Algeria F

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Algeria is placed in band F.  In terms of political corruption risk, the huge influence of  high ranking defence and security officials undermines scrutiny. Evidence indicates that the National Body for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption and the Inspectorate General for Finance are both weak. No anti-corruption institutions specifically targeting the defence sector exist and there is a lack of enforcement of counter corruption laws. There is no indication that information relating to acquisition planning or the defence budget is publically disclosed and a corresponding lack of evidence that meaningful scrutiny of the same takes place. Furthermore, the nation’s Supreme Audit institution is limited in its ability to audit defence institutions.  Bloggers actively discuss defence policy issues, but censorship prevents any analytical or critical pieces from being published. Vulnerability to corruption risk is further heightened by links between the defence sector and both oil production and weapons smuggling. Meanwhile, the intelligence services, the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS), lack transparency.

In finance corruption risk, there are only ad hoc asset disposals, and these are characterised by a dearth of information and absence of scrutiny. Spending on security and secret items is unknown. While the corruption prevention law of 2006 calls for addressing off-budget expenditure, there is no proof of such expenditures being controlled. The inaccessibility and opacity of defence budgets exacerbate such corruption risks.  The country’s powerful military have widespread ownership of commercial enterprises with no evidence of scrutiny or transparency associated therewith. Although the anti-corruption law attempts to prohibit participation in corrupt private enterprise, its limited enforcement safeguards the continuance of such illicit activity. 

In the field of personnel corruption risk, while the anti-corruption law specifies offences personnel might commit, its application is a problem.  The same is evident with regard to the protection of whistle-blowers, who tend to flee or defect to avoid repercussions. Although personnel seem to receive pay on time, transparency of salary chains is impacted a lack of enforced accountability. There is found to be potential for serious political involvement in appointment and promotion, while there is no indication of anti-corruption training for personnel. Lastly, facilitation payments are reported to occur regularly, especially among low ranking soldiers, which creates potential risks of bribery occurring in conscription procedures.

There is no evidence of operational anti-corruption doctrine by the Algerian military in terms of training, monitoring, or guidelines for contracting. Private Military Contractors in the country are an active industry, and scrutiny appears the task of the hiring company.

In terms of procurement corruption risk, legislation and communiqués do cover defence and security procurement. However, evidence, including scandals, reflects their lack of implementation. The previously mentioned anti-corruption law penalises corrupt suppliers but its implementation is inadequate. The Algerian government requires a declaration of probity as well as an anti-corruption clause are required from bidders, though the role such considerations play in practice is unclear. While defence procurement is theoretically conducted as open competition, in reality personal relations and the country from which the supplier is from are influential. There appears to be evidence of malpractice by tender boards, further reducing confidence in a truly competitive arrangement. Finally, there is a lack of transparency, diligence and competition regulation regarding offsets contracts.

Research finalised: May 2012

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