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E-Agendas as a transparency tool

In December 2020, during the Forum for the Control and Combat of Corruption, the Federal Government's Anti-Corruption Plan was released, which aims to improve mechanisms for the prevention, detection and accountability for acts of corruption. The intention is to act on several fronts (such as interinstitutional articulation, prevention of conflicts of interest, public ethics, accountability of individuals and companies, among others) in favor of the established purpose.

Among the document's proposals for action is the elaboration of a bill that regulates the exercise of private representation of interests (lobbying) at the national level. The theme has already been defended by the Attorney General of the Republic (Augusto Aras) and by the leader of the Government in the Chamber of Deputies, Deputy Ricardo Barros (PP / PR).

The Minister of the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU), Wagner Rosário, has already announced that one of the focal points of this regulation will be the transparency of the authorities' agendas. Along these lines, a decree on the transparency of public authorities' agendas and the development of the tool is also foreseen in the Anti-Corruption Plan. e-calendars, under the responsibility of CGU.

E-Agendas aims to provide transparency to the commitments of public authorities (including those with the participation of private entities) in a centralized and standardized manner, facilitating social control. This system will be mandatory for all agencies and entities of the Federal Executive Branch.

It is worth mentioning the mandatory daily disclosure of commitments, which should be published on the websites, as Conflicts of Interest Law (12,813 / 13). It is also worth mentioning that the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union prepared an Active Transparency Guide for bodies and entities of the Federal Executive Branch, listing a series of information that the authorities should disclose and keep records for later consultations.

From the monitoring of the disclosure of these commitments, we can see that there is a major update of the agendas throughout the day or, even, after days of the fulfillment of said commitment.[1]. The graphs below seek to measure the level of update over the months in the year 2020.

Schedules are expected to be updated to include those unforeseen - or urgent - commitments and to adjust canceled and / or postponed appointments. However, the level of updating of the agendas compromises the monitoring of interactions with entities external to the agencies, since these updates become rules, and not exceptions. It is also valid to comment that there is no resource to identify whether the full agenda has been published. Sometimes, it is necessary to check the agenda of all the authorities of one body (or even other bodies), to identify if there are undisclosed commitments.

However, it is worth mentioning that each agency has a different level of updating. Thus, we highlight the bodies with the highest and lowest level of updating of their agendas, below:

Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights
Daily Appointments: 17 Retroactive Appointments: 3,367
99% update defense Ministry
Daily Commitments: 1,567 Retroactive Commitments: 1,661
06% update
ANM - National Mining Agency[1]
Daily Appointments: 1 Retroactive Appointments: 76
99% update ANP - National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel
Daily Commitments: 2,149 Retroactive Commitments: 2,315
07% update
Ministry of Justice and Public Security
Daily Commitments: 90 Retroactive Commitments: 1,976
95% update ANA - National Water Agency
Daily Commitments: 1,616 Retroactive Commitments: 1,802
10% update
ANCINE – National Cinema Agency
Daily Appointments: 24 Retroactive Appointments: 416
94% update central bank
Daily Appointments: 4,354
Retroactive Commitments: 5.001
13% update
ANATEL – National Telecommunications Agency
Daily Appointments: 52 Retroactive Appointments: 573
91% update 
ANEEL – National Electric Energy Agency
Daily Appointments: 1,526
Retroactive Commitments: 1,792
15% update
[1] The agency has not published its agenda since March 2020.

In this way, it is emphasized that, regardless of the tool, it is still necessary that the data be inserted in a coherent and agile enough way so that horizontal inspection can be promoted, in the desired way. It is also worth mentioning that the agendas serve as a consultation even for other civil servants and authorities in the Public Administration.

There are also other points that qualify the information on the commitments, such as the disclosure of the agenda, the disclosure of the entire agenda and the list of participants in the commitments. These and other issues will be explored in future articles that we intend to publish, in view of their relevance.

Walysson Barros, advisor to Umbelino Lôbo Assessoria e Consultoria

[1] In order to make monitoring possible, the collection of commitments was carried out at two different times. Every morning in the morning, the commitments published for that day were collected. Two days after the fulfillment of these commitments, a new collection was made to record the updates of the agendas.

[2] The agency has not published its agenda since March 2020.


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