Israel D+

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Israel is placed in Band D+. Regarding political risk, while formal provisions for legislative oversight of defence policy do exist in the form of a permanent Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, it is recognised that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is reluctant to cooperate fully with these processes. As a result, the influence that parliament can exert over defence policy is limited. In recent years it has been found that the government has become increasingly intolerant toward civil society organisations that actively criticise defence and security policies. Generally speaking, public debate on issues of defence is rare. However, a current debate that is featuring prominently in the Israeli media, regarding the possibility of an attack on Iranian nuclear installations, is contrary to this trend. The defence budget lacks transparency. Nevertheless, there is no evidence to show that organised crime has penetrated Israel's defence sector. Cases of organised crime within the defence sector are rare, and when they do occur, effective actions are recognised to be taken.

In terms of finance corruption risk, there is no information available regarding spending on secret items or off-budget military expenditures. While there are no military-owned businesses, state-owned enterprises do operate in the defence sector, which are subject to independent scrutiny. However, military-owned businesses are subject to the same levels of scrutiny as those of any other commercial business and audit details of these businesses are published online.

In terms of personnel corruption risk, examples of public commitment to anti-corruption measures by leaders in the defence sector are found to be infrequent, though are sometimes expressed in the wake of an incident. There is little transparency with regard to numbers of civilian and military personnel. The Israel Defence Force Code of Conduct contains no specific reference to corruption. However, it is indicated that when personnel are found to have participated in bribery and corruption, robust action is taken. In the past, prosecutions of high ranking personnel on corruption charges have been widely publicised. Effective and meritocratic appointments processes are recognised to be in place.

Regarding operations corruption risk, the armed forces do not have a military doctrine for addressing corruption as a strategic issue on operations. Comprehensive training on corruption for officers was not found either. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not employ private military contractors (PMCs), which reduces the attendant corruption risk.

Government policy is recognised to be weak in relation to defence procurement. There is no specific legislation relating to defence procurement, and information on the procurement cycle is not available to the public. There are examples of large-scale defence purchases occurring at the request of the Israeli Defence Forces, but without any clearly outlined justification of needs. Nevertheless, collusion is forbidden outright in Israeli law. There are processes in place through which complaints can be made about perceived malpractices in procurement. Corrupt activities by a supplier can be brought to court or included in the State Comptroller’s official report.

Research finalised: March 2012

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