Gradual deregulation is a solution against bureaucracy


Author: Liliana Lavoratti

Source: Gazeta Mercantil, 15/10/2007

São Paulo, October 15, 2007 - Current moment, of relative fiscal balance, is ideal for simplifying inflexible routines and rules. The excess of bureaucracy in the country, after some initiatives adopted 28 years ago, returned with renewed impetus in the wake of the increased demands on taxpayers to counter the crisis in public accounts and obtain the generation of the notorious primary surpluses - the surplus of revenues in relation to expenses, without accounting for debt interest. But the current moment, of economic growth and relative fiscal balance, is good to put the simplification of inflexible routines and strict regulations that prevail in public offices on the country's agenda.

The opinion is of lawyer Piquet Carneiro, president of Instituto Hélio Beltrão, who has been conducting studies on Brazilian public administration since 1985. "With the economy going well and, therefore, without risk of falling in the collection, the opportunity is created to simplify the legislation that has been made even more complex in recent years, especially for taxpayers", says the expert.

The last initiatives were under the government of ex-president Fernando Collor de Mello, when the effort in this direction was short-lived and focused on deregulation. The first programs go back to the government of Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-1961), with the creation of the Bureaucratic Simplification Commission. In 1979, an Extraordinary Ministry for Debureaucratization was created, led by Hélio Beltrão, who inspired the foundation of the Institute led by Carneiro. It was from that time that two initiatives were created: the Small Claims Courts and the Small and Micro-Company Statute.

The obsessive focus of macroeconomic policy in the search for fiscal balance, as a weapon to face the successive external crises that affected Brazil in the 90s, in the two terms of ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, resulted in drastic demands imposed on taxpayers. One of the consequences of excessive bureaucracy is the encouragement of informality. 'You can't get a permit from the city when you owe IPTU and so on,' says Carneiro.

Regional Solutions

At the risk of making the system unfeasible, this situation needs to be mitigated, defends the lawyer. In this regard, he supported a recent initiative by the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management to hold seminars to discuss measures to reduce bureaucracy. While in recent times the Union has fallen asleep to the problem, most states and some larger municipalities have created their own programs. This is the case of Poupatempo, in São Paulo, and SAC (Customer Service), in Bahia. 'States and municipalities are closer to citizens and that is why they were pressured to take some measures', says Carneiro.
The problems of the federal government imply the approval of measures in the National Congress. The expert believes that the most appropriate way is to progress gradually in deregulation, 'to make a general cleansing of the rules to make them less fiscal and purging the recent complications that have been added to the previous ones'. 'It is also necessary to obtain the participation of the Judiciary and the entire Executive,' he says.

Lula Government

The adviser to the Management Secretariat of the Ministry of Planning, Roger Rosa, argues that the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promoted two important bureaucratic measures. Within the scope of the Judiciary Reform, it is Law 11.232 / 05, which attacks the civil enforcement system, uniting the knowledge and enforcement phases in a single process, making the process more agile, since it eliminates the need for the defendant's new summons in the collection. Law 11.187 / 05, on the other hand, determines that the appeals (appeals filed in the middle of the process) will only be judged in the appeal, by avoiding delaying appeals.
In addition, recalls the advisor, Bolsa Família, which transfers income to poor and extremely poor families, was born out of red tape, as the benefit is paid directly to families by card.