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New initiative to strengthen integrity in defence

strenghten-iidJanuary 1st, 2016, the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) was established under the Ministry of Defence. NDMA is the authority for procurement to the armed forces and the current level of activity is about 200 different materiel projects. Procurement and maintenance of materiel amounts to about 30 % of the Norwegian defence budget. The new Agency counts some 1300 employees. About 60 % of them are civilians and the remaining 40 % military.

As pointed out by Transparency International defence procurement may include a considerable risk of corruption through, for example, conflict of interest, bribes, or other unethical behaviour. Two reasons for this are the amount of money involved and the traditional secrecy in security and defence. This is why high ethical standards are crucial, together with robust integrity systems, integrity plans that identify and correct weaknesses, and systematic training of personnel.

The Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS) has now signed a support agreement with NDMA in order for CIDS to assist in the implementation of NDMA’s comprehensive integrity plan. Ms. Mette Sørfonden, Director of NDMA, signed the agreement on behalf of NDMA and Mr. Per Christensen, Director of CIDS, on behalf of CIDS. The MoD’s Armaments Director, Mr. Morten Tiller, attended the ceremony and stated that the agreement was important as seen from the MoD. The Norwegian MoD gives integrity and high ethical standards high priority and is pleased that CIDS, as a tool for the MoD, now brings its cooperation to support the Norwegian defence sector to a new level.

Even if Norway received a high score on Transparency International’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index 2015, there are still some weaknesses left and a need to systematically go through all risk factors. There is broad agreement that an integrity plan is the right tool to do so, and the MoD expects all Norwegian defence agencies, including the Armed forces, to continue pursuing that work with high priority.

The five components in NDMA’s integrity plan are partly a direct follow-up of the former program in the Norwegian defence sector called “Attitudes, Ethics, and Leadership”. CIDS will assist the NDMA in reaching 19 part objectives in the integrity plan.

Link: Avtale om støtte i implementeringen av Forsvarsmateriells integritetsprogram mellom Forsvarsmateriell (FMA) og Senter for integritet i forsvarssektoren (SIFS).

CIDS report on “Ensuring professionalism and integrity in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine” launched in Kyiv

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On 17 October 2016 the CIDS report: “Ensuring professionalism and integrity in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine” was handed over to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence by CIDS’ Director, Mr. Per A Christensen. The report is also available in a Ukraine language version: Забезпечення професіоналізму і доброчесності у Міністерстві оборони України.

The report includes proposals on steps to be taken in the follow-up phase of the project. The most important next step will be to agree on the priorities in the implementation plan, before the end of the year.

In early 2015 CIDS and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Ukraine agreed in principle for CIDS to assist the MoD of Ukraine through a project of reform of the Human Resources Management (HRM) in the MoD of Ukraine. The resulting four-year programme (2015-2018) of bilateral cooperation between the two Ministries was formally signed when the Norwegian State Secretary of Defence, Mr. Øystein Bø, visited Kyiv in June 2015.

Since the summer of 2015 CIDS’ expert team has been working closely with the project group in the MoD of Ukraine to establish valid documentation of the situation and to map in greater detail the measures that CIDS would recommend to be taken. That work was followed by more detailed work plans and a comprehensive programme of steps to be taken. During more than one and a half years, cooperation has been very close, reciprocal, and characterized by openness and trust. Plans have been refined, measures tested out and implemented, and CIDS’ expert team has spent considerable time in Kyiv. CIDS has a permanent local project office in Kyiv with three local experts.

At the launch of the report, Deputy Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Oleksandr Dublyan, expressed deep appreciation for all the work done so far and highlighted the strong commitment from the Ukraine side. Also, the Deputy Minister pointed out that the MoD since the summer of 2016 already had taken measures to increase civilian and democratic control of the defence system by, among other things, downsizing the MoD through the reduction of a substantial number of military positions. He also pointed out, with a reference to Ukraine’s Strategic Defence Bulletin, that the position as Minister of Defence would be converted to a civilian position from the end of 2017. LtGen Dublyan emphasized that despite the ongoing war with Russia in the East, the Ukrainian MoD realized that institutional reform in the defence system had to take place, despite the other serious challenges that Ukraine faces at the same time.

Mr. Christensen welcomed the transparency, cooperation and friendliness that had been prominent throughout the work done over the past year. The new report was a telling measure of success. Although not all findings and proposed measures necessarily are popular with everybody, and even could be regarded as uncomfortable by some, they represent a fair documentation of the current situation and will provide a solid basis for correcting identified gaps. The report also lists several areas where the prospects for real reform are good, for example, as a result of the legal foundation put in place with the newly implemented Law on Civil Service.

The shortfalls identified in the report are largely the consequences of history and tradition, which also explain the complexity of a thorough reform process. So, even on the basis of a solid implementation plan, there will be no quick fix to make dramatic change over night.

Among the many important issues raised in the report, civil servants need to be provided with adequate protection to ensure that they are free to provide independent professional advice to their superiors as well as to their political masters. Protection of whistleblowers who report corruption is one element of that, the need to protect professional integrity in case of unwarranted political pressure another one.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian MoD will have to strike a balance between the size of the institution and salary level. Salaries need to be high enough to attract and retain the needed competence over time. Proper competence will be a key to efficient management of the defence sector.

The Ukrainian MoD project group, the local CIDS office in Kyiv as well as CIDS’ Norwegian and international experts will continue to work together in the same fashion that has been developed since 2015. It has proved to be a very successful model.

Link: Norwegian CIDS experts render report on corruption risks reduction in Ukraine’s MoD HR management system.

NATO BI Discipline Conference 2016

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The 2016 NATO Building Integrity (BI) Discipline Conference was hosted at NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway from 28 to 29 September. The Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS) organized the conference in cooperation with NATO HQ in Brussels and Allied Command Transformation (ACT). Experts and stakeholders from the NATO command structure, JWC, 1st German-Netherlands Corps, UK Defence Academy, Transparency International, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, NATO’s CIMIC (civil-military) Centre of Excellence, Peace Support Operations Centre, and subject matter experts from the United States and Romania participated in the discussions. Panels on education, training and exercises, as well as on military doctrines, discussed how to counter corruption in a theatre of operations and contributed to the successful conclusion of the conference.

Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff at JWC, Rear Admiral John B. Skillman, welcomed the participants. He pointed out that the aim of the conference was to explore and identify potential solutions for existing gaps in NATO’s Building Integrity Programme in the field of Education and Training requirements, and to further develop BI as a NATO discipline.

“Corruption has grown over the last several decades with devastating effects on, inter alia, security and stability. And leaders worldwide recognize that corruption is a major threat to global security,” said Dr Alberto Bin from NATO’s International Staff.

CIDS’ director, Mr Per Christensen, in his introductory remarks emphasized the operational importance of dealing with corruption. He concluded that an operational commander would have a greater chance of accomplishing the mission objectives if corruption in the area of operations is successfully dealt with.

“If you send out people not prepared to handle corruption, we are in danger of putting them into a very tricky situation, because all of our countries, I think, have legislation that makes it illegal to be involved in corruption, also abroad. So both from a legal and a moral point of view we need to prepare ourselves, and that’s why our conference is so important,” said Mr Christensen.

The conference also focused on refining the implementation of integrity building in education, training and exercises – in NATO as well as among Allies and partner nations.

Dr Alberto Bin spoke about NATO’s BI policy that was endorsed at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, and on the development of a follow-up action plan. The audience was reminded that throughout history and across cultures corruption has always existed; however, this phenomenon has grown increasingly sophisticated over the last several decades with devastating effects on security and stability. Leaders worldwide increasingly recognize that corruption is a major threat to global security. An obvious consequence of such recognition is that both NATO and NATO’s partner countries should substantially increase their commitment to fight corruption –  “because this has clearly strategic implications and becomes a strategic imperative more and more.”

“At the most recent NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016 our leaders underlined NATO as a community of values. And it is on this basis that those same leaders endorsed a NATO building integrity policy which in our view represents a milestone in terms of NATO’s commitment to strengthen integrity, transparency, and accountability, and good governance in the defence and security sector,” said Dr Bin.

During the two-day conference, integrity building within defence institutions and in military operations was discussed with a view to updating the annual BI Discipline Alignment Plan (ADP). To reach a common understanding of the overall education and training challenges, as well as agreeing on what actions should be taken in order to meet future challenges, were among the most central topics. Following the NATO BI Policy that was endorsed at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, work on an implementation plan is in progress. This plan will ensure that measures needed to bring BI to the next level will be properly addressed. The objective is good governance in the defence sector, as well as an increased awareness of the consequences of a lack of integrity and high standards in defence institutions as well as in military operations.

 

Conference Photos

CIDS launches the fourth GGG – Access to information and limits to public transparency

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Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS) has launched a new issue in its Guide for Good Governance series: Access to information and limits to public transparency. This guide is the fourth in a series of booklets discussing best international standards and practises in areas of public administration that are crucial to good governance. CIDS’ international expert, Francisco Cardona – a Spanish national with broad experience from OECD’s unit Support for Improvement in Governance and Management, SIGMA – is the author of the new guide.

The new guide summarizes international best practices in the area of public access to information. It is a challenge to strike the right balance between public access to information and the state’s legitimate right to protect certain information. This is particularly challenging with regard to defence, where secrecy is to some extent a necessity. However, the other side of the coin is the need to protect legitimate good-faith whistleblowing. Wrongdoings and abuse of money, power or public trust should not be protected by limits to public information.
The GGG series is written for a broad audience both within the public and defence sectors and outside. The booklets may be used as background reading for all who are interested in good governance in the defence sector and in the public sector more generally. The three first issues address Professionalism and integrity in the public service, Tackling conflicts of interest in the public sector, and Anti-corruption policies and agencies.

Download the booklet (PDF document)

Very useful study-trip to Lithuania 5-8 September from Montenegro BI-project team

As part of the CIDS-project Strengthening the Integrity Framework in the Montenegrin Public Administration with Emphasis on the Security and Defence Areas, a study trip was arranged first week of September to the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania (MoND). The delegation consisted of five members of the technical working group in charge of implementing the project in Montenegro, Navy Captain Knut Walbaekken from CIDS and project team leader Mr Rajko Radevic.

During the visit the Lithuanian MoND officials shared knowledge, experience and best practices from their perspective in the field of integrity and anti-corruption system in defence. The presentations covered the following topics: human resources management including military and civilian component; arrangements for procurement with particular emphasis on the implementation of confidential procurements; financial management system; inspector general and internal audit. All presentations were followed by lively discussions, questions and exchange of opinions between presenters and the delegation members.

CIDS would like to thank our colleagues in the Lithuanian MoND for their kind hospitality, time and efforts invested in sharing their knowledge with the group. A special thanks to Mr. Emilis Kazlauskas, chief specialist, who arranged and coordinated the event on behalf of the host ministry.

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Integrity Plan for the Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces

Skjermbilde 2016-06-30 kl. 19.58.3830 June was the launch of the integrity plan for the Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces (MKSF). The integrity plan has been developed as part of the CIDS project Strengthening the integrity framework in the MKSF.

The integrity plan is the principal guiding document of the Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces for reducing corruption risks in the defence sector. It is fully in line with the existing Kosovo legal framework which promotes good governance and meritocratic principles in public administration.

The Minister of KSF, Professor Dr Haki Demolli opened the event, followed by the Norwegian Ambassador to Kosovo, Jan Braathu. In his speech, Mr. Braathu emphasised the close relationship between the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, CIDS, and the Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces. He praised the MKSF for its effort to build transparent and accountable defence institutions, and reminded us that integrity is indispensable to any country committed to the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“The MKSF and KSF are in the fortunate position of receiving a high degree of public trust. Among Kosovo institutions, your Ministry and the KSF rank high in public confidence. However, that trust cannot be taken for granted. Trust is a valuable and transient commodity. We must earn it every day through our attitude and performance”, Mr. Braathu stated. He also congratulated MKSF for developing a practical and specific integrity plan.

The integrity plan is expected to serve the overall institutional efforts in corruption risk reduction and strengthening good governance of the security sector. It recognises integrity as an indispensable norm of democratisation of the security sector. As such, it will serve as a first policy document that will be implemented through a set of pre-defined proposals for integrity building. The document will increase the capacities of the relevant departments of MKSF in all levels: tactical, operational and, particularly, strategic. The matrix of implementation envisaged concrete activities to be implemented in the period from 2016 until 2018.

3.- Konferenca - Lansimi i Planit të Integritetit të MFSK- 30.06.2016 IMG_3024

Conference on public procurement in Montenegro

On May 31, CIDS organised a conference entitled Harmonisation of Procurement Regulation with the EU Directive 2009/81/EU in the Defence and Related Sectors: Establishment of Good Practices. The event, taking place in Podgorica, is part of our Building Integrity project in the Montenegrin security and defence sector.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss legal regulations and the level of harmonisation with EU standards in the area of public procurement. The participants, consisting of regional experts on the topic, NATO advisors as well as CIDS´ staff, elaborated on the issue of procurement in the defence sector, and presented advise on how to strengthen the integrity framework within this particular area.

CIDS´s director Per Christensen opened the seminar and presented relevant experiences from the Norwegian defence sector. Other speakers were Mrs. Nadja Milanova, representative of the NATO BI Program, Mrs. Sanela Djozgic, Chief of Minister of Defence Cabinet, and Mrs. Biljana Dulovic, Head of Biro for Human Resources and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Interior. There were also valuable contributions from the Croatian and BiH´s Ministry of Defence. The expert contribution, led by CIDS´s legal expert Ms Anela Duman, was crucial for the successful execution of the seminar.

The event was attended by some twenty-eight participants from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, National Security Agency and Pubic Procurement Agency of Montenegro.

 

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Delegation from Kosovo visits Croatian Ministry of Defence

As part of our Building Integrity project in the Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces (MKSF), CIDS organised a study visit to the Croatian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 31 May – 1 June. The Kosovo delegation consisted of six members of the MKSF working group, who all take part in the development of an integrity action plan for their defence sector. CIDS´s regional expert Mr Florian Qehaja was leading the delegation through their two-day visit to Zagreb, together with Mr Kyrre Knutsen, senior adviser in the Norwegian MoD.

During the visit, the MKSF delegation learned about Croatian experiences in the field of integrity and anti-corruption, as well as relevant legal and policy aspects. Drawing on their recent integration process with the EU, the Croatians shared their knowledge and expertise on highly relevant issues. There were lively discussions on human resource management, internal auditing, the role of the defence inspectorate, as well as procurement and asset management.

CIDS would like to thank our colleagues in the Croatian MoD for their kind hospitality and for sharing their expertise on building integrity with us.

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Montenegro: Workshop on improving the integrity framework

On 16 – 18 March, CIDS organised a workshop in the framework of our Building Integrity project in the Montenegrin Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior. The three-day event took place in Budva, gathering relevant top and mid management personnel from the two ministries. The aim of the workshop was to discuss and agree on concrete proposals for creation of a better public integrity framework in the security and defence sector.

Workshop Montenegro

 On the first day, the participants discussed the document Concept of the Rulebook on Budget Planning and Execution in the Ministry of Defence. The document, which was developed by CIDS´ regional expert Ms. Jelena Suput, is the starting point for the planned rulebook aiming to further promote transparency and good governance in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

 On the second day the participants were introduced to the Analysis of the Corruption Risks in the Defence Sector, which was prepared by the project experts in close cooperation with MoD staff. Additionally, the workshop offered the possibility to present and discuss the preliminary results of the Analysis in the Area of Corruption Risk Management and Monitoring Mechanisms in the Defence Sector. Both presentations were followed by lively discussions between the CIDS project management and MoD staff – resulting in an agreement on the follow up activities.

The third day was devoted to the participants from the Ministry of Interior, and the topics discussed included analysis of the corruption risks in the security sector, preliminary results of the analysis of the Unit for Internal Control of the Police, presentation and discussion on standards and level of women’s representation in the police, police integrity and the manner of treating women and children in criminal cases, and a focus on international standards and good practices. CIDS would like to thank all the participants, as well as our local, regional and international experts for their high quality contribution throughout the week. A special thanks to our local team leader Rajko Radevic who not only organised the event, but also took part in preparing and drafting the documents.

 

The Norwegian Defence Sector is considered by Transparency International to have low risk of corruption

skjermbilde ti uk webTransparency International UK`s Defence and Security Programme has released the new Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index for 2015. The Index measures the risk of corruption in national defence and security establishments worldwide. According to the Index, the Norwegian defence sector is considered to have low risk of corruption. The UK was the only NATO-country to score top marks, indicating strong anti-corruption systems in defence institutions, underpinned by effective independent oversight mechanisms.

Norway is ranked in band B, which is similar to the results from the 2013 Government Anti-Corruption Index. According to this year’s results, Norway has potential for improvements regarding sales of defence equipment, in preventing corruption in operations, requirements to defence suppliers to actively prevent corruption, and transparency with regard to offset agreements.

– The Government Defence Index represents a valuable contribution to national efforts to reduce the risk of corruption in our defence sector, says CIDS director Per Christensen. – The index gives us solid basis for advising the Ministry of Defence on actions to be taken to further lower the risk of corruption.