Portugal is among the 17 countries with a high risk of corruption in the Defense area, ranking 49th in the 2020 assessment by Transparency International, which analyzed 85 countries.
With 44 points out of a possible 100, Portugal is below the European average of 59, indicates the 2020 assessment by Transparency International (TI), released on Tuesday.
In Portugal’s risk group, the worst rating goes to Chile (34 points) and the best to Indonesia (47). The score is inversely proportional to the risk of corruption, on a scale from zero (critical critical risk, where there are 18 countries) to 100 (very low risk). Only New Zealand is in this group, with 85 points, while Sudan occupies the worst position on the scale, with five points. There are 17 countries at very high risk, 24 at moderate and eight at low risk.
TI, which assesses the quality of controls to manage corruption risks in defense and security institutions, emphasizes that Portugal registered a positive evolution compared to 2015, with emphasis on political risks and associated with personnel management, but there are still problems in prevention and mitigation of risks from lack of inspection.
According to the executive director of Transparency International Portugal (the national chapter of TI), Karina Carvalho, cited in the organization’s communiqué, the Assembly of the Republic “continues not to exercise the entire spectrum of supervisory powers” that it has and the Parliamentary Defense Commission does not oversees the oversight ministry “with the detail and distance that competes with it.
Operational risk with zero points
The document notes a “sharp difference between the public reporting of information” by the Ministry and by the different branches of the Armed Forces, noting that the effort to publish data by the tutelage is not accompanied by the General Staff of the FA, “whose public presence is practically non-existent”.
“An operational risk area is the one that stands out the most in the negative, with a score of zero points”, underlines the press release from TI Portugal. “In a context where the action of the FA becomes increasingly complex operational theaters, implying logistical chains with many intermediaries and chains of command, the lack of specific military doctrine on the risk of corruption is less and less understandable”, considers Karina Carvalho .
Indeed, “almost all countries score poorly in the area of safeguards against corruption in the military”, with an average score of just 16 points, and “most countries lack anti-corruption measures as a central pillar of the newspaper its missions “. Among those with a “particularly low score in this area are countries that contribute to or lead large international military operations, such as the United States (18/100), France (10) or Bangladesh (zero)”, the document reads.
Moderate to very high risk arms exporters
TI data on the other hand indicates that 62% of countries had an overall score of 49 points or lower, indicating a high to critical corruption risk. This is also the average score for the 20 richest countries (G20), he adds.
The report also stresses that “86% of global arms exports between 2016 and 2020 originate from countries with a moderate to very high risk of corruption in their Defense sectors”. The five largest exporters alone – the United States (55/100), Russia (36), France (50), Germany (70) and China (28) – accounted for 76% of the global total.
“Almost half of global arms imports (49%) are made by countries that register a high to critical risk of corruption in Defense matters”, but parliamentarians, auditors or a civil society cannot scrutinize the deals, nor are there control data on how they choose which companies to buy from or whether third parties are involved, which “leaves the door wide open to bribery, the waste of public money and the discovery of weapons in the hands of criminal associations or terrorist groups.”