December 5, 2023 – Four of the world’s 10 biggest arms producers listed in new research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show a concerning lack of commitment to anti-corruption, Transparency International Defence & Security said today.
SIPRI’s 2022 Arms Industry Database lists the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies. Four of the top 10 score either an E or F Transparency International’s Defence Companies Index (DCI), which assesses and ranks major global defence companies based on their commitment to anti-corruption and transparency.
In the top four, SIPRI’s data shows General Dynamics (US), NORINCO and AVIC (China), and Rostec (Russia), collectively responsible for $876 billion in global arms trade last year. All scored poorly in the DCI, indicating a minimal or extremely poor commitment to anti-corruption.
The problem extends beyond these firms, with dozens of other companies in the top 100 assessed by the DCI to show poor or non-existent commitment to anti-corruption.
This is alarming given SIPRI’s data on the increasing demand for arms and military services globally. Corruption in the arms trade can have devastating impacts on people’s lives, leading to heightened conflict and violence, undermining governance and the rule of law, diverting resources from essential public services, and eroding trust in institutions.
Josie Stewart, Programme Director at Transparency International Defence & Security, said:
“The latest SIPRI report, when combined with our previous research on arms producers’ commitment to anti-corruption, paints a troubling picture. Far too many of the world’s biggest arms producers are falling short in addressing corruption risks.
“This should urgently motivate governments and the international community to prioritise addressing these issues in the defence and security sectors.
“As demand for arms and military services grows, it’s crucial to ensure that anti-corruption standards remain a forefront consideration, not secondary to trade, foreign, and defence policy objectives. The cost of neglecting integrity and transparency in these sectors is too great to ignore.”
Notes to editors:
Transparency International is a global movement that combats corruption and promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government, politics, and business worldwide.
Transparency International – Defence & Security is one of Transparency International’s global programmes and is committed to tackling corruption in the global defence and security sector.
The Defence Companies Index on Anti-Corruption and Corporate Transparency (DCI) assesses the levels of public commitment to anti-corruption and transparency in the corporate policies and procedures of 134 of the world’s largest defence companies. By analysing what companies are publicly committing to in terms of their openness, policies and procedures, the DCI seeks to inspire reform in the defence sector, thereby reducing corruption and its impact.