Transparency International UK publishes an initial review of the Transparency of National Defence Budgets - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Transparency International UK publishes an initial review of the Transparency of National Defence Budgets

14 September, 2011
  • Georgia ranked as having moderate to low defence budget transparency;
  • 24 other states are in the same ranking category as Georgia;
  • 16 per cent of the countries under review in this study score high; these are primarily developed countries with strong democratic systems in place. Twenty-two per cent score Moderate to High. Sixty-two per cent of countries score Moderate, Moderate to Low, or Low.

Transparency International UK has published an initial review of the Transparency of National Defence Budgets. The primary goal of collecting country-specific information was to create an initial picture of the extent to which countries uphold principles of defence budget transparency. All countries maintain a certain level of secrecy about funds spent on intelligence, the protection of witnesses, and similar activities. Secrecy and the protection of highly sensitive information, however, can be compatible with transparency if governments use sound management principles and strong legal systems are in place. In the aforementioned report, Georgia is in the second lowest ranking category along with states like Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Afghanistan, India, Mexico, Nicaragua and etc.

In this report, the research team examined the public information related to defense department budgets of 88 states. Other main sources for this report were the Open Budget Index (OBI), Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) database, the UN Instrument for Standardized International Reporting for Military Expenditures, scholarly articles, publications by NGOs, and National or Ministry of Defence Budgets available online.
Based on the findings, states are ranked by defence budget transparency on a scale from low to high, with a total of five points on the scale: Low, Moderate to Low, Moderate, Moderate to High and High.

Out of eighty-eight countries, fourteen countries scored High. These countries are France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United States of America, and etc. Twenty-one countries ranked with low levels of defence budget transparency. These are countries such as China, Egypt, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and etc.
The report shows that 16 per cent of the states have scored high; these are mainly developed countries with strong democratic systems in place. Twenty-two per cent of states fall into the Moderate to High ranking category that is comprised of diverse set of countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The findings indicate a major challenge – 62% of the countries scored Moderate, Moderate to Low or Low in defence budget transparency.

COUNTRY RANKING | DEFENCE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY

High Transparency(14)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Chile

Costa Rica

Croatia

France

Germany

New Zealand

Norway

Portugal

Slovakia

South Africa

Sweden

United Kingdom

USA

Moderate to High Transparency (20)

Botswana

Brazil

Czech Republic

Ecuador

Ghana

Guatemala

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Mongolia

Namibia

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Russia

Slovenia

South Korea

Spain

Sri Lanka

Ukraine

Moderate Transparency (9)

Argentina

Bolivia

Colombia

Indonesia

Italy

Liberia

Macedonia

Nepal

Zambia

Moderate to Low Transparency (24)

Afghanistan

Albania

Azerbaijan

Bangladesh

Bulgaria

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Georgia

India

Jordan

Malaysia

Mexico

Morocco

Nicaragua

Romania

Rwanda

Tanzania

Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago

Turkey

Uganda

Venezuela

Vietnam

Yemen

Low Transparency (21)

Algeria

Angola

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

Cameroon

Chad

China

Democratic Republic of Congo

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Honduras

Kyrgyz Republic

Lebanon

Malawi

Niger

Nigeria

Pakistan

Sao Tome e Principe

Saudia Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Report Methodology

The aforementioned report is based on the 2010 Open Budget Index (OBI) questionnaire which is a study of general budget transparency overall in each country. The OBI report specifically studied the issues of national defense and security spheres. The OBI questionnaire consisted of the following questions: 1. Are the defence budget proposals, approved budgets or audit reports made publicly available by the government?; 2. During a budget year, what’s the expenditure percentage on national security and military scouting?; 3. Are reports pertaining to the execution of the defence budget made available to the public and to parliamentarians regularly (in-year, mid-year, year-end); 4. How well-trained are the auditors who check agencies/branches of the security sector (military, police, intelligent service).

The defect of the defence budget Transparency There are a number of limitations of using only the OBI 2010 for country ranking. This report is focused on judging the availability of information to the public and the legislature; however, the risk of the government providing inaccurate information (intentionally or otherwise) is not considered. The report addresses budget transparency—not necessarily levels of corruption or accountability. In order to enhance the robustness of the research, a more detailed questionnaire has been developed and Transparency International UK will used in the future for a more accurate assessment of defence budget transparency.

print