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Working Paper 02/2007: Addressing corruption and building integrity in defence establishments

‘Defence is the last refuge of grand corruption’, said John Githongo, Kenya’s former permanent secretary for governance, in 2006. The defence establishment has historically been one of the least open of any government organisation — to public or even intra-governmental scrutiny. The secrecy that necessarily veils some defence activities often extends more widely than can be justified, leaving the sector with little oversight and vulnerable to corruption. As with any form of corruption, abuses of power in the defence sector are not a victimless crime. Every dollar misappropriated represents a waste of resources and creates a more dangerous — and less trustworthy — security environment for all.