Industry Integrity

Tackling corruption in the global arms trade by strengthening anti-corruption and corporate transparency standards in defence industry and procurement systems.

In 2016, the total sales of arms and military services around the world amounted to more than $374.8 billion. The sheer scale of military contracting means that corruption diverts much larger sums than it would in other sectors – often in the billions of dollars – and close links between government and industry mean that when scandals do occur, senior officials are often implicated. On top of this, corruption in procurement and the arms trade deprives militaries of the equipment they need and is a key driver of weapons diversion to rogue actors.

The Industry Integrity programme works with the global defence industry, governments and civil society to address systemic corruption risks in the arms trade.

The goals of the Industry Integrity programme are to:

  1. Establish best practice on corporate transparency and anti-corruption for defence companies.
  2. Strengthen the defence industry’s commitment to responsible business practice.
  3. Increase understanding of corruption risks in the defence industry and the biggest barriers to effective reform.
Establish best practice on corporate transparency and anti-corruption for defence companies

Our Defence Companies Index on Anti-Corruption and Corporate Transparency (DCI) measures the transparency and quality of ethics and anti-corruption programmes in the world’s largest defence companies. It sets standards for transparency, accountability and anti-corruption programmes in the defence industry to help drive reform in the sector.

Strengthen the defence industry’s commitment to responsible business practice

We work with, and put pressure on, industry to increase transparency and improve the quality of their ethics and anti-corruption programmes. Our aim is to strengthen the defence industry’s commitment to responsible business practice, from promoting accountable interactions with public officials to the ethical exertion of influence on policy making.

Increase understanding of corruption risks in the defence industry and the biggest barriers to effective reform

Understanding that companies cannot act in isolation from the terms of the market, we undertake research into the biggest barriers to reducing corruption risks – including the use of agents and procurement risks – and seek to drive change by working with motivated governments and companies. Alongside our country teams and with insights from the Government Defence Integrity Index (GDI), we focus on the way in which buyer behaviour can influence company behaviour.

We monitor global arms sales and allegations of defence corruption to further our understanding of corruption in the defence and security sector, especially regarding how corruption and poor governance facilitate illicit arms flows. The right interventions can have profound impact on stemming the flow of weapons and the devastating effects they can have in conflicts around the globe.

Relevant publications