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THE EXTENT OF SINGLE SOURCING IN DEFENCE PROCUREMENT AND ITS RELEVANCE AS A CORRUPTION RISK: A FIRST LOOK

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Abstract:

Single-source, or non-competitive, defence procurement is a widespread phenomenon that is prevalent both in developing countries and in advanced arms exporting countries. The usual competitive bidding process - which assists in both value-for-money evaluation and in lowering corruption risk - is used much less often than expected in defence procurement. Whilst there can be good reasons for single sourcing, the opportunities and inducements for corruption are significantly escalated. Further, some countries that claim to employ single-source only in rare instances are found to have high percentages of non-competitive defence procurement. This is of particular concern as defence is perceived to be one of the more corruption-prone international business sectors, as identified in the 2002 Bribe Payers Index (Transparency International, 2002), with procurement presenting a significant source of corruption risk. The work presented here gives data on the percentage of defence single source procurement in a number of countries. Some countries were transparent and open about this data, even where it showed them in an unfavourable light. Most were not, citing sensitivity reasons or even that the data did not exist as reasons for refusal.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10242690802016506

Affiliations: Transparency International (UK), London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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