Sept 18, Colombo: A study conducted by the Transparency International UK's Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) has placed Sri Lanka among the 14 worst countries that are seriously at high risk of corruption in their ministry of defense and armed forces.
The study is based on the first ever Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) published by the (TI-DSP) in January 2013.
The Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) is a measure of the corruption risk in governments, the party that demands defence goods and, potentially, bribes in the defence and security sector. The GI measures corruption risk in politics, finance, personnel, and operations as well as procurement.
The study which surveyed 82 countries has given Sri Lanka an 'E' and placed it in the 'Critical' group along with Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.
According to the study, countries in this group have no legislative committee with effective access to the defence budget and they lack parliamentary oversight of future budget expenditure.
Further the parliamentarians have no input into planned acquisitions and even if they have some rudimentary processes of internal audit, they fail to disclose the findings to parliament; or ignore parliamentary scrutiny when these details are released, the report noted.
The countries surveyed were placed in one of six bands according to their final score and Sri Lanka was given 17 percent whereas the lowest risk country was Australia with a 100 percent.
The GI analysis found that 70 percent of countries leave the door open to waste and threats to security as they lack the tools to prevent corruption in the defence and security sector.
Parliaments and legislatures in two-thirds of the 82 countries assessed have seriously insufficient controls that give rise to high or critical corruption risk in their Ministry of Defence and armed forces.
The study also shows how parliaments and legislatures can improve oversight of defense.
The full report of the study can be found here.