A survey by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has highlighted worrying signs that many of the world's largest arms traders have inadequate safeguards to prevent corruption.
The Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index found that around 70 per cent of countries have poor controls against corruption, including inadequate oversight of defence policy and standards.
Of 82 countries surveyed, only Germany and Australia were found to have strong anti-corruption mechanisms.
Director of Transparency International UK's defence programme, Mark Pyman, told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific there were a number of surprises in the results.
"The fact that 70 percent, which is a huge number of many quite well-developed nations - and the other surprise was at the top end...actually there were only two countries - one was Australia and the other was Germany," Mr Pyman said.
"I was expecting many nations to be at that level as well."
Mr Pyman said the survey was based on what Transparency International saw as the five main areas of corruption risk: political, financial, personnel, operations and procurement risk.
He said in the Asian region, South Korea and Taiwan received the best scores, with Japan in Band C, China in Band D, Indonesia in Band E and other nations after that.
Mr Pyman said Transparency International were particularly surprised with Singapore's poor results.
There appears to be very little independent scrutiny of [Singapore's] defence policy strategy or budget.
Mark Pyman, Director of Transparency International UK defence programme
"The reason for the low score is that whilst that high quality civil service is true, when it comes to defence, they make very little information available," he said.
"There appears to be very little independent scrutiny of its defence policy strategy or budget."
He said countries that scored well tended to have a very high availability of information on defence budgets and policies, and good external oversights.