy formulation and implementation is superficial, at best. This does not negate the committee’s active discussions and oversight of major defence developments and deals [838; 839] but their ability to influence policy is constrained by the absence of mechanisms/structures for the implementation of their recommendations. Committee calls to review the terms of Iraq’s security agreement with Washington (heard since the start the committees term in 2014) have curried favour among members of the Iranian backed Fatah Alliance, whom belonged to armed factions before ditching their weapons to run in last year’s parliamentary election in violation of Article 2B of the constitution [840; 841]. While some have attempted to translate calls for America’s departure into institutional outcomes, Parliamentary committee members and Nouri al Maliki have ruled out such propositions [840].

The evidence informs two conclusions, (1) the committee acts and comments in an official capacity in the absence of a clearly defined defence policy. Secondly (2) the views displayed by its members suggest that not all members are ideologically or /institutionally aligned and remarks often display the political biases held by certain figures. A score of 1 in this instance will be maintained until concrete evidence on outcomes can be presented. These flaws are in large part, attributable to the Muhassassa system, which impedes the committees overall effectiveness.

There is the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee with some formal mechanisms to conduct scrutiny over defence policy. It is one of the currently functioning committees of the Knesset (1). Besides the Finance Committee, it is considered as one of the most important Knesset Committees. It deals with the foreign affairs of the state, its armed forces, and its security. The Committee has the power to scrutinise aspects of performance of the Ministry of Defence or its agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, and arms acquisition, as well as demand information on these areas (2). It is also in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it. The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has several subcommittees as well as joint committees. (3) Yet, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee lacks some of the power because in the end, the government makes the final decisions and is in general informally stronger than the Knesset, in particular in the field of defence and security (4). There is also the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel (5) who “shall audit the economy, the property, the finances, the obligations and the administration of the State, of Government offices, of all enterprises, institutions or corporations of the State, of local authorities and of the other bodies or institutions made subject by law to the audit of the State Comptroller (…) (b) The State Comptroller shall examine the legality, moral integrity, orderly management, efficiency and economy of the audited bodies, and any other matter which he deems necessary.” (6) The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Ombudsman provides annual reports (7).

The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee is comprised of members with expertise in the defence sector, in particular ex Generals from the IDF, who have specific knowledge and are described as very powerful experts who are able to influence decisions (1) (2) (3).

Israel is in a permant situation of threat due to its specific situation, location and context (e.g. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict), and has tensed relationship with a lot of neighbouring Arab countries as well as other countries around the world. That’s why the committee reviews major defence policies and decisions earlier than every 5 years because threats constantly arise (1). The committee reviews major defense policies and strategies and there are constant debates discussions in the Knesset and within the Ministry of Defence (2). In terms of policy review, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee itself is responsible for policy making as well as reviewing. It is important to note that every Knesset member is able to raise a question or an inquiry rather on any matter to any minister (minister of defence in this case). The minister is obligated to provide an answer, some information though is obviously confidential. Also, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has in its power the option to call anyone it wishes (prime minister, minister of defense, IDF commander etc..) for specific questions or to have a discussion (3). In terms of policy review, the following protocol of a Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee’s meeting, from December 9th 2019 concerns the data about the IDF enlistment of “Haredim”(aka ultra-orthodox Jews). The committee called for various commanders in the IDF to attend the meeting, while also instructing the IDF to form a committee of it’s own to delve into this issue and provide a deeper analysis on a later date to be determined (4).

The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee meets at least once a month, and issues, for example, budget amendments and recommendations. It issues amendments to budgets and recommendations on a regular basis, but does not require ministries to respond, or allows indefinite time frames (1). Sometimes the budget changes over the year (even doubled) and the Knesset Members do not get any information related to the exact amount, causes, and reasons of the expenses. A lot of processes related to security and defence questions are very non-transparent and restrict the ability to provide sufficient oversight (2). In general, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee has only limited access to some security and defence issues. However, the joint Financial and Defence committee does have the ability to request classified information as part of its remit to oversee the defence budget. Meeting dates of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee are known, protocols are released to the public (3) (though it is safe to assume that some of the meeting are confidential and are not disclosed to the public for security reasons. Regarding budget amendments and specific meeting and dates, the following source is a meeting protocol from December 25th 2018, regarding the IDF deducting salaries, sometimes retro-actively, from junior commanders in different courses. Various senior commanders were asked to attend and provide explanations (4).

The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee conducts long-term investigations on current activities, or it can commission an external body to do it (1). They meet on a regular basis (at least once a week) and follow up on investigations. However, operations are excluded from its scope and their influence is only limited due to security issues (2). Some Parliamentary Inquiry Committees exist that conduct long-term oversights. They are appointed by the Knesset Plenum to deal with issues that the Knesset views as being of special national importance. Each such committee is meant to present its final report before the end of the Knesset during which it is appointed. According to Paragraph 22 of the Basic Law: The Knesset: “The Knesset may appoint commissions of inquiry – either by empowering one of the permanent committees in that behalf or by electing a commission from among its members – to investigate matters designated by the Knesset; the powers and functions of a commission of inquiry shall be prescribed by the Knesset; every commission of inquiry shall include also representatives of party groups which do not participate in the Government, in accordance with the relative strength of the party groups in the Knesset.” (3). However, there are only reports available until 2013 (4). Current cases are the submarine scandal inclduing ships acquisition from ThyssenKrupp (5) and a new affair about an acquisition of American trucks (tank carriers) (6). Official requests for information sent to the Ministry of Defence and the Statecomptroller were not answered.

Ministries sometimes incorporate recommendations into practice, but not on a regular basis. There is not a lot of material related to this and recommendation papers formed by the committee were not found. Furthermore, there is no evidence on whether potential recommendations have turned into policy or legislation (1). It is not clear if the FADC issues recommendations on policy matters for the MOD to address, however in budget matters, the committee is active in suggesting amendments (2). Committee minutes do not often reveal indications of definitive action and do not contain lists of recommendations (3).

In Italy there are two standing parliamentary committees — one for each Chamber of the Parliament — that exercise oversight over defence and security issues. In both Chambers they are named 4th Committee (Defence) and have the right to scrutinise every aspect of the armed forces and of the defence apparatus. Their composition and activities are regulated by the Regulation of the respective Chambers [1]. In particular, members of the Committees are allowed to ask, among other things, for clarifications, auditions, and parliamentary inquiries on aspects related to budgets, personnel management, policy planning, arms acquisition [2]. Moreover, according to the Code of the military system (Title III), parliamentarians are allowed to visit all military structures of the national defence apparatus and receive non-classified information [3].

The lists of Committees’ members are publicly available on the website of the respective Chambers [1] [2]. Nonetheless, apart from their membership affiliations prior to this legislature – when applicable – there is no direct clear indication of their background and expertise in the defence sector. In order to find this information, it is necessary to access, when available, the webpages of the committees’ members, where they might indicate their biography. Just in some cases (about a half in the Senate and a fourth in the Chamber of Deputies), their background is satisfactory.

The political direction of defence policies are mainly carried out by the Executive, and the Committees participate in this process by (dis-)agreeing to the legislative decrees [1]. The White Paper on defence, which might be understood as a major defence policy [2], was released in 2015 almost 30 years after the previous one, and no update of the document is foreseen for the current year. The relevant parliamentary committees but also civil society has been involved in the formulation process of the document.
It is not possible to foresee when a major update of defence policy will occur. Nonetheless, it is possible to affirm that the Parliament is involved in the definition of the current defence policy, inlcuding in the definition of the annual budget [3], as well as the extension of the Italian participation to international missions [4].
Despite the White Paper on defence not being updated regularly, the Parliament can influence the political direction of defence policies. In addition to the aforementioned yearly appointments, the Parliament adopted law 244/2012, which reforms the organisation of the defence apparatus [5] then modified in the following years [6].

Committees meet in different composition, in a reporting capacity, in a consultative role, in an inquiring capacity, more than once a month [1]. For what concerns financial aspects, the government has to address the opinions of the committees and cannot produce a decree without the consent of the committees, that can also amend and/or present recommendations (art. 536 code of military system) [2, 3]. Once the opinion is given to the Government, should the latter not agree with the indications of the committees, it has to present them counter-deductions. In order to stop the decree, the committees need to vote against the decree by a majority.

Committees are allowed to carry out interrogations and questions on every aspect of the defence policies that results in auditions and fact-finding survey [1] [2]. They can also carry out long-term investigations on current activities of the government, like for example the one on defence systems planning, production and investments for the needs of the defence sector approved in 2018 and to be finished in April 2021 [3] [4].

Defence committees can propose recommendations that can be included in the decrees of the government. On specific aspects related to budgetary issues, should modification proposals not be considered by the government, the committees can block the adoption of the decree with a majority [1]. In addition, parlamentarians amend draft laws on aspects related to the armed forces [2] and can also approve or reject the law delineating international military missions [3].

The Security Committee of the House of Representatives and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the House of Councillors handle defence affairs. These bodies are given formal rights by the Diet Law. They consider the measures (including resolutions), petitions and other matters which may come into their respective spheres of work. [1] The Security Committee may scrutinise all government affairs under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the National Security Council. [2] The Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the House of Councillors may also scrutinise these affairs. [3] These Committees thus have the authority to scrutinise the budget, personnel management, policy planning, and arms acquisition of the MoD. However, the Budget Committee in each House of the Diet is the only committee that the respective rules of these Houses explicitly state have jurisdiction over budgets [4] [5] (see Q13). A Committee may propose a bill concerning matters under its jurisdiction. [6] The right to demand information in the above areas is also guaranteed. The Constitution states that “[e]ach House may conduct investigations in relation to government, and may demand the presence and testimony of witnesses, and the production of records.” [7] According to the Diet Law, “the Cabinet, public agencies and others must comply with the requests of a House or any of its Committees for the production of reports and records necessary for consideration or investigation.” If the Cabinet or the public agent refuses to do so, they must explain the reason why. “If the reason is found to be not acceptable, the House or the Committee may ask the Cabinet to declare that the production of the reports and records would be gravely detrimental to the national interest. If such a declaration is issued, it is not necessary for the Cabinet or the public agency to produce the reports and records requested. If the Cabinet does not issue the declaration within ten days from the filing of the request, the Cabinet or the public agency must produce the reports and records as requested.” [8] Also according to the Diet Law, the Committees “may request the Board of Audit to carry out an audit upon specified matters when it is necessary for examination or investigation, and to produce a report on the results”. [9] The Committees may also call witnesses. [10] [11] According to the Act on Witnesses’ Oath, Testimony, etc., to refuse to appear in Diet as a witness carries a criminal sentence. [12] A Committee may also call a voluntary testifier to appear in Diet. [13] [14] Although the voluntary testifiers are not under obligation to meet, [12] an examination of the proceedings of the meetings does not indicate that any of them don’t do so. [15] Furthermore, “[a] Committee may, through the presiding officer of its House, request the presence of the Prime Minister, a Minister of State, a Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, a State Minister, a Parliamentary Vice-Minister or a Government special adviser at its meeting.” [16] A decision to propose a bill, [17] request reports or records from the government or an audit by the Board of Audit, or to request that a voluntary testifier or Cabinet member appear in front of a Committee, are made by a vote in the Committee and hence subject to the stance of the kaiha that make up its majority. By precedent, a decision to call a witness to testify to a Committee requires unanimity. [12]

The Diet Law states that “Members of Standing Committees shall be appointed by each House at the beginning of a session, and shall hold their membership until their term of office as Members of their House expires.” [1] Hence, the voting members of the Committees are all politicians. Membership of the respective committees is found on the homepages of the House of Representatives [2] and the House of Councillors. [3] A survey in August 2019 of the background of the 30 members of the Security Committee of the House of Representatives, using either the webpages of their political party or those of the news agency Jiji, [4] indicated that a large majority had acquired defence policy expertise through political work. Eleven had had a politically appointed position in the Ministry of Defence, seven of the remaining had had such a position in another ministry and another eight had had responsibilities within defence policy-making in their party. Furthermore, each standing committee may supplement its expertise by having an official with professional knowledge (a “Senmon-in” or Professional Adviser), and researchers. [5] Many politicians have vested interests in a district. [6] Such interests may be related to defence, in the form of defence industries or SDF or US military bases. However, foreign affairs and defence seldom provide special interests in a particular constituency. [7] Research found that some Diet members in the Liberal Democratic Party, which has dominated Japanese politics since it was founded in 1955, nevertheless have chosen to serve in the divisions of the party’s Policy Affairs and Research Council (PARC) that deal with such issues. With such a background, they could become policy experts and at one time become cabinet ministers. [7] During the years covered by this research, a coalition government made up of the large, center-right LDP and the smaller, centrist Komeito ruled with a majority in both houses of the Diet. [8] All legislative proposals, most of which had been drafted by bureaucrats employed in the government agencies, were pre-screened by a PARC in each party. Members of the leadership of the parties would then decide on the government’s policy before Cabinet would submit bills to the Diet. [9] The August 2019 survey showed that the Security Committee includes three former Ministers of Defence from the LDP. In addition to them, there were at least four members of the foreign affairs or defence divisions of the LDP’s PARC and at least one member of the Komeito’s PARC. There are good reasons to believe that such members can influence decisions, but given the government’s pre-screening arrangement, their focus might be on explaining the policy already determined by the government to other members of the committee rather than on arriving at new decisions through committee discussion.

The topics raised in the committees are found on their homepages. Bills and budget proposals are dealt with by the committees. The Cabinet issues National Defence Program Guidelines (NDPG) with prospects for development in the security sector and defence plans for how to respond to them in the next ten years. The most recent guidelines have dealt with the periods FY 2019-, FY 2014-, FY 2005- and FY 1996-. [1] In addition, the Cabinet issues Mid-Term Defence Programs (MTDP) that describe five year plans for arms acquisitions in order to implement the defence program guidelines. [2] The homepages of the House of Representatives and House of Councillors give information on the agenda for each meeting of, respectively, the Security Committee [3] and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. [4] The 2019 NDPG and 2019 MTDP are each listed twice in the agenda of the Security Committee and for the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee after they were adopted by the Cabinet. In one Security Committee meeting, the Minister of Defence and 14 high-ranking bureaucrats answered questions, and in the other, the Minister of Defence alone did so. The last time before this that the NDPG and MTDP were on the agenda in this committee was in 2014, shortly after the last time the Cabinet adopted such guidelines and programmes. The two documents were discussed twice in the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee in June 2019, when the Minister of Defence and government expert witnesses answered questions from committee members. In that committee as well, the last time before this that these documents were on the agenda was in 2014.

The Security Committee of the House of Representatives met 11 times from March 5 to June 26, 2019, a period covering 17 weeks, [1] and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the House of Councillors met 18 times during the same period [2]. However, only under very special circumstances are committee meetings convened when the Diet is not in session, and there can be several months between sessions. [3] The Japanese Constitution gives the right to present a budget to the Cabinet, [4] and the dominant interpretation of the Constitution is that the Diet has the authority to amend it. Such amendment cannot add new items to the budget, but can increase or decrease appropriations for specific items. The process followed to decide on the budget for FY 2019 is representative of how the budget is handled by the Diet. The government submitted its budget proposal to the Diet on January 28, 2019, and deliberation began in the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives. It went through explanation of the reasoning for the measures, question-and-answer sessions with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, hearings, group discussions, debate and voting. [6] The Defence Minister and government informants from the Ministry of Defence answered questions when the Defence Budget was scrutinized. [7] The budget was approved by majority vote in the House of Representatives Budget Committee on March 1 and the full house on March 2. [8] The Minister of Defence gave the Security Committee a brief explanation on the budget on March 5 [9]. The budget proposal then went through deliberation in the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, and the Defence Budget was discussed in the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee on March 22. [10] Cabinet Ministers and government experts could be questioned by the committee members at many of these meetings as well. The budget was approved by majority vote in the House of Councillors Budget Committee [11] and the full house on March 27 and thus passed. [12] No committee or house proposed amendments to the budget for FY 2019. [13, 14, 15, 16, 17] The focus in the budget committees is on questioning Cabinet Ministers on policies determined by the budget rather than on budget compilation as such. [18] Opposition politicians have proposed budget amendments in the Diet on a few occasions, but such proposals seldom receive the necessary support, as the Cabinet will ensure that it has majority support for the proposal that it presents. [19] (More information about deciding on the budget is given in the answers to Q13A and Q13B.) Examination of one Diet report on key topics in defence policymaking for each year covered by this research showed that the opposition made use of meetings in the budget committees and the two committees with jurisdiction over defence issues, the Security Committee and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, to gain information from the government and offer critical proposals that seldom had enough support to be adopted by the Diet. [20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25] Most bills that pass are submitted by the Cabinet, but individual MPs can also submit bills. Those who have submitted a bill will give an explanation, and the committee members may request explanation from a Cabinet Minister or other government officials. Then, the political parties express their views on the bill, and a vote is taken. If the bill receives a majority, it is deliberated and voted on in the full house. [26] No bills for the defence sector that had been submitted by individual MPs were adopted by the Diet during the timeframe of this research, however. [27] When government sponsored legislation to allow Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defence was being deliberated in a Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community, which had been set up in each of the houses of the Diet in 2015, several opposition parties proposed opposing bills, which were submitted by individual MPs. Five such bills were submitted in 2016 and committed to the Security Committee. [28] Five more such bills were submitted in 2017, [29] and one in 2019. [30] However, none of these bills had been adopted by the time of writing of this assessment. [31] (A supplementary resolution to the government sponsored legislation was passed in 2015 and is discussed in the answer to Q2E as an example of long-term investigation.) The composition of the government has an effect on the operation of the Diet committees. The Liberal Democratic Party has formed a government alone or as the dominant party in a coalition since it was founded in 1955, except only for the years 1993-94 and 2006-09. [32] Since 1962, it has followed a practice of vetting all bills, both those drafted by party representatives and those drafted by the bureaucracy, in its Policy Affairs Research Council (PARC) before its Cabinets have adopted them and thereafter presented them to the Diet. Much defence and foreign affairs policymaking is therefore conducted within the PARC divisions that deal with these fields. [33] Similarly, the Ministry of Finance, which coordinates budget compilation, ensures that the budget has the support of the LDP’s PARC before submitting it to the Cabinet. [34] During the years covered by this research, LDP and Komeito have made up the government. Consideration of a policy by the PARC of each of these parties is followed by negotiation between these parties to decide on a common policy, which takes place before Diet deliberation. [35] Thus, the committees seldom make budget amendments. Opposition members in the committees conduct short-term oversight by requesting information and asking critical questions and they make recommendations in the form of submitting opposing bills that have small chances of being adopted. The score has been selected to reflect these elements.

As noted in Q2B, each Standing Committee may have an official with professional knowledge (a “Senmon-in” or Professional Adviser), and researchers. Both the Security Committee (HoR) and the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee (HoC) has an investigative committee set up to support it. These can be asked to provide information on long-term matters. [1] In addition to these measures, a Diet committee can also send a Member of Parliament as an envoy or get assistance from the National Diet Library to get information. [2] A special provision is provided for “[t]he House of Councillors [to] set up Research Committees to conduct long-term and comprehensive researches relating to fundamental matters of government.” [3] Of the Research Committees in operation since 2016, one had nuclear disarmament as one of several topics on its agenda. [4] Some MPs have worked to establish procedures for long-term investigation of foreign operations, and information requests by MPs have led to such investigation by other institutions. In September 2015, the government parties (LDP and Komeito) and three opposition parties (the Assembly to Energise Japan, the Party for Future Generations and the New Renaissance Party) [5] adopted a Five-Party Agreement. This was a supplementary resolution to legislation to implement a Cabinet decision made in 2014 that changed the interpretation of the war-renouncing Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution to allow the exercise of the right of collective self-defence. This legislation was deliberated by a Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community, set up in each of the houses of the Diet. The government promised to respect “the essence” of the Five-Party Agreement, which was to attempt, as far as possible, to receive Diet approval before deploying the SDF abroad, to report to the Diet on a foreign operation every 180 days while it is ongoing and to consider and later reach an agreement among the political parties about a way for the Diet to monitor, assess and be involved in the deployment of the SDF for operations abroad. [6] By 2019, Japan had taken four actions that built on the legislation to allow the exercise of collective self-defence: to allow the SDF conducting PKO in South Sudan to protect other groups under attack, to permit the SDF to protect US military ships and aircraft, to conclude Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreements (ACSA) with the militaries of several other countries, and to deploy SDF staff officers to the Multinational Force & Observers in Sinai. The fact that these actions involved some exercise of collective self-defence did not make Diet approval mandatory for any of them. [7] However, the ACSA were approved by the Diet, as international treaties must be. [8] No measures had been taken by the Diet to establish an institution to monitor and assess SDF operations, although this had been agreed to in the Five-Party Agreement. [9] A related event was that some MPs made use of their right to request reports or records from the executive branch to ask for activity logs of the daily service of the Japanese SDF on operations. Requested logs from a PKO in South Sudan the last few years were first not found, and when found, the Minister was not informed for about a month. [10] In 2017, the Minister ordered IGO to conduct a special investigation of the handling of the information request. [11] Similarly, logs from the activity of the SDF in Iraq in 2004-2006 were first not found, and then the report to the Minister was delayed when they were found. In 2018, the Ministry of Defence conducted an investigation into why the Minister had been informed late in this case as well. [12] The ministers were questioned about these cases in the Security Committee, [13] the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee [10] and the Lower House Budget Committee. [11] Thus, the committees conduct some long-term investigation. Some MPs have worked to establish regular oversight of operations, but have not managed to put procedures for such oversight in place. Requests by MPs for information on operations can lead to investigation by other institutions.

The Diet committees with jurisdiction over defence seldom make recommendation to the Ministry of Defence (see Q2D). If “recommendation” is interpreted as “request”, however, the evidence indicates that the ministry does follow up the decisions of the committees. Nevertheless, the ministry may be slow to implement decisions or it may make plans that neglect that the committees may have an impact on the final decision of the Diet. On several occasions in 2016 [1] and 2017, [2] the ministry first replied that SDF logs from overseas missions, which MPs had requested, did not exist, later found the logs, and then did not report that they had been found for several weeks. On the other hand, the Diet’s scrutiny of the reports of the audit of the ministry did not indicate that it did not keep its budgets (see Q28B). In addition, a search of the mainstream newspapers Asahi Shimbun [3] and Yomiuri Shimbun [4] uncovered reports about only one case of discrepancy between decisions on legislation reached by a committee dealing with defence and ministry practice. In 2015, the Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community in the House of Councillors discussed government sponsored bills that would allow Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defence. A member of the Japan Communist Party criticised plans made by the SDF, which included protecting other groups that had come under fire, while the legislation to permit collective self-defence was still being deliberated in the committee. [5] Others argued that the SDF had been right to consider and discuss how to react to various contingencies on this occasion. [6]

The Jordanian Parliament has 20 permanent specialised committees, however, none of them are specialised in exercising oversight over defence and security [1]. These committees may put forward questions to any governmental department in relation to matters that fall within their area of expertise. However, there is no evidence of any of those committees posing a parliamentary question around defence and security issues. In 2017, the financial committee proposed seventeen amendments to the state’s annual budget for 2018, but rather than scrutinising the defence expenditure, the committee proposed supporting all necessary allocations for the military and all security services [2]. The Parliament’s Integrity and Transparency Committee, however, could potentially, if mandated, exercise scrutiny over defence and security budgets and expenditure, although there are no cases of the committee posing any questions or inquiries in regard to defence and security. The committee’s mandate as it stands, does not allow scrutiny of defence and security decisions or spending [3]. There have been some attempts to grant the committee immunity and financial and administrative independence, in order to enable it to carry out its work to the highest standards [4, 5], however, this is still in the early stages.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no defence and security committee in the Parliament [1,2]

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no defence and security committee in the Parliament [1,2]

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no defence and security committee in the Parliament [1,2]

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no defence and security committee in the Parliament [1,2]

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because there is no defence and security committee in the Parliament [1,2]

The National Assembly has two main defence and security committees in Parliament. These are the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee in the National Assembly, the Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations in the Senate, and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) in the National Assembly. Parliament can take action through some mechanisms to scrutinise or influence defence policy. The Defence and Foreign Relations Committee is mandated by Parliamentary Standing Orders 216 to ‘investigate, inquire and report on all matters relating to mandate, management, activities, administration, operations and estimates of the assigned ministries and departments’. [1] The Committee also has powers to summon officials from ministries and regularly exercises this function, including inviting experts to appear in hearings. [2]

Only two out of the nineteen members of the current Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly, for instance, have experience in the defence and security sectors. Their experience is either drawn from having worked in the security sector in general, or have education background in the security field. For the rest of the members, the majority don’t have relevant or related qualifications while others, their qualifications are not yet publicly published. [1]

Similarly, in the Senate’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations, only the chairperson and one member holds experience in the defence and the security sector in general. The chairperson has been a Minister of Defence in previous administrations, while the member has worked in the human rights field. Other members do not hold related defence sector qualifications, or at least their qualifications are not yet publicly available. [2]

The majority of PAC members in the current committee have diverse experience in finance (nine out of the nineteen members in the committee have a finance education or work experience background). [3] Nevertheless, while not all members of PAC have the financial related background or experience, the committee is supported by a Parliamentary Budget Office, similary established Public Management Finance Act of 2012. The office has financial experts who, among other functions, provide professional services on budgeting, finance and economics, as well as analyse financial risks posed by Government policies and activities to guide Parliament. [3] [4]

Various committees regularly review the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in a variety of areas. In the period under review, the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee (DFAC) steered various long-term policy initiatives. One such initative was facilitating the process for setting up the regional Maritime information exchange and sharing mechanism in the Western Indian Ocean region, as well as the coordination of operations at the Indian Ocean. The agreement was ratified by nine Eastern African countries, and aims to complement maritime security, safety and regulation mechanisms in the region. [1]

The two main committees that are responsible for regular budget oversight of the defence sector are the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) and Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC). PAC and BAC are the only identifiable oversight mechanisms mandated by in Law. PAC has the legal oversight under Standing Order 205 (2) of the National Assembly, and section 7 of the Public Management Finance Act of 2012 to annually oversee public expenditures of ministries, including defence and other national security institutions, as well as regularly reviewing special audit reports prepared by the office of the Auditor General. [1]

Where there are queries, the committee invites accounting officers to respond to these queries. There are times, though not regularly, PAC has summoned ministers and top officials overseeing MOD to answer querries on irregularities whether financial or otherwise. Some of these summons are honoured. [2] However, when they are indeed honoured they hardly result to change in policies and in some instances they are held off-camera and the public has not access to the information. [3] One of the major setbacks for PAC is the scope of work that the 17 member committee with a 7 member secretariate have to deal with. This is in addition to the backlog of reports that the committee, on its own admission, had inherited from the previous house (11th parliament). For example, the review and tabling of the 2016/2017 audited reports as finalised two years later in December 2019. [4]

Defence and Foreign Relations Committee (DFRC) is the only National Assembly Committee that is mandated by Parliamentary Standing Orders 216 to ‘investigate, inquire and report on all matters relating to mandate, management, activities, administration, operations and estimates of the assigned ministries and departments’ that is MOD and Foreign Affairs ministry. [1]

During the period under review the the committee reviewed various MOD activities. One of these was the aquisition of land by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for the establishment of Forward Operating base in Narok County. The inquiry was launched to draw out the reasons underpinning the selection of the location, the public funds to be involved; environmental impacts of the project; and more importantly, determine the agreements that KDF was potentially getting into with the purchase. [2]

One of the main issues noted during the inquiry was that, although the vast area where purchased land was largely communally owned, a huge part of the land parcel to be purchased by MOD was privately owned by an individual. To purchase this land, one individual, instead of the community, would need to be compensated. In addition, MOD and the National Land Commission who were facilitating the purchasing of the land, on its behalf, had not comprehensively consulted the community who would potentially be affected by the land acquisition. The Committee more or less endorsed the land acquisition and recommended that MOD carry out due dilligence of the land ownership. [3]

MOD has in the past responded to recommendations raised from the various committees, such as the auditing processes and Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee (DFAC) inquiries. In some instances they have not. For example, following the DFAC concerns over the manner in which the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) was excluding certain areas in their recruitment processes, KDF changed their approach and instead launched recuritment at local level. [1]

In addition, one issue that has been of concern during recruitment events has been corruption. Individuals seeking to join the force have bribed officials for favourable selection. This led to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, linked to Transparency International, to watch over the recruitment process. [2]

The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo has established a functional committee to oversee the Ministry of Defence and the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) [1]. The Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Oversight of the Kosovo Security Force (CIASOKSF) monitors all security institutions across Kosovo. According to the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, the Committee is involved with revising strategies, laws, and policy documents prepared by the Ministry of Defence (formerly the Ministry of Kosovo’s Security Force). The Committee can request for the Minister of Defence, General Secretary of the Ministry and the Commander of the Security Force to be present at any meeting called by the Committee and for them to provide answers to questions. The Commander of the Security Force, as required by the Committee, participates in the meetings when the annual report is presented and to provide answers in person on the questions of the committee members. The role of the committee also involves reviewing the Security Force’s budget prior to final submission to the Assembly for adoption, as well as reviewing all supply projects that cost above 1 million Euros, including projects financed by the Government and donors. The Committee also reviews legislation regarding the organisation, financing, hiring personnel, supply and distribution to the bases of Security Force and its ten-year plan prior its submission to the Assembly [2].

Some members of the Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Oversight of the Kosovo Security Force (CIASOKSF) have knowledge and insight on security and defence related matters; however according to Kosovo’s security experts, they lack the necessary expertise in this field to impact institutional decisions made by the Ministry of Defence or the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) [1]. Furthermore, in the recent years, the Committee has failed to exercise parliamentary oversight on expenditure within the KSF. This failure was reinforced by the close ties between members of committee (who are members of the Assembly) and the leadership of the KSF, which hampered the independence of oversight of all relevant institutions [2]. The situation remained unchanged between 2017 and the first half of 2018, at which point the European Commission highlighted that the Committee’s oversight over the KSF continued to be insufficient [3, 4].

The defence policies are scrutinised by the relevant Kosovo Assembly Committee, although not on regular basis. Following the adoption of the laws to establish the Ministry of Defence and transform the Kosovo Security Force into an army, the Committee met with the Minister of Defence and the Commander of the Kosovo Security Force. However, discussions between both parties were reported as focusing mainly on the transformation or transition process of Kosovo Security Force into an army, rather than on the oversight of the defence sector institutions [1]. It is important to note that the development of the Kosovo Security Force is based on the Comprehensive Transition Plan that will be implemented in three phases in the next ten years until the Kosovo Security Force reaches its full operational capacity in coordination with Kosovo’s strategic partners [2]. This has been stated in several joint meetings between committee members, the Minister of Defence and the Commander of the Security Forces in May 2019 [2].

Due to lack of expertise and professional capacities, the Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Oversight can only exercise very limited oversight on the Kosovo Security Force and the Ministry of Defence [1]. The Committee only counts a small number of administrative staff (one Coordinator and one Field Officer) [2], and does not have professional expertise or research resources [1, 3].

The Law No.03/L-176 on Parliamentary Investigation regulates the functioning and scope of the Investigation Committee, which is established mainly to investigate challenges, problems and issues that directly involve the government or state [1]. However, in the case of the Ministry of Defence and the Kosovo Security Force no investigations have been conducted by the Kosovo Assembly and no investigation committee was established until now to investigate any particular issue targeting defence-related institutions [2].

The parliamentary oversight of the Kosovo Security Forces has been insufficient over the last three years (from 2017) [1, 2]. Apart from reviewing the draft laws and changing the legal mandate and mission of the Kosovo Security Forces to armed forces in 2018 [3], there is little information regarding the Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Oversight of the Kosovo Armed Forces (CIASOFAK) or the Kosovo Assembly providing recommendations to the Ministry of Defence with regards to the Kosovo Security Forces. However, civil society activists in general criticise that the committee recommendations are not put into practice or implemented by the defence institutions [4]. In contrast, senior officials of the Ministry of Defence object to this idea, stating that recommendations given by the committee are examined and put into practice for implementation by the Ministry of Defence [5].

Parliament has the Defence and Interior Affairs Committee, which has the right to scrutinise every aspect of the security sector’s performance, budget, policy and arms acquisition; and it can open a parliamentary investigation into any matter, and they can require expert testimony, according to article 112 of the constitution (1) and articles 147 and 163 of the PIL (2). Any member of this committee can also summon the Prime Minister as well as the ministers of defence and interior for questioning, according to 133 of the PIL (2).

But the committee can only summon Government experts or the Parliament’s in-house experts, who are civil servants whose loyalties may naturally lie with the Government, according to article 46 of the PIL (2). The law does not grant or deny them a right to summon independent experts. Also, article 147, as mentioned earlier, limits the power to investigate and to summon the Prime Ministers and other ministers to “matters that fall under the jurisdiction” of the Parliament — a vague term that is not explicitly defined in the constitution or the PIL as a shield from oversight by these agencies.

The committee’s powers are further limited by the vaguely worded article 120 of the PIL (2), which gives the head of the Parliament the right to ignore requests to discuss subjects he or she deemed to “inappropriate” or harmful to “national interests.” In order for the committee to force a general session to discuss their concerns, they must insist and demand a vote on the matter from the head of Parliament, who would then be forced to yield the floor if they win.

Only one of the five members of the committee has experience in the defence sector (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). His name is Nayef Abdel Aziz al-Ajimi (5) and he used to work in the Interior Ministry, but the rest are either specialised in law, business or Islamic studies, and they don’t have experience in the defence sector.

The head of the committee, Askar Aweed al-Anzi, has a business degree and used to work in the transportation ministry and Kuwait’s municipality (1). The overwhelming majority of members do lack defence experience. The fact that some have experience in relevant fields like law does not suffice in this case.

The committee does not legally have to review defence policy every five years, but they must, like other committees, convene to discuss defence and security affairs twice a month at least, according to article 46 of the PIL (1). These meetings concern the performance and finances of these institutions, including threats Kuwait is facing and the ways the authorities want to address them, activists and officials say (2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).

The Parliament also has a long history of being fairly sensitive to public discourse so it tends to raise any issues that spark controversy and that usually happens when a new security threat arises.The evidence suggests that they do discuss defence decisions.

The committee meets at least twice a month, according to PIL article 46 (1). The committee as a whole and its members individually, like all other lawmakers, have the right to issue recommendations whenever they want, according to PIL 97 (1). The executive branch must respond within two weeks at the latest, according to article 124 and 155 of the PIL (1). If the executive branch needs more time, the Parliament must hold a vote to decide whether or not they will allow this, which is often the case.

Example: In March 2017, the Parliament agreed to postpone the questioning of the housing minister based on his request, al-Anba news outlet reported (2). It also agreed to postpone two interrogations for the Prime Minister in April, according to the state news agency KUNA (3).

The committe does open long-term investigations but they do not usually result in public conclusions. The PIL (1) and the Kuwaiti constitution (2) do not have provisions that control the length of the investigations the committee conducts or limit to parliamentary investigation to past or current issues . Article 114 of the constitution (2) and article 147 of the PIL (2) simply state that the committee can conduct an investigation into any matter and that the Government must fully cooperate.

Officials (4, 5 and 6) say that most parliamentary investigations seem to fizzle out without the chamber announcing their official end within a few months.

Both laws don’t explicitly say that the Parliament can refer cases to the prosecution, but article 30 of the PIL (1) says the Parliament can file lawsuits at any court, and the Parliament has referred cases to the prosecution in the past, like the police case of buying gifts and holding elaborate ceremonies using public funds in February 2018, according to Al Qabas, the news outlet (3).

The prosecution, however, can conduct long term investigations that can last up to 7 years or more, officials say. There is no legislation that limits their jurisdiction to a certain time frame.

Parliament rarely demands major amendments to defence policies, and all security agencies tend to ignore parliamentary recommendations, and lawmakers do not attempt to use the formal powers they have to press them, according to lawmakers and officials. There are no media reports that suggest that any serious changes have been made to defence or security policies at the request of Parliament. The fact that the security agencies moved to implement the GCC 2012 security pact signed by Kuwait’s executive branch even though it had been rejected by Parliament proves that the committee, and the Parliament in general, does not have much weight in the decision-making process inside the security agencies, officials and a member of the royal family said (1, 2, 3, and 4).

The Committee for Defence, Interior and Coruption Prevention is a standing committee in charge of the legislation process in the spheres of national security, state defence and internal affairs, including such powers as scrutinize budgets, policy planning, and arms acquisition according to the National Defence Concept. It is empowered to request information and explanations from the respective minister and subordinate institutions, as well as local governments, and to ask the relevant officers to testify in front of it. The parliament is not tasked with approving arms procurements, though it can request information and discuss the issues, as it does. [1] [2] [3]

Members of the Committee of the present Parliament are experienced in security and defence matters. One of the members is the former minister of defence, another the former minister of interior. The present parliamentary secretary of the MOD is also a member of the Committee. [2,3] The agendas of each Committee meeting are available on the Parliament’s web page, including the names of invited external experts. [4] Although there is no formal list of external experts, they are invited according to their field of expertise and the debated topic. Each NGO can request to take part in the meeting. So far, only the Latvian Lawyers association has expressed interest. [1] According to the government reviewer, many NGO had taken part at the Commitee meetings along with Latvian Lawyers association. For example, these include “Delna”, “Providus”, Latvian Defence Industry association, Latvia Local Municipality association, and Latvia Comercial Banks Association (Minutes of Committee meetings of 12.02.2020, 05.02.2020, 21.01.2020, 12.11.2019., 17.04.2018). The Committee also cooperates to gain experience from our allied countries. In September 2019, four members of the Committee met with their counterparts and other high level politicians in a working visit to Czech Republic to discuss bilateral cooperation and currently pressing issues such as cyberdefence [5].

The National Security Law tasks the Parliament with approving both a new National Security Concept and State Defence Concept at least every term of the Parliament [1] which is four years long.
The Parliament has adopted the current National Security Concept (2019) [2] and State Defence Concept (2016). [3]

Normally, the committee meets twice a week and discusses a wide range of issues, both legislative (discusses and prepares draft legal acts and policy planning documents), and non-legislative (informative or investigative meetings). The budget issues and recommendations for amendments are made by committee but reviewed by the Budget and Finance Commission if the parliament requires it. The committee met 44 times in the first half of 2018 (January 1 – June 18). [1,3]
It invites ministries and other institutions to report on specific issues, as well as organising on-site meetings. Most of the major issues falling under the competence of the commission have been discussed in the committee. [2,4] Although the effect of the short-term oversight might not be measured, the committee meets on a regular basis and issues budget amendments and recommendations which are developed in collaboration with ministries.

The Committee invites ministries and other institutions to report on specific issues, as well as organising on-site meetings. Most of the major issues falling under the competence of the commission have been discussed in the Committee [1].
The Parliament can and does create ad hoc formal parliamentary investigation committees which operate outside the margins of the standing committees, [2] e.g. a committee to investigate the so-called “Conversations of oligarchs/Rīdzene”; [3] however, these committees are not generally considered to be effective. There have not been any special investigations by the committee related to defence issues. However, the system is in place to be established if and when needed.

The Ministry of Defence operates according to the laws adopted by the Parliament [1]. Above all, the Parliament approves the Cabinet of Ministers, including the Minister of Defence, and has the power to recall ministers [2]. Although the effect of the recommendations might be limited, there is no evidence that Ministries have actively or consciously acted contrary to the decisions of the Parliament or a Parliamentary committee.

The National Defence, Interior, and Municipalities Parliamentary Committee is one of the 16 standing committees in the Parliament (1). It is responsible for studying, revising, and issuing recommendations and amendments for a bill and law proposal (2). However, it does not scrutinize the performance aspect of the MoD such as personnel management, policy planning, and arms acquisition. According to Interviewee 4, the LAF should share expenses if requested by the committee, but the latter does not ask for them. LAF representatives are present when the committee discusses defence-related matters (3).

In general, committee members are not required to have expertise in defence affairs (1). According to the Parliament’s Book, professional and academic expertise are taken into consideration (1). In reality, sectarian and political consideration influence the composition.
Currently, 5 out of the 17 current members of the National Defence, Interior, and Municipalities parliamentary committee have defence expertise and previous military service records (2). These include retired Brigadier General Walid Sukarieh, retired Brigadier General Antoine Pano, retired Brigadier General Chamel Roukoz, retired Brigadier General Wehbe Katicha, and retired Brigadier General Jean Talouzian (1). These MPs have varying levels of current interest in defence affairs (3) (4). However, these interests are subordinate to the priorities of the MPs’ sectarian political parties (3) (4). Furthermore, committee members are not required to have expertise in defence affairs.

Research found no cases of the parliamentary committee reviewing major defence policies and decisions in the past five years or when new threats arise. The parliamentary committee mainly addresses internal security and municipalities matters instead of defence issues (1). As mentioned in Q1, Lebanon does not have an official national defence strategy. However, when new defence threats or urgent related issues arise, they are addressed by the presidentially-led Supreme Defence Council (2). For example, in February 2018, the council met to discuss maritime and border violations by Israel and how the LAF would address them (3).

The committee does not regularly issue defence related amendments and recommendations (1). For example, the committee has infrequently studied the proposal to change the national defence law. In 2015, the committee was studying the changes in the defence sector (National Defence Law and structure of the Ministry of Defence) (2). In 2019, the committee looked into an amendment in the National Defence Law related to the time period for reserves and volunteers in the LAF (3). Interviewee 4 indicated that the committee does not exercise its oversight on defence issues. When revising cooperation treaties, the committee does not issue amendments because it has already been studied and approved by the LAF, the MoD, and the CoM (4).

Long term oversight is not exercised by the parliamentary committee. The Council of Ministers oversees and follows up on the implementation of the defence provisions is done by the HDC. (National Defence Law Art. 6- 7) (1). Interviewee no. 4 indicated that the parliamentary committee’s oversight role is nonexistent (2).

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because research found no cases of major recommendations for the Ministry of Defence to incorporate or adopt (1). Interviewee 2, added that the Ministry of Defence consults the executive branch directly instead of the parliamentary committee (2).

There is a Defence committee in the Parliament which consists of eleven members of different parties and they all have access to classified information. The establishment of the Committee is mandated for each parliamentary session by the Statute of the Lithuanian Parliament, and its prerogatives include drafting and assessing legal acts and proposals for defence policy and structure. The Committee is active and meets three to five times a month – its agenda, reports, legal acts and other documents can be found online. The Committee may demand any member from the Government or other institution to appear in their session and provide necessary information, as has already happened [1]. The Committee also exercises parliamentary control [2], such that the Committee monitors and evaluates Government work and decisions [3]. Each year the MOD has to submit its annual report to the Committee for discussion and approval [5]. In addition, the Defence Committee scrutinises defence policy from an anti-corruption perspective, by tasking the Special Investigation Service to perform an anti-corruption assessment of their procurement rules, prompted by increased financial allocations to the defence sector [4].

Based on biographies published on the Parliament’s website, approximately half of the Defence Committee members (six out of eleven) had previous experience in fields related to the national defence sector, NATO or were former representatives of law-enforcement institutions [1]. However there is no information regarding the others who worked in defence-related fields.

The Seimas (unicameral parliament of Lithuania) is responsible for decisions regarding the use of force, mobilisation, and participation in international military operations. Parliament also exercises scrutiny over defence policies and budget through the Defence Committee. The Defence committee reviews the national security strategy when required [1, 2].

The last time that Parliament approved changes to the national security strategy was in 2017 in order to adapt to the changing security situations. The first threat identified by Parliament within this strategy was the conventional military threat posed by the readiness and willingness of the Russian Federation to use military force in pursuit of its goals; the Federation’s consolidation and development of its military capabilities on the borders of the Republic of Lithuania; its lack of transparency; and its demonstrable military activity along the borders of the Republic of Lithuania (and other NATO member states) [3, 4]. The priorities set in Parliament’s strategy are to strengthen national security and to reinforce solidarity with the EU and NATO. The document adopted aims to consistently increase funding for national defence. Before this iteration, there were two more approved alterations in 2005 and 2012. The original national security strategy was approved in 2002. Another example of Parliament approving changes to the national security strategy is the reintroduction of compulsory military service in the Lithuanian legislation. These regulations adopted by the Parliament were prompted by Russian threats in 2015 [5].

According to the government reviewer, in 2018, the Parliament approved the National Defence System Development Programme for 2019-2028. The document reflects the changes in in international security environment, as well as within the National Defence System and establishes long-term development priorities, goals and objectives of the National Defence System [6].

The Committee meets no less than once a week during the Parliamentary sessions which, according to the Constitution, are held in Spring (from the 10th of March to the 30th of June) and in Autumn (from the 10th of September to the 23rd of December) with the possibility of extension [1]. The role of the Committee is to review draft legislations and prepare recommendations. The Parliamentary control measures listed on the website of the Committee indicate that the Committee is very active in issuing amendments and recommendations, as well as requiring ministries to respond to recommendations within specific time frames [2]. Nevertheless, such oversight activities appear to be unrelated to the defence budget.

The Committee may conduct long-term parliamentary investigations, and has done so in the past [1]. For example, in October 2017, the Parliament decided to order the Defence Committee to conduct a parliamentary investigation into potential unlawful influences on political processes in Lithuania [2]. This investigation is still ongoing and was included in the last Committee meeting agenda in May 2018 [3]. Initially, the investigation was scheduled to be finalised by 1st May 2018, but the Committee asked for a one month extension in order to complete the declassification procedures for the classified secret materials and provide the final public statement [4]. The Committee also commissions an external body for any investigation. For instance, in 2017 it asked the Special Investigation Service to carry out the anti-corruption assessment of the Minister of Defence’s public procurements [5]. Based on the list of investigations listed on the Committee’s website, it is clear that operations are included in the scope of the Committee’s activity [6].

In general, ministries seem to incorporate the Committee’s recommendations into practice. However, it is unclear how often and to what extent this really happens. In certain cases, it is possible to find some information in the form of media or news coverage. For instance, in 2011, the Mobilisation and Civil Resistance Department under the Ministry of National Defence prepared an amendment to the Republic of Lithuania’s Law on Mobilisation and Preparation of Mobilisation Reserve based on the Defence Committee’s recommendations [1]. The Parliament adopted the amendment. However, this does not happen regularly: such incorporation of feedback is irregular and depends on the issue at hand as well as on the people in leadership positions [2]. According to the Government reviewer, the list of the Committee’s recommendations and institutions’ responses can be found online [3].

One of the six new standing committees introduced in the recent parliamentary reform after the 14th General Election (GE14) includes the Defence and Home Affairs Committee. [1] [2] The new standing committees were announced on December 4, 2018. The new defence committee provides a platform for further checks and balances of decisions relating to the defence sector. The functions of the new committee are set to be reviewed in response to reported limitations of power. [3] Additionally, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also provides an oversight, albeit a narrow one, of the defence sector, namely in relation to military expenditure issues found in the Auditor General’s report. [4] A Special Investigation Committee on Procurement, Governance and Finance was set up on May 30, 2018 under Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang to scrutise all of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)’s past development and procurement projects. [5] Several suspicious dealings and procurements of assets by MINDEF were put under investigation by the Special Investigation Committee on Procurement, Governance and Finance in 2018. [6] [7] [8]

Only one member of the new Defence and Home Affairs Committee has expertise in the defence sector, Hon. Datuk Abd Rahim bin Bakri, who served as the Deputy Defence Minister from 2013-2015. [1] Apart from Nurul Izzah who was involved in the Parliamentary Bill in Malaysia’s Parliament to Revoke Emergency Declarations in the country, including the eventual abolishment of the Internal Security Act, the other members of the PAC do not have any significant expertise in defence. [2]

Prior to the recent parliamentary reform post GE14, the role of scrutiny was solely vested in the PAC. The responses of the PAC, however, has predominantly been shaped by issues raised in the Auditor General’s annual report. As discussed in Q1, the NDP was barely scrutinised by Parliament since it was published in 2010. However, the new Defence and Home Affairs Committee was quickly tasked with investigating Malaysia’s Armed Forces (MAF) team and asset movement to Saudi Arabia in December 2018, following allegations of its involvement in Saudi’s military campaign to combat insurgents in Yemen. [1] [2] The new parliamentary select committee can be seen to be significantly more responsive in the oversight of defence decisions. Furthermore, the Defence and Home Affairs Committee may receive requests for investigations as and when issues arises, demonstrating its capability to be highly responsive to defence issues. [3]

The Defence and Home Affairs Committee is too newly established and therefore cannot be assessed. As such, this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

The Defence and Home Affairs Committee is too newly established and therefore cannot be assessed. As such, this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

The Defence and Home Affairs Committee is too newly established and therefore cannot be assessed. As such, this indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’.

Mali has a Defence and Security Committee (CDSPC) tasked with overseeing and scrutinising defence issues. The CDSPC examines the annual defence budget. The committee invites the directors of all the main divisions of the armed forces, the army chiefs of staff, the army joint chiefs of staff and the Minister of Defence for discussions on the mission, the annual objectives and the budgetary requirements of the armed and security forces. The committee can propose amendments to the budget or a reformulation of the objectives. Following the work in the committee, the draft budget is presented to a plenary session of the National Assembly for debate and voting. If approved, the budget estimates become the Finance Act and public dissemination of the act commences.
The committee is influential and high-profile because of president’s son being the chair⁴. A source said the CDSPC can influence but is not able to challenge the government. The committee is able to oblige people to appear before it, something which they have done several times⁴. It asks questions about government policy and produces reports that are circulated within the MDAC⁴.

The committee comprises 14 members. Six different political parties are represented on the commission: RPM, Adéma-PASJ, PARENA, ASMA, SADI and the UM-RDA.⁶ Of the 14 members, only two are from parties that are not currently in government – PARENA and SADI.⁶
The committee’s chair, its most important member, is Karim Keita, the son of president IBK. He has no qualifications for the role apart from being the president’s son. He had no prior political or military experience before taking on the role.¹ ² ³ ⁷ ⁸
The editor of a Malian national newspaper told the assessor that other members of the committee similarly have no prior defence experience.⁴ One member, Yaya Sangaré, was formerly a journalist who rose to national prominence during the overthrow of long-time dictator Moussa Traoré in March 1991. Another member, Belco Bah, reportedly rears animals for sale.⁴
A member of the committee told the assessor that the committee’s Vice-President, Aguissa Seydou Touré, was first elected in 2013, having previously had a career as a professor of education.⁶ The source said that the committee contains only one member with a defence or security background, Kissama Keita, who was formerly a police officer.⁶ The assessor found no information relating to other members of the committee.

Mali has a Defence and Security Committee (CDSPC) tasked with overseeing and scrutinising defence issues. The CDSPC and the National Assembly debated and scrutinised the government’s flagship defence policy, the LOPM. The LOPM provides for USD2.3 billion of investment for the armed forces and is set to recruit an additional 10,000 personnel between 2015 and 2019. It clearly outlines the problems facing the army and elucidates what the five-year spending plan will be.
The legislation stipulates that the equipment purchased and the recruitment of extra soldiers will better enable the FAMa to combat jihadist groups operating in the northern regions of the country. A Malian journalist and a security expert told the assessor that these aspects of the LOPM were debated in parliament before they were ratified.³ ⁴ A research assistant working for the CDSPC also confirmed that the LOPM was also debated and scrutinised by the committee.⁵

The committee occasionally issues amendments to budgets and recommendations, but not on a regular basis. The committee can propose amendments to defence legislation (including budgets) before it is passed to parliament.¹ ⁷ A member of the committee told the assessor that its proposals are sometimes integrated into the final legislation.⁷
But the president of the defence and security committee, Karim Keita, is also the son of Malian President IBK. That IBK’s son heads the committee has been widely criticised as representing a direct line of influence of the executive over the CDSPC.² The likelihood of the committee deciding to challenge the defence policy of the executive while this overt instance of patronage and nepotism remains is remote. This is especially so when only two of the 14 committee members are from parties that are not currently in government.⁶
For instance, when details of the scandal concerning the CFA40 billion overspend on a new presidential jet and overpriced contracts emerged in 2014, it was civil society organisations rather than the CDSPC that were leading the calls for accountability.⁸ Unsurprisingly, the chair of the defence committee was not among those demanding that the executive publish details of the controversial purchases.
However, the CDSPC did earn praise from domestic media outlets for its work in formulating the new General Statute for the FAMa.⁵ The new statute offers clear criteria for promotions within the armed forces. MaliActu, a news website that is often critical of IBK’s government and has published several damning pieces on Karim Keita, commended the CDSPC for making “pertinent recommendations” to the defence ministry. These included the construction of a modern military hospital, a review of the statutes concerning specific units within the armed forces and the creation of a unit of auxiliary gendarmes.⁵ So although the CDSPC is very unlikely to properly scrutinise government policy while the president’s son is chair of the committee, it does play a role in policy formulation.

There is no evidence that the committee conducts or commissions any long-term investigations into defence matters. This was confirmed by a member of the committee who told the assessor that it does not takes a long-term approach.⁴ Given the fact that the Malian army had virtually disintegrated by 2012 and that it has since been struggling to stop the spread of jihadist attacks in the north and centre of the country, it is understandable that the CDSPC is not looking at speculative threats that could arise in ten years’ time. The committee apparently produces reports for internal use within parliament and for the executive, but the source confirmed that it does not typically publish these reports.⁴

Ministries sometimes incorporate recommendations into practice, but not regularly. The president’s son heads up the committee and thus there is limited scope for the CDSPC to challenge the executive. However, the committee can propose amendments to defence legislation (including budgets) before it is passed to parliament.⁵ A member of the committee told the assessor that its proposals are sometimes integrated into the final legislation.⁵
The committee is influential and high-profile because of president’s son being the chair.⁴ The source said the CDSPC can influence but is not able to challenge the government. The committee is able to oblige people to appear before it, something which they have done several times.⁴ It asks questions about government policy and produces reports that are circulated within the MDAC.⁴
While many worry about the excessive influence of the president’s son – “more of a minister rather than a mere member of parliament” – his decision-making powers have their limits.⁷ In 2015, the Minister of Defence Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly opted to purchase six Super Tucano aeroplanes from a Brazilian company.⁷ This decision went against Karim Keita’s preference for six Gazelle planes made by a French company.⁷
The CDSPC earned praise from domestic media outlets for its work in formulating the new General Statute for the FAMa.⁶ The new statute offers clear criteria for promotions within the armed forces. MaliActu, a news website that is often critical of IBK’s government and has published several damning pieces on Karim Keita, commended the CDSPC for making “pertinent recommendations” to the defence ministry, including the construction of a modern military hospital, a review of the statutes concerning specific units within the armed forces and the creation of a unit of auxiliary gendarmes.⁶
So, although the CDSPC is very unlikely to properly scrutinise government policy while the president’s son is chair of the committee, it does play a role in formulating policies.

Within Congress, there is a bicameral National Security Commission and among its formal rights are the right to review and analyze the reports and plans that are passed on to it in matters of security. [1] In turn, each Chamber has a National Defence Commission. The National Defence Commission of the Chamber of Deputies has the function of analysing and ruling via law or decree, on matters such as regulating the organisation and service of the country’s armed forces or issuing laws related to maritime law of peace and war. For its part, the Senate Commission is responsible for ratifying appointments, authorising the deployment of national troops, etc.

However, these Commissions do not have the power to supervise the budget in this matter, although they can express opinions in this regard. [2]

Under the right to information protection, it is difficult to find available information about the work of the bicameral Security Commission on the official site or through contacting its members.

Federal laws do not mention knowledge about the defence sector as a requirement to form part of the legislative commissions on the subject. [1] [2]

Currently, neither the bicameral National Security Commission nor the National Defence Commissions are made up of legislators with experience in defence or security. This experience is not reflected in their studies, nor is it reflected in their previous positions. This can lead to ignorance of the consequences of their own decisions in areas as sensitive as national security and with unimaginable impacts on society. [3]

The defence and security committees examine and address the issues that are most relevant and that pose a threat to the country during their period of work (elected every 3 years). That is, there is not a review every 5 years, but there is one when there is a threatening situation that demands a change in the policies established up to that moment.

Some specialists point out that the power, for example, of the bicameral Commission to evaluate national security policies and actions “gives it very little scope for […] different reasons. Firstly, because, to evaluate policies and actions, it requires relevant and sufficient information in this regard, which is under the criterion of “classified information.” Second, the evaluation and analysis of security and defence requires experience and knowledge on the subject, to which requires continuity of the members of the Commission. However, this is not possible due to the time lag in office between Congress members and Senators, and the very system of rotation of members within the Commission.” [1] [2] [3] [4]

The Commissions do not oversee short-term defence policy as such. They do analyse the current situation and issue opinions, but only if the problem demands it. An example of this are the forums to analyse the impact of the creation of the National Guard or the appearance of the Secretaries of Defence and Navy to report on notable activities. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The work of the Committees does not include long-term investigations. The work carried out by legislators is restricted by the end of their term (every 3 years in the case of members of the Chamber of Deputies and every 6 years in the case of Senators). This implies that there is no continuity in defence and security policies or that the possible changes that the country will face in the future, as a result of current decisions, are not taken into account. An example of this is the approval of laws such as the Internal Security Law, which was repealed shortly after as legislators did not consider the effects it would cause. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

There is not enough information to score this indicator. The Defence Commissions prepare opinions and observations regarding the matters that are assigned to them at that time. Although the information available on their work is not exhaustive, some activity reports show recommendations, for example, to make certain information public. [1]

It is not known, however, whether the Secretariats actually incorporate the recommendations on a regular basis. [2] [3]

The Parliamentary Committee for Security and Defence is provided with various authorities to conduct oversight over defence and security institutions and obtain relevant information related to the work of those institutions, including budgets, personnel management, policy planning and arms acquisition (1). The Committee is entitled to engage experts in its work, and in particular in conducting consultative and control hearings (2).

Not a single member of the Committee has expertise in the defence sector. They are rather lawyers and economists. However, most members were MPs during several mandates and two more recently joined Parliament. [1] Despite several training sessions, members of the Committee still fail to properly use their authority (2).

The Committee reviewed two defence policies when the government proposed their adoption with only some technical changes. [1] [2] The Committee acted only upon the initiative of the government, and did not initiate reviewing of any strategy of its own accord.
The Committee did not review some important strategies, assessments or decisions of responsible institutions, and only occasionally exercised its oversight function. [3]

The Committee formally reviews proposed budgets of defence and security institutions and their expenditure, but does not submit any amendments. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

The Committee adopts declarative recommendations following a review of reports submitted by responsible institutions, mainly praising the work of institutions. [8] [9] [10] [11] Even when somewhat concrete recommendations are adopted, no deadlines are set for the institutions, and there is no system for monitoring their implementation. [12] Also, the Committee rarely uses its oversight mechanisms, and most frequently reviews documents submitted by institutions, in line with their legal obligations, such as various annual reports. Sometimes they discuss several items on their agenda at the same time, which leads to further generalisations and weakens the oversight function of the Committee. [12]

The Committee does not conduct long term investigations nor does it commission an external body to do so. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Instead, the Committee reviews the annual reports of relevant institutions and only occasionally requests information from institutions through ad hoc consultative and control hearings. [5]

The recommendations of the Committee are mostly very general and without any deadlines, [1] [2] [3] [4] while the Committee does not have a system for monitoring the implementation of its recommendations. [5]

The Ministry is only occasionally requested to provide information on the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations and, in such cases, it provides only general information, or does not mention the implementation of recommendations. [6] No evidence with regards to the actual implementation of recommendations is available, only limited and occasional information provided in the Committee’s reports.

Article 55 Section VIII of the August 2013 Internal Regulations of the Lower Chamber of Parliament (Chambre des Représentants) states that out of the 9 current permanent commissions, one is dedicated to « Foreign affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad » (1). However, little is known of the commission’s rights in overseeing the defence sector and no evidence shows that this commission has worked so far on military issues, except by drafting draft N°62.16 concerning the approval of an international agreement pertaining to military cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Republic of China signed in Beijing on May 11 2016, passed on August 1 2017 by the Parliament (2). No evidence of a draft on domestic military issues was found in the list of all the drafts submitted by the Commission since 2016. On 31 March 2018, the Commission of Foreign affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad of the House of Representatives in the Lower Chamber of Parliament (Chambre des Représentants) met with the Commission of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Borders and Occupied Moroccan zones of the House of Councillors, in the presence of the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss “latest developments” related to the issues in the “Western Sahara region” (3).

There is no Ministry of Defence in Morocco; instead there is a National Defence Administration (Administration de la Défense Nationale). Most members of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Borders and Occupied Moroccan zones of the House of Councillors have no expertise in the defence sector including the President of the Commission, Muhammad Al-Al-Ruzmah (1). Since his appointment as Head of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad in 2016, Youssef Gharbi has publicly questioned ministers in Parliament on a number of occasions. However, none of the questions were related to the administrative staff in charge of defence issues (2).

Moreover, none of the members of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents abroad have specific expertise in the field of defence.

The information available on the website of the Chamber of Representatives (1) only refers to activities undertaken during the current term of office (2016-2021), which means it does not refer to any potential review of major defence policies and decisions that were taken before the last five years. Sources other than the website of the Chamber of Representatives did not confirm regular reviews of major defence policies and decisions by the parliamentary commission. The two committees may have met to discuss issues related to any threat to national defence; however little is known regarding the outcome of these meetings and to what extent they may influence defence policies and decisions.

The Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad does not exercise any short-term oversight over defence policy and is extremely limited in nature, as the summary of its activities and the detailed list of the different drafts submitted or voted showed (1)(2): none of the activities and/or drafts refer to defence policy, except the Draft N°62.16 regarding the approval of an international agreement pertaining to military cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Republic of China signed in Beijing on May 11 2016. However, it is mentioned that the agreement was merely approved, without reference to a debate within or including the Commission on Foreign Affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad. The same goes for the detailed list of the different bills and drafts submitted or debated by the Head of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad, Youssef Gharbi (3). There has been no reporting suggesting a short-term oversight over defence policy by the House of Councillors from the Commission of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Borders and Occupied Moroccan zones. Also, the extent to which this Commission has an oversight over defence policy is unclear. No summary of the Commission’s activities nor any drafts submitted by the committee regarding defence policy could be found. Cases of amendments and discussions as reported by the Moroccan press remained of a superficial nature.

No evidence that the Commission on Foreign Affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad conducts or commissions any long-term investigations over defence policy was found, as the summary of its activities and the detailed list of the different drafts submitted or voted showed.(1)

The same goes for the detailed list of the different bills and draft submitted or debated by the Head of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad abroad Youssef Gharbi. (2)

No other source was found supporting the contrary. The same can be said for the House of Councillors Commission of Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Borders and Occupied Moroccan zones.

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because, although the Commission on Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Residents Abroad does theoretically address issues of national defence, in practice no evidence of an actual mandate on defence issues was found. As a consequence no recommendations are made to Ministries. Moreover, there has been no found reporting by the press or NGO’s suggesting an actual mandate on defence. The defence sector is regarded a “sensitive sector” in Morocco, therefore even if these commissions make recommendations to Ministries, they are unlikely to be found on the parliament website, reported by the media or NGO’s.

Parliament can create a defence and security committee, if required, to deal with security matters. Articles 115(b) and 147(b) of the Constitution state that ‘when the occasion arises to have studies made and submitted on defence and security matters or military affairs, Parliament shall form the Defence and Security Committee…[with military MPs] for a limited time’ [1,2]. Essentially, these articles are granting Parliament the power to create an ad-hoc committee in its two houses to address defence and security issues. Civilian Parliament members can join the committee if necessary. Despite these provisions in the Constitution, Parliament is not taking advantage of its formal powers to oversee the Tatmadaw. Parliament has not yet formed a defence committee or any similar institutions that are tasked with oversight and scrutiny of the defence sector [3,4].

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no defence or security committee in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combination of the Lower and Upper Houses).

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no defence or security committee in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combination of the Lower and Upper Houses).

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no defence or security committee in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combination of the Lower and Upper Houses).

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no defence or security committee in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combination of the Lower and Upper Houses).

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, as there is no defence or security committee in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House), Amyotha Hluttaw (Upper House) or Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (combination of the Lower and Upper Houses).

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Defence consists of 25 permanent members. The Committee is active in scrutinising budgets, missions, personnel management, policy and acquisition decisions [1]. The Committee has formal rights, including the right to request documents, conduct written or oral consultations with the Minister, hold hearings, call upon external experts and appoint rapporteurs (see Section 27 of the Rules of Procedure) [1].

Some of the members of the Committee have expertise in the defence sector, but most do not [1]. Though a civil servant working for the Committee relayed that members of the Committee are known to have a strong interest in defence matters, defence is a relatively underemphasised and undervalued topic for members of Parliament compared to other areas, and as a result, it is often the case that very new MPs or MPs whose experience lies in other areas sit on the committee, (this is true even for committee members who belong to the largest parties in Parliament) [2,3]. Throughout their four-year term, MPs get the chance to enhance their knowledge, but on many occasions, only few members of the Committee show up to such events, roundtables, visits to military bases, etc., and more often than not they are underprepared [4,5]. This is partly due to the fact that, in the Netherlands, MPs have quite a large number of committees they preside on and defence is not usually seen as a very important one.

All members are given allocated speaking time to influence decisions and may hold round table talks and hearings, conduct working visits and obtain information from an advisory body to enhance their expertise and exercise influence [6]. But while most members will try to obtain a better insight with regard to defence matters, their lack of knowledge often prevents them from gaining a profound understanding. On average, the level of expertise is rather superficial or focusses on specific details, such as personnel policy or material procurement. Partisan politics can therefore prevail over expertise-led decision-making.

Sections 40 and 41 of the Committee Rules of Procedure do not stipulate a time frame for reviewing major policies and decisions [1]. However, in practice, major policies are reviewed and debated frequently. For example, the topic ‘Acquisition of F-35’ is regularly returned to and debated [2,3,4,5]. Members discuss new threats as they arise, particularly when it comes to situations in which Dutch Soldiers are engaged [6]. When new threats emerge or a defence policy changes, the Committee is known to respond swiftly and actively, holding discussions in the days following or even sooner [6].

Section 33 of the Committee Rules of Procedure does not stipulate a time frame for frequency of meetings [1]. However, in practice, the Committee meets more frequently than monthly [2]. It contributes budget amendments and recommendations to the broader budget discussion of the House of Representatives and, once these are approved in the Senate (the Senate cannot make amendments), the defence budget is implemented [3].

Committees can expect reasonable timeliness with regard to responses to questions and recommendations. Section 135 of the Rules of Procedure stipulates that, in the event that the relevant Minister is not able to answer Committee questions within three weeks, they must inform the President accordingly and state the reasons [1]. Furthermore, every three months, the Secretary General must publish a list of questions that have been waiting to be answered for more than six weeks. In regard to budget bills, the vote on the bill and the proposed amendments take place in connection with each other, preferably within one week [1]. However, conclusions recently drawn by the Netherlands Court of Audit concerning the many years of F-35 discussions highlight some flaws in regard to short term oversight, for example, that the Committee rarely exercises the rights it technically possesses [4].

The Committee conducts long-term investigations on current activities and operations [1]. In 2020, aside from budgetary consultations, the Committee focussed on discussing major defence materiel projects, groundbreaking IT projects, European defence cooperation, the European Defence Fund, the Defence Equipment Budget Fund, which are important knowledge themes for the Committee [2]. According to Chapter 7, Part 5 of the Rules of Procedure, the Committee can appoint external bodies for (further) investigations, including by obtaining information from an advisory body, calling upon external experts and appointing rapporteurs [1].

Recommendations are articulated by the Committee via motions in the House of Representatives [1]. The Committee also provides recommendations to the Ministries first through debate with the Minister of Defence or the Secretary of Defence, where the topic at hand is discussed at length [1]. If there is an incident, the Committee engages in both internal debate and in debate with the Minister of Defence or the Secretary of Defence. If a specific MP is not satisfied with the result of the discussions, they can put the recommendation into a motion for the plenary to vote on. If the majority of the House votes in favour, the ministry is obliged to implement the recommendation [1]. This process occurs frequently and regularly [1].

Oversight of defence and security is exercised by two separate committees. The defence portfolios are overseen by the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee (FADTC), which handles issues of customs, defence, disarmament and arms control, foreign affairs, trade, and veterans’ affairs [1, 2]. The intelligence and security portfolios are overseen by the Intelligence and Security Committee [3]. The committees’ membership is comprised of members from the ruling coalition and opposition parties. In the case of the FADTC, its powers and authority are stipulated in the Standing Orders. The FADTC can consider any matter referred to it by the House or as otherwise stated in the Standing Orders, including the Budget. The FADTC holds two scheduled budgetary meetings a year; the first, the “Estimates Hearing”, is held in early June shortly before the Budget announcement [4]. The second, the “Annual Hearing”, takes place in December and provides the Committee with an opportunity to “question the Secretary of Defence and Chief of Defence Force on how their agencies operated during the previous Financial Year [… and which] in reality the questioning can be on any defence related matter” [4]. The committee has the power to send for persons, papers, and records [5]. On the matter of acquisitions, the Office of the Auditor-General (since 2019 Audit New Zealand, a business unit of the OAG), provides external assurance of the Defence’s assessments [6]. The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) is governed by its own legislation: the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, particularly Part 6 [7]. It has extensive functions, and includes any matter referred by the Prime Minister, over and above its usual oversight of policy, administration, and expenditure. The committee also has the power to request that individuals and Director-Generals of an intelligence and security agency appear before it [8]. However, the ISC does not have the power of summons [9]. Moreover, it may not consider a matter directly relating to the operational activities of an intelligence and security agency – this would be a matter for the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) [9].

Despite these limitations the oversight of New Zealand’s Intelligence and Security agencies has been strengthened by the creation of the Inspector-General’s office. The IGIS provides the strongest instrument of oversight by ensuring activities are conducted lawfully and with propriety and that complaints are independently investigated and it advises the Government and the Intelligence and Security Committee on matters relating to oversight of the agencies. The functions of the Inspector-General are broad [10]. The ISC cannot conduct an inquiry into any matter within the jurisdiction of the Inspector-General;: or that is operationally sensitive, including any matter that relates to intelligence collection and production methods, or sources of information; or inquiring into complaints by individuals concerning the activities of an intelligence and security agency that are capable of being resolved under any other enactment, however can request an IGIS inquiry into them. [11]. The IGIS appears before the ISC at least once a year to present its Annual Report [12]. For example, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security must follow the requests of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Select Committees are able to recommend amendments to the House, which the House may then adopt, modify, or dismiss. If the Government wishes to use its Financial Veto powers then it must do so before the Select Committee’s amendments are agreed by the House [13]. However, as stated in Q1A, such a course of action would be a matter of last resort.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee comprises eight elected Members of Parliament. New Zealand parliamentarians generally have limited if any experience in the defence and security sectors, and even less formal education or training in those fields. This is a unique trait amongst New Zealanders as the areas of defence and security are small in comparison with other countries. Nonetheless, this is an area that is lacking expertise, and it must be considered that, until a committee member has gained a certain modicum of experience, their ability to understand and influence decisions is curtailed. The Chairperson has no identifiable defence and security expertise other than his experience of sitting in the Select Committee from November 2017. His university education was in political studies and, before joining the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee, his main focus was on social policy matters [1, 2]. The Deputy Chairperson has extensive experience in aspects of Government, including being a former Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Civil Defence. He also sits as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Nonetheless, no evidence of formal education in defence and security fields could be found [3, 4, 5, 6]. Of the remaining six members, Paulo Garcia is a lawyer, with experience in international commerce and diplomacy [7]; Golriz Ghahraman is a lawyer with experience in constitutional law and human rights, and formerly spokesperson for Defence, Security, and Intelligence, and Police. No direct education in defence and security fields could be found, but it must be assumed that she undertook instruction in the field of International Humanitarian Law [8, 9]. Todd McClay has previously been a member of the Select Committee and was Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs. No educational background in defence and security matters could be found [10, 11]. No information could be found indicating expertise in defence and security for Priyanca Radhakrishnan other than having been a member of the Select Committee since 2018. Her university background is in development studies [12, 13, 14]. Aupito William Sio has previously sat on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. No educational background in Defence and Security fields could be found [15, 16, 17, 18]. No experience in defence and security could be found for Louisa Wall other than by virtue of HER having been a member of the Select Committee since 2017. The only marginally relevant experience may have been in her capacity as Associate Spokesperson of Civil Defence and Emergency for two months in 2013. Her educational background is in social policy [19, 20].

The Intelligence and Security Committee has eight members including the Chairperson, who is usually also the Prime Minister. Jacinda Ardern is also Minister of National Security and Intelligence by virtue of election to the Prime Ministership. She was previously Spokesperson of Police for a year and briefly Spokesperson of Security and Intelligence for a period of three months in 2017. She has no educational background in defence and security; her educational background is in politics and public relations [21, 22]. Amy Adams briefly sat on the Intelligence and Security Committee but no other experience in defence and security related matters could be found. She has no Defence and Security education: she studied and practiced Law [23, 24]. Simon Bridges has no experience of Defence and Security matters other than his time on the Committee and as Party Spokesperson since 2018. He has no educational background in Defence and Security, having studied law at Auckland and Oxford [25, 26]. Gerry Brownlee has extensive experience in aspects of government, including being a former Minister of Defence, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Civil Defence. He also sits on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. No evidence of formal education in defence and security fields could be found [3, 5, 6]. Andrew Little has experience in defence and security matters in his position as Minister of GCSB, Minister of NZSIS. Prior to this he served as Party Spokesperson for Security and Intelligence for three years. However, he has no direct experience of defence and security before this. He has no educational background in defence and security, having studied law and philosophy [27, 28]. Winston Peters has extensive government experience and has previously sat on the Committee and served as Party Spokesperson for Defence and Security Issues. He is also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs. He has no direct education in Defence and Security, but obtained a BA in history and politics, and later went on to study law [29, 30]. James Shaw has no previous experience of defence and security matters other than since joining the Committee in 2018. His educational and professional background is in sustainable development and business leadership [31, 32].

The Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee (FADTC) conducts annual reviews of the Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force [1]. The FADTC 2018/19 Annual Review of the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force does not explicitly consider defence policy – most of the document centres on operational aspects, such as clearing of unexploded ordnance, defence capability (capital investment and expenditure), gender issues, and multi-agency cooperation. For instance the word “strategy” does not appear in the text and “policy” appears three times but not in relation to national defence policy [2]. In the 2018/19 MoD Responses to Written Questions, defence policy is not listed in the contents page. [3] However, the FADTC did inquire about defence policy within Additional Written Questions to the 2016/17 Annual Reviews. [4] A previous Annual Review considered the then new Government’s release of the Strategic Defence Policy Statement and the Pacific reset initiative. Again, there is no explicit evidence of discussion – the Policy Statement and Pacific Reset are only explained [5]. Nonetheless, the FADTC does inquire about these through its Written Questions process, as evidenced within the 2017/18 Financial Review. [6] Similarly, the Corrected Hansard Transcript shows that defence policy was discussed during the 2019/20 Estimates Review. [7] No Committee-initiated report on Defence decisions has been found, however the Committee facilitated a public petition for the cessation of New Zealand’s purchase of P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircrafts on which it provided a final report [8]. Despite no report (instigated on its own behalf) being found, as the Committee examines all annual reports and votes for both NZDF and Ministry of Defence, it must be confidently expected that any significant decision within those two organisations is, in fact, considered by the Committee by virtue of their inclusion in either or both of the two publications [9].

Regarding policy review, New Zealand lacks a national security strategy and as such there is limited scope by which the committee can measure policy against a set benchmark other than the White Papers, of which there have been only three in the last 23 years. The exact involvement of the committee in the last White Paper’s drafting is uncertain. Nonetheless, any significant policy decision undertaken by the MoD would be measured against the organisational frameworks, values, and goals presented in the Annual Reports and Strategic Assessments. The recent appearance of multiple policy documents by the MoD, without them being codified within a long-term White Paper, muddles the responsiveness of the committee since it invites debate as to whether these can be considered long-term policy documents. Their release so soon after the last White Paper intimates that national security policy may be overly influenced by the political preference of the ruling coalition, rather than “national policy”. A case in point would be the document, “Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan” of November 2019 [10]. Such a scenario is assisted by the lack of a national security strategy. To reiterate, in reality the FADTC provides oversight and recommendations, and it ensures that those actions so decided upon are conducted above-board, however it cannot direct policy unless that matter is brought to the House for debate among members. Thus the FADTC’s influence is directly affected by the sitting majority in the House: should a matter be brought to the House, the ruling government has little to be concerned about if it has a majority, other than the public fallout this may create.

Select Committees normally meet once every sitting week. They may also meet more frequently depending on their volume of work. The number of sittings is high with the FADTC having met 30 times in 2018 and 27 times in 2019 and, as of April 2020, it has met 4 times [1]. According to the House Standing Orders, paragraph 252 (1), “the Government must, not more than 60 working days after a Select Committee report has been presented, present a paper to the House responding to any recommendations of the Committee which are addressed to it” [2]. The Intelligence and Security Committee currently only meets twice a year in public [3]. As for FADTC recommendations, the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 Annual Reports do not show conclusive evidence of tangible recommendations, with the tendency being to comment on recommendations provided by the OAG [4, 5, 6]. However Ministers and Chief Executives must respond to lengthy written questions, which in effect realises a process of oversight through scrutiny. Budgets do not have to be cleared by the Committees prior to release. Committees cannot make amendments to the Budget though they can scrutinise it. The Intelligence and Security Committee differs from the FADTC in its area of authority. The committee can examine matters relating to policy, administration, and expenditure, and if any further investigation is required it can order the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to conduct an inquiry into a matter that falls under Paragraph 193 (1) – (a-g). However, the Committee cannot order the Inspector-General to conduct an inquiry if the matter resides within the jurisdiction of the Inspector-General, or if the matter is operationally sensitive, or if the concerns of individuals can be resolved through other means not requiring an official inquiry [7].

The Inspector-General, through the publishing of a report into the findings of an inquiry, may provide recommendations to an Intelligence and Security Agency, however there is no specified time in which the relevant Minister must provide their response to the Inspector-General’s report. The minister must, however, provide their response “as soon as practicable”. Moreover, the minister is not compelled to provide a response to a report that is not conducted at the request of the committee [8]. Meanwhile, there is no stipulation that a Director-General of an Intelligence and Security Agency must provide their responses to a published report. Nonetheless, they could be called before the committee and asked to provide evidence on a particular matter which may or may not be contained within the Inspector-General published report as long as the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Inspector-General, is operationally sensitive, or could be resolved through other means. Ultimately, in both cases the budgets, as well as policies, are heavily controlled by the Executive, and although the committees can investigate almost any matter, they themselves do not have the power to compel departments to comply with any recommendations or amendments. They may make recommendations in their reports to Parliament, but there is no obligation for these to be pursued by the departments, unless that matter has been referred to from the Inspector-General or Auditor-General, who may bring cases irrespective of the committees’ stances in any case.
It’s worth noting that the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidan recommended that the role of the ISC be strengthened, a recommendation which the Government has accepted in principle [9].

The FADT Committee can examine any matter it wishes other than a bill that has not been referred to it, except as provided in the Standing Orders, or a Supplementary Order Paper relating to a bill that is not before the committee — without the approval of the House or the Business Committee [1]. According to the FADTC Secretariat, “The committee has the power to initiate briefings and inquiries (as do all select committees) but does not have automatic ‘investigations’ of long-term defence work” [2]. In the opinion of the FADTC, “regular oversight of any department is conducted by committees through the annual review and estimates processes” [2]. As part of the committee’s examination of the annual vote, questions pertaining to long-term capability are directed to the Ministry of Defence, which must then be answered, often in detail [3]. No evidence of long-term investigations could be found in previous papers presented to Parliament [4]. Reviews of evidential submissions to the FADTC as part of its 2015/16 Annual Review of the NZDF and MoD, specifically in regards to the response to committee questions, indicates that it played no role in the formulation of the Defence White Paper 2016.

Select Committees make recommendations to the Government, rather than a department, but would only really do this through petitions and inquiries [1]. Standing Order 252 notes that the Government is only required to respond to certain committee reports [2]. Although recommendations as such are not usually provided, the FADTC does suggest that improvements be implemented, and these are often are coordinated with recommendations of the Auditor-General. For example, the FADTC noted in its 2018/19 Annual Review that the Ministry had implemented recommendations. Similarly, the FADTC noted in the 2018/19 Annual Review of the NZDF that some recommendations had been implemented while others remained outstanding, and expressed their desire for these to be completed. [3]

The National Assembly has a Security and Defence Committee that is to be set up at the beginning of each legislative cycle (Art. 30 of the National Assembly’s Internal Rules) (1). Composed of 24 members from various political parties, the committee is responsible for overseeing work of the ministries in charge of national defence and security policy (1). This includes the following areas:
1.General organisation of defence and security;
2. Defence cooperation policy;
3. State of emergency and state of siege;
4. Status of military personnel and the security forces;
5. Obligations imposed in the interest of national defence and public security on citizens in their person and their property;
6. Legislation regarding military programmes and plans;
7. National service; military service;
8. Military justice.
Though the committee has extensive formal (de jure) rights as an advisory committee, including oversight of the Police (Gendarmerie Nationale) and National Guard (Garde Nationale), and though it is entitled to request information on government security policy, it does not seem to have a clear mandate to examine the cost of arms acquisitions. 

Presided over by a lawyer, Hama Assah, the committee is composed of 24 members (1). Coming from different backgrounds, only a few of them have specialised military training (2). More generally, the NA deputies are not provided with technical support, which impacts their efficiency as a control body of governmental policy. However, since 2017 the committee has begun receiving capacity-building support from DCAF based on gaps identified during the self-assessment process. The committee set up a 2017-2021 action plan to monitor military operations. According to the committee, the plan was implemented by 38%. For example, as part of it, the committee launched a series of field missions to initiate dialogue with the media, local authorities and civil society (3). In May 2018, DCAF organised a workshop to reinforce members’ expertise on budget control. The workshop is part of the project on “Strengthening the accountability of the security sector in Niger”, funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the assistance of the DCAF (4).

The committee may have some oversight over major defence decisions if new threats arise. For instance, in February 2015, the committee authorised the dispatch of troops to Nigeria (1) and extended several times the state of emergency in the Diffa region and some departments of Tillabéry and Tahoua (2). However, given the lack of technical expertise as well as a tendency towards dependency on the executive (see question 1), the policymaking capabilities of the committee may be limited.

Chapter III of the Internal Rules document provides the Commission with the right to propose amendments (1). However, according to interviewees (2), at least during the last three years, the Commission did not issue any amendments to budgets and did not provide important recommendations that were incorporated by the executive. According to remarks of the reviewer 1, the capacity of the Commission to exercise short-term oversight over defence policy is very limited in nature.

According to article 30, line 7 of the Internal Rules, the Commission has a right to conduct investigations related to policies (1). However, according to interviewees, at least in the last two years, long-term investigations have not been conducted (2).

The National Assembly’s capacity to have an institutional impact on defence policy is limited. According to interviewees, deputies have never managed to propose a law that has been adopted (1). However, with the assistance of the DCAF, Niger has recently published a collection of laws and decrees regarding defence and security policy, which identifies existing gaps. This could provide important support for deputies’ to propose legislative projects regarding defence and security policy in the near future (2).

A defence committee exists, including a special Presidential National Defence Policy Committee, the Senate Committee on Defence, and the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior, FCDA. Its powers include the initiation and consideration of bills, oversight of the executive, constituency representation, investigation of government policy initiatives and the reviewing and approval of budget and expenditure (1). The Committee has the general powers to scrutinize defence policy and often debates defence issues such as the general security situation in the country. NASS members only have the power to confirm ministers for example (2). The recent kidnapping of the Dapchi Girls was commented on by the Defence Committee. However, the Committee does not have any direct control over the technical specifications of military procurement which lies with the executive (3). Given that the executive can raise funding without legislative approval, the Defence Committee can be bypassed by the executive when secretive arms procurement deals are being made. In 2014, the South African press reported the seizure of large sums of money which the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) attempted to use to buy arms. It appears that the Senate was not aware of the attempted transaction before the attempted purchase. “The Nigerian government later admitted it was behind the arms deal, claiming it acted out of desperation for arms to defeat extremist sect, Boko Haram. An investigation planned by the Senate into the transaction has yet to begin, while the House of Representatives threw out a motion seeking a probe” (4).

Despite the NASS’s formal powers of oversight, it functions weakly because of the general lack of expertise among members of the National Assembly Defence Committee (1). There is a lack of understanding of basic defence issues, and there is instability created by the revolving nature of the members of these committees (2). Although the Defence Committee relies on the expertise of retired military personnel amongst its member’s such members rarely work against the interest of the military. Weak parliamentary control and the lack of transparency have allowed large extra-budgetary spending and revenue. A significant number of legislators in a self-assessment report rated the National Assembly’s security capacity oversight poorly. NASS members rely on staff to carry out research. However, many responded to the PLAC questionnaire and scored the NASS ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ in relation to whether they received adequate research information and staff and other services to support their effective performance (3), (4).

A special Presidential National Defence Policy Committee was set up in 2015 to review the National Defence Policy the report of that committee has been given to the Minister of Defence and there seems to be a lack of continuity. The creation of the Presidential Committee was ad-hoc as there was not a statutory or legislative framework to guide regular reviews within a specific timeframe. The National Assembly does have committees which consider and investigates defence issues and considers budgetary allocations to the military sector (1). Despite the committee holding public hearings, there is weak citizen engagement and little evidence of CSOs’ ability to influence policymaking (2). The national defence policy has not been reviewed in the last 10 years. NASS members also scored themselves poorly concerning monitoring the implementation of laws once enacted and evaluating the validity of laws. Many noticed that executive officers were sometimes dilatory in appearing before committees during hearings relating to defence matters. The members noted that the NASS is unable to remove or impeach ministers and can only impeach the president (3), (4).

The previous administration and the current administration announced an additional $1 billion to fight the northeastern insurgency (1), (2) without any serious objection or scrutiny from the defence committees. These extra-budgetary allocations were not contained in the Medium Trem Expenditure Framework, which governs executive spending in a 3-5 year economic plan (3), (4). The Senate has also raised objections to the plans of the Buhari administration to raise finances without effective consultations with the NASS.

The available information suggests that there has not been a long-term review of the national defence policy for ten years (1). Without a long term strategic national defence policy or plan, there is no policy basis for the defence committees to scrutinize or exercise long term defence policy or expenditure oversight (2). Other issues that harm the ability of the committees to conduct long term reviews or investigations are insufficient resources and funding, absolute control by the executive over the defence and security sector, and a culture of secrecy in the defence establishment which restricts the scope of the information shared with the Committee (PLAC July 2017 pg. 4, pg. 40) (3), (4).

Given that there has been no review of the national defence policy in ten years, there is no evidence that the government incorporates some or any recommendations into practice either sporadically or regularly. As previously stated, the executive is defensive over its control of over the defence sector (1). The Nigerian National Defence Policy Committee submitted a report in 2016, the Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali promised to implement most, if not all, of the recommendations and strategies of the committee. However, there has been no further information about the issue since 2016. The secrecy which surrounded the work of the NNDPC suggests that institutional outcomes are negatively impacted since not all stakeholders had the opportunity to influence the development of national policy (2).

The parliamentary Committee for Defence and Security (CDS) is tasked with overseeing and controlling the defence sector. The Rules and Procedures of the Assembly of North Macedonia establish “working bodies” which act as supervisory committees (including in the defence sector), without specifically detailing their structure, aims or scope [1]. They do, however, outline the prerogatives of the CDS on the Assembly website, although without concrete references to its statute, rulebook or similar legal documents which define its role [2]. The committee (like all the other ones) is in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it. Being in control of the defence and security sector, in charge of defending the country and of civil defence, including life protection and personal security as guaranteed by the Constitution highlights the status of the CDS. Due to its vaguely defined and broad coverage, the CDS has full right to scrutinise any aspect of the country’s defence policy. Led by a high official, the CDS has the authority to control the work, operations, personnel, and acquisitions within the defence sector, and to investigate aspects of defence policy, including budgetary issues, as well as to summon defence officials and witness hearings [3].

The composition of the Defence and Security Committee is varied. It consists of experts in their field; experienced Members of Parliament who have been members for two or more consecutive terms and hence are familiar with the committee’s remit; Members of Parliament who were previously part of similar committees or organisations, such as the Committee for Supervising the Work of Security Agencies [1]. In general, the Defence and Security Committee’s composition, expertise and experience is well balanced, and has been especially since 2016 [2].

The Defence and Security Committee regularly reviews country defence strategies or major defence policies depending on the time required for the preparation and publication of these policies [1]. The evidence stemming from the Committee convention shows the that the Defence and Security Committee has met more than twenty times in the past year and debated current security and defence issues [2]. This was also confirmed through a public statement by the current president of the Defence and Security Committee [3].

The Defence and Security Committee oversees and reviews the defence budget and spending on an annual basis. In the past year, the Committee has met almost bimonthly. Moreover, the Committee issues amendments and recommendations, but not on a regular basis [1].

There is no publicly available information on long-term investigations with regards to defence activities. The 2015 Difi report noted that this is partly because no investigations have been carried out; but also because the Defence and Security Committee (as well as Parliament), is under-equipped to investigate and research these issues. Clearly, the Committee lacks financial and human resources as well as the necessary professional expertise. Nonetheless, the Committee still reviews defence operations abroad, such as the NATO led mission in Afghanistan. However, the visits paid are routine rather than specifically investigative. Indeed, Members of Parliament have rarely debated issues such as risks to soldiers or other technical, financial or political questions [1]. Despite the increased political will in 2018 for increasing the Committee’s overseeing capacity, the situation has not yet significantly improved [2].

The Defence and Security Committee overviews defence policies but irregularly issues amendments or recommendations. During the post-2016 period, there is evidence of Committee recommendations which have been practically incorporated by the Ministry of Defence, in line with the politically renewed focus on ensuring Parliament’s independence [1]. However, this evidence came through an oral statement from the representative of the Defence and Security Committee, and cannot be confirmed. Minutes from the Defence and Security Committee meetings suggest that the Committee actively debated defence-related laws and bylaws, as well as relevant policies [2]. Nonetheless, it is still too early to demonstrate a consistent pattern of recommendations and subsequent practical adoption.

The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence is responsible for matters relating to defence policy planning, the defence budget, arms acquisitions, personnel management as well as reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Committee for the Armed Forces. The committee publishes its documents online along with related news and an updated meeting schedule [1, 2]. In addition to this, the Enlarged Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence is composed of members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the parliamentary leaders and the President of Parliament. The Enlarged Committee advises the Government on decisions relating to foreign, trade and security policy prior to them being made. The committee’s meetings and deliberations are secret unless the committee itself decides otherwise. A minimum of 6 committee members are required to ask for a case to be discussed by the parliament in public session [3]. The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Issues also plays a part in overseeing the defence budget since it coordinates fiscal budget proceedings [4]. The performance of the Defence Ministry is scrutinised by the Office of the Auditor General. The reports from the Office of the Auditor General and reviewed by the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs [5]. In the course of proceedings, standing committees have the right to deliberate on bills, propose changes and submit recommendations to Parliament. They may call in representatives from ministries and organisations or experts or private individuals to hearings for the purpose of obtaining information. Organisations and individuals may also request to appear before a committee to present their views. These hearings must be held in public unless otherwise decided [6].

The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence has 16 members (as of March 2020) [1]. The committee’s area of responsibility necessitates that its members have expertise both in foreign affairs and in the defence sector. A review of bibliographical data of the committee members reveals that, apart from a solid political experience in the fields of security and foreign, many also have a university education in political science, international studies, law, economics and history. 3 members studied at the Nato Defence College, the Norwegian Joint Staff College and the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy respectively. In addition, one of the members worked previously as a regional head of the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency. However, there is some doubt as to what extend the committee’s members are able to initiate critical debate concerning defence and security policy [2].

Every 4-5 years the Ministry of Defence presents a white paper to Parliament which describes a new long-term plan for the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence is responsible for reviewing the new plan before a plenary debate is held. For instance, the committee reviewed the long-term defence plan “Capable and Sustainable” in 2016 [1] and in 2012 the long term defence plan “A Defence For Our Time” [2]. In 2020 the Government presented a proposal for a new long-term plan for the defence sector [3]. After a round of hearings and deliberations, the committee returned the Government’s proposal for a new long-term plan and asked for a revised plan [4].

A review of the list of recommendations from the Norwegian Parliament and the hearings schedule shows that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence met at least 18 times in 2019 [1]. The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence discusses defence budget proposal submitted by the Ministry of the Defence and may recommend amendments, though its recommendations may only concern internal distribution of the allocated funds [2]. The Government is obliged to seek the committee’s approval for any changes to the budget [3]. The Ministry of Defence usually responds to the committee’s recommendations within a specific time frame [4].

As a rule, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence cannot act on its own initiative when dealing with supervisory matters. It may only deal with issues referred to it by the Parliament in plenary, though twice per session it may call for a matter that falls within its remit to be debated in Parliament [1]. The committee may also recommend that the Government initiate long term investigations into defence matters. This happened for instance in 2014 and 2017 when the committee recommended the evaluation of Norwegian military operations in Afghanistan and Libya respectively [2, 3]. This initiative came from the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, but the Government was formally in charge of appointing independent working groups. Both the mandate and the composition of the working groups were, however, consulted with the committee [4].

It is a question of political character since opinions may vary according to political party affiliation and across the government and the opposition [1]. However, the Ministry of Defence regularly incorporates the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence into the defence budget, though these recommendations may only concern the internal distribution of the allocated funds [2].

According to the Majlis al-Shura website, there is the Department of the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Affairs Committee, one of ten parliamentary committees; however, their mandate is not set out on the website, and neither is any information about the members of the committee (1). Standing committees should, according to the parliament’s website, follow up reports and previous recommendations of the Majlis (1). The Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee does not appear on the Arabic website, and no information exists about this committee (2). This signifies a clear lack of transparency concerning the work of this committee, as is evident through inconsistencies across government websites. Despite the claimed existence of the committee, all parliamentary committees lack the formal rights to scrutinise or draft legislation and are thus unable to operate effectively or exercise oversight on the defence sector, particularly as the Majlis lacks formal powers beyond social, economic, and environmental policy, as previously explained. A researcher verifies that there is a committee, but the committee is superficial and does not meet (3).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable because, although the website of Majlis al-Shura mentions the existence of a defence committee, the committee has no presence other than the name mentioned on the English website (1), (2). Interestingly, internet-based search for the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee shows no results for it in Arabic. The so-called committee does not seem to have any activities, its members unknown and its influence on policy is either non-existent, or intentionally kept undisclosed. According to many sources, the committee members are not known as the committee is inactive (3). For these reasons, Not Applicable is the most suitable for this sub-indicator.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable because, although the website of Majlis al-Shura mentions the existence of a defence committee, the committee has no presence other than the name mentioned on the English website. According to our sources, the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee has no activities and not known to the public. The committee does not seem to have any activities, its members unknown and its influence on policy is either non-existent, or intentionally kept undisclosed.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable because, although the website of Majlis al-Shura mentions the existence of a defence committee, the committee has no presence other than the name mentioned on the English website. According to our sources, the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee has no activities and not known to the public. The committee does not seem to have any activities, its members unknown and its influence on policy is either non-existent, or intentionally kept undisclosed.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable because, although the website of Majlis al-Shura mentions the existence of a defence committee, the committee has no presence other than the name mentioned on the English website. According to our sources, the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee has no activities and not known to the public. The committee does not seem to have any activities, its members unknown and its influence on policy is either non-existent, or intentionally kept undisclosed.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable because, although the website of Majlis al-Shura mentions the existence of a defence committee, the committee has no presence other than the name mentioned on the English website. According to our sources, the Defence, Security and Foreign Relations Committee has no activities and not known to the public. The committee does not seem to have any activities, its members unknown and its influence on policy is either non-existent, or intentionally kept undisclosed.

The Rules of Procedure for the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) specify a security committee with formal mechanisms, which implements scrutiny over security apparatuses (1). However, the committee does not necessarily have a mandate over external defence forces and has not been active since 2018 (2), (3).

The Parliament is not active, and no formal or informal oversight is exercised over the national security forces or any other semi-military forces (1), (2). Therefore this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

The Parliament is not active, and no formal or informal oversight is exercised over the national security forces or any other semi-military forces (1), (2). Therefore this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

The Parliament is not active, and no formal or informal oversight is exercised over the national security forces or any other semi-military forces (1), (2). Therefore this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

The Parliament is not active, and no formal or informal oversight is exercised over the national security forces or any other semi-military forces (1), (2). Therefore this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

The Parliament is not active, and no formal or informal oversight is exercised over the national security forces or any other semi-military forces (1), (2). Therefore this indicator has been scored Not Applicable.

In both houses of Congress there are oversight committees responsible for scrutinising and demanding information on different aspects of the defence department such as personnel management, budget and arms procurement [1]. Empowered by the 1987 Constitution, these committees are in a position to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation and require witnesses to appear in front of them [2]; however, in some cases, they choose not to exercise these powers. For example, media coverage of hearings on controversial acquisition projects suggests that committee members fail to probe deeper into the issues at stake and decline to question key witnesses [3, 4]. Meanwhile, the 18th Congress (2019-2022) has formed three oversight committees to look into specific tasks that will include activities of the defence department. These are the Special Committee on Marawi Rehabilitation, Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds, Programmes and Activities and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures [5]. However, since these committees are ad hoc, they function only on a short-term basis or until mid-2022.

An interviewed Member of the House of Representatives has stated that, while committee members have some degree of knowledge on defence and security, there are no required qualifications or credentials [1]. There are those who have some background in the military (e.g. former officers), but for others it is an interest or advocacy [1]. More often than not, lack of human, financial and technical resources are a few of the weaknesses that all civilian institutions state in validation meetings. For example, the Committee on National Defence and Security of the House of Representatives has 65 members but only five staff members [2]. Beyond the shortage of staff members, a more pressing concern is the development of skills for members of Congress, their personal staff and the committee staff for civilian oversight through education and training, especially in relation to their security oversight functions [3].

The committee can review the implementation of existing defence and security policy with respect to important events. The decision to review is dependent on the committee chair, who calls meetings with defence personnel periodically. An example of this is the senate hearing conducted to review the US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement [1]. However some committee chairs do not consider reviewing policy to be a priority [2].

By enacting an annual General Appropriations Act, Congress is able to mandate officials from the security sector, as well as other oversight institutions in the executive, to report on their own performance, justify funding requests and even answer relevant questions from members of congressional committees tasked with approving the budget [1]. Budget reviews are regular but conducted by the Committee on Appropriations, which has a subcommittee on defence and security. Budget related meetings are held from mid-August to October, when the Defence Department is given a chance to present its budget and the basis for the budget they are asking for within a specific time frame [2]. Other defence-related concerns are handled by the Committee on National Defence and Security, but the decision to conduct a periodic review lies with the committee chair and does not exactly meet at least once a month [2].

Congress is generally empowerd by laws and its own rules to perform oversight [1]. Both chambers (the House and Senate) may conduct formal inquiries or investigations in aid of legislation in accordance with their respective rules [2]. Operations are investigated by committees; for example, the 18th Congress (2019-2022) has formed a special ad hoc committee to investigate the Marawi rehabilitation programme, something the military plays a huge part in [3]. The special ad hoc committee was also formed during the 17th Congress (2016-2019) but was terminated without having fully accomplished its mandated tasks of reviewing and examining the Marawi rehabilitation programme [4]. In practice, an investigation is conducted when a controversy occurs and where defence personnel are called for an inquiry [5].

The defence department internally evaluates all proposals brought forward by Congress; however, due to political influence, this does not happen regularly. For example, at one defence budget hearing, several senators asked the defence chief to reconsider an agreement, for security reasons, between the Armed Forces and a China-backed telecommunications company which plans to build facilities in military camps and installations [1]. The said company backed Duterte’s presidential bid in 2016 [2].

The Sejm Committee on National Defence has the formal power to scrutinize and audit any aspect of performance of defence ministry, defence agencies and state-owned enterprises [1]. According to Annex 1 of the Statute of Sejm of the Republic of Poland [2] the committee “deals with the defence of the state, in particular concerning the activities of the armed forces, the system and functioning of the territorial defence of the country and civil defence, performance of duties in the field of strengthening defence by state organs and state enterprises, cooperative and social organizations, as well as the defence industry affairs.”
The committee is in a position to require government members and heads of state agencies to appear in front of it, either in person or through their representatives. For example at a committee meeting in February 2018 about “information of the Minister of National Defence on the reasons for failures in the implementation of key projects for the armed forces regarding the acquisition of modern equipment and weapons.” The information was presented, among others by the deputy minister and head of the Armament Inspectorate [3].
Other people, as experts, may be invited by the committee to participate in the meeting, however they are not obliged by law to take part. [4].
It should be mentioned that the committee does not have the power to interrogate participating state representatives or experts. They do not bear criminal responsibility for giving false testimonies (as witnesses in court) [4].

The National Defence Committee consists of 37 permanent MPs. It has four permanent subcommittees (on Polish defence industry and modernisation of the Armed Forces; on social aspects of the military, on international and NATO cooperation; on budget and infrastructure of the Armed Forces) [1]. There are some committee members with expertise in the defence sector [2, 3]. A review of the committee records shows that the members with expertise can influence the decision-making process.

The Committee does not have the power to accept or reject the official security policy. The Act on the Universal Obligation to Defend the Republic of Poland [1] states that the National Security Strategy is prepared by the cabinet and approved by the president. In 2014, when the current National Security Policy was adopted, individual MPs were consulted unofficially, but the National Defence Committee only reviewed discussed the strategy in early 2015, after it had been officially accepted and released [2]. Currently, work on a new national security strategy is underway with participation of the government (MoD mainly) and presidential National Security Bureau but there is no detailed information on the status of the work, including cooperation with the parliament [3].
There are no signs of consultations over the draft strategy with the defence committee. Moreover, its workplan for the 1st half of 2020 does not include such subject [4] nor the issue was tackled during the actually conducted meetings [5].
The Sejm defence committee discusses from time to time major defence policies and decisions, however mainly by asking and afterwards discussing provided written MoD information. The committee does not initiate own reviews as well as does not produce own analysis, evaluations, amendments or desideratums. [5, 6].
In some cases the discussion on sensitive major decisions may by interrupted by the committee chairperson. [7]
The modus operandi of the Senate defence committee is similar, however it is worth to note, that its legal powers are significantly weaker. Senate does not have the constitutional power to control or supervise the government, however there is an established practice to provide information by the government to the Senate committees. [8, 9]

The defence committee meets regularly, on average 3 times a month. It gathers information from and discusses defence issues with the representatives of the MoD. [1] However, for three and a half years it has only adopted two budget recommendations and no other formal recommendations to the defence minister or government [2, 3, 4]. The defence subcommittee on budget, finance and structure of armed forces only meets twice a year to review a draft defence budget and annual budget executions [5].

For three and a half years, the defence committee has not conducted any long-term investigation, nor commissioned any investigations into other relevant state institutions [1].

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable. It is difficult to find examples of direct application of defence committee recommendations by the MoND because the present defence committee has not adopted a single directive directed to the government or ministry in three and a half years [1]. The committee adopted two opinions directed to the defence minister on strategic documents; however, they were without any recommendations [2, 3]. In general, the commission’s activities have a small impact on the MoND’s budget only recommending minor amendments to the budget draft (two times in four fiscal years) [4, 5]; however, such recommendations are directed to the parliamentary finance committee, not to the government.
The present defence committee is passive in the area of formal recommendations to the defence minister, in contrast with the intelligence committee, which adopted ten directives sent to the government.

The National Defence Committee (NDC) is the parliamentary committee charged with oversight on defence issues. Its formal rights on oversight are limited [1], but the National Defence Act provides for parliamentary oversight on government defence activity [2], with a particular emphasis on policy planning and military cooperation. The NDC is entitled to demand information and call or recall the minister of defence, the chief of staff, single service chiefs and any witness the committee finds pertinent to testify before it on defence-related topics. There is little evidence that it holds specific defence agencies to account [3]. Budgetary decisions are overseen by the parliamentary Budget and Treasury Commission [3]. NDC’s oversight capacities are supplemented by the consultative roles of the High National Defence Council (HNDC) [2] and the High Military Council (HMC) [2].

NDC members are not chosen according to expertise [1]. A survey of current (to April 2020) MPs serving as NDC members shows little expertise or experience in defence and security policy [2], as less than ten per cent of all effective and non-effective NDC members have some registered and verifiable expertise in defence policy; the same applies to the previous the NDC, which served from 2015 to 2019 [3].

There is evidence of oversight with regards to reviews of the Military Planning Act [1, 2, 3], emerging threats requiring armed forces intervention [4, 5] and corruption claims [6]. The review process occurs at least yearly, and the minister of defence may be called to the NDC at the behest of committee members. However, the enhanced scope and authority of government in defence policymaking suggests that the minister of defence, the chief of staff and the single service chiefs are only nominally accountable.

There is significant evidence of weekly meetings by the NDC [1, 2], as well as hearings [3, 4], but comparatively irregular recommendation issuance [5, 6] and evidence of recommendations on budgetary or structural policy issues based on ongoing monitoring pertains to yearly reviews of the state budget’s defence proposal.

There is no evidence that either the NDC, the HNDC or the HMC conduct long-term oversight of defence planning and implementation beyond the scope of their minimum legal duties. Oversight by these bodies is related to short-term oversights, requests for clarification by the minister of defence or ordinary meetings. Such long-term oversight capacities are either within the scope of temporary parliamentary committees [1] or fall within the scope of the Court of Accounts (CA) as the Portuguese Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) [2].

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, given that there is no evidence that the Committee issues any recommendations. For example, the NDC does not issue recommendations for the modification of the annual state budget’s defence section; it repeats government proposals [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

In 2013, the Advisory Council created five committees, however, no defence or military committee was formed. The five committees are: 1) Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee, 2) Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, 3) Services and Facilities Committee, 4) Internal and External Affairs Committee, 5) Committee for Cultural Affairs and Information. [1,2] None of these committees is tasked with oversight of the defence sector. According to our sources, the Council has no authority or capacity to check defence related issues within the country. [3,4] There is no defence committee or similar institution that is tasked with oversight and scrutiny of the defence sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no committee or similar institution tasked with oversight over the defence sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no committee or similar institution tasked with oversight over the defence sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no committee or similar institution tasked with oversight over the defence sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no committee or similar institution tasked with oversight over the defence sector.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no committee or similar institution tasked with oversight over the defence sector.

Both houses of the Russian parliament have special committees on defence. The State Duma Committee on Defence has the power to conduct preliminary reviews of and deliver opinions on bills concerning defence policy, activities, and budget, and to prepare them for revision by the State Duma [1]. The Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security is responsible for conducting a preliminary overview of the president’s orders regarding martial law and state of emergency and a preliminary overview of issues related to internal and external security, military organization and the relevant budget [2]. Federal Law No. 77 ‘On Parliamentary Control’ entitles both committees to question representatives of the executive branch, including the Ministry of Defence, and to conduct parliamentary investigations whenever neccessary [3].

Personnel management and policy planning are not listed in the areas of responsibility of these committees.

In the State Duma Committee on Defence, 10 of 13 members have higher military education [1]. This State Duma Committee on Defence has the Expert Council, every member of which is an expert either in military or law [2].

5 of 15 members of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security have higher military education, but they are outnumbered by graduates of the system of professional Communist Party (of the USSR) education and other fields irrelevant to the defence sector [3].

Major Russian defence policy is called the ‘military doctrine.’ It takes into account major documents on strategic development, including the national security strategy, which is signed into law as a Presidential Decree [1], the maritime doctrine, the Arctic development doctrine, etc.

The current ‘Military Doctrine 2020’ was signed into law by the president in December 2014 [2]. So, the frequency with which major military policy is signed is once every 5 years. However, there is no official information indicating that both committees on defence actively participated in revision of the policy. The Federation Council Committee mentions that it ‘actively participated in clarifying provisions of the military doctrine’ [3]. The State Duma Committee provides no relevant informaiton [4].

The Federation Council Committee reports that it participated in 23 sessions of the Federation Council and reviewed 72 federal laws throughout 2018 [1]. The State Duma Committee on Defence 2018 progress report shows that it conducted 43 hearings and handled 64 bills [2]. Although the progress reports demonstrate quite active work by both committees, there is no publicly available information indicating whether both committees a) regularly issue recommendations or b) demand follow-ups on recommendations from the ministries. There are, however, a few references to general plans to monitor law enforcement practices. In 2018, for example, the Federation Council Committee planned to monitor practices regarding military education and illegal economic activities [3]. The progress report over the same period fails to provide any details on the results [4].

Federal Law No. 196 ‘On Parliamentary Investigation’ entitles members of both houses of parliament to initiate and conduct investigations (up to one year) regarding matters that could have ‘harmful consequences for society and the state’ [1]. However, there have not been any parliamentary investigations in the last few years. The most recent attempt at an investigation took place in 2015. Members of the Communist Party proposed a parliamentary investigation into the work of the Ministry of Defence in 2010-2012 when it was led by Anatoly Serdyukov, who is notorious for grand corruption. The State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation, however, rejected the proposal [2]. There is no information indicating whether the parliamentary committees on defence have conducted any investigations in the last three years.

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because, although the progress reports demonstrate quite active work of both committees [1,2], there is no publicly available information indicating whether both committees a) regularly issue recommendations or b) demand follow-ups on recommendations from the ministries. In 2018, for example, the Federation Council Committee planned to monitor practices regarding military education and illegal economic activities [3]. The progress report over the same period fails to provide any details on the results [4]. As there is no publicly available information regarding any recommendations issued by the committees to the ministries, we cannot identify whether ministries incorporate the changes. Thus NA is chosen.

The Majlis al-Shura includes The Committee on Security Affairs, which is responsible for studying several sectors and issues, including the Ministry of the Interior, the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), national security, civil defence and military service. However, the committee has no formal oversight powers and is limited to proposing amendments and making suggestions (1). Agendas from the Committee on Security Affairs (CSA) meetings show that committee members give their opinions on annual military and defence reports, including the Ministry of Defence (2) and The Saudi Arabian National Guard (3), a branch of the country’s military. Occasionally, the CSA comments on issues central to the government’s defence policy. For instance, in 2018, the Deputy Chairman of the CSA ruled out the possibility of implementing compulsory conscription, stating that voluntary enlistment still satisfied the military’s manpower needs (4).

Additionally, in 2015, the Council of Political and Security Affairs (CPSA) was created by King Salman to replace the National Security Council, which was abolished by the king (5,6). The CPSA, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is described in the local and international press as a policy-making and decision-making body. According to press releases from the most recent meetings of the CPSA, the body discusses regional and international developments relating to political and security affairs and makes necessary recommendations (7). The exact mandate and formal rights of the committee are unclear; although, its tasks include monitoring the performance of relevant ministries and governments bodies (8).

A meeting agenda of the Majlis al-Shura referenced a “report by the Committee on Security Affairs regarding the annual report of the Head of General Intelligence for the fiscal year 1438/1439 AH [2017/2019]” (9). This suggests some level of scrutiny of the intelligence services, though in the absence of further details.

According to an expert on Gulf affairs Kristin Smith Diwan:
“As an advisory body, the Majlis al-Shura does not have any real powers of oversight and no ability to scrutinize what have clearly been defined as “sovereign” ministries dealing with national security, including the defence ministry and agencies, their budgets, policy planning and military recruitment. Shura members may raise some general issues of concern where the Saudi leadership would find it useful to allow a more public discussion, but to my knowledge, this has rarely if ever occurred in areas of foreign policy and national defence” (10).

A number of the members of the Majlis al-Shura’s Committee on Security Affairs come from military backgrounds. Meanwhile, several of the nine members of the CPSA (see above), all appointed by the king, come from foreign security and intelligence services, while others come from Islamic affairs, civil service, and academic backgrounds. (1), (2), (3), (4). The majority, of the members, are loyal to the king and his crown prince, they have limited influence on the policies and the defence sector. According to one source, their role is superficial (5).

According to our sources, Majlis al-Shura’s defence committee and the CPSA do not conduct any major reviews of defence policies. It is not in their mandate, and they never did that (1), (2). According to an expert on Gulf affairs, “Neither body exercises independent and effective scrutiny over Saudi defence policy. The Majlis al-Shura can conduct reviews, but the terms of reference are limited, and the Shura has no teeth to make its scrutiny help. The remit of the CPSA does not include defence reviews in the traditional Western sense, it directs and shapes policy, though the final decision-making rests in the hands of the crown prince and his close advisers” (3).

The committee does not have any oversight mechanism in place on security and defence issues (1). It is unclear how many times per year the defence committee of the Majlis al-Shura meets, however, its powers are limited to studying issues relating to security, rather than exercising any formal oversight over policy (2). This is the same case for the CPSA: though it is described as a decision-making body, there is no evidence of formal policy-making and oversight, and its functions thus far appear to centre on recommendations. Saudi press sources have stated that the CPSA has played a “decisive role” in the formulation of security and political strategies (3); however, the exact nature of this role is unclear.

The council and its members are loyal to the king and his son, and therefore, they can not investigate issues that may affect the royal family (1), (2). Although there have been many corruption scandals such as Al Yammama, the council never investigated any of them (2). There are no publicly available references to long term investigations independently commissioned by the abovementioned committees and bodies (3).

The government takes no recommendations or feedback from the committee. There are no reports available, according to our sources, that contain recommendations for the MoD (1), (2). The defence policy and security strategy have not been publicly debated in the last year, nor are they debated in general in Saudi Arabia. Defence policies and strategies are rarely communicated by the authorities to the public. The government does at times make announcements, or statements on new policies or decisions, however, these are not publicly debated. Open debate about government policies is, in general, censured by the government; defence and foreign policy issues, in particular, are considered “off-limits” topics.

The central government does make public references to the Ministry of Defence’s strategy; however, it makes statements after they have been approved, there is no indication that they are debated by relevant bodies such as the Committee on Security Affairs within the Consultative Council (3).

Whereas in the past, high-ranking princes may have had more independence in crafting and leading defence policies, since 2015, Mohammed bin Salman has increasingly consolidated and centralised government authority, including in the defence sector (he serves as the country’s minister of defence as well as head of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, a cabinet established in 2015 to replace the country’s National Security Council) (1). Other key institutions such as the Ministry of Interior and the Saudi Arabian National Guard have been handed to very young royals who owe their standing to Mohammed bin Salman, and are deferent to him (2). Defence strategies appear to be almost unilaterally decided by the crown prince and his father King Salman (4).

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has two committees engaged in the oversight over the defence issues, the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee (DIAC) and the Security Services Control Committee (SSCC). The DIAC exercises scrutiny over the defence sector, whereas the SSCC oversees one civilian and two military security services [1].
Committees have the power to review reports on the work of the MoD and security services (MIA, MSA and SIA) and to consider budget proposals and control its spending. Additionally, concerning their role in overseeing the defence sector and security services, MPs of the two committees have the right to access classified data, after passing through a security check and obtaining a certificate [2].
Besides that, DIAC powers are rather vaguely defined, when compared to the SSCC. The DIAC is entitled to review draft laws, defence policies and strategic documents, whereas the SSCC is authorized to oversee the legality of security services work and application of special procedures and measures for secret data collection, control the political, ideological and interest neutrality etc.

The proportion of MPs with relevant expertise in the security and defence sector is very small. Within the SSCC, three MPs have defence and security expertise, whereas in the DIAC more than half of the members have no experience in security and defence issues whatsoever [1, 2].

The Committees’ agenda reflects the daily activities of the entire Parliament and the executive, thus, the defence and security policies are reviewed on a general level, not on the initiative of the committees. Relevant commitees do not review major defence policies and decisions at all. For example, DIAC sittings have mostly come down to confirming international agreements and adopting draft laws. [1]

The committees convene regularly. Since the beginning of the current convocation in 2016, there have been 16 DIAC and 21 SSCC sessions. Both committees exercise most of their powers necessary for short-term control over the MoD and security services on paper. Hence, budget proposals, reports on the work of the MoD and services and draft laws are regularly discussed. SSCC has engaged in more thorough oversight procedures, such as control visits. However, most of the sittings are extremely short (a DIAC sitting averages 84 minutes). For instance, a session devoted to the adoption of five drafts laws, three international agreements and an annual plan of SAF participation in multinational operations lasted for 26 minutes. [1] Inactivity and the lack of engagement by opposition MPs are also noticeable.

In the previous two convocations, the National Assembly did not conduct any kind of long-term investigations and delegated these tasks to an external body [1, 2].
A group of MPs can suggest the creation of an inquiry committee or a commission to examine the state of affairs or facts concerning a specific topic or development. Currently, there is no inquiry committee or commission. There were three initiatives on forming an inquiry committee to investigate issues in the field of defence; however, they have been rejected multiple times [1, 2]. The two committees are not properly resourced to perform any kind of work outside the scope of their primary duties. Nevertheless, out of 24 security cleared MPs in total, 22 come from the ruling coalition [3].

There is no evidence that the influence of the DIAC or the SSCC is visible in the work of the MoD, MOI or BIA. The work of the DIAC and the SSCC allows for the dominance of the ruling party or political coalition. The committees almost exclusively support the proposals of the government for new laws, including the budget and laws that regulate security matters, without relevant proposals of amendments. The lack of amendments points to the absence of influence on the work of security institutions [1].

There is no formal committee for defence oversight in the Singapore Parliament, with typical functions of such a committee known to be taken up by other organisations such as the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) and Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) examining Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) expenditures, the Committee of Supply (COS) assessing proposed budgets and major procurement efforts, and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) overseeing complaints of any procurement-related offences in the past [1]. An ‘independent’ feedback mechanism for defence policy is present in the form of the Government Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs (GPC-DFA). However, its members are appointed by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), and therefore cannot be seen as impartial [2].

The current members of the GPC-DFA do not possess known defence policy or procurement experience, which brings into doubt their ability to weigh in on defence-related concerns raised by the public or other members of parliament [1, 2]. However, there is no evidence to demonstrate that it has the authority to review or influence major defence policies under its own initiative, nor does it appear to be obliged to do so. There is also no evidence that other organisations like the AGO and PAC maintain deep expertise in defence matters, although they have in the past found administrative lapses [3].

The GPC-DFA is superficially an independent body, and its members can file parliamentary questions querying the defence minister on defence policies, including conscription matters, expenditure, personnel, and foreign partnerships. It also makes regular visits to various MINDEF/SAF facilities for briefings and inspections on capabilities and operational activities [1, 2]. However, there is no evidence to demonstrate that it has the authority to review or influence major defence policies under its own initiative, nor does it appears to be obliged to do so. Meanwhile, it is not within the remit of the AGO and PAC to review policy [3, 4].

The GPC-DFA provides the ministry with feedback and suggestions, and is consulted by the ministry on issues of public interest [1,2]. It also regularly inspects various defence facilities and is briefed on the operational capabilities and activities of MINDEF/SAF, including measures to ensure the safety and well-being of service personnel [3, 4]. However, there is no evidence to indicate that the committee issues any amendments to budgets.

The GPC-DFA does not conduct long-term oversight on defence policies, including conscription matters, expenditure, personnel, and foreign partnerships [1]. As part of the government review process of the GDI, the Singapore government did not provide any relevant evidence indicating that long-term investigations are conducted or comissioned.

The GPC-DFA provides the ministry with feedback and suggestions, and is consulted by the ministry on issues of public interest [1]. GPC-DFA members file Parliamentary Questions querying the Minister on various aspects of defence policy, ranging from costs, personnel policies, foreign partnerships, national service, among others [2]. These issues, as raised by GPC-DFA members and other MPs, are then debated in Parliament. While there is evidence that the Ministry responds to queries and suggestions, there is no evidence to indicate that these are implemented in practice. The Singapore government did not provide any relevant evidence in this regard, as part of the GDI government review process.

Oversight committees concerned with defence and security include:

– The National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, which provides oversight of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans as well the Armaments Corporations of South Africa (ARMSCOR), the Castle Control Board, the Defence Force Service Commission and the Military Ombud [1].

– The National Council of Provinces’ Select Committee on Security and Justice, which provides oversight of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans among several other government departments [2].

– The Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), which comprises National Assembly and National Council of Provinces representatives, effectively overlapping or combining the Defence and Military Veterans Committee and the Security and Justice Committee [3].

All three defence committees serve to scrutinise the defence ministry and agencies, and other associated entities. They have the power to call in expert witnesses to testify on sensitive matters [3].

The Security and Justice Committee is empowered through the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to summon people, receive petitions, and to hold public hearings. The Defence and Military Veterans Committee is similarly empowered through the National Assembly.

The JSCD: functions “…included investigating and making recommendations on the South African National Defence Force budget, functioning, organization, armaments, policy, morale and state of preparedness” [4, 5].

All three committees are made up of parliamentary representatives, who are rarely in possession of direct military or defence sector experience; or even links to security and defence governance [1, 2]. The committees are, however, empowered to call upon experts to facilitate investigations. It is unclear to what extent the committees make use of this power presently.

A recent (late 2019) colloquium on civil-military relations in Parliament was attended by a large pool of defence and security experts. This illustrated the committee’s ability to leverage expertise where in-house experience might not exist.

The Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) has been subject to criticism relating to the slow pace at which it was formed (it was only formed in October 2014, despite parliamentary elections having been held in May 2014), and resulted in the much-delayed Defence Review [1].

It has also previously been criticised for failing to hold meetings to discuss defence matters on a timely basis, or to hold sufficiently detailed hearings – allegations which the committee has disputed [2]. The JSCD does, however, review major defence policies on a rolling basis, whenever they emerge. This is rare, however.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) functions as an upper house of Parliament, equivalent to a senate. As such, it represents the provincial governments, rather than directly representing the populace. It is worth noting that public criticism of the NCOP revolves around the composition of the Council, which side-lines the opposition, resulting in what amounts to an ANC-government rubber-stamp. Currently, the ruling ANC party holds 29 of 54 NCOP seats. The Security and Justice Committee comprises 20 seats, of which the ANC holds 14.

The JSCD has been criticised as being inconsistent in its operations. For example: “A meeting of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) set for today (Friday) where important reports were due to be tabled and discussed has been cancelled, raising questions about the exercise of Parliamentary oversight” [1].

The JSCD approved the National Conventional Arms Control Committee’s (NCACC) 2015 annual report after berating the NCACC for late delivery of the report [2] – seemingly despite concerns by at least one opposition Democratic Alliance representative on the committee who pointed out that, although the committee was “assured,” that the requisite guarantees and documents for conventional arms exports had been received by the NCACC, “they, however, had no documents with them to show and prove to us” [3].

The revamped committee on defence regularly sits to discuss a range of issues relating to defence. This includes deployment concerns, budgetary reviews, diplomatic visits and so on [4]. Although not constant, the committee does meet almost monthly. These inconsistencies suggest that the JSCD is unable to provide effective short-term oversight.

The (various) investigations into the ‘Arms Deal’, the 1998 Strategic Defence Procurement Package (SDPP) [1] serves as the most prominent evidence of parliamentary oversight committees’ ability to conduct long-term investigations – or to commission an external body to conduct an investigation – however operations appear to be excluded from the long-term scope of the NA and NCOP committees.

There is little to no evidence of specific JSCD recommendations being directly incorporated into practice by government ministries. Committee meetings appear to predominantly consist of affirming reports and posing questions, which are often merely for clarification.

Where more detailed questions have been asked, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has responded by calling for closed-door sessions, citing security sensitivity – with no evidence of any followup having been undertaken. Such incidents highlight a fundamental challenge of defence oversight but are also potentially indicative of the ‘reach’, and ability of the committee to influence institutional outcomes outside of formally mandated defence review proposals [1, 2].

In South Korea, three parliamentary committees exist to exercise oversight of the defence and security sector. The National Defence Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee at the National Assembly function to scrutinise budgets, personnel management and relevant policy in the sector and hold hearings. [1] [2] [3] [4] The National Defence Committee can also demand information on arms acquisition and military expenditures according to the Article 37 of the National Assembly Act. [1] Members of these committees can require up to 3 experts to assist in examining legislation or important matters which require expert knowledge, according to Article 43 of the National Assembly Act. [1]

The membership of each committee consists of lawmakers who are elected politicians. It is difficult to say that all of the members are equipped with expertise for each committee they join because some of them have shown a lack of expertise when it comes to military equipment during an annual parliamentary audit. In October 2018, one of the members at the National Defence Committee criticised the ineffectiveness of a hybrid rifle (K11) developed by the DAPA, pointing out its low accuracy. [1] A defence expert said that it is not a critical problem because the main function of the new hybrid defence equipment is a grenade, which means that the high level of accuracy is not necessary. [2] However, the members of the National Defence Committee are backed up by experts with special knowledge who can support the legislative activities, under Article 42 of the National Assembly Act. [3]

The three committees mentioned above carry out an annual parliamentary audit under the terms of the National Assembly Act and the Act on the Inspection and Investigation of State Administration. [1] [2] The annual audit is conducted to inspect overall state affairs by each committee for 30 days. [2] The National Defence Committee reviews defence policies, including long-term defence budgets and military service policy, and inspects relevant governmental agencies on an annual basis. [2]

Parliamentary committees are divided into standing committees and special committees. The standing committees include the National Defence Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. The three committees have the formal right to amend and cut the government budget planning and review expenditures in the defence and security sector on an annual basis. [1] [2] [3] [4] The “Budget Review Report” published by the National Defence Committee annually includes details on amendments and cuts to the defence budget, showing that the committee exercises formal rights in practice. [5] According to Article 84.2 of the National Assembly Act, when illegal or unjustifiable matters are identified on the settlement of accounts, the government must make corrections and report to the National Assembly without delay, but the specific time frames are not stated. [1]

The National Defence Committee conducts a parliamentary audit on the current activities of the Ministry of National Defence, military and relevant government bodies on an annual basis under the terms of the National Assembly Act and the Act on the Inspection and Investigation of State Administration. However, the duration of the annual audit is less than 30 days, [1] [2] which is not a long-term investigation. A subcommittee conducting an inspection or investigation into a specific issue can be organised if more than 2 members of a standing committee request it. [2] Instead, the committee can request that the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) conduct the audit, and the BAI should file a report on the outcome of its audit with the National Assembly. [1] As an example of the subcommittee’s activities, in October 2018, the committee organised a subcommittee to investigate military service exemption for certain groups of individuals whether there had been unfair treatment. [3]

Article 16 of the Act on the Inspection and Investigation of State Administration states that ministries should deal without delay with matters which are subject to corrective measures and report the results to the National Assembly. Since the ministries are not given the specific timeframe to incorporate recommendations into practice, there are delays in putting them into practice. [1] According to the 2019 Budget Plan Report uploaded on Bill Information, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) introduced a plan to hire 883 military personnel, as part of the 2017 budget planning, which required a significant budget. However, the National Defence Committee requested that the MND reconsider the new recruitment plan, and MND withdrew the initial plan. [2]

The Committee of Security, Defence, and Public Order exists and is tasked with overseeing defence matters. However, the fact that there is no Defence Act to outline the formal role of the committee makes it difficult to deduce its specific oversight obligations or duty in formulating defence policy. The SPLA Act 2009 mostly deals with administrative matters in the military and is not adequate to address Ministry of Defence (MOD) issues. [1] In instances where there is an act for security-related matters, such as the National Security Service Act 2014, there is clear role for the committee to exercise oversight. [2] For instance, the act obligates the Minister of Security to submit an “annual report to the National Legislature on matters related to the performance of the service.” The act also spells out a number of oversight mechanisms on national security, including a complaints board. Ostensibly, this can be interpreted to mean that if there was a Defence Act, the committee would have formal mechanisms to scrutinise defense policy.

Although the members of the Defence Committee identified by this assessor, such as Aleu Ayany, Maker Thiong, David Okwaro, Salva Mathok, Daniel Deng Monydit, and Samuel Duar, all have served as soldiers, their intellectual grasp of defence policy issues at the strategic level is limited or non-existent. They have no specific specialisations in issues such as procurement, doctrine formulation or defence policy formulation. The tabling of the National Security Policy in 2012 was supposed to be preceded by regular scrutiny of its implementation by the executive branch of government. But the Committee lacked the know-how to evaluate such complex policy documents. [1] Similarly, the SPLA White Paper on Defence, issued in 2008, has not been updated since. [2] This is another clear example that the Committee has not been doing its job effectively.

The SPLA White Paper on Defence was written in 2008 to, among other things, address the main security threat, namely the possibility of invasion by the Sudanese army and militia proxies on the northern border. [1] Notable on the path of how this document became official is the fact that it was approved by the Defence Council and the Council of Ministers, rather than the legislature. [1] Since then, South Sudan has gained independence and the threat landscape changed considerably due to close economic ties with Sudan that blunted the possibility of an invasion by the Sudanese army. In the meantime, militarised cattle-raiding and home-grown insurgencies constituted the new threats for independent South Sudan. Yet to date, over ten years later, the country has not crafted a new defence policy to take stock of the new security challenges. [2]

The Committee has minimal intuition to initiate oversight processes. However, it does summon ministers occassionally for scrutiny of defence matters. It is worth noting though that, in this role of oversight, the Committee is mostly reactionary, that is, it calls the executive to parliament when there are evolving security issues. Instances where this has happened involve insecurity in the capital Juba. [1] Consistency in a nuanced manner is erratic. [2]

The Committee’s members lack any specialisation in defence matters. Their understanding of issues such defence transformation, defence policymaking or even the intricacies of security sector reform as a whole is minimal or non-existent. These factors seem to explain the lack of long-term investigative efforts on the part of the Committee [1]. One member of the Committee, Aleu Ayany Aleu, is reported to be the sole person that displays any knowledge of defence matters. There are no reports in the media of the committee reviewing long-term critical issues such as the SPLA White Paper or the National Security Policy, both of which were written more than 10 years ago. In general, sources say the Committee is the least active in the legislation and has minimal evidence to show for long-term investigation of anything. [2]

The committee has, in the past, summoned the ministers of defence, national security and interior several times to parliament to explain the rise of insecurity in the country. [1] Public reporting of these summons testifies to this. [2] At the very least, the fact that these ministers keep being summoned over the same issue – insecurity – suggests that the institutional outcomes expected by the Committee to improve security are either not being heeded by said ministries or are being incorporated insufficiently. [3]

There is a Defence Committee that is one of the permanent legislative commissions. It can modify laws, intervene, request data, and it has the legislative capacity in defence issues to make modifications. It can claim the presence of members of the government [1] as stated in Article 110.1 of the Spanish Constitution [2], but it has no oversight of the defence budget, because oversight on defence budget is carried on into the Budget Committee [3, 4]. Although members of the Defence Committee can ask questions, ask for the Ministry of Defence or Secretary of State on Defence to explain concrete aspects of the budget.

Members of the Defence Committee [1] usually have no expertise in defence, with exception of some former military members that are MPs. There are assessors that have knowledge of the issues that advise MPs, which makes effective control of government defence policies possible. However, having former members of the military as parliamentarians who are also representatives of their party in the Defence Commission does not guarantee better knowledge of all the technical aspects of defence; and their experience, in the case of former high ranking military members, can compromise neutrality and objectivity of their vision [2].

The most recent national defence directives, a brief political statement from the presidency, date from 2012 and 2020 [1]. Regarding the 2017 National Security Strategy, a broad and detailed document that includes threats, risks and capabilities on defence and security, there is no record of debate in the Defence Commission between 2015 and 2019 [2, 3]. In both cases, the Defence Commission is informed but cannot modify the content [3]. The Defence Committee does not participate in the creation and conceptualisation of the National Strategy on Security [3].

The Defence Committee can review the defence budget, but its capacity to do so is limited because it can only deal with the budget of the Ministry of Defence, which does not comprise all the military’s expenditures. On other hand, there has been limited use of the Defence Committee during legislative terms from 2015 [1], due to political instability and the constant repetition of elections. There are occasional debates and updates from the Defence Commission about the defence budget when requested by parliamentarian groups (but only five out of 31 sessions during the 2016-19 term had agenda appearances on explanation regarding the defence budget) [2]. The Defence Commission, with broad powers in monitoring and controlling defence policy, has held meetings less than monthly in the period 2015-2019 [2]. The result of its control actions has rarely led to changes in government action as suggested by Interviewee 1b [1].

The Defence Commission has the power to ask for long-term investigations, however, it does not routinely carry them out. An example of one long-term investigation involves the YAK42 accident [1, 2], but it is rare [2, 3] even though there have sometimes been explicit demands from one of its members [4]. For example, the request for an investigation to the JIMMDU regarding the appearance of Spanish artillery in Yemen received no response [1, 5].

There exists a regular control of the Ministry of Defence performed by the Defence Comission, but recommendations and proposals are rarely accepted or incorporated by government, and sometimes are ignored [1] [2]. The Minister of Defence Pedro Morenés was repeatedly asked during his appearance before the committee about the issue of contracts with the military companies Instalaza and Expal; there was no success in getting a response [3]. It is worth noting that recommendations produced by the Defence Comittee are rare, nevertheless there is a mixed committee on national security where there is a permanent analysis of national security aspects and new challenges to security for the country that have indirect influence on the Ministry of Defence [4].

No evidence could be found that a specialised oversight mechanism exists for Sudan’s defence sector. While the previous regime headed by Omar Bashir had formally created some anti-corruption, audit and similar oversight mechanisms for other government entities, these were not aimed at cleaning up corruption in the defence sector and, in any case, they were usually not well funded and only applied regulations or actions fairly rarely. Instead, the oversight functions outlined by the transitional government’s Draft Constitutional Framework are general, as described below. In addition, the transitional constitution approved in August 2019 does not make mention of a requirement for a defence committee or similar institution to be established from the membership or personnel of the legislative authority (when one is finally appointed and, later, elected) [1]. An interview with an expert on Sudan’s security sector, who frequently writes articles on the topic, confirmed that there is no defence committee or similar institution tasked with conducting oversight and scrutiny of the defence sector – nor does any government entity have visibility into the activities of all elements in the defence sector [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as Sudan does not currently have a legislative defence and/or security committee or similar oversight committee specifically for the defence and security sector [1], since the transitional government has yet to appoint a transitional legislative council and, in any case, the military members of the Sovereignty Council have formally taken charge of both selecting the Ministers of Defence and Interior and – eventually, although many are reasonably sceptical – reforming the security sector. In March 2020, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Security Sector Program trained participants from the Ministries of Justice, Defence, Interior, Labour and Social Welfare, the Attorney General Office, Police Force, General Intelligence Servce, National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Rehabilitation (DDR) Commission and Ministry of Foreign Affairs on topics that will help them to develop a security and justice sector policy framework; while the training focussed partially on governance of the sector, it does not appear to have specifically addressed corruption or transparency [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, given that no committee yet exists to review defence policies and decisions. An expert on Sudan’s defence sector, who regularly publishes articles on the topic, said in a phone interview that he anticipates that the military members of the Sovereignty Council will resist anything but the most superficial of oversight committees and that the Forces of Freedon and Change (FFC) will continue to have little power – even through its legislative appointments – to affect the security sector. He pointed out that during the transitional period, any civilian participants in Sudan’s transitional government who attempt to exert authority over others – especially military members – will be seen to be attacking not only an individual or military unit, but also the entire fragile partnership between civilians and military that came together in the transitional constitutional framework agreement [1]. Following the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020, the Sovereignty Council and Council of Ministers amended the transitional Constitution document to incorporate the agreement into the Constitution and establish the Council of Partners for the Transitional Period, thereby formalising the incorporation of further armed (formerly rebel) forces representatives into an executive body that is not subject to oversight by a legislative body [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, given that no committee yet exists to review defence policies and decisions. An expert on Sudan’s defence sector, who regularly publishes articles on the topic, said in a phone interview that he anticipates that the military members of the Sovereignty Council will resist anything but the most superficial of oversight committees and that the Forces of Freedon and Change (FFC) will continue to have little power – even through its legislative appointments – to affect the security sector. He pointed out that during the transitional period, any civilian participants in Sudan’s transitional government who attempt to exert authority over others – especially military members – will be seen to be attacking not only an individual or military unit, but also the entire fragile partnership between civilians and military that came together in the transitional constitutional framework agreement [1]. Following the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020, the Sovereignty Council and Council of Ministers amended the transitional Constitution document to incorporate the agreement into the Constitution and establish the Council of Partners for the Transitional Period, thereby formalising the incorporation of further armed (formerly rebel) forces representatives into an executive body that is not subject to oversight by a legislative body [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as no committee yet exists to provide oversight. An expert on Sudan’s defence sector, who regularly publishes articles on the topic, said in a phone interview that he anticipates that the military members of the Sovereignty Council will resist anything but the most superficial of oversight committees and that the Forces of Freedon and Change (FFC) will continue to have little power – even through its legislative appointments – to affect the security sector. He pointed out that during the transitional period, any civilian participants in Sudan’s transitional government who attempt to exert authority over others – especially military members – will be seen to be attacking not only an individual or military unit, but also the entire fragile partnership between civilians and military that came together in the transitional constitutional framework agreement [1]. Following the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020, the Sovereignty Council and Council of Ministers amended the transitional Constitution document to incorporate the agreement into the Constitution and establish the Council of Partners for the Transitional Period, thereby formalising the incorporation of further armed (formerly rebel) forces representatives into an executive body that is not subject to oversight by a legislative body [2].

This indicator is marked Not Applicable, as no committee yet exists to review defence policies and decisions and to make recommendations to executive offices and officials. An expert on Sudan’s defence sector, who regularly publishes articles on the topic, said in a phone interview that he anticipates that the military members of the Sovereignty Council will resist anything but the most superficial of oversight committees and that the Forces of Freedon and Change (FFC) will continue to have little power – even through its legislative appointments – to affect the security sector. He pointed out that during the transitional period, any civilian participants in Sudan’s transitional government who attempt to exert authority over others – especially military members – will be seen to be attacking not only an individual or military unit, but also the entire fragile partnership between civilians and military that came together in the transitional constitutional framework agreement [1]. Following the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020, the Sovereignty Council and Council of Ministers amended the transitional Constitution document to incorporate the agreement into the Constitution and establish the Council of Partners for the Transitional Period, thereby formalising the incorporation of further armed (formerly rebel) forces representatives into an executive body that is not subject to oversight by a legislative body [2].

The two authorities with extensive oversight capabilities over the defence sector are the Defence Committee [1] and the Foreign Policy Committee [2]. The committees meet regularly and submit annual reports on their activities (see also Q1) [3]. The Defence Committee has the power to scrutinise any aspect of performance of the defence ministry or agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, and arms acquisition, can also demand information on these areas, and may also call witnesses to appear in front of it.

All political parties are represented in the Defence Committee [1]. It consists of members of parliament who are all equally mandated to influence the committee’s decisions. As shown in the list of biographies on the Defence Committee webiste, most but not all of the MPs in the committe have expertise and/or professional experience in the defence sector [2].

The committee reviews major defence policies and decisions such as the Defence Resolution [1], which is presented every 5 years (as outlined in Q1).

The committee normally meets around 3-5 times per month [1]. It issues budget amendments and recommendations, and prepares parliamentary motions. It also requires ministries to consider, and respond to, recommendations within specific time frames [2].

The Defence Committee conducts long-term investigations on current activities and follows up on all decisions and bills adopted in parliament, including the Defence Resolutions which, as mentioned (Q1), should be based on a 10-15 year plan [1]. However, it does not investigate or review specific military operations abroad, as these are typically performed by the Armed Forces themselves [2].

Ministries and agencies regularly incorporate the Committee’s recommendations into practice, and implementation and performance is reviewed regularly by bodies like the Swedish National Audit Office [1] and the Parliamentary Ombudsmen [2].

Both chambers of the Federal Assembly have security committees, the Security Policy Committees (SPCs). There are 13 members on the Council of States and 25 members on the Commission of the National Assembly. They have extensive right to scrutinize questions related to defence. They cover the “Army (incl. military buildings), Internal security (incl. border security and security network), Fight against terrorism, police coordination and police services, Civil protection, Civilian service, Security and peace policy, Military and civil peace support in security policy, Armament policy, armaments companies, Arms, Disarmament and non-proliferation, Arms exports and dual-use goods, National economic supply, Strategic leadership training, federal crisis management, Cyber security and cyber defence, and Reporting on NATO delegation’s activities” [1]. The SPC has the formal power to submit parliamentary initiatives, parliamentary procedural requests and proposals and compile reports, consult external experts, consult representatives of the cantons and interest groups, and to conduct inspections” [2]. There is also a sub-committee of the Finance Committee (FC) of the Federal Assembly, which oversees the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) in financial matters. It has the same powers as the SPC [3]. In addition, the Control Committees (CC) of the Federal Assembly exist to scrutinise the conduct of the Federal Council and Administration by conducting investigations and reviewing annual reports (in particular of the Federal Council and the federal courts) [4]. There are exceptions where the CC “may override professional and military secrecy” [5]. Within the CCs, an evaluation service known as the Parliamentary Control of the Administration (PCA) is responsible for scrutinising the actions of the federal authorities and – where commissioned – of the federal government [6].

The Swiss Milizsystem (“milita system” i.e. parliamentarians are not full-time politicians but have a day-jobs) is probably the reason that most members of the commission do not have experience in the defence sector. However, as Switzerland has a conscription armed forces, many of the male (and a few of the female) members of the committee have military experience. 19 out of 38 members of the Security Policy Committees (SPCs) of both chambers indicate a military rank in their biography [1]. Currently, only one member seems to have experience as a professional military member [2]. Within the Control Committees (CC) of the Federal Assembly, the Parliamentary Control of the Administration has the power to commission experts to input into reviews and investigations, which may include experts from the defence sector [3, 4]. The law on remuneration and decompensations of parliamentarians (Parlamentsresourcengesetz or “Law on Resources for the Parliament”) provides members of parliament with a specific budget to cover preparation time (26,000 Swiss Francs) as well as a personal staff (33,000 Swiss Francs) and for commissions to consult experts [5]. The conscription system assures that the members of the committee, especially the men, are likely to have military experience. They often have higher ranks, as this is considered to be helpful for political and professional careers.

Although the committee has in principle the authority to review security policies and does so on a case by case basis [1], there is no systematic regular review [2]. The Federal Council reports to the committee for the purpose of political control (Article 149b MG) [3]. There is no set time frame and the reports are provided in irregular intervals. The last report dates back to 2016 [4].

The SPC meets once a month except for one month during a summer break [1]. Article 45.1 of the Parliament Act invests the commission with the power to “submit parliamentary initiatives, parliamentary procedural requests and proposals and compile reports”. The same act gives specific time frames for the government to reply to different parliamentarian instruments like motions (Article 121.1), postulates (Article 124.1), or interpellations and questions (Article 125.2). The Federal Council is compelled to answer by the “next ordinary session following its submission” [2]. The SPC regularly discusses, informs and makes suggestions for amendments for proposed laws and budgets [3, 4].

The Parliament Act does not invest the Security Policy Committee (SPC) with the power to conduct long-term investigations on current activities and operations. The committee could suggest such an investigation as a proposal to the Parliament using its power to make such proposals (Article 45.1.a Parliament Act) [1]. In addition, the SPC is supported by the Financial Committees (FC) and Control Committees (CC) of the Federal Assembly, which can review the conduct of the Federal Council and Administration by conducting investigations and reviewing annual reports [2, 3]. The mandate of these committees states that they “may override professional and military secrecy” [4]. The Parliamentary Control of the Administration (PCA) also exists within the CCs to scrutinise the actions of federal bodies [5]. Although these review functions lie outside of the SPC, there is evidence to suggest that the SPC could make recommendations for reviews and investigations where necessary.

There is not enough evidence to score this indicator. The Security Policy Committee (SPC) has the power to submit reports, make proposals and suggest investigations (Article 45.1 Parliament Act) [1]. Its input can also take the form of binding proposals, postulates or interpellations and questions to be approved by the Federal Assembly. However, there is no clear evidence/ data available to indicate whether these submissions have been incorporated by ministries in practice.

The oversight functions are split between LY and CY committees.
LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee is equipped with the powers of budget review and bill revision, scrutiny of personnel, policy, arm procurement, administration. It has the formal rights to demand information from the defense ministry. In addition, the committee can invite expert witness to appear in front of it, but not in the format of testifying. [1, 2, 3].

CY’s Committee on National Defense and Intelligence Affairs has the parliamentary powers of investigation, impeachment, censure, and corrective measures. [4]. It releases the results of investigation in public.[5].

Each legislator in LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee is staffed with between 8 and 14 legislative assistants who help with general administration, legislation, budgeting, and the electoral constituency service. Thanks to their expertise and specialist knowledge, legislative assistants for legislation and budgeting play an essential role in enabling legislators to exercise their parliamentary powers. In addition, LY is equipped with two powerful institutions concerned with parliamentary powers of legislation and budgeting: the Legislative Research Bureau and the Budget Centre. Both of these institutions supply legislators with knowledge and experience, and their long-term perspective allows for deeper insights [1]. No specific expertise or prerequisites are required for legislators to join a specific committee.

CY’s Committee on National Defence and Intelligence Affairs is equipped with the parliamentary powers of investigation, impeachment, censure, and corrective measures. Currently, there are 10 members in this committee and each committee member is staffed with only one assistant. However, the committee members and their assistants can acquire additional support from within CY’s Department of Supervisory Investigation. These investigation personnel will be assigned (according to their specialities and posts) to assist CY members in investigating cases [2]. No specific expertise or prerequisites are required for CY’s members to join a specific committee.

In addition to the MND’s annual budget proposals, the National Defence Act requires the MND to publish three major documents annually for the LY for review: the Report on Mainland China’s Military Forces, the Five-year Force Buildup Plan of the ROC Armed Forces, and the Ministerial Administration Plan [1]. These documents represent the major channels through which LY’s Foreign and National Defence Committee receives and reviews Taiwan’s defence policy and military strategy, which are designed and proposed solely by the MND every year [1]. Some experts have made observations on the MND’s lack of proficiency with regards to certain dimensions of policymaking and LY’s lack of responsive oversights over MND’s policymaking, e.g. resource allocations, reflect particular arguments and concerns over Taiwan’s defence policymaking [2].

During the legislative session, legislators of the Foreign and National Defence Committee gather on a regular basis to exercise their legislative powers to provide short-term oversight for the MDN. The executive branches are expected to respond, reply, or supply information to the legislators as required [2, 3]. However, legislators do not have powers of parliamentary hearing (聽證調查權) or probe and investigation (調閱權) and so cannot exercise their legislative powers effectively [4, 5].

Under the condition that LY is not equipped with the powers of parliamentary hearing (聽證調查權) and probe and investigation (調閱權), long-term oversight tends to erode away over time [1, 2, 3, 4]. Long-term investigations are mainly managed by the CY, of which a recent example is the interactions between Taiwan’s defence policy, reserve force, and the mandatory military service [5].

The MND is expected to incorporate legislative recommendations into its executive practices [1].
According to the Article 52 of the “Budget Act”, each and every unit shall, with reference to related laws and regulations, implement the additional resolutions attached to the budget proposal adopted by the Legislative Yuan. The MND is usually asked to report or get the agreement from the LY before using the budgets in the Resolutions. Besides, the MND might also be asked to review specific work or adjust the implementation of plans. The result of resolutions are recorded in the Budget Document and published in public. [5]
The Foreign and National Defense Committee (FNDC) reviews the MND Budget Document and propose Resolutions and Additional Resolutions every year. The MND incorporates Resolutions and Additional Resolutions into practice and reports to the Committee. The information is listed in the next year’s Budget Document. For example, the Resolutions and Additional Resolutions of 2020 are listed in the Budget Document of 2021. The statistics is as follows. [6, 7]

Incorporation Statistics of FNDC Recommendations, 2016-2020
2020 – MND 33 / subsidiary 171 resolutions incorporated,
2019 – 43 / 291 respectively
2018 – 32 / 360
2017 – 28 / 283
2016 – 3 / 99

However, given that LY is not equipped with the powers of parliamentary hearing (聽證調查權) and probe and investigation (調閱權), and so cannot implement its legislative powers effectively, there exists a grey area which provides space for the MND to avoid legislative oversight [2, 3, 4].

Under the Standing Orders 2020, the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Security was established. It oversees the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, the Ministry of Defence and National Service, and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Designated a ‘sector committee’, it has responsibility to “deal with the budget of ministries it is overseeing; to deal with bills and any contracts that need to be approved by parliament under the ministries it oversees; to deal with implementation reports of those ministries, and to follow up on implementation by those ministries.” [1] Its powers are not well articulated. In terms of budget oversight, it receives highly aggregrated budgets which make effective scrutiny impossible.Standing committees can have public consultations, and can call people to appear before them, but they do not have powers to do so explicitly stated in Standing Orders.

There is not enough information to score this indicator. Section 135(5)d of Standing Orders states that the Speaker should “bear in mind” the background and experience of Members of Parliament when assigning them to committees. [1] Currently, the Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Security is a politician of long standing. Details of members of the committee, including names and CVs, are not currently available on the website, so it is impossible to state if a majority have relevant experience, but it is unlikely.

A review of annual reports by the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Security reveals that recommendations by the committee since 2016 to prepare a new National Defence Policy have been ignored. Major defence decisions, such as the bulid up of troops on the Mozambique border since 2018, have not been discussed by the committee. [1] [2] [3]

The committee has one chance to influence the budget, in the committee meetings that precede the parliamentary session that considers the annual budget proposal. [1] The budget detail given is very limited, and according to reports, there is no significant response from the relevant ministries. [2] [3] [4]

There is no evidence in the committee’s records of any long term investigations being undertaken by the relevant committee. [1]

The committee makes recommendations, but on the evidence of its own reports, does not follow up on their implementation. [1]

In Thailand, the defence committee specifically or permanently tasked with conducting oversight and scrutiny of the defence sector exists with limited power. According to Section 140 of the 2017 Constitution of Thailand, any organic law bill must be considered and scrutinised by the House of Representatives and the Senate; this includes defence policies [1]. Subsequently, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007) and the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives B.E. 2551 (2008), the standing committees, appointed by the Houses every single term for the purposes of considering laws or performing any activities within the scope of the powers and duties of the Houses, also include the Committee on National Security and the Committee on Armed Forces [2]. Even though there was no formal parliamentary oversight between 2015 and the first half of 2019 due to the military’s seizure of power through the coup d’état of 2014, the institutional mechanism was restored after the general election in 2019. For example, in October 2019, defence spending was a key issue raised by Thailand’s Lower House of Parliament. The government had to defend the growing defence budget and a recent purchase spree of armaments [3]. In the same year, it appeared that the Committee on National Security once invited Army Chief Gen Apirat Kongsompng to an exchange of opinions on security, but he declined to attend the meeting [4]. In March 2020, a tank deal in the country’s legislature was scrutinised by the ad hoc parliamentary committee, demonstrating the challenge that the current government has faced in terms of increasing oversight of defence-related matters, including its military modernisation plans. However, the committee did not have powers to demand further investigations [5]. According to Interviewee 1, parliamentarians do not have effective monitoring abilities as defence and security institutions in Thailand stubbornly oppose external interference [6].

According to the provisions of the 2017 Constitution of Thailand and the 2018 Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives, the members of the Committee on National Security and the Committee on Armed Forces, appointed by the Houses for the purposes of considering defence policies, must have knowledge, expertise and experience. Committee members must therefore be recruited from the list of persons nominated by professional organisations from the list selected by the Election Commission [1,2]. However, during the NCPO’s regime, the list was mostly hand-picked by junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha, so the level of expertise of the committee is questionable [3]. According to Interviewee 1, despite the existence of parliamentary committees, in reality, the committee members lack either the expertise, willingness or cooperation from defence officials to effectively monitor and obtain information about defence corruption [4].

Traditionally, Thailand’s constitution states that the Thai parliament has the power and duty to conduct state affairs and scrutinise the defence budget bill by setting up a subcommittee consisting of selected MPs, as well as experts and academics, to oversee and audit the budgeting process within the Ministry of Defence [1]. However, between 2015 and the first half of 2019, this institutional mechanism was not actually employed by the NCPO. Despite the legally required existence of parliamentary committees appointed to scrutinise the defence sector, such as the Committee on National Security and the Committee on Armed Forces, the NCPO appointed a separate advisory committee to formulate new laws and measures on national security, showing its attempt to dismiss the existing formal powers [2]. After the general election was held in 2019, the members of the Committee on National Security and Committee on Armed Forces were newly appointed. Nonetheless, the committees failed to discuss defence policies or review some unaccountable military procurement budgets due to the lack of cooperation from the Commander-in-Chief and the generals [3,4]. In June 2020, an ad hoc committee for reconsidering military hardware procurement projects due to the Covid-19 crisis was appointed despite the existence of the aforementioned committees. However, the ad hoc committee members claimed that they had not received requested data from the MoD for the parliamentary review [5].

During the NCPO’s regime, no parliamentary committee conducting oversight of defence policy existed in practice, but after the general election in 2019, the parliamentary panel returned with limited power. One of the very first challenges faced by the Committee on Armed Forces was to review some unclear military procurement budgets. However, the generals refused to clarify the budgets, claiming that these were confidential, national security-related matters [1]. Furthermore, due to the Covid-19 crisis, an urgent reconsideration of defence policy was initiated, but it ended with the ad hoc committee members walking out in protest against a lack of details in the government’s plan to reallocate 88 billion baht to a central fund to fight Covid-19 and rehabilitate the economy. A committee member also claimed that the Ministry of Defence had hampered the panel’s work by retracting a ‘classified’ document shortly after submission. Another committee member said that the Ministry of Defence was somehow ‘untouchable’ and the committee had not received informational support either from the government or the ministry itself [2].

Even though the Committee on National Security and Committee on Armed Forces were newly appointed after the general election in 2019, no long-term investigations were conducted or commissioned effectively due to the lack of cooperation from the military and its limited monitoring abilities [1,2,3]. There have been only short-term investigations into specific issues, such as a tank deal in the country’s legislature, which was scrutinised by the ad hoc parliamentary committee, and another reconsideration of military hardware procurement projects due to the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 [4,5].

The Committee on National Security and the Committee on Armed Forces have demonstrated their attempts to investigate and examine the defence budget, but their recommendations have usually failed to make changes. In November 2019, a 64-member panel committee was appointed to examine the spending plan. However, the combination of the pro-junta government coalition and the non-elected Senate unsurprisingly succeeded in approving the bill by majority vote, which means that no modifications were made according to the committee recommendations [1].

In June 2020, opposition lawmakers, who were the members of the ad hoc committee on defence sector budget, walked out of a parliament meeting in protest against a lack of details in the government’s plan to reallocate 88 billion baht to a central fund to fight Covid-19 and rehabilitate the economy. At first, the ministry decided to slash its own budget by almost 18 billion baht and return it to the central fund, but the document was classified and retracted before it could be examined, followed by a refusal to follow the committee recommendations [2].

There are two defence committees within the Assembly of People’s Representatives : i) A permanent committte named ” Organisation of the the administration and security forces affairs”. This committee is specialised in scrutinising bills related to the armed forces (1) and ii) a special committee named “Security and defence committee”. According to article 93 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Representatives Assembly, this committee monitors all files and issues related to security and defence. It also monitors the Government’s implementation of strategies in the fields of security and defence, and holds meetings for dialogue and accountability with the intervening parties in these two fields. The general wording of section 89 allows this committee to intervene in all aspects of the defence ministry (2). Parliament’s committees shall have the right to access all files, as well as to obtain all the documents required by them, and all departments, institutions and public institutions shall provide the necessary means for them to facilitate their performance (3). Within the scope of the deepening of the consideration of the subjects before it, the Committees may avail themselves of any person they deem fit (including exeperts), either by requesting written reports at specific points or by inviting them to attend hearings at the Assembly’s headquarters (4). According to our sources, there are formal rights given to the Parliament and the anti-corruption commission (INLUCC) which can question and scrutinise the performance of the defence and security agency (5).

According to our sources, most of all of the members of the Defence and Security committees have little expertise in the defence sector(1). Its members’ lack the knowledge necessary to understand technical military affairs as they are from different backgrounds such as academia, the civil service or engineering(2). This committee is made up of 22 members. Their assignment to this committee did not relate to specific professional experience in the area of security sector oversight (3).

The Ministry of National Defence organises a two-week training course for members of the Defence and Security Committee and the Committee for Organsing Administration and Affairs of Armed Forces at the Institute of National Defence (4).

The two defence committees appear to fail to review major defence policies and decisions. The review of the activity report of the committee (1) and of the minutes of the meetings held by the committee (2) show that it does not review the major defence policies and decisions. According to our resources, these committees do not have the necessary expertise and sufficient data to discuss and review major defence policies and decisions(3).

The activity of the Security and Defence committee has mostly been about questioning the Ministers of the Interior and Defence along with retired officers and conducting field visits. The review of the minutes of the meetings of the special committee for security and defence shows that the Security and Defence Committee held a session on Monday, February 12, 2018, to discuss the security situation in the country, the Ministry’s strategy and the readiness of the military establishment to achieve public security and the subject of national service (1). In a session held on Monday, February 5, 2018, the Committee discussed the necessity of asking the ministries for reports about their general policies and the status of budget execution (procurement of equipments and arms, training programs, recuitment) (2). Most of the hearings were in reaction to an emergency or a major event that generated discussion in the media and among citizens, such as terrorist attacks (3)The analysis of the activity report 2016-2017 of the committee shows that the committee issues general recommandations about its relation with the armed forces and the Assembly (4). The defence and security committee meetings are held on a regular basis (16 meetings in 2018).

According to our sources, there are no long term investigations with a focus on the defence and security sector. The reason behind that is the current situation, lack of data on the defence sector and the lack of expertise of the committees (1,2). The review of the available sources (committee reports, press articles, reports, etc.) shows no evidence of the existence of such long term investigations (3).

This indicator has been marked Not Applicable as there are no recommendations from the committee, and therefore, there is no possible way to take them into consideration(1,2). The review of the available sources (committee reports, press articles, etc.) shows no evidence of incorporation of recommendations into practice.

There are two committees in parliament that are tasked with legislative oversight/monitoring in the fields of defence/security. These committees have formal duties during both defence/security budget planning and preliminary discussions of laws/bills and amendments related to defence/security. These duties mainly relate to personnel management, amendments to defence/security-related laws, policy making and processing the information delivered by the general assembly of parliament. Please note that these committees have nothing to do with presidential decrees and the executive instruments that are now shaping the defence/security sector.

The first committee is the National Defence Committee (15 members from the ruling AKP/MHP coalition, 11 from the opposition): as stated on its webpage, the committee operates as a preliminary legislative body, in which bills and amendments related to defence/security and foreign policy are discussed just before they are delivered to the general assembly [1,2]. The other defence/security-related committee is the Security and Intelligence Committee (10 members from the AKP/MHP coalition, 7 from the opposition), which is in charge of the National Police, the Gendarmerie command, cyber security, the National Intelligence Directorate and financial security issues [3,4].

In fact, if the general assembly initiates a parliamentary inquiry and investigation, these two committees play a very crucial role as the oversight mechanisms for investigations into allegations of corruption. In an institutional sense, the committees have powers to conduct very influential investigations but in practice, they seem to be rather dysfunctional and under the full control of the ruling AKP [5].

Put simply, these committees have some limited power to conduct their own audit of some aspects of the performance of the Ministry of Defence or defence agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, arms acquisition and demand information, but not of presidential decrees. Moreover, they cannot require expert witnesses to appear before them. The committees could be defined as mere legislative instruments, which examine the bills/amendments just before they are delivered to the general assembly and investigative bodies if and when the general assembly ask them to run a parliamentary inquiry or investigation in the fields of defence, security or intelligence.

The National Defence Committee is chaired by AKP Member and former Minister of Defence Ismet Yilmaz [1]. The committee has two members with a military background and two other members with a civilian background in defence/security. The remaining 21 members (84%) have no background/expertise in defence/security.

The Security and Intelligence Committee is led by AKP Member and former Director of National Police Selami Altinok [2]. There are only two ex-governors. The remaining 14 members (82%), mostly lawyers, have no background in law enforcement, intelligence, cyber security or financial security.

Since summer 2018, which marked the beginning of President Erdogan’s super presidency, both the National Defence Committee and the Security and Intelligence Committee have seemed to be dysfunctional legislative bodies, operating merely as platforms where the ruling coalition and opposition MPs come together only for preliminary discussions of laws/billls and amendments, without any auditing or oversight role at all. Please note that, in two years, not a single high-profile report has been found via open-source research on mainstream national media outlets that demonstrates the monitoring/oversight role assumed by these two committees. The committees document their activity (or lack of activity) on their websites [1,2]. However, the only committee activities available on online sources are reports of PR-related matters, such as reports on the visits of committee members [3] or reports informing the public about the initiation of legislation processes for bills, such as the bill for paid exemption or the bill for the amendment of the draft system. Please note that the start of discussions about bills in the committees is the sign that the legislation process has begun.

Please also note that, among 23 National Defence Committee members and 17 Security and Intelligence Committee members (40 members in total), only 4 opposition MPs (10%) are known by the public thanks to their media appearances. 36 members are totally unknown to the public.

Interviewee 1 emphasised that Turkey does not have a national defence strategy that is regularly reviewed by the defence committees and that they have not reviewed a defence strategy document in the past two years [4].

Since summer 2018, the National Defence Committee has only had three official meetings, while the Security and Intelligence Committee has only had one meeting [1]. This extremely low numbers of meetings despite heavy agenda in the field of defence/security in the past two years demonstrates how slow and ineffective these committees are as legislative bodies. Since summer 2018, not a single investigation has been conducted by either of these two committees [2], despite the fact that there have been many reports of alleged corruption cases, particularly relating to Turkey’s procurement of defence systems abroad, such as the S-400 deal with Russia, exports, such as Turkey’s sale of BMC MRAP vehicles to Qatar, and the government’s mismanagement of the defence/security sector, such as the sale of a national tank factory located in Arifiye/Kocaeli to Qatar-funded firm BMC, owned by Ethem Sancak (a very close friend of President Erdogan and a member of the AKP’s executive committee), to produce Altay main battle tanks [3].

Please note that through the oversight mechanisms of parliamentary investigation and parliamentary inquiry, the general assembly has full authority to conduct audits on the defence/security sector and the presidential cabinet’s handling thereof. Please also note that MPs have full authority to deliver written inquiries/questions to ministers, who then deliver answers. However, except for ministries’ answers to some written inquiries from MPs, we have not seen even a single case of parliamentary inquiry or parliamentary investigation into allegations of corruption in the fields of defence/security, either disseminated on media outlets or spoken among defence/security circles, for two years.

Interviewee 1 notes that ‘most members of the National Defence Committee are in just for the sake of belonging to a committee. Most of the law proposals and bills are about employee personnel rights and compensatory payments to personnel. The parliamentary committee does not properly fulfill its functions; it does not draft reports about defence agreements signed by the government with other countries’ [1].

This indicator is marked ‘Not Applicable’, given that the committe does not issue any recommendations. The only institutional oversight mechanism that the committees have over the Ministry of Defence and other exectuive bodies in the defence/security sector is the parliamentary investigation. The General Assembly has the authority to appoint commissions to conduct a parliamentary investigation into any ministry, including the Ministry of Defence. Yet, we have not seen a single case of parliamentary investigation, despite the fact that the opposition has reported allegations of asset disposal, such as the sale of the Arifiye Tank Factory to BMC [1], and defence procurement, such as the S-400 procurement from Russia.

The committee on defence and internal affairs considers policies and budgets of the defence sector. It also has the power to scrutinise any aspect of performance of defence ministry or agencies, e.g., budgets, personnel management, policy planning, and ocassionally demands information on these areas. The committee is in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it[1]. But when it comes to certain areas like classified expenditure, and arms acquisition, the committee has very limited power in overseeing these activities[2].

The current composition of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs has a serving army officer at the rank of Brigadier General, Felix Kulaigye and three former army officers, Fred Mwesigye, Oseku Richard, Kahonda Mugabe [1]. The other members have been serving on that committee for over six years. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs is dominated by members of the ruling party, most of whom have very little knowlegde and experience on defence issues and chaired by someone who does not have prior background in security cycles.

The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs rarely disagrees with decisions of the sector and makes a few adjustments in the proposed budget allocations except that the public does not get informed about its decisions on classified expenditures, which could be an avenue to corrupt committee chairpersons and also MPs who have connections in the sector. The defence sector officials could bribe MPs to approve their decisions, policies including budgets with little or no scrutiny [1]. The committee reviews the ministerial policy statements while considering the annual budget proposals and activities for the sector. Otherwise, the committee has hardly reviewed the defence policies or decisions except for the justification for recruiting 24,000 Local Defence Units (LDU) personnel in 2018 and yet there were about 12 million crime preventors supposed to be absorbed into the army reserve force [2]. Then in 2017, the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs recommended that the Parliament should approve the establishment of an East African Standby Force intended to enhance peace and security in the region. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs also recommended that Parliament should approve the motion urging Uganda to ratify the East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs [3]. Uganda adopted a two-way ratification process where all treaties shall be ratified by the cabinet and parliament by resolution. However, Parliament only ratifies treaties that relate to armistice, neutrality or peace or a treaty that the attorney general has certified that its implementation in Uganda would require a constitutional amendment [4].

Though the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs does not issue amendments to budgets and recommendations monthly, it gives definite timeframes within which ministries must respond. This is is mainly because the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 provides a tight timeline for the budget process and therefore, the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs can only consider proposed budgets in January, April and May, then the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs sets the timeframes based on the amount of time available [1, 2]. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs meets at least once a month to discuss issues that may have arisen in the sector, consideration of reports from oversight visits and investigations. For instance, the committee investigated the military and police invasion of the palace of the Rwenzururu king in November 2016; however, its report has never been made public because of security reasons [3] legislators from Kasese and also the Leader of Opposition, Betty Aol Ocan have on several occasions demanded the report to be released and debated in Parliament [4, 5]. The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga attempted, in 2019, to have the report published, but this was in vain [6].

The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs conducts long term investigations on current activities, including unclassified operations [1]. However, only activities and operations that have been disclosed to it are subjected to investigations and further scrutiny to establish whether or not Ugandans are getting value for money and also if the military is effectively fulfilling its mandate. The Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs considers audit queries and reports of the Public Accounts Committee and Budget Commmittee to assess budget performance of the sector and recommend areas for improvement including recordkeeping, procurement flaws. However, the committee usually gets stuck when it comes to classified budgets, projects and activities which some MPs believe is an avenue for financial abuse and mismanagement because the sector presents ‘opaque accountability procedures’ for classified expenditures [2,3]. The committee conducts oversight visits to military bases, project sites and also unclassified areas of operations such as Somalia where Uganda has been contributing troops to the AU mission since the 2000s.

Ministries only incorporate recommendations depending on their impact on improving security but ignore those that call for more disclosure of what is deemed classified. It is because parliamentary decisions are seen as advisory and therefore non-binding on the executive. Failure by the ministries to incorporate recommendations of the committee may be deemed as corruption on the part of legislators because they represent citizens and have powers to hold the executive accountable. However, when recommendations are not incorporated by ministries, the citizens might think that their MPs do not care or have been bribed to rubber-stamp all proposals and activities or support actions of the military without much resistance. The perceived weakness of committees and Parliament, in general, in sanctioning the executive could make it harder for the public to think that MPs actually fulfil their duty of oversight. For instance, in December 2019, Parliament, based on the recommendation of the Agriculture Committee and MPs on the Defence Committee, said that the military must halt its operations against illegal fishing on lakes across the country due to complaints, including human rights abuses. However, the different defence ministers have told Parliament that it has no powers to overturn presidential directives, including the army presence on lakes since 2018. The public would like to see an end to the killing and mistreatment of fishing communities, but this back and forth disagreement between the military and Parliament means that the public sees no action. However, there have been some actions taken following complaints against army officers deployed on the lakes; some have been charged for mistreating citizens. It is unknown if the army will halt its operations on the lakes [1]. They have also failed to produce reports on previous investigations, including unclassified activities and related matters. For instance, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs (MoDVA) has refused to submit the reports on choppers that have crashed since 2005, 2012 and 2020 on the basis that they contain classified information [2, 3].

The Law of Ukraine [1] ensures that parliamentary committees and special commissions only have the power to analyse the progress of implementation of laws in the field of national security and defence, public order and crime prevention, submit suggestions to solve problems, periodically inform the public about their activities, and may create temporary ad-hoc commissions. MPs are empowered [2] to submit questions to public authorities dealing with national security and defence, the VRU votes for the budget, AFU manpower, and the main defence and security policies of Ukraine. MPs are also entitled to access to any kind of classified information [4]; they can assess the performance of the MoD or arms acquisitions. The committee does not have the right to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it. However, there is a draft Law On National Security currently debated on in the VRU (as of May 3, 2018); if adopted it will change the civilian democratic control over the MoD and the AFU [3].

The Committee on National Security and Defence is comprised of 13 MPs, eight of which have experience in being engaged with the defence and security forces [1]. The committee had 25 meetings and considered 148 issues in 2017 [4]. The committee’s ability to influence important defence issues is questionable, since the President of Ukraine has the most effective legislative initiative. 73% of all draft laws introduced by him were adopted by the VRU between 2015-2017; the corresponding number for the whole VRU is only 7% [5]. At the same time, the committee had some success in initiating amendments in existing laws. For instance, the VRU approved eight amendments to existing laws on defence and security drafted by the committee in 2017; the corresponding number in 2016 was 16 [12]. Additionally, some investigative journalists concluded that the president’s administration has the potential “to collect votes” in the VRU to ensure positive voting for particular draft laws, and it already did so [6, 7].
It should be noted that military and combat experience does not necessarily indicate expertise, although some of the committee members had extensive service experience and could be seen as experts in particular defence fields such as MP Yulii Mamchur (26 years in the air force) [8], MP Yurii Bereza (16 years in the army) [9] and MP Andrii Teteruk (17 years in the army and the police) [10]. It is important to note also that nobody from the committee’s members has operational or strategic education/experience in the field of responsibility as well as Western defence/military education. Most of the committee members engaged in defence and security forces have only experienced terrestrial activities, one of them served in an aviation unit, nobody served in the navy [11]. This unbalanced committee composition has a negative influence on expertise quality/correctness and demonstrates an obvious inclination towards a land-oriented security and defence perception [12]. The head of the committee was accused several times of corruption [2, 3] and one of the former committee members is currently (as of April 2018) accused of having committed state treason [13].

All fundamental laws on defence and security have been amended in recent years, these amendments took place as a response to the Russian aggression (which started in 2014). For instance, the law “On the Fundamentals of National Security of Ukraine” was amended seven times since the war started [1], the law “On the Principles of Domestic and Foreign Policy” four times, and the law “On Defence of Ukraine” eight times [3]. However, there is no evidence of the VRU reviewing defence decisions every five years. At the same time, the VRU is not empowered to review important policies like the Strategy of National Security of Ukraine and Military Doctrine, the Concept for the Development of the Security and Defence Sphere of Ukraine or the Strategic Defence Bulletin of Ukraine.

In 2015-2017 the committee had 30 meetings on average each year [1]. In 2017, committee members initiated one amendment to the Budget of Ukraine [2]. In 2016, the committee recommended amending the State Budget with provisions on the financing of prosthetics for servicemen, their professional retraining and State Program of medical, psychological, social rehabilitation and adaptation of ATO participants [3]. The committee often issues recommendations to the VRU and seldom to the ministries: only 14 recommendations to the ministries or the CMU in 2017 [4]. The committee asked the CMU and the ministries several times for their expertise [4]. The recommendations issued by the committee to the executive require the recipients to consider the issues raised but do not contain calls for any responses or deadlines [5].

According to corresponding reports, the committee did not conduct any long-term investigations on current activities. Nor did it commission any external body to do so, although a lot of attention (in 2016) was dedicated to issues of social benefits for the ATO servicemen [1]. There are also no signs of the committee conducting any long-term investigations into operations, although the reports have records on two field committee meetings (in 2016 and 2017) aimed at inspecting weapons and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and inspecting the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine performing the tasks of protection and defence of the state border of Ukraine [2].

The committee asked the Prime Minister of Ukraine to ensure the proper preparation of draft laws before submitting them to the VRU [1]. But it is hard to say whether the prime minister took this recommendation into account given that the recommendation is not specific. Furthermore, the committee issued 13 recommendations to the ministries and the CMU in 2017 [2] which were poorly incorporated:
– Liberalization of export controls – not incorporated into practice.
– Development of a roadmap for reforming the standardization system – incorporated [3].
– Amendment of the rules of procurements under the State Defence Order – not incorporated.
– Submit a draft law on the corporatization of the state-owned defence industry companies – passed to the CMU [4], still not submitted to the VRU.
– Development of clear criteria for assessing the state of the state enterprises – no data.
– Submit amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the List of Objects of State Ownership that are not Subjected to Privatization” – not incorporated.
– Development of the procedure for managing the corporate rights of the state for the authorized capitals of defence industry companies – not incorporated.
– Ensure development of the Catalog of capabilities of enterprises of the defence industry complex of Ukraine – not incorporated.
– Consider introducing benefits for taxes and compulsory payments to defence industry enterprises – not incorporated (vaguely formulated).
– Create an interdepartmental working group on monitoring the use of budget funds used for state defence order – not incorporated.
– Review the CMU Resolution № 906 “Some Issues of the Performance of Military-Administrative Functions by the Military Authorities in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine” of December 7, 2016 – not incorporated.
– Suggestion to conduct an official investigation on the motives behind the above-mentioned draft bill – not incorporated.
– Suggestion to consider increasing the staff of the Military Prosecutor’s Office and increasing their salaries – not incorporated.

The FNC includes a Committee for Internal Affairs and Defence; the committee is specialised in discussing draft laws and general issues related to security and defence. The FNC is a consultative body and not a parliament that has power over policies in the country. It is not considered a fully independent legislative body, as it serves as an advisory and consultative body for the government (1), (2). This indicates that although it is a committee specialised in matters of defence exists, its role focuses on discussing the defence law without having any power over approving or amending these laws.

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because there is no defence committee with formal powers over approving or ammending legislation. As previously explained, FNC members, who were elected in October 2015 (1), include 20 appointed members and 20 elected members. In October 2017, the FNC established its permanent committees, and they include the Constitutional, Legislative Affairs and Appeals Committee and the Defence, Interior and Foreign Affairs (2), (3), (4).

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because there is no defence committee with formal powers over approving or ammending legislation. The Committee for Internal Affairs and Defence, which is composed of FNC members, does not review major defence policies and decisions every five years or earlier if new threats arise. According to the UAE Constitution, the FNC reviews legislation and proposes amendments to it, but it does not have the power to veto laws or to initiate new laws, especially those related to defence and security (1), (2). The FNC does have some powers stipulated in the UAE Constitution, but those do not extend to defence and security (3), (4). It is important to stress that the FNC is not a parliament; it is an advisory body.

The Committee for Internal Affairs and Defence, which is composed of FNC members, does not review major defence policies and decisions every 5 years or earlier if new threats arise. According to the UAE Constitution, the FNC reviews legislation and proposes amendments to it, but it does not have the power to veto laws or to initiate new laws, especially those related to defence and security. The FNC has some powers stipulated in the constitutions, but those do not extend to defence and security (1), (2). It is important to stress that the FNC is not a parliament; it is an advisory body.

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because there is no defence committee with formal powers over approving or ammending legislation. There is no evidence of the Committee of Internal Affairs and Defence, established by the FNC in 2017 (1), carrying out any long-term investigations into the defence sector. However, long-term investigations into the defence sector could be the responsibility of the State Audit Institution, which reports directly to the FNC. In theory, the State Audit Institution is responsible for improving accountability and standards of governance across all departments of the UAE’s federal government, including the defence sector. However, there is no evidence of the State Audit Institution having carried out any long-term investigations into the defence sector (2). There is no evidence of any investigations into the defence sector over the past years.

This indicator is marked Not Applicable because there is no defence committee with formal powers over approving or ammending legislation. The Committee for Internal Affairs and Defence, which is composed of FNC members, does not review major defence policies and decisions every 5 years or earlier, if new threats arise. According to the UAE Constitution, the FNC reviews legislation and proposes amendments to it, but it does not have the power to veto laws or to initiate new laws, especially those related to defence and security. The FNC has some powers stipulated in the constitutions, but those do not extend to defence and security (1), (2). It is important to stress that the FNC is not a parliament; it is an advisory body.

There is a Defence Committee, with extensive formal rights. The House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) is a cross-party Select Committee consisting of eleven Members of Parliament appointed by the House of Commons. Its purpose is to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies. Additional prerogatives include, as stated on the Committee’s website, to ‘send for persons, papers and records, to appoint specialist advisers, to establish a sub-committee, and to meet and report from time to time’. The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry [1]

Another committee, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC), examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). It also provides oversight of Defence Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office [2]. The Justice and Security Act 2013 provides for the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament to have a membership of nine, drawn from both members of House of Commons and members of the House of Lords, with none permitted to be a Minister of the Crown. The members are appointed by the Houses of Parliament, having first secured the nomination of the Prime Minister (in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition) [3] The committee is in a position to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it.
The ISC examines the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The ISC also provides oversight of Defence Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence [3].

The majority of the members of the Defence Committee (at least 7 out of 11 members) hold defence expertise [1]. The vast majority of Committee members engage in voting and debate on defence matters, thus influencing decisions [1, 2, 3]. However, there is no formal requirement for committee members to hold defence expertise.

Based on the Committee’s activity and inquiries made, it can be deduced that it reviews major defence policies and decisions every 5 years or earlier if new threats arise [1]. The inquiries made by the Committee include topics such as the UK’s response to hybrid threats [2], defence policy in regards to specific regions such as the Far East [3] and the Arctic [4], as well as procurement policy [5] and other issues.

The Committee meets, on average, once a week [1]. It issues recommendations and requires Ministries to respond [2]. However, the Committee does not appear to have the power of issuing amendments to budgets. A review of the Committee’s reports [3], as well as the formal minutes of its meetings in the past 3 years [1] contains no indication that it undertakes this function.

An additional short-term oversight tool at MPs disposal are Urgent Questions. This procedures allows MPs to apply to the Speaker to request that a Minister come to parliament and make a statement and take uestions on an important issue at short notice. In the 2019-21 parliamentary session, 120 urgent questions were posed [4]. Of these, 4 concerned defence issues including the deployment of troops during the COVID crisis [5] arms sales to Yemen [6], the report on Russian interference [7] and civil liabilities claims against british troops overseas [8].

The Committee conducts long-term investigations on current activities, including operations. For example, in May 2018 the Defence Committee announced an inquiry into examining the effectiveness of UK military actions in helping Iraqi and Syrian partner forces recapture Mosul and Raqqa from Daesh [1]. The inquiry is still ongoing. Other inquiries include examining the ways in which the UK counters global Islamist terrorism at home and abroad [2].

The responses provided by the Ministries to the Committee’s recommendations suggest that they generally incorporate its recommendations into practice, albeit with some caveats. The Defence Committee draws conclusions and makes formal recommendations in Committee Reports at the end of inquiries into different topics. A Government response to each report is provided to the Committee within two months which specifically respons to all conclusions and recommendations made by the committee, including where the Department has taken action in relation to specific recommendations. [1].

However, government responses do not always include commitments to integrating recommendations. For example, The Government’s response to the Defence Committee’s report on amphibious capability ‘re-states the Government’s commitment to the future of the UK’s amphibious forces but gives no guarantee that there will be no future cuts in the numbers of Royal Marines or amphibious ships’, which was one of the Committee’s recommendations [2].

The Institute for Government reports that the ability of the Committee to effectively scrutinise defence policy has often depended on ‘who was in charge’ at the MoD – ‘who was in charge at any given time was probably the single most important factor determining the Committee’s ability to have an impact on the Department’…’We were told that, following a number of leaks (none of which were attributed to the Committee) one secretary of state had explicitly prohibited civil servants from speaking to the DSC except with formal permission from minister’ [3]. Such findings suggest that the Defence Committee’s recommendations are not always taken into account by the MoD.

The House of Representatives and the Senate assign most defence oversight functions to the respective Armed Services Commitee of each house. The two committees must both approve the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) annually for it to pass [1]. Both commitees can subpoena for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and records [2,3]. Each committee has a subcommittee on military personnel as well as a subcommittee relating to arms control (both called the Subcommitee on Strategic Forces). The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has exclusive jurisdiction for defence policy, which includes military operations, the organisation and reform of the DoD, acquisition policy and the nuclear weapons programmes of the Department of Energy [3]. The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has jurisdiction over the DoD, common defence, personnel management of the Armed Forces, military research and aeronautical and space activities, amongst other issues [4]. The two committees both have the power to require by subpoena (or otherwise) the attendance and testimony of witnesses and documents [2,3].

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ Subcommittees on Defense have a role in setting the budget, in tandem with the HASC and SASC. Their specific jurisdictions are outlined on their websites [5,6].

The two Armed Services Committees are comprised of party members from each party and, additionally, professional staff members who are not elected officials but who provide expertise [1]. Within each committee, there are a few individuals who have relevant either civilian or military experience but many do not. The Chairman of the HASC is Representative Adam Smith, who has served on the committee since 1997 but does not have any specific defence expertise outside of his congressional work [2]. However, also serving in the HASC is Representative Stephanie Murphy, who has a background as a national security specialist in the office of the Secretary of Defense, and Representative Elissa Slotkin, who also held various defence and intelligence civil service positions before taking office. In the 117th Congress (2021-2022), the Chairman of SASC is Senator Jack Reed who took over from Senator Jim Inhofe, who served as chairman between 2018-2021 [3]. Senator Inhofe served in the US Army in the 1950s, and Senator Reed also served in the US Army [4,5]. Beyond the chairmen, most members of the two committees do not have specific defence expertise.

The congressional review of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) took the form of the independent, bipartisan Commission on the National Defense Strategy [1]. The Commission laid out various recommendations and outlined a number of critiques of the NDS itself and the US military capabilities in general [2,3]. This review was published in November after the release of the NDS in January. The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) not only provides authorisation of budget appropriations but also establishes defence policies. As such, the committees undertake annual review of defence policy in addition to the ad hoc reviews of the defence strategy [4]. There is not however, a regular timetable which ensures the review of defence policy every five years.

The SASC must meet at least once a month when Congress is in session and each meeting is open to the public unless the issue is deemed to be kept secret in the interests of national security [1]. According to the committee rules, the HASC meets every Wednesday when the House of Representatives is in session [2]. With regard to the annual National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), which is the legislation that authorises funds for the Department of Defense, nuclear weapons programme, DoD components of the Intelligence Community and other defence-related activities, the HASC and SASC are responsible for developing the final draft before it reaches the President. The process of the NDAA review usually involves hearings, markups and other amendments [3]. The budget and ‘appropriation’ of funds is the remit of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations [4]. The committees can submit requests to the DoD or armed forces through the NDAA. For example, in the 2021 NDAA, Congress requested that the DoD reports to Congress on how it uses the ‘Other Transation Authority’ (OTA) in procurement [5,6]. There is some criticism that Congress submits to Executive power, particularly on the issue of military activity (as discussed in Q1B) [7].

The committees have congressional staff who support the committee oversight work. In 2018, the combined total of the staffs of the two committees was approximately 100 people [1], meaning that 100 people were responsible for the oversight of 3 million DoD personnel and a budget of $659.8 billion [2]. In 2020, for example, one staff member was the lead staffer for the ‘Subcommittee on Strategic Forces’, as well as being responsible for issues relating to arms control, missile defence and nuclear weapons stockpile, amongst other issues. As such, committees generally only have the staff resources to focus on a specific number of major programmes, and they neglect smaller or lower-visibility programmes [1]. Long-term oversight is difficult to achieve due to the length of acquisition programmes, which take an average of seven years to move from ‘Milestone B’ (initial engineering) to Initial Operating Capability, while the average tenure of a professional staff member on the SASC is only 3.5 years [1]. Senate Committees also do not receive substantial funding to match their workloads [3,4].

There is little evidence of Congress undertaking long-term continued oversight. For example, there are regular provisions and reports on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme but these don’t constitute a consolidated and coherent long-term oversight strategy [5,6]. Some sporadic investigations are undertaken, such as an investigation into sexual assault and other felonies at Fort Hood [7]. Congress is supported in its work by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a federal legislative branch agency which produces reports on major policy issues and conducts other analysis, which includes long-term scrutiny [8]. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Congressional Budget Office, both independent, non-partisan agencies, also conduct a number of long-term investigations which are submitted to Congress [9,10].

In general, the DoD meets the requirements laid out in NDAAs and complies with congressional hearings and meetings. Relations between the Armed Services Committees and the DoD are not always smooth, however, and the DoD does occasionally ignore requests, requirements or recommendations made by the committees. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper did not respond to a request to appear before the House Armed Services Committee with regard to the DoD’s involvement in the civil protests in Washington DC and around the country in June 2020 [1]. The executive also ignores requests of the committees. The FY 2020 NDAA, for example, required the Trump administration to provide a report to Congress on election security, as pertaining to Russia and cyber-intrusions. This was ignored by the executive [2]. During the Trump administration, a pattern emerged of Congress legislating a reporting requirement and the Department of Defence either delaying its response beyond the mandated deadline or not responding at all [3].

The National Assembly (AN) is composed of 15 permanent committees, including the Permanent Committee on Security and Defence. According to the AN’s internal regulations, the permanent committees have the function of “organising and promoting citizen participation; studying legislative matters to be discussed in meetings; conducting research; studying, promoting, preparing and voiding draft agreements, resolutions and requests; and other matters within their field of jurisdiction” [1].

In accordance with these regulations, the Committee may study and investigate matters related to the functioning of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB), the development of national and border security policy, and spatial planning. Although the constitution grants the AN the authority to exercise administrative control over the organs of public power, the regulation does not make explicit the extent of the Defence Committee’s power to manage the budget. Likewise, although the Committee’s functions include the investigation of matters of security and defence, it cannot unilaterally summon officials to appear in court. Rather, the Commission must send a request to the AN Board of Directors, which has the power to make these summons [2].

The Permanent Committee on Security and Defence is composed of eight deputies, specialists professionally trained in law and public administration [1]. Although none have training related to security or national defence studies, the deputies conduct registered research activities and visits to border areas, alongside research on the security situation and operation of the FANB. Despite these efforts to maintain up-to-date knowledge of the country’s situation, the influence that deputies have is limited considering the institutional blockade of the AN and the politicization of the FANB.

The deputies’ visits have addressed the main security crises recently experienced by the country, such as border security given the presence of armed groups [2], the massacres that took place in the mining development zone [3], and others. Although the committee has sought to address these critical situations, the extent of its knowledge about the management and internal functioning of the FANB is limited, considering that neither the Ministry of Defense nor military officers respond to information requests [4, 5]. Similarly, regarding the operation of the FANB, civil society organisations have called for a review of the constitutionality of Organic Law of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (LOFANB) [6]. However, no concrete action has been taken by the committee to this end.

The political situation in Venezuela is atypical, given the breakdown of the institutional order which significantly hinders the functions of political control. The Defence Committee still actively studies and debates the country’s security situation, much as it has debated controversial security measures such as internal security operations, detentions made by the intelligence services, and complaints about abuses in military justice matters [1, 2, 3, 4]. However, its knowledge about security policies is limited because the executive is not held accountable, nor does it or offer concrete strategic plans other than the national development plan (Patria Plan), which only sets out general guidelines [5].

The Defence Committee holds up-to-date discussions on emerging threats and critical security situations. For instance, the Defence Committee has discussed the arrival of Russian military aircraft and officers in the current context; this constitutes an infringement on the AN’s remit, as it is responsible for authorising the presence of foreign troops in national territory [6]. Within the context of the political crisis, the AN and the Defence Committee are still debating the readmission of Venezuela to international military cooperation treaties such as the Interamerican Treaty of Reciprocal Assitance (TIAR) [7].

Given the current political crisis, defence committee recommendations have no influence on policy or budget changes. This lack of influence is reflected by infringements of the constitution in defence policy matters, since the AN is prevented from fulfilling its minimum functions established by law.

The imbalance across democratic institutions has entailed that the executive and judicial branches block the functions of the legislature; therefore, security policy decisions, the budget, and the administration of the public force are carried out in a discretionary way by the president, the Minister of Defence, and other representatives of the regime. These obstacles are evident not only in the executive branch’s failure to recognise the AN, but also in judicial prosecution against deputies and in direct violent attacks against Parliament [1]. Therefore, while the Permanent Defence Committee does hold sessions [2, 3], it has no influence over the defence sector. Clear examples of these violations of procedure include obtaining additional credits from Ministry of the People’s Power for Defence (MPPD) without prior authorisation from the legislature [4] and acquiring weapons, military equipment and military cooperation agreements without prior authorisation from the AN [5], among other instances.

The Committee continues long-term investigations into operations and allegations of violations of the law in the management of the FANB and the application of military justice. However, the scope of these investigations is limited, considering that the Committtee cannot count on official information for the documentation of the case studies.

In recent years the Defence Committee has conducted investigations into violations that took place in the context of the application of the Zamora plan, through the use of military force for internal order, and through the trial of civilians in military courts [1, 2]. In addition, the committee is running investigations into the arrests of military officials for political reasons in which irregularities have been recorded for failure to comply with due process [3].

The MPPD disregards the legislative functions of the AN, in line with the executive branch’s recognition of the Supreme Court judgement which found the AN in contempt of court [1].

The MPPD is not held accountable nor does it present its budget to the AN. Likewise, it does not respond to summons from the AN or the requests of the Defence Committee [2, 3, 4].

There is a Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services Committee in the House of Assembly and the Peace and Security Committee in the Senate. These committees, as well as the full Parliament, can summon and question the responsible ministers for defence and security, as well as senior army officers and officials of the defence ministry to appear before them. The committee has the power to scrutinise any aspect of performance of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) or other agencies; including, budgets, personnel management, policy planning, arms acquisition, and demand information on these areas. The committee also has the power to require expert witnesses to appear in front of it [1, 2].

Only three of the 20 members of the Portfolio Committee have defence expertise [1]. None of the opposition MPs have military experience nor academic backgrounds relating to defence and security issues. Two of the committee members have served in the military post-independence, including the chairperson of the committee, who was a brigadier-general in the Zimbabwe National Army. A third member has some claimed military training and claimed to have participated in the liberation war; however, this has been questioned, and substantial evidence of his claims have not been found [2].

The Defence Committee does not review defence policy [1]. The defence policy is not presented to Parliament or the Committee on Defence for review [2].

The Defence Committee periodically provides oversight over the defence sector. There are instances when senior military officers appear before the Defence Committee, but this is usually on issues pertaining to the welfare of soldiers and not necessarily on operational or budget issues [1, 2, 3].

The Defence Committee has the powers to investigate activities of the military; however, in practice, the Defence Committee has never conducted a defence investigation or inquiry of the military [1]. This is partly due to the excessive political influence and power of the military in Zimbabwean politics. For example, in the Command Agriculture scheme, which was spearheaded by the military, only cabinet ministers and government officials were called to answer questions of abuse of funds, and no military people were summoned by Parliament [2].

This indicator has been marked “Not Applicable,” as there is no evidence that the Defence Committee provides any recommendations [1, 2, 3].

Country Sort by Country 2a. Formal rights Sort By Subindicator 2b. Expertise Sort By Subindicator 2c. Responsive policymaking Sort By Subindicator 2d. Short-term oversight Sort By Subindicator 2e. Long-term oversight Sort By Subindicator 2f. Institutional outcomes Sort By Subindicator
Albania 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Algeria 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Angola 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Argentina 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Armenia 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Australia 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
Azerbaijan 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Bahrain 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Bangladesh NEI 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Belgium 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Bosnia and Herzegovina 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Botswana 50 / 100 0 / 100 NA 75 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Brazil 100 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Burkina Faso 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Canada 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Chile 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
China 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Colombia 100 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Cote d'Ivoire 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Denmark 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 NA
Egypt 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Estonia 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Finland 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100
France 50 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Germany 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Ghana 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Greece 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Hungary 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
India 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
Indonesia 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Iran 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Israel 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Italy 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Japan 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Kenya 100 / 100 0 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Kosovo 100 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 50 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 0 / 100
Latvia 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Lithuania 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100
Malaysia 50 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 NA NA NA
Mali 100 / 100 0 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100
Mexico 50 / 100 0 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NEI
Montenegro 100 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Myanmar 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Netherlands 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
New Zealand 100 / 100 25 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 75 / 100
Niger 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
North Macedonia 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100
Norway 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Palestine 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Philippines 100 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Poland 75 / 100 75 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Portugal 50 / 100 25 / 100 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Qatar 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Russia 50 / 100 75 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Serbia 75 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Singapore 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
South Africa 100 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
South Korea 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100
South Sudan 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Spain 75 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Sudan 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
Sweden 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100
Switzerland 100 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 NEI
Taiwan 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100
Tanzania 50 / 100 NEI 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Thailand 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 100 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Turkey 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100 NA
Uganda 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100
Ukraine 50 / 100 50 / 100 75 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA NA NA NA NA
United Kingdom 100 / 100 75 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 75 / 100
United States 100 / 100 50 / 100 100 / 100 100 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Venezuela 50 / 100 25 / 100 100 / 100 0 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100
Zimbabwe 100 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 NA

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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