ARTICLE 19’s Brazil and South America office has been invited to join Brazil’s Council for Transparency, Integrity and Combating Corruption, which was established at a formal event on 16 May.
The body, which is linked to the Office of the Comptroller General, will be tasked with bringing in measures to improve and promote policies and strategies to combat corruption; monitor and supervise how public resources are distributed and applied; promote and support open government, transparency and access to public information; and foster integrity in both the public and private spheres.
ARTICLE 19 was appointed to the Council, along with 29 other civil society organisations. Representatives from the Office of the Comptroller General and the Office of the Federal Attorney will also be members, as will representatives from numerous ministries: Development, Industry, Commerce and Services; Human Rights and Citizenship; Finance; Management and Innovation in Public Services; and Justice and Public Security among them. The Public Ethics Commission will also be represented.
Anniversary of the Access to Information Law’s introduction
The creation of the Council is part of a series of actions linked to the 11-year anniversary of the introduction of Brazil’s Access to Information Law (LAI), which was celebrated on Tuesday, 16 May in a ceremony hosted by the Office of the Comptroller General in Brasilia.
The new initiatives were launched at an event entitled ‘Transparency and Access to Information: Challenges for a new Decade’, which the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, attended, along with the Minister of the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), Vinícius de Carvalho. Denise Dora, executive director for ARTIGO 19, ARTICLE 19’s Brazil and South America office, also sat at the inaugural table, and spoke about the landmark move to approve and pass the Access to Information Law and the National Truth Commission in 2011. ‘Already at that moment, the construction of the approval process of the LAI became an international reference, because it used the model law of the OAS [Organization of American States] and was recognised in many places in the world as a fundamental reference to constitute the infrastructure of access to information in the country.’
President Lula also highlighted the important role transparency plays in facilitating effective public management. ‘Celebrating 11 years of LAI means celebrating the light that shines in life and prevents the State from ills,’ he said. ‘It is a reaffirmation that all of society has the right to see clearly what the shadow of authoritarianism and technocracy want to hide.’
Denise Dora said the creation of the council would have long-term impact and help shape a bright future for Brazil.
‘Today we are here not only celebrating the anniversary of LAI, but this moment – in which information is treated as the indispensable human right that it is,’ she said.
The Office of the Comptroller-General provided information for this statement.