good or bad for fighting corruption?

Esplanade des Ministères, in Brasilia. Photo: Edilson Rodrigues / Agência Senad

The proposed amendment to the Constitution 32/2020, the PEC administrative reform, has been the target of criticism that it could facilitate corruption in public power. Critics are mostly left-wing parliamentarians. The Senate Legislative Council, made up of career civil servants, also says the PEC will facilitate corruption. But reform advocates say this idea is wrong and that, on the contrary, the PEC can help prevent irregularities in public administration.

“PEC 32 (…) takes the stability of the server and paves the way for political favoritism in the public service, which can facilitate corruption and still leave the population without a good service”, declared via Twitter the leader of the Psol at the Room, Talíria Pétrone (RJ).

“This constitutional amendment will become known as ‘Rachadinha PEC’. (…) What Bolsonaro wants is precisely the possibility of nominations to sponsor the public service, by submitting it ideologically ”, declared the leader of the PT in the House, Bohn Gass (RS), during the session of the CCJ who approved the CEP.

But these criticisms are rejected by supporters of the proposal. “In their opinion [os parlamentares contrários à PEC], there would be a weakening of the link between civil servants and the State, and this could lead to corruption, ”said Deputy Major Vitor Hugo (PSL-GO). “But the careers typical of the state are preserved. The bond will continue to be a bond of stability. Those careers which are more administrative, which do not deal with crucial issues, which do not make decisions that impact a large number of people, may have a weaker connection, even to preserve public funds, ”he said.

For the rapporteur of the PEC, the deputy Darci de Matos (PSD-SC), the opposition defines the current proposal in a misleading way. “They say that now, with the reform, the politicians will appoint the servers. It is an outright lie, “he criticizes.

Matos stresses that stability continues for the careers typical of the state. “The police, the inspector, the auditor will not lose stability. And the reform does not change a single point to acquired rights. And more: from next year all other servers will be open for tenders – but they won’t have the same stability. For the commission position, his whole life was nominated by whoever won the election, and now we are creating qualifying criteria. We avoid appointing an illiterate companion, ”says the rapporteur.

The idea of ​​the PEC is to create five new types of guarantees for civil servants: the experience guarantee (as a stage of a public call for tenders); surety for a fixed period; the position with an indeterminate relationship; the typical position of the state; and the role of leadership and advice.

Of these five, only the civil servant who occupies a typical post in the State will have stability in his role. The PEC has not yet defined what a typical state position is. This definition will come about through a subsequent complementary law, which has generated controversy.

PEC administrative reform could be positive in the fight against corruption

For MEPs in favor of administrative reform, the new legislation would not only not facilitate corruption but would indirectly help fight it.

MEP Adriana Ventura (Novo-SP) considers that the PEC administrative reform favors the fight against corruption, even if its main objective is not that. “As the objective of administrative reform is to remove excesses, improve public service and lighten the state, the tendency, over time, if we do not have so much bureaucracy and a state too bloated, is naturally down to corruption, ”he said. . “Today there is a lot of bureaucracy. And excess bureaucracy is a dish full of corruption.

Deputy Major Vitor Hugo agrees. “A lean State is easier to investigate, to control its spending. When you make the state less bureaucratic and more efficient, you fight corruption, ”he says.

Adriana says that the current text is “a kick-off” and that some points still need to be improved, but this does not justify the accusations plaguing the PEC. “There are a lot of things that need to be regulated, adjusted and improved. We know the text is not perfect. But that’s why we have a special commission.

The PEC, after having been approved by the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ), which analyzes the constitutionality of the proposal, is dealt with in a special commission created to discuss the final text which will be presented to the plenary of the Chamber.

Senate Legislative Opinion PEC Will Cause “Increase in Corruption”

On May 19, the Senate Legislative Council issued a technical note criticizing the PEC being processed in the House. Signed by legislative consultant Vinícius Leopoldino do Amaral, the document predicts that “the increase in corruption in public administration” will be a consequence of administrative reform.

“At least two changes promoted by CEP 32/2020 tend to increase corruption in public administration. First, the elimination of the currently existing restrictions on the occupation of commission and trust positions. Secondly, the new possibilities of management contracts, ”specifies the senatorial body.

Regarding management contracts, the text of the Senate consulting firm specifies that the PEC “brings a gigantic step backwards for budgetary transparency, making parliamentary and social control enormously difficult and opening the door to all kinds of abuses”.

The PEC rapporteur for administrative reform, MP Darci de Matos (PSD-SC), says he refuses to comment on the content of the note. And he justifies this by saying that its author is a civil servant with a high salary – according to the Senate Transparency Portal, Amaral receives a gross salary of R $ 35,198.

“This consultant, Amaral, is a guy who has been in public scrutiny for ten years, and he already earns 35,000 reais in the Senate, and the reform will not take a comma from his salary. I refuse to talk about an article by a guy who earns R $ 35,000 and reaches the peak of his career in ten years – and that we are going to change, ”says the PEC rapporteur.

MEP Adriana Ventura says that some points related to transparency (in the case of management contracts) could be improved in the text, but the main objective is to fight against bureaucracy. “Of course, we will have to work on transparency and several points will have to be improved afterwards, but, in my opinion, less bureaucracy, less corruption”

For Adriana, the reform will help improve the civil service, but even so, some officials understood the proposal as an attack on officials. “We have good and bad in any profession. But there is a very strong lobby of officials who want to delegitimize the reform anyway, ”she said.

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