Only 20% of RS city halls comply with the Access to Information Law

In force for almost three years, the Access to Information Law still faces problems to be complied with in Rio Grande do Sul. According to a study released by the State Audit Court (TCE), only 20% of city halls and 5% of city councils meet the main items required by law.

Among the main criteria with low performance, are the disclosure of the administration of public assets (real estate and vehicles) and registration of expenses.

“These are aspects that have not yet had good adherence. In the assessment of the executive branch, for example, only 11% of the municipalities discriminated against the vehicles they own. And in the expense record, our assessment is that it must appear in an easier way for the citizen. We found that he was often there, but without tools ”, points out auditor Renato Lauris.

Source: G1 (15/01)

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Law of Access to Information goes slowly, points out research

In December, at the Memorial da América Latina, in São Paulo, the Seminar “Transparency and Control of Corruption - The Law on Access to Information” brought together representatives of civil society and public bodies that seek to eradicate the corruption of Brazilian social culture. Divided into two panels, the event promoted a discussion on the role of the government and civil institutions in fighting corruption.

More than 200 people attended the opening of the seminar promoted by the Movement of the Democratic Public Ministry (MPD). The morning was dedicated to discussions on transparency and the control of corruption by the State, with emphasis on the presentation by the Chief Minister of the Comptroller General of the Union, Jorge Hage, and for the presentation and analysis of the results of the research on implementation. of the Access Law in the Public Ministry of Brazil, made by Fabiano Angélico, of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation.

Based on questionnaires sent to 30 units of the Federal Public Ministry, Labor and Military, in addition to the 27 state MPs, the survey found that, with almost six months in force, the public ministries are not yet fully prepared to implement the new rules necessary for the effective implementation of the Access to Information Law. Among the problems encountered are the employees' lack of knowledge about the legislation and the lack of a specific sector to fulfill requests.

According to Angélico, “no public prosecutor has fully implemented the law. There are some more advanced ones, but all are at an early or intermediate stage. ”

Law No. 12.527 / 11 provides mechanisms for the citizen to have quick and easy access to public information. Among its objectives is the development of a culture of transparency and social control in public administration. That is, to spread the thought that every citizen has the right to know what the State does and to demand attitudes, if something is wrong.

In the second panel of the seminar, in the afternoon, the participation of civil society was discussed. The panel "Control of Transparency by Society" was attended by the chief executive of ETCO, Roberto Abdenur. In his lecture, he spoke about the important role of civil society organizations in fighting corruption and presented conclusions from the international seminar “The Impact of Corruption on Development”, held by the institute in August, in a partnership with the newspaper Valor Econômico.

The event also had important speakers, such as Dimas Ramalho, advisor to the State Court of Auditors (TCE); Tais Ferraz, advisor to the National Council for the Public Prosecution (CNMP); Wellington Saraiva, of the National Council of Justice (CNJ); Ela de Castilho, Deputy Attorney General and MPF Ombudsman; and Professor Eugênio Bucci, from the School of Communications and Arts at the University of São Paulo (ECA / USP).

Three questions for Jorge Hage

The chief minister of the Federal Comptroller General talks about the results of the Access to Information Law and its contribution to the prevention and reduction of corruption in the country.

 

1.    The Access to Information Law is about to complete six months. What is your assessment of this period? Are the results in line with expectations?

The result is extremely positive and has exceeded CGU's expectations. The Access to Information Law “caught on”. In six months of validity, it has served to meet more than 44 thousand requests from citizens before federal agencies alone, a universe monitored by the CGU Electronic System. Around 93% of these requests have already been answered, 85% of which are positive, that is, satisfactorily meeting what the citizen sought to know.

The law has also been producing effects in addition to those resulting from strict compliance (which would be no small feat). And it has been causing spontaneous disclosure of information of great importance to society. The examples are many. As soon as it came into force, the Central Bank decided to open the full votes in Copom's decisions; the National Archives opened wide open documents of the dictatorship; Ibama disclosed the companies fined for biopiracy; Planning opened information on functional properties; and the federal government guaranteed full transparency to the salaries of 570 thousand civil servants and 350 thousand military personnel.

Therefore, the Access to Information Law is revolutionary and takes an important step towards the consolidation of the Brazilian democratic regime, insofar as it expands citizen participation and strengthens the instruments of control of public management.

2.    How can citizens request information and monitor its progress? What is the average time to get the answers?

First, the citizen formulates the request, which can be made through the Electronic System of the Citizen Information Service, the e-SIC, which is available on the internet at the CGU website (www.cgu.gov.br). If he prefers, he can also go to the physical unit of the Citizen Information Service (SIC) of the public agency of the Federal Executive Branch of interest. In both cases, after inserting the request in the system, a protocol number will be generated, which allows you to monitor the progress of the access request, file appeals, submit complaints and consult the responses received. The agency that has to provide any clarification will do so by e-mail, without the need for the citizen to leave home.

Regarding the term, the Access Law establishes that, if access to information is available, the answer must be given immediately. When this is not the case, the defendant has a period of up to 20 days, extendable for another 10 days, to comply with the request. However, it is worth noting that the federal government has been able to respond to citizens in an average time of 10 days, that is, half of the expected legal term.

3.    How can the Access to Information Law contribute to the fight against corruption in Brazil?

The Access Law acts as another instrument that contributes to the prevention of corruption, as has been the case since 2004, with the Transparency Portal, which offers anyone, through the internet, the possibility of knowing all the expenses that were paid by the government federal item by item (the amount, the purpose, who paid, who received, which program is associated, whether or not there was a bidding process). The law adds a new point of view to inspection, which makes it possible for the citizen to request the full amount, for example, of the contracts, the results of the audits, the list of agreements entered into, the list of civil servants in a specific public agency, among other data under the state guard.

The law allows citizens, from the access to documents produced by all the powers (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) and spheres of government (municipalities, States and the Union), to make complaints of misuse of public resources. It opens information essential to the exercise of social control over government spending and the efficiency and quality of services provided by public administration. It is a very powerful tool in the hands of Brazilians. It needs to be used and used well.