The Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector (CIDS) and Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) are proud to present the first-ever practical handbook on how to develop an integrity action plan for the defence sector.
“Within the last few years we have seen that many senior leaders have come to realise that corruption is a huge threat to the defence sector. Yet, there have been few practical tools available to help ministries and governments prevent and reduce the risk of corruption. With this handbook, we are offering a step-by-step guide on how to develop and implement an integrity action plan for the defence sector”, says Bård B. Knudsen, director at CIDS.
The handbook aims at helping practitioners in defence establishments produce real and lasting change through reducing the risks of corruption and other unethical behaviour. Drawing on TI-DSP’s substantial experience in countering corruption, and also CIDS’ experience with building integrity in South East Europe, the handbook offers a new practical tool. It outlines how to assess corruption risks and how to address identified weaknesses and shortcomings; from the planning stage to the actual drafting of the plan to practical implementation and follow-up. It will, therefore, be a valuable added resource to be applied in NATO’s Building Integrity programme and by governments who would like to address weaknesses and shortcomings identified through NATO’s BI Self-Assessment Questionnaire or by Transparency International’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index.
– We can all do better
“This new handbook shows that building integrity and countering corruption are important issues for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence”, says Secretary General in the Norwegian MoD, Erik Lund-Isaksen. “Norway has been an active contributor to NATO’s Building Integrity programme since 2007, and the establishment of the Centre for Integrity in the Defence Sector under the Norwegian MoD proves our active commitment. Our collaboration with Transparency International UK’s Defence and Security programme has been particularly valuable, and the co-production of the handbook reinforces the close working relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom on defence-related issues. I am convinced that the handbook will be well received and used extensively by the various defence institutions”.
Secretary General Lund-Isaksen stresses that corruption is a matter of concern to all of us. “It is a fact that corruption and unethical behaviour reduce our defence capabilities and undermine public trust in our political institutions and armed forces”, Lund-Isaksen states. “According to Transparency International, at least 20 billion US dollars are lost internationally to corruption every year – in the defence sector alone!” He further emphasise that this is a challenge to all countries – including Norway. “We can all do better. In the Norwegian Ministry of Defence we have used TI’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index actively to identify where we can improve our integrity system. We are now developing an integrity action plan based on the results from this index.”
The Norwegian MoD is also working closely with the defence industry in order to raise anti-corruption standards and improving their integrity systems. “It is our experience that we can achieve more by working together with the defence companies to spread the knowledge of good practice and raise ethical standards. Having a reputation for zero tolerance of corruption is definitely a distinguishing asset for a defence company, and will become even more important in the future“, Lund-Isaksen states.
– Leaders are role models
With his long-time experience from the Norwegian public sector, Erik Lund-Isaksen underlines the importance of senior leaders engaging actively: “Leaders at all levels not only have to make sure that their personnel are aware of the relevant rules, regulations and ethical guidelines. They also have to act as good role models and demonstrate in their daily work that this is something they take seriously and expect to be taken seriously. In that way, we can work together in order to promote transparency, accountability and good governance in the defence sector”, Lund-Isaksen says.
The handbook will be translated into Ukrainian, French, Russian and Dari by the NATO Building Integrity programme.