Taiwan ranks 6th in world in defense anti-corruption survey

Taiwan has one of the lowest risks of corruption in its defense and security establishments in the world, according to a survey on corruption in national defense industries released by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International on Tuesday.

The Government Defense Integrity Index (GDI) gave Taiwan an overall score of 70 out of 100 and a B grade along with seven other countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany.

Taiwan and Germany both had an overall score of 70 and shared the No. 6 ranking among the 86 countries surveyed.

New Zealand topped the index with a score of 85 and was the only country surveyed given a top "A" grade.

The overall average of scores determines the strength of a country's institutional practices and protocols to manage corruption risks in defense institutions, resulting in grades from A (low risk/strong institutional controls) to F (high risk/weak institutional controls).

Taiwan was the only one of 14 countries in Asia receiving a "B" grade in the latest ratings, while China had a score of 28, placing it in the "E" band.

According to the index, corruption risk is low in Taiwan's defense sector with well-established and effective parliamentary oversight and sound external scrutiny of financial management.

Its personnel management processes also contain strong anti-corruption provisions, it said.

The index warned, however, that corruption risk is high for military operations in Taiwan and there remained lingering issues surrounding non-transparent defense procurement.

In response, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the ranking indicates that Taiwan's performance in preventing corruption in the defense sector is on par with that of some of the most advanced world powers.

The result also showed that the government's efforts to improve transparency and to introduce external assessors in the defense sector is earning international recognition, the MND said in a statement.

The GDI is undertaken by Transparency International (Defense and Security) based in the UK. The index is the world's leading assessment of corruption risks in defense establishments.

The rating is based on a review of 77 indicators within five risk categories covering financial, operational, personnel, political, and procurement corruption risks to provide a detailed assessment of the integrity of national defense institutions, it said.

Transparency International previously released the index in 2013 and 2015 when it was called the Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index (GI).

Taiwan was given B rankings in both 2013 and 2015 GI.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of the 86 countries surveyed received an overall score of 49 or lower, indicating a high to critical risk of defense sector corruption across all world regions, according to Transparency International.

Sudan, which saw the military seize power in a violent coup last month, performs the worst, with an overall score of just 5 out of 100.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel