Good practice

Countries around the world are taking action to prevent the risk of corruption in the defence sector.   One aim of this index is to collect examples of how countries address corruption in this sector; by sharing knowledge and experience between different countries, regions, and environments, we hope to show how practical, effective measures can be put in place to address corruption risk in this sector.  

We will be publishing a separate report in due course that collects such examples from the detailed country assessments. In the meantime the table below illustrates one example for each risk area:



Defence establishments must be accountable to citizens. Legislators should have effective oversight functions through committee scrutiny and debate. Meaningful accountability should involve civil society as well as politicians, and encompass internal and external reviews of policy, budgets, and spending.

Bulgaria has looked to increase accountability by allowing CSOs and academics to act a part of a peer review team evaluating public tenders. The MOD has invited CSOs including Transparency International Bulgaria, the Open Society Institute, and the Atlantic Club.


Transparency is key to preventing corruption risk in defence financing.  Levels of spending on secret items should not be concealed. Off-budget spending is very difficult to monitor and control, and should be avoided or fully disclosed. Military-owned businesses that are transparent are less likely to involve illicit activity than those that are opaque.

Nepal makes it both constitutionally forbidden, and illegal through prevailing law, for budgetary provisions to contain secret items. Internal and external audit reports have corroborated their non-existence, and off-budget spending is also illegal, reducing the potential for secret expenditure to be present off the books.

Integrity must guide the behaviour of individuals throughout defence institutions. Soldiers and officers should be guided by a comprehensive Code of Conduct that specifically addresses corruption alongside broader issues of integrity. Acts of corruption should be punished; whistle-blowers should be encouraged to report impropriety and protected from reprisal.

In Singapore, whistle-blowing is an integral component of the anti-corruption programme. Citizens may freely report infractions to the Anti-Corruption Bureau website, and Singaporean law provides for whistle-blower protections.


Addressing operation corruption risk requires greater awareness and understanding by governments. Corruption must be recognised as a strategic issue in military doctrine, and anti-corruption training and monitoring, must be in place in the context of military operations. The particular corruption risks of contracting on operations must be specifically addressed and controlled. 

Sweden sends a legal advisor on operations, who has the capacity to report back on corruption risk. Any reports he issues are made publicly available through the Principle on Access to Public Act.

Clean procurement requires robust controls. Procurement in defence is complex, potentially involving elaborate financing packages, chains of sub-contractors, offsets contracts, and brokers. Corruption risk from insufficient controls is rife.

In the USA, Title 10 US Code, Section 2409 prohibits reprisals against defence company staff for reporting suspected malpractice in procurement contracts to a member of congress, a member of a congressional committee, appropriate DOD staff, an Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, or the Department of Justice.