Defence Procurement Standards

We work with civil society, governments and industry to tackle corruption risks posed by the complexity and opacity of defence procurement.

Defence budgets consume a significant portion of public spending in fragile and conflict affected states, representing a lucrative opportunity for corrupt actors. Procurement is often cited by defence officials as the area in which corruption is greatest in the defence and security sector, with vulnerabilities at every stage. The exploitation of non-competitive tendering procedures, bribery of officials responsible for testing equipment and improper monitoring of deliveries are just a few examples of the numerous opportunities for theft. Further along the tendering process, post-award documentation may be falsified to create opportunities for corrupt contractors to improve their margins and earn additional fees, which may be used to fund kickbacks and bribes.

Yet, procurement is also an area where a large range of anti-corruption tools exist to address the problem. Understanding these corruption risk patterns can lead to better detection of corruption. Civil society can play an important role as an independent monitor exposing abuse in even the most well-developed procurement systems. We develop tools to help identify red flags, expose patterns of corruption and support local civil society groups in using this information to hold their governments to account.

Our work on defence procurement issues is often country-specific. Read more about our country work in: