Defense Companies Becoming More Transparent

Have you ever wondered how defense companies fare in terms of internal anti-corruption practices? Transparency International – UK’s (TI-UK) Defence Team has completed a brand new index: The Defence Company Index, which provides an analysis of what the 129 biggest defense companies around the world do to prevent corruption. The study measures and grades defense companies on an A through F scale based on a set of uniform questions asked of each company.

In order to produce the Index, the TI-UK Defence team assessed companies on their publicly available data through 34 questions covering what Transparency International defines as the basic systems and processes needed to prevent corruption in defense firms. The questionnaire was organized into five pillars: 1) leadership, governance, and organization; 2) risk assessment; 3) company codes and policies; 4) training; and 5) personnel and helplines.

The data for the Index was gathered on Global Integrity’s Indaba platform. Indaba allowed TI-UK to maintain confidentiality for sensitive information while simultaneously giving the companies the ability to provide comments and anonymous first-hand information. Once all assessments were completed, they went through internal and external peer reviews. After the companies received a copy of the finalized assessment, the firms had an additional opportunity to make further comments.

The findings of the Index show that two-thirds of the companies assessed do not provide enough public information on how they fight corruption, accordingly to TI-UK’s scale. Despite this, the Index shows encouraging progress suggesting that the industry has changed from where it was ten years ago; ten percent of assessed companies do have strong internal anti-corruption systems as rated by the study. We hope this trend continues, and we look forward to working with the TI-UK team to document more of these findings using Indaba.

— Monika Shepard

— Image Credit: TI UK Defence

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