9.3 Strengthening host nation oversight
Equipment donated through international security assistance is frequently delivered directly to units involved, bypassing the receiving state’s budget and resource management procedures. In some contexts, this could be an anti-corruption measure: working past a corrupt government institution can limit opportunities for diversion or fraud. In other cases, however, this de-centralised process could create corruption risks at the lower level, where the use of materiel can escape oversight. In the longer term, including host nation institutions – from internal and external audit to parliamentary committees – in overseeing the provision and distribution of security assistance materiel can improve their capacity and help introduce anti-corruption safeguards.
Case Study: Corruption and Plan Colombia: The Missing Link
Host nation oversight: Colombia
In 2003, Colombia’s Comptroller Delegate for defence, justice and security pointed out a lack of an overall process for managing items received through Plan Colombia, which habitually bypassed the MOD’s budget and procedures. Gradually, however, financial responsibilities were transferred to the Colombian government, at its insistence. While assets – such as aircraft – that remain the property of the US are not incorporated into the Colombian budget, the costs of maintaining them, paid by Colombia, are in the national budget. Their expenditure is overseen by Colombian audit institutions.View case study
- Audit units