Transparency International urges greater oversight over defense sectors worldwide
MOSCOW, September 18 (RAPSI) - Transparency International released a report Tuesday calling on the legislatures around the globe to keep tabs on their respective defense sectors, concluding that secret budgets paired with massive contracts can create hotbeds of corruption.
Among the report's key findings was the conclusion that “two-thirds of countries are at very high risk of corruption due to poor legislative controls over defence and security. Worse, 85 per cent of countries lack effective legislative scrutiny of defence policy.”
Countries found to have critically high corruption risks included: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.
In more optimistic news however, 16 of the 82 countries assessed were found to have low or very low risk of corruption by virtue of strong legislative mechanisms.
Countries found to have very low corruption risks included Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Altogether, Russia was classed as a high-risk country. It was classed as high-risk in terms of each of the seven categories assessed: budget oversight and debate, budget transparency; external audit; policy oversight and debate; secret budgets oversight; intelligence services oversight; and procurement oversight.
The report quoted former South African parliamentarian and global arms trade specialist Andrew Feinstein as having stated, “The defense sector is beset by significant corruption. Failure to effectively investigate defence spending undermines law-makers’ responsibility to their electorate to ensure that every tax dollare is spent honestly and effectively. Legislative oversight of defense has been neglected for too long at the expense of the well-being of citizens.”