Dr. Hsu Renhui, Government Relaiton Advisor, Good Earth CPA
Transparency International (TI) announced on the 16th that the world’s "Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index" (Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index) was evaluated. Among the 85 countries evaluated, Taiwan achieved outstanding results and scored 70 points like Germany. Tied for sixth place, the average score of each country is only 39 points. TI has again classified countries into six levels. Level A means that the risk of corruption is extremely low, and only New Zealand is included. Level B is low risk and belongs to eight countries including Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The classification of the two assessments (2013 and 2015) is the same, and they are all grade B. The United States, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, France, Canada and other countries are all classified as C-level in this evaluation, which is a medium risk. China scored only 28 points and was classified as a high-risk country.
TI’s government defense integrity evaluation system evaluates the corruption risks that may be encountered in the defense business of various countries in the five aspects of politics, finance, personnel, implementation of anti-corruption and procurement, such as whether there is a sound democratic supervision mechanism, defense expenditure and Whether asset disposal is legal, whether military personnel have anti-corruption training and awareness, whether they effectively supervise corruption, and whether defense procurement is well managed and controlled. There are more than 70 evaluation questions and indicators. First, each country is self-evaluated, and then it is evaluated by a number of scholars and experts who know the country’s actual situation. TI will send personnel to conduct field visits, and finally conduct systematization and science. The score is based on the score. The process is quite rigorous, and the country with high scores deserves its name.
TI specifically pointed out in the summary report that Taiwan has a solid democratic system; although China has threatened peaceful reunification, it has never given up military rule over Taiwan. In recent years, the confrontation between the United States and China has led to high tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has had to accelerate its self-defense capability and make substantial defense investments and purchases. TI is optimistic about Taiwan's democratic and legislative supervision mechanism, as well as a sound auditing system, and affirms that the political risk of anti-corruption in Taiwan is low. Defining the items and amounts of the defense budget, as well as the disclosure of financial information, has also greatly reduced the financial risks of anti-corruption. At the same time, the national army has a complete system of personnel laws and regulations, and is also quite alert to the risk of corruption.
TI has also noticed that the Taiwanese military attaches great importance to ethics and integrity education, but recommends that more efforts be made in anti-corruption cognition and beliefs, and a strategic and forward-looking action plan should be established. TI also pointed out that Taiwan’s military procurement is highly political and sensitive, and the United States is the most important weapon supplier. In view of the huge defense procurement budget expenditures, TI still recommends the establishment of a more open, competitive and improved control mechanism for procurement.
TI’s affirmation is worthy of joy, and its recommendations are also worthy of adoption. Taking the national army's integrity education as an example, the Ministry of National Defense can seek improvement in the methods and content of education and training, and break away from dogmatic slogans, and shape the army's integrity belief and organizational culture.
For the establishment of strategic and forward-looking anti-corruption action plans, it may be possible to refer to the "Anti-Bribery Management System Standards" (ISO 3701) related to bribery risk assessment, anti-bribery policy and implementation plan drafting, etc. Develop a method suitable for the national army. Regarding procurement contracts and process control, the government has actively promoted the "Integrity Platform" for the procurement of various major projects in recent years. The purpose is to make the procurement process open and transparent through multi-party communication and greatly reduce the risk of corruption. At present, the Ministry of National Defense does not have an anti-corruption platform, and it may try to open some non-confidential procurement projects to set up. It is hoped that the Department of Defense can seriously face TI's suggestions, seek improvement, and take it to the next level.
(The author is the chairman of the Taiwan Transparency Organization Association, a university professor, and the advisor of Good Earth CPA)