UNODC presents the Global Anti-Corruption Project to  TCU

UNODC's Global Project intends to support nine countries in recovering from the pandemic crisis and in promoting effective responses in eventual future crises.

Brasilia, 7 June, 2021 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) made a presentation, on 26 May, 2021, of the "Global Project for the Promotion of Anti-Corruption Measures and Recovery from COVID-19" to the Brazilian Court of Audit (TCU).

The UNODC project aims to assist nine countries from Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, and Timor-Leste) in recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and promoting effective responses in possible future crises. The initiative is funded by the Bureau of International Law Enforcement and Narcotics (INL) and will operate on two fronts: whistleblower protection and integrity in public procurement.

The countries also participate in the UNODC's United Nations Convention against Corruption - UNCAC Fast Track project, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which creates synergies between the projects and helps to ensure there is no duplication of effort.

These platforms offer to beneficiaries the opportunity to better address national anti-corruption challenges related to COVID-19 and allow UNODC to better respond to country-specific needs.

The meeting was attended by UNODC's Programme Coordinator, Eduardo Pazinato; the Programme Officer, Chantal Castro; the TCU Secretary-General of External Control, Leonardo Albernaz; the Secretary of Government Macro Evaluation, Alessandro Aurelio Caldeira; the Director of Inspection of Government Planning and Budget, Lucieni da Silva.

Also present, among others, were the public prosecutor Júlio Marcelo de Oliveira, from the TCU Public Prosecution Service, the public prosecutor Silvia Regina Pontes Lopes, the public prosecutor Edilson Vitorelli, national articulator of the Integrated Office for Monitoring the Coronavirus-19 Epidemic (GIAC Covid-19).

"Our intention today is to learn about the TCU's and MPF's work on these issues, to strengthen ties, exchange experiences, and foment partnerships. The idea is, from this interlocution, to qualify the project and evaluate how it could be inserted in the Brazilian agenda", emphasized Chantal Castro, in the opening of the meeting.

The General Secretary of External Control of the TCU presented an overview of the control actions regarding the federal government's initiatives related to the fight against Covid-19. Albernaz informed that the TCU's monitoring started at the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, covering several areas: health, social welfare, public procurements, employment and income, and budget, among others. The Court of Auditors has analyzed, so far, almost 200 complaints and representations related to public procurement alone.

According to him, one of the main challenges for the control of the state response to the pandemic is inherent to the Brazilian federalism model itself, due to the decentralization of public resources, in transfers from the Federal Government to states and municipalities.

A large part of the public procurement related to the pandemic was performed by states and municipalities, which makes it difficult to monitor. This is one of our challenges: to identify the origin and trace the allocation of federal resources," said Albernaz, remembering that the budget of states and municipalities, unlike the Federal Government, often does not identify the sources of funds.

The secretary also highlighted the Court's willingness to contribute and support the project. "This is an excellent initiative, focused on issues that are extremely relevant for the country today, which can benefit greatly from international cooperation in combating the misappropriation of public resources," said Albernaz.

A second round of conversations should take place in the second half of June. "We want to present feedback on the issues discussed today and the points of contact with the project," said Eduardo Pazinato, UNODC program coordinator in Brazil. "We would like this meeting not to be an isolated event, but the strengthening of our institutional relationship. This synergy is very important," he added.

About the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)

UNODC is the guardian of the three Conventions on Drugs, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). UNCAC is a global instrument to fight corruption, ratified by Brazil.

UNCAC has as main guidelines:

  •   minimize opportunities for corruption practice;
  •   stimulate a culture of integrity;
  •   enhance transparency and social control;
  •   to strengthen the mechanisms of control and accountability;
  •   collective action by the public and private sectors and civil society.

Access the complete document here.


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