Defense sector's anti-graft efforts recognized in int'l survey
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's efforts in anti-corruption have been recognized in a global Government Defense Anti-corruption Index (GDAI) survey released yesterday in Taipei, with the country ranking among the top nine of 82 countries surveyed.
January 30, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The index, released by the nongovernmental organization Transparency International (TI), ranks each country from A to F, with A reflecting very low defense corruption risk and F reflecting a critically high corruption risk.
Taiwan is placed in Band B, indicating a low corruption risk, along with six other countries, including Austria, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Within the bands, countries were not ranked.
Only Australia and Germany are placed in the top Band A. China is placed in Band D.
Nearly 70 percent of all countries surveyed were placed in the D, E or F brackets, indicating high, very high or critical risk of corruption in defense and security.
”Taiwan did very well not only in terms of providing robust payment systems for military personnel, but also making military information available to the public,” said Kevin Yeh, executive director of the TI's Taiwan branch, at yesterday's press briefing.
Mark Pyman, director of TI UK's Defense and Security Program, echoed Yeh's views, saying that Taiwan has a strong Legislature that is effective in public scrutiny of defense.
But there is room for improvement for the country, he noted.
“The percentage of defense and security expenditure dedicated to the secret defense budget is slightly greater than 8 percent,” he said, adding that the number is higher than other countries that have done well in the survey.
According to TI's Taiwan branch, the GDAI is the first of its kind, and the survey provides a detailed analysis of corruption-related issues facing defense establishments around the world.
The results are based on a comprehensive questionnaire of 77 questions, each with “model” answers, TI-Taiwan said.
The results are also disaggregated into five key risk areas: political, financial, operations, personnel, and procurement risk.
The aim of the index is to provide defense officials with practical guidance on how to build integrity and reduce the risk of corruption, and to provide civil society with a tool to monitor reform progress, it added.
Military to Lower Secret Defense Budget
In a separate press conference yesterday, Taiwan's Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang expressed gratitude toward the survey results, saying that it has proven the ministry is doing a good job in anti-corruption.
The survey results not only recognized the nation's effort in fighting graft but can also boost the general public's confidence in the government, he added.
Asked to comment on the secret defense spending, a senior defense official Huang His-ju (黃希儒) pledged during the same press conference that, as pointed out the survey, the ministry will continue to reduce its secret military spending.