A new report by Transparency International, which is part of the Global Corruption Report venture, placed Israel on a list of countries that are at risk to suffer from corruption in their defense establishments.
The report, which is the first of its kind, attributed the risk to the lack of transparency plaguing the defense budget and military spending. Other countries on the list include India, Lebanon and Mexico.
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The report said that although the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is implementing various measures to supervise the different aspects of the defense budget, "(…) it seems that the Israeli Defense Ministry is less than happy to cooperate with them."
Illustration (Photo: EPA)
The result, according to the GCR, is that the Knesset has diminished influence on Israel's defense spending policies.
The report ranked 82 nations in six categories, according to their risk assessment.
Israel was ranked in the fourth category – "high but not critical risk" – alongside Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
This category was the largest of the six.
Rated less likely to suffer from corruption in their defense establishments were Australia and Germany, followed by the second-tier risk nations of Austria, Sweden, the United States, Norway, Taiwan, South Korea and Britain.
The report found that Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Eritrea, Congo, Libya, Yemen and Syria are at "critical risk" for defense establishment corruption.
IDF crime-syndicate free
The ratings were based on a questionnaire filled out by top security officials from 200 countries. The results were reviewed by two independent security officials in each country and each government was given the opportunity to comment on the results.
The defense establishment in each country was graded on a scale of 0-4 on various parameters, such as budgetary transparency; how much, if at all, are private businesses involved in the defense establishment; what is the payroll status of external contractors, etcetera.
The IDF topped several of the criteria and was found to be virtually free of any involvement by crime syndicates. It was also found that no non-governmental companies were involved in the Israeli arms trade, and that all government bodies involved were required to adhere to rigorous oversight protocol.
However, Israel failed to meet the organization's budgetary transparency guidelines, scoring a solid 0 out of a possible 4.
The report further criticizes the government for "having become less and less tolerant" of public and social criticism and the public's demand to access such information.
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