Afghanistan E

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Afghanistan is placed in Band E.  Afghanistan, while characterised by its instability and legacy of conflict, has ̶ in tandem with the international community  ̶ embarked on attempts to address corruption risk. In terms of political corruption risk, a degree of scrutiny is provided by the traditional Loya Jirga, but these assemblies are not entirely democratic and are politicised. Uncertainty exists regarding exactly who is responsible for approving the security policy, with both the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Parliament seemingly undertaking this task. There remains confusion over the precise amount of aid provided by international donors. Infiltration of organised crime into the Armed Forces is widely reported. Consultations with the public on defence-related issues are rare. On the other hand, risk identification steps have been promoted, for example, by participation with ISAF, Shafafiyat, and in the NATO Building Integrity initiative, although the regularity of such assessment is yet to be formalised. There is no indication that the MOD or the Afghan National Army (ANA) have untoward interests in the country’s vast mineral resources. There is a specific Military Anti-Corruption unit inside the MOD charged with implementing anti-corruption measures.

In finance corruption risk, there is low accountability regarding asset disposal in addition to a lack transparency surrounding secret spending and off-budget expenditure.

In relation to personnel corruption risks, the NATO Training Mission publishes personnel pay rates and incentive pay. While civilian pay is also published, there are delays in the availability of recent information. Indications of ghost soldiers date back to 2009 and 2010, although the payment system for ANA has since been reformed. Payment is now made by electronic transfer, though there has been evidence of corruption related to this. There is a culture of lack of accountability within the military, although structural processes to improve the military justice system and prosecution have been initiated. Furthermore, ethnic factionalism often displaces objective recruitment and promotions. Finally, there are signals of pervasive facilitation payments and petty bribery.

There is awareness of corruption risk pertaining to operations, evidenced by the existence of the Military Anti-Corruption Unit, although there is no related military doctrine addressing corruption risk. Anti-corruption training is carried out by Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme/NATO and EUPOL. While Private Military Contractors’ (PMCs) operations remain widespread and contentious, the government is taking steps to tighten up on their use.

With regard to procurement corruption risk, there is no indication that the procurement process is formalised and purchases (actual and potential) are not publically disclosed. The Inspector General’s office, responsible for oversight, lacks effectiveness and is influenced by political involvement. Procurement Law (2009) article 70 (1) excludes corrupt companies from bidding, although its de facto effectiveness is not sufficient. There is no evidence of a formalised procurement plan in place entailing purchases being derived from an audited national strategy on the basis of well-defined and quantified requirements. Mechanisms to facilitate malpractice complaints by companies and to punish corrupt suppliers are unused or yet to be fully established.

 

Research finalised: January 2012

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