Increase in complaints is the result of greater transparency


Valor Econômico - Special Section - Fighting Corruption - 17/08/2012


If Brazil intends to consolidate itself as an economically competitive country, it needs legislation that effectively sanctions legal entities for the practice of corruption. The lack of such a law distorts markets, drives investors away and compromises the country's development. This is the assessment of the Chief Minister of the Union's Comptroller General (CGU), Jorge Hage Sobrinho, presented during the international seminar “The impact of Corruption on Development”, organized by Market and by the Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics (Etco).

"It is necessary to create more effective means to reach the assets of legal entities, obtain an effective reimbursement of the losses caused, expand the punishable conduct, including to meet the international commitments assumed by Brazil", says Hage, pointing out that several countries already have laws of this nature. species, such as the United States (1977), France (2000), Italy (2001), Chile (2009) and the United Kingdom (2010).

According to the minister, in recent years, in an unprecedented way, corruption has been detected, investigated, disclosed and punished in the administrative sphere. From 2003 until now, CGU expelled 3.826 civil servants. At least 70% of cases are linked to corruption and administrative impropriety. This fight has been carried out, in an innovative way, he points out, through the articulation and cooperation between different public agencies.

In addition to facing corruption, Brazil started to invest in transparency, not only in public resources, but in any information produced or maintained by the State, which is not protected by secrecy and has no personal character. The increase in reports of corruption cases in the country, says Hage, is the result of greater government transparency and greater citizen involvement. The number of visitors to the Transparency and Controllership portal, for example, went from 285 thousand in 2005 to 3,3 million in 2012.

The Access to Information Law, expanded in its objectives, also proves to be an effective instrument, increasingly used by citizens, according to the minister. "In federal agencies, for example, we have already received more than 20 thousand questions via the Access to Information Law and more than 80% of them were answered within the deadline", he says.

Brazil's efforts to increasingly increase transparency and access to information are recognized worldwide, analyzes Hage. Currently, he says, based on the Latin American Corruption Survey 2012, there is a greater perception of the Brazilian citizen in relation to corruption. According to the survey, 88% of respondents said they were aware of a company, individual or civil servant being sued for making or receiving an improper payment.

However, much more needs to be done, says Hage. “Radical changes in Brazilian procedural legislation are necessary so that corruption and improbity are effectively punished”, he says. Among the challenges to be overcome, points out the chief minister of the CGU, are the rationalization of procedural rules, with reduction of resources and other delaying measures (PEC of Resources and CPP Reform), overcoming the “guarantor” excesses of the jurisprudence of the Courts, and approval of important bills to combat corruption (PL on Accountability of Legal Entities for Acts of Corruption, pending in the Chamber of Deputies and PL that regulates the Conflict of Interest between the public and the private sector and expands the quarantine , pending in the Federal Senate). "In addition to the adoption of exclusive public financing for campaigns and awareness of entrepreneurs that playing fair is a good deal".

For ex-minister Marcílio Marques Moreira, chairman of Etco's advisory board, the fight against corruption is just beginning. The most important thing, he notes, is to end mutual distrust between the public administration and the private sector.