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The Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index measures levels of corruption risk in national defence establishments, and scores each country from A (the best) to F (the worst). These bands are based on scores on an assessment consisting of 77 questions—for each question, the government was scored from 0-4. The percentage of marks overall determined which band the government was placed in. Countries were also scored in five risk areas: Political risk, Financial risk, Personnel risk, Operations risk, and Procurement Risk.

Each country is researched by an expert assessor using a standard set of questions and model answers. The assessment is then independently reviewed by up to three peer reviewers and, where possible, the Transparency International national chapter. We also invite the government to conduct a review of the assessment and submit additional information. In 2015, four governments in the MENA region provided a reviewer: Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.

One of the most commonly asked questions is how the index can assess countries where information on defence issues is highly secretive. TI-DSP considers a lack of transparency in the defence structures to pose as significant a corruption risk as the lack of structure itself. The level of independently verifiable information has therefore directly impacted the scoring on each question. Finally, it is worth noting that secrecy can make case studies and examples difficult to find, and may mean that they are slow to be exposed by journalists, researchers or the law. For that reason, some of the examples cited in this index have occurred before 2013.

Each government was assessed using a questionnaire of 77 questions. Each question is scored from 0 to 4. Model answers are provided to guide scores. The score and model answer for a score of 4 indicates best practice for each question. For each question the assessor provided a score, a narrative explanation for the score, and a list of sources used. This questionnaire is based on our typology of defence corruption, which defines five main areas of corruption risk:

  1. Political risk
  2. Financial risk
  3. Personnel risk
  4. Operations risk
  5. Procurement risk.

These five categories are further broken down into 29 sub-categories of corruption risk. The questionnaire was developed by Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme, with the help of a team of experts with practical experience in the defence and security sector, and our academic advisory committee.

Governments were assessed using a questionnaire of 77 questions. For each question, a score from 0 to 4 was awarded.

This table describes the meaning of each score:


4 = High transparency; strong, institutionalised activity to address corruption risks.
3 = Generally high transparency; activity to address corruption risks, but with shortcomings.
2 = Moderate transparency; activity to address corruption risk with significant shortcomings.
1 = Generally low transparency; weak activity to address corruption risk.
0 = Low transparency; very weak or no activity to address corruption risk.

Based on the overall percentage score, each government was placed in a band from A to F, using the following scheme: 



A 83.3 100 Very low
B 66.7 83.2 Low
C 50 66.6 Moderate
D 33.3 49.9 High
E 16.7 33.2 Very high
F 0 16.6 Critical

Risk area scores: Scores were also broken down into five key risk areas: political risk, financial risk, personnel risk, operations risk, and procurement risk. The questionnaire was split into these five categories, and the risk area scores were calculated using the percentage of marks awarded for the questions pertaining to each risk area.